Fulvue Drive-In.com
Current Reviews
In Stores Soon
In Stores Now
DVD Reviews, SACD Reviews Essays Interviews Contact Us Meet the Staff
An Explanation of Our Rating System Search  
Category:    Home > Reviews > Classical Music > Opera > Concert > Literature > World Music > Ballet > Experimental FIlmmaking > Boris Godunov/Mussorgsky/Noseda (Opus Arte)/Eastern Voices At The Morgenland Festival Osnabruck (EuroArts)/Le Songe/Les Ballets De Monte-Carlo (ArtHaus)/Salzburg Festival Opening Concert/Barenboim (C

Boris Godunov/Mussorgsky/Noseda (Opus Arte)/Eastern Voices At The Morgenland Festival Osnabruck (EuroArts)/Le Songe/Les Ballets De Monte-Carlo (ArtHaus)/Salzburg Festival Opening Concert/Barenboim (C Major)/Tributes - Pulse (2011/DaCapo/NGL/Naxos Blu-rays)


Picture: B- (Noseda: C+/Pulse: C*)     Sound: B     Extras: B-/B-/C/C+/C     Main Programs: B/B-/B-/B/C+



The latest round of Blu-rays from the Classical Music distributor Naxos is diverse, interesting and a little different than usual.


For starters we have an impressive performance of Modest Mussorgsky’s Boris Godunov from Opus Arte conducted by Gianandrea Moseda and directed by Andrei Konchaklovsky that makes a fine showing in its performance, though its playback on disc is a bit shaky.  Still this is an ambitious, effective version of the work that is worth the time of those who are interested.  Extras include a Cast Gallery, on-cameras interviews with Konchaklovsky & Moseda and the usually informative booklet in several languages.  This is our second Mussorgsky Blu-ray following the one in the following review:




We also have some Mussorgsky SA-CDs on the site also worth your time.



One change of pace release is Eastern Voices At The Morgenland Festival Osnabruck from EuroArts whose only problem is that it is too short at just over an hour per program, but is a fine introduction to a variety of music from the Middle East and its current performers.  Of course, some politics come up, as do some interesting points, though this is ultimately about the music and is a crash course worth your time if you like world music.  Extras include that documentary and an informative booklet in several languages.


Jean-Christophe Maillot’s Le Songe featuring Les Ballets De Monte-Carlo is issued by ArtHaus and is our only ballet offering this time out.  It is also an eccentric one and has some good moments, though I also think it goes off into more directions than it can handle, yet the dancers and dancing is fine as expected.  Based on Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Nights Dream, it is a bold and different interpretation and those who like that classic may find more to like in this than I did, but it is not bad.  It is just not what I expected or would have liked.  The only extra is an informative booklet in several languages.


The Salzburg Festival Opening Concert is a variant of the Daniel Barenboim/C Major/Unitel Classica concert Blu-ray we covered at this link:




This one just does not have the impact of that disc or some of the other Barenboim Blu-rays, but is still a good concert and worth your time, though I would start with other Barenboim Blu-rays before getting to this one which includes works by Beethoven, Boulez and Bruckner.  Extras include an informative booklet in several languages and four trailers for other C Major/Unitel Classical Blu-rays.


Finally we have the experimental film Tributes - Pulse (2011), which is part of a trend to take film footage that is falling apart, decaying and/or is damaged and make it into something new.  In this case, Bill Morrison has assembled the found footage with no dialogue and a music score by Simon Christensen that is somewhat electronic and is trying to day some about … decay!  Surprise?  No, this has been done already, though the old footage is fading, has some damage, some disintegration (is some of it flammable nitrate?) run at a frame or two a second.  It is all black and white until the end with older color footage that you can see if you watch it.  Good, but not great.  An informative booklet in several languages is the only extra.



*The 1080i 1.33 X 1 digital High Definition image on Pulse is the worst by default since the footage is worn out, so expect that to be the case throughout viewing it.  The rest of the Blu-rays are 1080i 1.78 X 1 digital High Definition transfers that have motion blur and some other depth limits, but I have to single out Noseda for even having more blur and break up image issues so if you have problems it is not your HDTV or HD projector.


All five releases have DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) lossless mixes, but they vary more than usual this time, though the result in all cases is fine, excellent playback.  Noseda and Eastern have slid 5.1 mixes, but Salzburg is only 5.0 and sounds just fine, Pulse has a 7.1 mix that works but does not do more than if it were 5.1 and oddest of all, Songe has only a 4.1 mix, yet it too is more impressive than expected or that it should be.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


 Copyright © MMIII through MMX fulvuedrive-in.com