Lover's Garden/Teatro Alla Scala
(2016/C Major)/Pas De
Dame/Queen Of Spades/Dutch National Opera
Fleming In Concert set: Thielemann/Strauss
Arte/all Naxos Blu-rays)
B- Sound: B Extras: C Main Programs: B-/B-/B-/B-/B
are six more classical music arts programs you might be interested
in, all impressive in their own ways...
start with Umberto
(2015) with Daniela Dessi in the title role of a woman and Princess
due to be married, only to be betrayed in this very melodramatic 108
minutes Italian-language with Rosetta Cucchi directing and Valerio
Galli conducting the music that even Gustav Mahler got involved with
early on. Like many of these opera releases, I do not recognize the
singer's by name or on site, so it is always a plus to see new
singing talent that also has to act convincingly, plus the Italians
do Opera like no others, so it is worth your time if the story
appeals to you. A rich release that is to the point, it is an easier
opera for newcomers to handle.
is being performed by the great Teatro
(2016) in a colorful 90 minutes that works better for me than The
as far as his fantasy genre works are concerned. Costumes and sets
by Erika Carretta are imaginative, dancing superior, choreography by
Massimilanio Volpini rightly tight and a program that just breezes
along with energy and pace that makes total sense and shows how fun
ballet can be. Co-produced with Italy's massive RAI TV Network, the
musicians are as on top of things as everyone else, so it that makes
it one of the best such Mozart releases on home video of any kind to
date. Very nice, though I wish it were longer.
ballet compilation Pas
(2016/Opus Arte) is a fine sampling of so many releases over the
years, many of which we have covered on this site (keep that in mind
if you see it) and though visual and even aural quality can vary
slightly between recordings, it is a great crash course in some of
the best and even most remarkable dancing in the art form you'll see
on any single disc, clocking in at 133 minutes. If you are looking
for that kind of disc and want to see some of the best dancing talent
around today, this is the disc for you.
has been a long time since we first looked at a great performance of
Dame aka Queen Of Spades,
but another version has finally turned up with the Dutch
(2017) and with the great Mariss Jansons at the helm back in
Amsterdam, it is as impressive and effective as the version we
enjoyed years ago at this link...
the material about a woman whose future is held in the secrets in a
few cards is just too hard to resist and gets performers excited and
concentrating on the material, but I found this new version to be the
equal of the older one that stuck with me more than just about any
Naxos or Classical title we ever covered over the years and despite
running 181 minutes, is worth your time if you can handle it.
a little double Blu-ray box set with one of the most successful
female vocalists in Opera today and likely in recorded opera history,
but one who in all these years, have only seen as a guest in other
concert Blu-ray releases. Now we have the new Renee
Fleming In Concert
set to help make up for this with two solid shows with works
including Richard Strauss and the equally great
one has three pieces from the composer in Lieder, Arabella
(2011) and the other with Five Songs by Hugo Wolf, Strauss' Befreit
and Bruckner's Symphony
the latter of which we covered a while ago at this link...
to say the fusion of their talent, timing, chemistry and grasp of the
materials delivers, especially if you like them and they are not
sloppy about the work, they don't chop it up and it makes for a fine
set more than worth your time. The energy is there too.
1080i 1.78 X 1 digital high definition images across all six discs
can have fine color and some good shots, but each has its share of
motion blur and detail issues at times, now more noticed on 4K Ultra
HDTVs, et al. Hardly any of these programs have arrived on 4K UHD
Blu-ray discs, but we hope that changes soon. Otherwise, they are as
watchable as most of the releases we've covered from these same
labels over the years.
DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mix on all releases, even
including the DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.0 lossless mixes on Pique
are all well mixed and recorded throughout, sounding fine and a bit
better than their also-included PCM 2.0 Stereo counterparts that are
not as good and can sound a bit weak. They all fair better sonically
save a few trailers on some of the releases, none of the actual discs
have any extras whatsoever, but all come with multi-language booklets
on their respective programs including technical detail, history and
other informative text.