Hybrid Multi-Channel Super Audio CD/SACD/SA-CD)/Wagner:
Blu-ray/*all Naxos 2018)
B- Sound: B+ B B-/B+ B B-/B-/B+ B B-/B Extras: C Main
for a new set of classical releases...
offers Elena Urioste on violin and Tom Poster on piano covering 19
classic songs, starting with classical music classics by the likes of
Liszt, Dvorak and Debussy and concluding with more modern showtunes
and standards like My
Man's Gone Now,
(with Magnus Johnston on violin), When
I Fall In Love
In between are other names and it is ambitious in its mix of title
choices, but I also found the music and performances more of a mix
that was hit and miss than consistent.
doubt they have the talent to play and it is an ambitious set, but
the results were not as consistent as hoped for.
fares a bit better in content and consistency turning Ingmar
Bergman's classic film Autumn
into an opera! Taking up the space of two Super Audio CD discs, Anne
Sophie Von Otter leads the cast with the Finnish National Opera
Chorus and Orchestra under the direction of John Storgards is a bold
thing to do, especially since Bergman's films are internationally
known for their long silent close-ups and much silence in general.
results only stayed with me so much, but it is a nice alternative to
his film and cinema in general, while it is bound to be a curio for
those who love the film. The final running time is just over two
we have our only program with video content, a new version of
with the great Christian
conducting, so you know it is well done and captures the original
intent of Puccini, but I was a little disappointed with the playback
quality. For more on the opera and some other great versions we've
covered over the years on Blu-ray, try these releases...
to say, Thielemann is as sharp and adept to grasping the works as
those equally talented conductors and Classical Music greats, but I
just wish they has started producing their works in 4K at the
Staatskapelle Dresden in Salzberg. Michael Sturminger is the stage
director and does a fine job there as well.
final SA-CD here is Stravinsky:
taking up two discs at an hour, 45 minutes roughly with The
Rite Of Spring,
in D <<Basel>>
by conductor Gustavo Gimeno with the Orchestre Philharmonique de
Luxembourg. Though long, it is well done, consistent and impressive,
plays well and has the right amount of energy, thought might be too
much for non-classical fans. Sadly, we have not had the chance to
cover this work as much as you would think with all the classical
titles we have discussed over the years, but it is definitely in line
with what you would expect of a performance of the composers work and
will likely enjoy the set if you pick it up.
we have an all-audio Blu-ray version of Wagner:
Of The Gods)
that we have covered in these
versions with video on Blu-ray, starting with the Staatskapelle
part of larger Staatskapelle
Daniel Barenboim version
an all-audio version? Why not. We are getting more audio-only
programs on Blu-ray, even as Super Audio CD hangs in there and makes
such programs more accessible for those who unfortunately do not have
SA-CD capacity or even know what an SA-CD is. This is not bad, but
very, very long at over 4 hours, from the Hong Kong Philharmonic
Orchestra with Eberhard Friedrich as principal chorus master and Japp
van Zweden conducting and joined by both the the Barberg Symphony
Orchestra and Latvian State Choir.
found it to be an interesting alternative to the video versions we've
seen without deviating form the original work. Fans will want to
give it a try.
1080i 1.78 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer on Tosca
has some motion blur and detail issues we often get from the older HD
format, but color is not bad and it is the only release on the list
with video (menus do not count) and will do, though some might prefer
the playback quality of one of the other Tosca releases. The
DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.0 lossless mix is also decent, but
inconsistent in its soundfield a bit and has nothing to do with no .1
Blu-ray fares a bit better with a
DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mix that is richer and more
soundfield consistent, though some might think it might be very, very
slightly prone to having a bit of a hard edge. I thought that might
be the case a tiny bit, but not much. Both Blu-rays also offer PCM
2.0 Stereo for older systems that are not bad, but n o match for
their multi-channel counterparts.
leaves lossless DSD (Direct Stream Digital) 5.1 and DSD 2.0 Stereo
mixes for the three SA-CDs, all sounding the best here in their 5.1
versions, making them the sonic champs on the list in that respect.
The DSD 2.0 Stereo is fine for purists or non-multi-channel fans, but
the 5.1 versions are very well realized throughout. They also have
PCM 16/44.1 2.0 Stereo CD tracks for backwards comparability with all
CD players, but know they are a comedown from the DSD Super Audio
in all five releases are multi-lingual booklets with some tech detail
and notes, but nothing else beyond that in any of the releases.