Quixote/Acousta/Royal Opera House/Royal Ballet
(Opus Arte)/The Mature
Symphony [No. 7]/Bruckner/Barenboim
Raabe & Palast Orchester
To Mouth: Mickey Raphael/Sound
Of Harp II: Music From Heaven - Silke Auchhorn
(Top Music 24K Gold UQCDs)
B-/B-/B/B-/C+/X/X Sound: B-/B-/B/B/C+/B/B Extras:
C/C/C+/C/C+/X/X Main Programs: B-/B-/B/B-/B-/B-/B-
24K Gold UQCDs will play on all CD players and can be ordered
exclusively from our friends at Top Music at the link below.
for a strong cycle of classical releases...
start with a new take on the great Charles Chaplin. Chaplin
is not another retelling of the story of the man and artist, but an
impressive ballet about the legendary, groundbreaking filmmaker that
runs a nice 100 minutes and is more savvy than expected with fine
dancing, iconic images and the politics he eventually had to deal
with. Mario Schroder wrote this work and clearly gets what the man
and his art was about.
is a new version of Delibes'
that is not bad, but handled by different talents than one we looked
at before. Eduardo
Lao choreographed this nice ballet of Leo Delibes' Coppelia based on
the E.T.A. Hoffmann book Der Sandmann taped in Madrid. A Swiss
clockmaker makes three androids so convincingly human, some think he
is using black magic. Though this version is good, I found this
earlier Blu-ray release with Patrice Bart choreography a little
Royal Ballet at The Royal Opera House present a new version of Don
Acousta's well choreographed ballet interpretation of the classic
story is given vibrant life as this cast (with great costumes and
chemistry) gives us the story of the man and the windmill he must
slay with nice stage design, Acousta himself as Bastilo, Christopher
Sanders in the title role and Martin Yates conducting the fine score.
The makers totally grasp the material and it is worth your time to
The Mature Symphony: Symphony No. 7
is our sole instrumental entry on the list. The great Daniel
Barenboim is back conducting Anton Bruckner's Symphony No. 7 in E
Major in yet another solid classical orchestra performance on
Blu-ray, but this one only runs 72:20, yet is the complete work.
This is still in line with the many fine Barenboim Blu-rays we have
covered before, as well as fine performances of Bruckner we've been
lucky enough to encounter. We previously covered an historic
performance of the 7th
Symphony as performed by Sergiu Celibidache at this link:
final Blu-ray is as interesting as the rest. Max
Raabe & Palast Orchester
performs a good number of classic tunes from the 1920s and 1930s,
especially German (you'll feel like you're watching Cabaret
at times) plus a few originals by Raabe (looking like Taco without
the white make-up) and backed by a very capable band. We get 32
songs during the 115 minutes, though even the booklet included does
not give us translations for the non-English titles and I do not
think that helps the viewer or fan. This was taped in 2006 when
Raabe and his band had turned 20.
To Mouth: Mickey Raphael
is the first of our 24K Gold CDs and offers an interesting collection
of 12 tracks where Mr. Raphael plays the harmonica in expert fashion.
His take on If I Only Had
A Brain and Somewhere
Over The Rainbow as a
medley was mixed (all songs are accompanied by other instruments),
but I really enjoyed 246
- Co and Gypsy.
The album is a very pleasant surprise overall and serious music fans
should check this one out.
we have Sound Of Harp II:
Music From Heaven
by Silke Auchhorn, a sequel to the strong first album we reviewed at
14 new performances include Bach, 2 Handel classics, Tchaikovsky,
Schubert and though it is 4 songs less than the previous release, my
only minor complaint is that the collection simply does not have the
impact of the last set, as good as it is. However, it shows off the
harp and Miss Auchhorn's talents to great effect and a worthy sequel
just the same.
1080p 1.78 X 1 digital High Definition image transfers on Quixote
should be a little better than the 1080i 1.78 X 1 digital High
Definition image transfers on the rest of the Blu-rays, but only
stands out among the five releases while Raabe
is particularly rough and slightly strained at times with more motion
blur than the others, all of which have some.
five Blu-ray releases offer PCM 2.0 Stereo, but only four have DTS-HD
MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mixes, leaving Coppelia
a rare classical Blu-ray release without a discrete surround track,
but not the poorest sonic performer here. Quixote
are the sonic champs with the best recordings and use of 5.1
surround, but it is Raabe
that is the sonic disappointment also a bit harsh at the edges and
not as naturalistic and open as on would like.
The PCM 2.0 16/44.1 Stereo on the two Gold CDs are fine and of the
high quality expected from this series.
include booklets on each respective show with informative text, while
each Blu-ray disc adds trailers for four more such Blu-ray releases,
with Cast/Crew Interviews and intros for Act II & III and Raabe
with a Photo Album covering China & Berlin and three clips
covering New York, Japan and Rome.
can order the Raphael
24K Gold UQCDs at this link for all the discs in that series: