Composer's Special Series [6 Pack] (DVD) (Collector's Edition) (Special Edition)

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Special Features

  • English, Español and Français soundtracks
  • Closed Captioned


Bizet's Dream
From HBO's award-winning composer series comes the story of composer Georges Bizet and his young piano student, Michelle. Bizet is writing the opera Carmen, and Michelle's father is a soldier in Seville and has been away a long time. Michelle begins to wonder if her father has run away with another woman like Don Jose does in her teacher's opera. Although Maurice Godin does a fantastic job bringing the flamboyant character of Bizet to life, children are drawn to the drama surrounding Michelle's father. Will he come back? Will she ever see him again? This installment of the series introduces the music of Bizet, and though it doesn't include as much historical information as the others, it's still a valuable teaching aid for performing arts programs. Recommended for ages 9 to 12. ~ Heather M. Fierst, Rovi, Rovi

Bach's Fight for Freedom
It's not easy being a musical genius, particularly in an age when artists depend on nobility for their bread and butter. Part of HBO's composer series, Bach's Fight for Freedom is the story of Johann Sebastian Bach and his relationship with Frederick, a young servant in the house of Duke Wilhelm, for whom they both work. Bach wants the freedom to compose many different kinds of music, but the duke only wants traditional organ music. Frederick wants to be a stone mason, but his family members have been servants to the duke for generations. Through their friendship, Frederick and Bach find the strength to break traditions and achieve their dreams. The story is based on the true incident when Duke Wilhelm Ernst of Sachsen-Weimer imprisoned Bach for wanting to resign his position and work for another nobleman. This video won the Oppenheim Golden Seal Award for Best Children's Videos and the Kids First Award for Best Children's Video. Recommended for ages six to 12. ~ Heather M. Fierst, Rovi, Rovi

Handel's Last Chance
After their music has endured centuries, it's hard to believe that some classical composers were not as successful in their own lifetimes. In this edition of the composer series from HBO, George Friderick Handel travels to Dublin to try to revive his failing music career by premiering his first oratorio, "The Messiah," what would become his greatest work. While searching for singers to perform in the production, Handel meets street urchin Jamie O'Flaherty, who has the perfect voice for a solo. Handel saves Jamie from poverty, and Jamie saves the show and Handel's career. Historically accurate and musically adept, this video is a valuable resource for music appreciation programs. Recommended for ages nine to 12. ~ Heather M. Fierst, Rovi, Rovi

Liszt's Rhapsody
In this edition of the award-winning composer series from HBO, Franz Liszt, portrayed wonderfully by Geordie Johnson, is one of Europe's finest pianists, rich and famous beyond compare, but he is frustrated by his inability to find the inspiration to compose his own music. But when Liszt takes Josy, a young violin virtuoso, under his wing, he awakens his own creativity. Features music from Carnival in Pest, The Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2, and The Mephisto Waltz. Historically accurate and musically adept, this video is a valuable resource for music appreciation programs. Recommended for ages nine to 12. ~ Heather M. Fierst, Rovi, Rovi

Strauss: The King of Three-Quarter Time
The waltz was all the rage in 1860s Europe, and composer Johann Strauss Jr. was the known as the "King of Three-Quarter Time." In this video from HBO's composer series, Strauss, played by Michael Riley, is stressed by the pressure of outdoing himself with each new composition and the memory of his late father's disapproval of his music. Retreating to a country estate, Strauss meets Nicholas, a stable boy who is brutally abused by his stepfather. Together, the two find the strength to overcome their emotional and physical scars and collaborate on music that will thrill generations to come. Designed to introduce children to classical music and composers, the video features music from Strauss' "Tales from the Vienna Woods," "The Blue Danube," "Vienna Blood," "Roses from the South," "Perpetual Motion," and "Explosions Polka." Highly recommended for ages 8 to 12. ~ Heather M. Fierst, Rovi, Rovi

Rossini's Ghost
Many of the world's greatest musical compositions would never have been written if their composers had given up after numerous failures and criticisms. Rossini's Ghost is the magical story of Reliana, a little girl who is transported back in time to meet Gioacchino Antonio Rossini, one of the most successful opera composers of the 19th century. Rossini is at the point of giving up his music after the failure of his latest opera, "The Barber of Seville." Invisible to everyone except Rossini, Reliana helps three rivals in the opera become friends and gives Rossini the strength to keep trying. The sixth, and final, installment of HBO's composer series, this video is well produced, entertaining, and an asset to educational facilities. Recommended for ages nine to 12. ~ Heather M. Fierst, Rovi, Rovi

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