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Category:    Home > Reviews > Classical Music > Opera > Ballet > Concert > 3D > Standards > Dance > Musicals > Biography > Stage > Carmen in 3D (Opus Arte Blu-ray 3D)/Persuasive Percussion: Enoch Light (1958/Intermusic SA-CD/Super Audio Compact Disc Hybrid/Top Music International/Audioplan)/Barenboim/Boulez: Liszt Piano Concertos

Carmen in 3D (Opus Arte Blu-ray 3D)/Persuasive Percussion: Enoch Light (1958/Intermusic SA-CD/Super Audio Compact Disc Hybrid/Top Music International/Audioplan)/Barenboim/Boulez: Liszt Piano Concertos/Wagner (Accentus)/Carlos Kleiber: Traces To Nowhere (ArtHaus)/Rossini’s La Gazza Ladra (aka The Thieving Magpie/Dynamic)/Fellini, Jazz & Co.: Berliner Phil./Richard Chailly (EuroArts)/Tribute To Jerome Robbins (Paris Opera House/BelAir/Naxos Blu-rays)


3D Picture: B     2D Picture: B- (N/A on Carmen)     Blu-ray Sound: B (Barenboim: B+/Kleiber: B-)     DSD SACD Sound: B-     PCM SACD Sound: C+     Extras: C+ (Ladra: C)     Main Programs: B



PLEASE NOTE: The Persuasive Percussion Super Audio Compact Disc is only available from our friends at Top Music International, has a Compact Disc layer that will play on virtually all CD players and can be ordered at the link below.



Here’s a new round of instrumental and Classical titles for us to look at and they are more diverse than usual.



For starters, we have Carmen in 3D from Opus Arte in the Blu-ray 3D format and though it is not our first Classical Blu-ray 3D title (a great Lang Lang Blu-ray 3D was already issued by Sony Classical, reviewed elsewhere on this site), this is a fine Royal Opera House performance that is up to the level of the previous two Carmen releases we have covered.  You can read more about those starting at this link:





I will not go into the storyline again, but Stage Director Francesca Zambello and Conductor Constantinos Carydis are obviously fans of the work, deliver it with energy and a flow that gives it as much life as I have ever seen in a production of it and the cast (including Christine Rice, Bryan Hymel, Aris Argiris and Maija Kovalevska) have the kind of chemistry we have come to expect from the best Opera Blu-rays.  However, the 3D is so interesting and done in a smart way that it overcomes any of the limits we might get in a 2D HD presentation and any 3D fans should want to get this disc because it is so different and effective.  Credit also needs to go to camera-version director Julian Napier for not overdoing the 3D.  Note there is no 2D version of the show on this disc, which is rare.  Extras include 2D featurettes on the disc and an illustrated booklet



Next comes a new version of Terry Snyder & The All-Stars with their 1958 experimental stereophonic breakthrough album Persuasive Percussion: Enoch Light (part of their Command records label of the time) issued as an SA-CD/Super Audio Compact Disc Hybrid with alternate PCM CD tracks by Intermusic/Top Music International as a promo to promote the sound quality and performance quality of speakers, anti-vibration equipment and audio chords by the Audioplan company of Germany.  I have heard of the company before and have encountered their speakers a while ago.  The booklet included made me want to hear them again.


The instrumental performances here are good and the Volume Two album is also included as there was enough room.  Unfortunately, the sonic limits show from the age of the recording, so this is only so much of a demo, but it is one of those recordings everyone should hear once (a bunch of CD versions have been issued) and the disc was produced and mastered by Povee Chan using the following:


SADiE Digital Precision Mastering

Monitor Amplifier: Lavardin Model IT

Mastering Monitor: Audioplan KONZERT II

Power System: Isoclean Power Conditioning System

Mastered with Black Rhodium cables

Made in Germany by ADIS


Tracks include:


1)     I’m In The Mood For Love

2)     Whatever Lola Wants

3)     Misirlou

4)     I Surrender, Dear

5)     Orchids In The Moonlight

6)     I Love Paris

7)     My Heart Belongs To Daddy

8)     Tabu

9)     The Breeze And I

10)  Aloha Oe

11)  Japanese Sandman

12)  Love Is A Many-Splendored Thing

13)  Blue Is The Night (Group 2)

14)  Blue Tango (Group 3)

15)  Miami Beach Rhumba (Group 3)

16)  Yours Is My Heart Alone (Group 2)

17)  In A Persian Market (Group 2)

18)  Mambo Jambo (Group 1)


Fans will want to check it out for themselves and with the extra groom especially since it was a big deal at the time that they were recording the stereo on 35mm magnetic film stock for separation.  Unlike most CD versions, they added extras tracks in the way of that second volume which should have been a no brainer for the competing versions.  A paper pullout is the only extra.



Barenboim/Boulez: Liszt Piano Concertos + Wagner (Accentus) is the latest of the many Barenboim Blu-rays we have been lucky enough to encounter and you can read about the pervious discs starting with this link:




This June 2011 performance has more Liszt than Wagner, but is yet another smooth, consistent, solid show that delivers the music and that is a good thing.  An informative booklet with text and trailers on the disc are the only extras.



Carlos Kleiber: Traces To Nowhere is a documentary about the famed conductor, who also turns out to have been a genius and a very difficult man to deal with at times.  Some major names in the business are interviewed (including Placido Domingo) and Director Eric Schultz presents the man’s life as best he could with a good selection of archival material and facts added.  The resultant biography brings back to life a major name you might not otherwise hear about and more conductors whose works will not see home video releases, et al, deserves such top rate coverage.  An informative booklet with text and trailers on the disc are the only extras.



Gioachino Rossini’s La Gazza Ladra is the first Rossini work we have ever covered in almost 9 years of this site, despite Barber Of Seville being such a hugely popular work.  Our first disc from the Dynamic label, some of the music might be familiar to fans of Kubrick’s A Clockwork Orange, as the translation is The Thieving Magpie (putting that on the Blu-ray cover would have upped sales).  It is great to see a full-fledged performance of the original opera, especially one this good from the Rossini Opera House, directed by Damiano Michieletto and conducted by Lu Jia with the Prague Chamber Choir.  The drama starts with a man coming back from a war with an actual magpie repeating the name of a peasant friend of our protagonist over and over in an ominous sign of things to come.


I will not say much more, but serious Clockwork Orange and Kubrick fans should see this once just to get something new out of his classic film.  If you have never seen the opera, here is a great chance to enjoy it.  An informative booklet with text is the only extra.



Fellini, Jazz & Co. has Richard Chailly conducting the Berliner Philharmonic, but as far as Fellini is concerned, this outdoor show only offers Nino Rota’s Ballet Suite from Fellini’s 1954 classic La Strada (Criterion did a DVD, so hopefully a Blu-ray is coming).  Otherwise we get Shostakovich’s Suite No. 2 for Jazz Orchestra, Respighi’s Fountains Of Rome, Pines Of Rome & Danza gueresca ‘Belikis’ and Lincke’s Berliner Luft, which finishes the show to huge crowd response.  A fine show, we get an informative booklet with text and trailers on the disc as the only extras.



Finally we have the Paris Opera Ballet with their Tribute To Jerome Robbins with Koen Kessels conducting the Paris Opera Orchestra.  Though the selections danced to are set to the music of Ravel (Ensol), a world premiere by Nico Muhly (Triade), and two sections of Chopin (In The Night, The Concert), the dancing is unmistakably the work of Robbins whose choreography has been seen on stage and film screens for decades now.


Even if you have not seen anything on stage, you have likely seen his work in films like West Side Story (which he co-directed), Fiddler On The Roof (see Blu-rays reviewed elsewhere on this site), the Mary Martin Peter Pan, On The Town, Gypsy and The King & I (all due on Blu-ray) becoming one of the most important choreographers of the 20th Century and beyond.  This is a great tribute concert and I was thrilled to see it work so well.  Brigitte Lefévre is Director of Dance, Gerard Mortier is Director and an amazing cast of dancers who nail it over and over again.  Again, dance and Robbins fans will love it.  An informative booklet with text built into the DigiPak case is the only extra.



The 1.78 X 1, 1080p full HD MVC-encoded 3-D – Full Resolution digital High Definition image on Carmen 3D is the visual champ here and delivers a consistent 3D image that could bring fans to classical and opera by being so engaging and consistent.  Color is good and consistent for an HD shoot and after testing this on several systems, the disc held up between them nicely.  The 1080i 1.78 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer on the rest of the Blu-rays have good image quality throughout, though a few have motion blur (including one with more break up than usual, but that I rare enough to not hurt it overall) and fine overall.  The DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mixes on all the Blu-rays (save Kleiber, which is only PCM 2.0 Stereo) are well recorded, but the Barenboim disc has the best mix and soundfield overall.  The PCM 2.0 Stereo on Kleiber has a mix of old and new audio since it is a documentary and that includes older monophonic sound, as expected.  I liked the editing.  The PCM 2.0 Stereo mixes on the other Blu-rays are fine and there for cross-compatibility with older systems, but none can compete with their DTS-MA counterparts.


The DSD 2.0 Stereo on Percussion is better than the PCM 2.0 16/44.1 Stereo on the disc, but both have a flat frontal soundfield that is not great, but shows its age.  We do not know the source material, but why it is limited is odd.  Still, I doubt the other regular CD versions could be better, but who knows save big fans.  To find out more about ordering the Persuasive Percussion SA-CD, start with this link, then go to the HOW TO ORDER tab on the left-hand side column:




The direct order link is:





-   Nicholas Sheffo


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