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This film was made during the preparations, rehearsals and first performances of that opera in San Francisco. Two anecdotes illustrate for me the extraordinary musician I had the honour to work with. I knew of course that he was a jazz pianist whom even Oscar Peterson held in awe so I was determined to film him playing jazz. He refused. "I really haven't played jazz in public for years," he told me. Then by chance I discovered that he had been invited to play at bass player Ray Brown's 70th birthday celebrations at the Blue Note Club in New York. I pleaded with Previn to allow me to film this. He refused. So, of course, I hid away in the Blue Note Club and thanks to the wonders of digital cameras, no extra lights were required so I was more-or-less invisible. After the first of the two shows, I went backstage to say hello. As always, he greeted me with the utmost courtesy and said: "not bad, eh, for an out-of-practice old timer?" (His playing and improvisation had, of course, been breathtaking). "Pity you didn't film it...."
Well, um...He laughed and said: "hope you got it in focus."
So, on the occasion of Previn's 80th birthday, here is the newly re-mastered original film by way of a small tribute. It was, and is, a privilege to know him and to acknowledge his greatness as a musician and his very special qualities as man."
Region 0 NTSC 16:9 Aspect Ratio
A Streetcar Named Desire
Anthony Dean Griffey & Elizabeth Futral
Kiri Te Kanawa
The Emerson Quartet
Directed by Colin Graham
The San Francisco Opera Orchestra
The Ray Brown Trio
The NHK Symphony Orchestra
The WDR Symphony Orchestra