Lang Lang: Live In Vienna 3D (2010/Sony Music/Sony Classical Blu-ray 3D Edition)
Picture: B+ 2-D Picture: B Sound: B Extras: B Concert: B
covered a few hundred classical titles on Blu-ray, a segment of the market that
is one of the most underrated and more successful in selling machines and
systems than you might think, but Sony Classical’s Lang Lang: Live In Vienna (2010) is the first in the new Blu-ray 3D
format in the genre and is released in conjunction with the EuroArts label we
have often enjoyed the releases of. Lang
Lang is a pianist and these types of releases seem to be in the minority, yet
can be some of the most interesting and compelling.
nearly 170 minutes in all, the concert is an impressive one including pieces by
Beethoven (Piano Sonatas No. 3, Op 2, No. 23 in F Minor, Op. 57
"Appassionata” Allegro Assai, Albéniz: Iberia, Book I, Prokofiev: Piano
Sonata No. 7 in B-flat Major, Op. 83, Chopin Étude Op 25, No 1, Polonaise No. 6
in A-flat Major, Op. 53 "Heroic" and Grande Valse brillante No. 2, Op
34, No 1. This man is an amazing talent,
handling the piano with a grace and connection to the instrument and the
classics in a way the best pianists do.
I hope this release puts his talents further on the map and in the
mainstream like Yo Yo Ma and the piano greats of the past.
watched, I thought of the great, underrated John Schlesinger film Madame Sousatzka (1988) with what may
be Shirley MacLaine’s most underrated performance as a piano teacher with a painful
past that does what she can against all odds and changes to make sure her
students become the best pianists and people they can be. Her efforts to have them play from the heart
and really understand the material as more than notes (which we get too often
in almost all genres now) speaks volumes about the arts and classical music in
particular. Lang Lang’s performance here
is that kind of great work, filling the hall simply, yet with a deep complexity
that shows why the classics endure. He
becomes one with the piano.
liked some pieces more than others, he loves all of them or could not play them
this well. As a result, this is
practically my favorite classical piano Blu-ray in 2D, so the fact that it is
3D shows some people in Sony Classical and EuroArts know what they are doing
(wish all the divisions of all the major labels cared as much) so that makes Live In Vienna a winner just in
content. Then comes the playback of the
1.78 X 1 MVC-encoded 3-D – Full Resolution digital High Definition image in its
moments outdoes the 2D 1080p HD image just enough to suggest a new way of
enjoying the arts and is more impressive than the still-impressive 2010 FIFA World Cup Blu-ray 3D Sony
Home Entertainment (reviewed elsewhere on this site) in being one of the few
titles in the format of any kind to show a 3D HD entertainment program that is
not a scripted drama and not meant to be a film. You feel like you are in the hall and it make
the concert all the more intimate and involving.
though the 2D shows the limits of the HD it is shot in, it is actually one of
the best Blu-ray 2D classical titles we have seen to date with remarkable
picture stability (among the least amount of motion blur in any concert Blu-ray to date), good color
and a generally solid picture throughout that plays like the next step in how
good HD-shot concerts can look if film is passed on.
DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) lossless 5.1 mix is the same on both versions and is
pretty good throughout, better than the DTS-MA 2.0 Stereo, but all are recorded
well, though we should note that capturing the concert authentically means that
it is strictly the piano in the hall, so there is more natural space in the
soundfield than you might expect, but that is the way it actually is supposed
to sound, which is a fine recording all around.
The 3D and extra segments are DTS-MA 5.1 and 2.0 Stereo, which are also
just fine. And he uses a Steinway Piano,
so that is as good as you can get as well!
a Making Of program (about 12
minutes) on the Blu-ray itself, an informative booklet inside the Blu-ray 3D
case and the following classical moments in 3D shot at The Berghain Club in
Berlin: Beethoven (Piano Sonatas No. 23 in F Minor, Op. 57
"Appassionata", Prokofiev: Piano Sonata No. 7 in B-flat Major, Op. 83,
Albéniz: Iberia, Book I and Chopin: Polonaise No. 6 in A-flat Major, Op. 53
- Nicholas Sheffo