________________ CM . . . . Volume VII Number 20 . . . . June 8, 2001

cover McGill, Mahler & Montreal.

Robert Chesterman (Director). Robert Chesterman (Producer, Prometheus Productions), George Johnson (Producer, NFB).
Montreal, PQ: National Film Board of Canada, 1997.
57 min., 30 sec., VHS, $39.95.
Order Number: C9197 185.

Subject Headings:
Mahler, Gustav, 1860-1911. Symphonies, no. 5, C# minor.
Mahler, Gustav, 1860-1911-Criticism and interpretation.
McGill Symphony Orchestra.

Grades 7 and up / Ages 12 and up.

Review by Gillian Martin Noonan.

**** /4

Viewers are easily caught up in the excitement of an orchestra getting ready for a concert in McGill, Mahler & Montreal. Three threads run through this video. The viewer is taken on the journey of preparation made by the young musicians of the McGill University Orchestra and their conductor. Viewers sees the various levels of practice (solo, section, full orchestra) that take place before a major concert. The personalities of the section leaders as dynamic young men and women are briefly featured, and this perspective helps younger viewers understand that classical musicians are like many people they may know. As well, viewers are made fully aware of the arduous work that goes into a concert, most especially when they see the sweat drenched conductor at the concert's end.

      The second thread is the composer, Gustav Mahler. Biographical highlights are provided throughout the video which paint a vivid picture of the man and his overwhelming desire to capture the natural world in his music.

      The third thread is the city of Montreal which is briefly introduced to viewers through cultural and historical perspectives. Frequently, these perspectives on the city are achieved via critical commentaries provided by local music reviewers.

      The video is very polished and easy to follow. The critical commentaries interspersed throughout make the video more appropriate for mature students in grades 7 and up; however, I successfully showed it to students as young as Grade 1 with these portions edited. McGill, Mahler & Montreal is an excellent addition to a Canadian social studies or music collection.

Highly Recommended.

Gillian Martin Noonan is an educator living in Old Perlican, NF.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

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The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364