Competitors: Russia's Child Prodigies

By Notaro, Gerald A. | Notes, September 2011 | Go to article overview

Competitors: Russia's Child Prodigies


Notaro, Gerald A., Notes


Competitors: Russia's Child Prodigies. DVD. Directed by Irene Lange - mann. In Russian with English, German and French subtitles. Germany: Euroarts, 2010. 2057418. $28.98.

Ten years ago Irina Chistyakova, Nikita Mndoyants, Dmitry Krutogolovy, and Elena Kolesnichenko were, as child pianist/ prodigies, subjects of the documentary film Russia's Wonder Children (2000). Competitors: Russia's Child Prodigies (2010) documents their succession to fierce competitors in a shrinking music industry in search of perfection and virtuosity. The new film uses flashbacks to the competitors performing as young children. There are just enough scenes from the previous documentary to make the new film complete without having to view the previous. At the same time it is enough to make the viewer want to see the first film. Clever.

As prodigies they demonstrate not only early skill, but a wise understanding of art that is even more amazing than their technique. Their talent now seems less dazzling, which is unfortunate. In a particularly telling scene, a very young Dmitry reveals how nervous he gets when performing in public. …

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