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David Fray: Johann Sebastian Bach - Swing, Sing & Think

Released on 10 November 2008

Featuring: David Fray

Format: DVD | Rating: Exempt from Classification

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This absorbing 95-minute documentary about the young French pianist David Fray is directed by Bruno Monsaingeon, the distinguished filmmaker whose previous collaborations with Virgin Classics include DVDs with Piotr Anderszewski and Valery Sokolov, and whose past subjects have included David Oistrakh, Sviatoslav Richter, Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Yehudi Menuhin and Glenn Gould.

This DVD complements Fray's second CD release on Virgin Classics, a collection of Bach concertos, and it includes Live footage from the audio recording sessions of the concertos BWV 1055,1056 et 1058 (the CD also includes BWV 1052 in D minor). Issues discussed on screen with Fray, an artist of formidable intellectual energy, include his relationship with the music of Bach and his views on directing an orchestra - here the Bremen-based Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie - from the keyboard

The Austro-German repertoire is of great importance to the pianist, whose personal heritage includes Czech, Polish, Spanish, French, Finnish and Jewish strands. He has said that: 'If, over my life, I can play all the works of Bach, Mozart, Schubert, Haydn, Brahms and Schumann, then I shall be very happy!' but describes Bach as 'a pinnacle; both a beginning and an end'.

2008 has been an important year for Fray, bringing his New York debut and his marriage (in July) to the Italian actress Chiara Muti, daughter of conductor Riccardo Muti. His first CD release on Virgin Classics, a thought-provoking juxtaposition of Bach and Boulez, came in may 2007 and in April 2008 it brought him the Best Newcomer Award from BBC Music Magazine. The recital also prompted Gramophone to speak of his: 'unselfregarding mastery and musical maturity and the 'intimate, poetic spell' cast by his Bach with its 'gorgeous tone and ravishingly shaded trills.' The New York Times found it a 'superbly played and thoughtful program ' In both Bach and Boulez, Mr. Fray displays an articulate touch, splendid command of shadings and nimble finger work. The youthful freshness of the performances is especially appealing. Mr. Fray is not intimidated by either giant ... He brings a fluid sense of rhythm and much sparkle to Bach's D major Partita ' [the] account of Bach's D minor French Suite is also captivating,' while the 'playful, crystalline and wondrously delicate account' of Boulez's 12 Notations' was summarised as 'breathtaking'.

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ActorsDavid Fray
CertificateExempt from Classification
Year2008
Screen16:9
LanguagesFrench - Dolby Digital (5.1)
Additional LanguagesEnglish
SubtitlesFrench ; English
Duration2 hours and 13 minutes (approx)
RegionRegion 2 - Will only play on European Region 2 or multi-region DVD players.