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  • Warning: Spoilers
    Fantastic DVD with Leonard Bernstein as erudite + inspiring tour guide thru Vienna celebrating the 200th Anniversary of Beethoven's birth. This documentary was originally filmed in 1970.  Of course Beethoven was born in Bonn, Germany in 1770 but like most major composers of that time, was required to make his mark and reputation in the Classical-Music capital of Vienna.

    It is also interesting to note that Leonard Bernstein was a major television star a few decades back (mostly before I was born) with his very popular "Young-People's Concerts" broadcast at regular intervals during the 1960s (actually beginning in the mid-1950's), continuing thru to the very early 1970's.  I have watched a number of these series-compilations relatively recently on DVD along with those super-informative 'Unanswered Question' lectures recorded at Harvard (circa1973).

    Leonard Bernstein most certainly embodied a genuine passion for Music along with the capacity to generate profound insights, with a natural facility to educate even the layperson on Key musical concepts and most importantly translating the sheer joy of musical creativity & performance.

    On this "Beethoven: Celebration in Vienna" Leonard Bernstein retraces Beethoven's Life + incomparable genius and fully-evokes the atmosphere + time & place of Vienna, circa Late 18th Century.  This documentary is chaptered in four-parts, the most intriguing being presentation/ re-creation of Bernstein's comments at rehearsals of "Fidelio" and the subsequent performance excerpts from Beethoven's immensely-powerful & profound 9th Symphony deeply-inspired by Schiller's poem "Ode to Joy" There is something truly amazing about the incredible scope & Scale + incisive melodicism, and masterful-orchestrations of Beethoven's Works and Leonard Bernstein's virtual time-warp back to Vienna of more than 200 years-ago makes the viewer realize that Beethoven's brilliantly-inspiring Classical Music (of the highest possible caliber & quality) actually represented the 'popular' Music of its Day...... a truly fascinating concept to ponder.