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High Fidelity: The Adventures of the Guarneri String Quartet - documentary DVD / classical music performance DVD review
HIGH FIDELITY: THE ADVENTURES OF THE GUARNERI STRING QUARTET Not rated by the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) rating: 4 stars
Featuring: John Dalley, David Soyer, Arnold Steinhardt, Michael Tree
Director: Allan Miller   Distributor: First Run Features
DVD release: 18 November 2008   Runtime: 85 min. (1 disc)
Format: Color, DVD-Video, NTSC, Widescreen
DVD Features: Audio tracks (English), LA-based actors in classic theatre exercises, Rehearsal scenes w/ HAIR director Tom O'Horgan, Interview (Ben Vereen, dir. Milos Forman, author/lyricist James Rado)

The same filmmaking team that brought you From Mao to Mozart delivers another richly entertaining documentary entitled High Fidelity: The Adventures of the Guarneri String Quartet. The film not only captures some of their brilliant musical performances of Mozart, Beethoven, and other master composers; it also reveals the four distinct personalities in quartet. Interspersed between their traveling to shows in such places as Berlin and Venice, High Fidelity stops to show the background of the four members: first violinist Arnold Steinhardt, second violinist John Dalley, viola player Michael Tree, and cellist David Soyer.

It's like an E! Behind The Music episode without the predictable drug overdose/death segment. But, as with any rock band, there is some division among the quartet as they discuss vigorously song choice, how to play said piece, and where it should be played in the show. But it also shows them being family men: at the dinner table with their kids, playing frisbee, and having drinks at a party. In other words, the film shows their humanity as well as displaying their prodigious talent.

Filmed in 1988, one of High Fidelity's major themes was how long this quartet had been together, and how they were able to do it. It's quite simple: they love music, and through that bond they built a brotherhood that stood the test of time. A tremendous and insightful documentary even if you don't love classical music.
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reviewed by Bobby Blades
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