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Category:    Home > Reviews > Classical Music > Instrumental > Ballet > Drama > Hermann Prey: The Schubert Song Cycles (1984, 1986/Unitel) + Tchaikovsky: The Three Ballets At The Bolshoi w/Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty & The Nutcracker (2010/Bel Air Classiques/Naxos Blu-rays)

Hermann Prey: The Schubert Song Cycles (1984, 1986/Unitel) + Tchaikovsky: The Three Ballets At The Bolshoi w/Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty & The Nutcracker (2010/Bel Air Classiques/Naxos Blu-rays)

Picture: B Sound: B Extras: C+/D Main Programs: B

Now for more Classical releases for you to know of....

Hermann Prey: The Schubert Song Cycles

Fans of Schubert will rejoice with this excellent Blu-ray release of as the baritone Hermann Prey tackles Schubert's Die Schone Mullerin, Schwanengesang accompanied by Leonard Hokanson and Winterreise accompanied by Helmut Deutsch.

Highlights include Prey singing "Winterreise" and "Die schone Mullerin" with a captivating and natural musical presence that will be sure to please both seasoned fans and new ones as well.

Presented in 1080i in a 4:3 fullscreen aspect ratio, the 1984 performance looks pretty sharp on Blu-ray disc for what is likely a 16mm-filmed production, with a PCM Stereo track as well as a lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 track. While not stunning in terms of presentation, the concert doesn't look half bad.

Special Features include...

Hermann Prey on Schubert's Song Cycles

Documentary on Hermann Prey: Stationen eines Interpreten

A nice release of an interesting performance fans won't want to miss, especially since we have rarely covered his work somehow and in a few cases, only on Super Audio CD. You can catch up to all those at this link...


Tchaikovsky: The Three Ballets at the Bolshoi

Three beautiful ballets recorded in 2010 are combined together for the first time (and just in time for the holidays) featuring famous Tchaikovsky pieces. Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty, and Nutcracker are all beautifully executed here by the Bolshoi Theatre Orchestra and danced by the Bolshoi Ballet. Some of the performers featured here include Svetlana Zakharova, David Hallberg, Denis Rodkin, Nina Kaptsova, and Artem Ovcharenko to name a few.

Swan Lake, Op. 20 features Svetlana Zakharova, Denis Rodkin, Artemy Belyakov and Pavel Sorokin. Sleeping Beauty, Op. 66 features Svetlana Zakharova, David Hallberg, Maria Allash

and Yuri Grigorovich and The Nutcracker, Op. 71 features Nina Kaptsova, Artem Ovcharenko, Denis Savin, and Pavel Klinichev. Choreography for the shows are courtesy of Marius Petipa and Yuri Grigorovich.

Presented in 1080i with a 1.77:1 widescreen aspect ratio, the show looks fine on Blu-ray disc (though not quite as impressive as if they had been shot in 1080p) with vivid colors and clean photography that make you feel as if you are in the front row viewing the performance. The sound mixes on the disc include a PCM 2.0 Stereo mix in addition to an even better DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) lossless 5.1 mix that complement the beautiful music.

No extras however the three disc packaging is quite nice.

This is a great addition to any ballet lover who can't quite afford a ticket to see the show in person. Or for fans who want to relive the performance at home. For more versions of these classics, start at this link...


- James Lockhart



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