Sunday, July 25, 2010

Toronto Symphony Orchestra

This DVD gives a glimpse behind the scenes into how an orchestra is run.  Peter Oundjian was chosen as Musical Director to help turn the fortunes of the orchestra around.  It was many millions in debt (and still is), and there was disharmony and dissatisfaction.  We don't see much of that in the film.  What we do see is Peter's amazingly positive approach, his hard work, and the hard work and talent of the orchestra members and admin staff.  There are some wonderful shots of Peter conducting and he is DRIPPING with sweat - he pours his heart and energy into it, it's not just finger waggling!!!  We also hear Renee Fleming and Yo Yo Ma and Emanual Ax as soloists.  Great stuff.  If you go to the website, you can listen to podcasts giving the context to a number of famous pieces.  I was really taken with the one about Beethoven's 9th.

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