It's often mentioned that the revolution in today's orchestral sampling libraries means there are a lot newcomers to orchestral compositions who didn't do the "masters degree in composition" thing, and are probably self-taught composers who's never had the chance to be close to a real symphonic orchestra. I'm one of those people, and I've been collecting DVD's of concerts conducted by famous conductors. I find these DVD's to be very educational because it allows me to get very close to each player in the orchestra and watch how they perform various articulations, and also how different conductors interpret the same pieces of music differently. Of course, this can't ever replace working with players in real life situations, but for people like me who don't have that luxury, this is the closest thing.
So, I was wondering, do you guys have some recommendations of DVD's that you rate highly?
I have some of Claudio Abbado, plus a whole bunch of other conductors (Igor Markevitch, Nichols Carthy, Leonard Berstein, Leopold Stokowski, Pierre Boulez, Herbert Von Karajan, Kent Nagano, Yuri Temirkanov..etc )conducting various composers' works (Ravel, Debussy, Mahler, Tchaikovsky, Beethoven, Gershwin, Stravinsky, Bartok, Mozart, Schubert, Strauss, Brahms, Shostakovich, Wagner..etc).
The one I have of Francis Poulenc is particularly interesting, because before watching the DVD, he was just a name--a legend, but seeing him telling jokes in front of an audience--kinda takes away the myth that all composers are anti-social stern men. The restoration of the footages/sounds are also excellent.
Ennio Morricone's Arena Concerto is also very interesting, especially the orchestral versions from westerns like The Good, the Bad and Ugly--where you see woodwinds played in a very un-classical manner to mimic the original feel of the piece.