de la guirarra, V.1: Maruri
Symphonie Fantastique: Gardiner
(2019/Versailles Blu-ray w/DVD)/Cavalleria
Oslo Kammerkor (both
2019/2L Blu-ray/Super Audio CD Hybrid Sets)/Young
B-/B- & C+/B-/X/X/C+ Sound: B-/B & C+/B/B+ B B-/B+ B
B-/C+ Extras: C-/C/C+/C/C/D Main Programs: B-
new set of classical music releases is more diverse than usual...
de la guirarra: Vol. 1, Renacimirento
(2016) offers Agustin Maruri playing five music pieces from previous
centuries (by Milan, Narvaez, Midarra, Sanz and Chilesotti) all while
the camera (hardly ever moving) records him doing so. The
performance is fine and sound better than if this were a CD, but the
image is useful for those who want to see the musician or try to play
like him. Otherwise, the audio impressed me more than the video and
it is nice to have another entry in such guitar music on the site.
have covered Berlioz works a few times before, but this version of
(2019) is somehow the first time we covered this particular work.
First performed in late 1830, it is about the pain of love lost and
the long term results and pain of that loss, the kind of work that
has been heard and is known, even if you don't know much about or are
much into classical music. We get a few pieces of other Berlioz
music and you can actually see our coverage of a Les
Blu-ray that happens to be with a previous version of Cavalleria
that you can read more about in the link in that review just below
John Eliot Gardiner does an great job of conducting the entire piece
and then some, offering the right tempo, energy and power to bringing
this great work to life, preceded by other Berlioz works like Les
Mort De Cleopatra,
but Gardiner does not use them as mere warm-ups, but as reminders of
the power and greatness of Berlioz from the first note.
at Opera Royale with Chateau de Versailles, this is top rate work and
runs 107 minutes. Really nice!
have a new stage version of Pietro Mascagni's Cavalleria
(2019) on Blu-ray, this time from the Dynamic label and it follows
this remarkable version we reviewed a good few years ago at this
Galli is the conductor at the Teatro del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino
and it is well done and enjoyable, running only 80 minutes, but I
still liked the other version a little better in a case where one is
good, but the other is just more well realized. Staging is colorful,
but can be dark, while the singing and dancing is solid, so you
cannot go wrong with this one, but real diehard fans might want to
watch both versions back to back to really enjoy what both are doing
as both do succeed well enough.
is a label that strives to be the best and offer something different.
They have been focusing on a new series of Blu-ray/Super Audio CD
sets to showcase any music they release with the highest fidelity
possible and with all three options on the SA-CDs, plus four on the
Blu-rays, including some of the first titles issued in the U.S.
market with Auro 3D 11.1 sound, which was the first system to offer
more than 8 tracks, starting in movie theaters.
selections have either been religious-affiliated music or abstract,
newer instrumentals, which the two titles here offer. Trachea:
literally imagines music from that body part, while Veneliti:
(both 2019, by the way) offers folk music, especially from Norway,
with sonic emphasis that mikes it something a little different too.
I like the risks taken, even if the results are more interesting than
realized, but few labels are allowing for this and it makes all 2L
releases like this worth experiencing. It is also interesting demo
material for more advanced music thinker/listener and any home
we have Phil Grabsky's Young
(2019) from TV overseas that focuses on the early years of one of the
most important painters of all time, running just over 90 minutes and
pretty thorough in its quest to find out and tell about everything
they could on the artist, adding to the long and growing list of such
attempts. Our first release to cover from the EX21 label, it is a
decent DVD and deserves to be on any serious list for those
interested in the work and the artist.
three Blu-rays here with video footage offer 1080i 1.78 X 1 digital
High Definition transfers that all have some motion blur and detail
issues here and there, but look good enough, with Antologica
hardly having its camera move at all. The
anamorphically enhanced 1.78 X 1 image on Picasso
is softer with motion blur and more detail issues, but not on Blu-ray
for now apparently, which can be said for the same configuration on
for sound, the two Super Audio CDs from 2L offer the ultra high
definition DSD (Direct Stream Digital) sound in decent 5.1 and about
as good 2.0 Stereo DSD, plus it is a hybrid CD, so you also get a
lesser PCM 2.0 16/44.1 Stereo CD track for older players. I wish the
5.1 was more impressive here, but it is not stunning, though well
recorded. The two Blu-rays (once again for 2L) offer 192/24 PCM 2.0
Stereo and DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.0 lossless mixes, but also add
Dolby Atmos and Auro 3D soundtracks with slightly different
configurations. The Auro (which will play as DTS-HD on systems
without Auro decoding) is 7.0.4 on Trachea
and 5.0.4 on Veneliti, but that difference did not have much of an
impact on my playback of either. The Atmos, Auro and DSD 5.1 mixes
are your best bets.
offer solid DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mixes, and are
joined by the PCM 2.0 Stereo only Antologia
as offering PCM 2.0 Stereo, which is passable on the Blu-rays that
have DTS 5.1, but not as good. The Berlioz
DVD adds lossy
Dolby Digital 5.1 that is not as good either, but Picasso
settles for lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo, so only expect so much
and it is a documentary and not about music.
has no extras, but the rest of the releases offers multi-lingual
booklets on their respective releases, some with illustrations. Three
separate on camera interviews are the added extra on Rusticana,
making it the most 'loaded' disc on the list by default.