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Category:    Home > Reviews > Classical Music > Opera > Concert > Claudio Abbado & Lucerne Festival Orchestra – Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 9 (Accentus Music) + Aribert Reimann – Medea: World Premiere (ArtHaus/Naxos Blu-rays)

Claudio Abbado & Lucerne Festival Orchestra – Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 9 (Accentus Music) + Aribert Reimann – Medea: World Premiere (ArtHaus/Naxos Blu-rays)

 

Picture: B-     Sound: B     Extras: C     Concerts: B/B-

 

 

Continuing our look at Classical Music on Blu-ray, we have two more interesting releases to enjoy.  One is a continuing series of performances by conductors and the other is a debut Opera work.

 

Claudio Abbado & Lucerne Festival Orchestra – Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 9 (Accentus Music) is yet another exceptional volume of Abbado handling a classic work with such ease, it brings new life to it.  His performances of Mahler Symphonies 1, 2, 4, 5 and 6 are already on Blu-ray, as this link will show:

 

http://www.fulvuedrive-in.com/review/10551/Michael+Nyman+Collections+(DVD/C

 

 

I am again impressed and happy to recommend the disc, which has a Multi-Angle Feature: Conductor’s Camera that is a nice twist on the standard approach of these releases that is not a mere gimmick, but a new way to look at his work in progress and make the arts more involving.  You might want to start with this Blu-ray from all the Mahler Blus he has had issued to date.

 

Then there is Aribert Reimann – Medea: World Premiere with the Orchestra Der Wiener Staatsoper, turning up in 2010 and captured in HD.  Started in 2006 and based on Grillparzer’s Medea, then evolved into a four book (read act) piece that is pretty impressive, though it did not stay with me as much as expected and though it has some powerful and impressive moments, was uneven at times.  Still, it is too rare that a new Opera is written (ask Roger Waters) and this is worth a serious look for all major Opera fans.

 

The 1080i 1.78 X 1 digital High Definition image on both Blu-rays have good color, but also some softness and motion blur inherent to interlaced HD, but the Abbado video is different in that the blur is not as often, but worse when it happens.  The DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) lossless 5.1 mixes on both Blu-rays sounds good, have fine soundfields and even appropriate ones when they are reproducing the concert hall sound which happens more in Medea than in Abbado.  Once again, we get pretty state-of-the-art recordings, though none are extraordinary, they are all exceptionally clean, professional recordings.  PCM 2.0 Stereo versions are also included, though they cannot match the DTS-MA mixes.  Extras include the usual informative booklets inside each case, while the discs have trailers for other Blu-ray releases.

 

 

-   Nicholas Sheffo


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