Nathan Milstein

Nathan Milstein In Portrait [DVD Video]

(DVD - Christopher Nupen Films #A06CND)

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Another in a wonderful line of DVDs showcasing the lives of venerable musicians of the twentieth century, filmmaker Christopher Nupen this time turns his attention to violinist Nathan Milstein. Milstein is one of only a handful of musicians whose careers not only extended far into old age, but flourished with performances of astounding technique, unequaled musicianship, and youthful passion. Milstein's professional career lasted 73 years, until the age of 82, and even at that advanced age it was only through a very unfortunate accident that his playing was forced to stop. This two-DVD set chronicles Milstein's exceptional career through interviews with his students (notable Pinchas Zukerman), conversations with the artist himself, and enjoyable narration that walks viewers through Milstein's place in more than 70 years of music history. The music heard throughout features many works from his last public performance in Stockholm. Seeing him play is not like watching an elderly gentleman trying to relive past glories but rather observing a revered performer at the very height of his abilities. Of the more than one-dozen works on the DVD, the highlight is unquestionably Milstein's performance of the Chaconne from Bach's D minor Partita. Milstein, whose complete solo Bach remains one of the benchmarks of the genre, appears to execute the Chaconne with little to no effort, truly bringing forth the conversational aspects of the music and leaving technical hindrances behind. For long-standing fans of Milstein, as well as those who are in need of their first introduction, this documentary is absolutely worthwhile.