Of Ohad Naharin, V. 2
Crosby: Remember My Name
Pie: Life & Times Of Steve Marriott + 1973 Complete Winterland
(2019/MVD/Cleopatra Blu-ray w/DVD+ CD)/Kinks:
Arthur Or The Decline and Fall of The British Empire
(1969/Pye/BMG/ABKCO CD Set)/Korngold:
Symphony In F Sharp/Wilson
(2L/(***both)Super Audio CD/SA-CD/SACD + Blu-ray/**all 2019 Naxos)
B-/B/B-/B- & C+/X/X/X Sound: B/B-/B/C+ C+ B-/B/B/B+ B B-/B+
(11.1) & B (DTS/PCM) Extras: C/B-/C/B/B/C-/C Main
next is a really diversified group of very interesting music releases
for you to know about....
start with The
Art Of Ohad Naharin, V. 2
(2019, we missed the first part) of new ballet works that are
postmodern, deconstructionist and trying to be challenging in new
ways but the choreographer, with the Paris-based Batsheva Dance
Company, The Young Ensemble. Dubbed Sadeh21,
this runs 72 minutes and you either like this kind of ballet or you
do not. If you do, it is worth a look.
Crowe's documentary/biography David
Crosby: Remember My Name
(2019) captures the singer.musician/songwriter at a rough time in his
life where he is touring and recording as a solo artist, but has lost
all of his major friends, alienating them with all kinds of bad
behavior, but he has always had such character flaws as we find out
when we see him go from a child, to a teen, to a musician and land up
in four of the great groups ever: Buffalo Springfield, The Byrds,
Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, then Crosby, Still & Nash.
And that's just the music.
rare stills, great film and video footage (including his own home
movies) we learn of his private live, loves, drug use, famous
friends, ahead of his time political positions & protests, a look
inside the music industry as well as the creative community that was
so extremely prolific. A ton of great music is licensed for this and
scholar/fan Crowe known exactly where to go, what to do and what
questions to ask.
runs an impressive 93 minutes and could have been longer (as the
supplements show), but it is a fine work about a
flawed-but-extremely-talented man who has also been very, very lucky.
Definitely a must-see!
Carlos Gomez's Lo Schiavo
(2019) is a somewhat dark opera about life, slavery and death that
takes place in Brazil circa 1567, so an unexpected love affair
eventually enters the picture, but this is far from a romantic piece
and runs a long 138 minutes, so be sure to have the energy to sit
through it. However, it is true to its source and story and works
well enough, though it may not be for everyone.
Neschling conducts the music, Davide Garattini Raimondi directs and
was taped at the Teatro Lirico di Cagliari, with singers including
Svetla Vassileva, Massimiliano Pisapia and Andrea Borghini. It is
good enough that I look forward to seeing what all involved will do
Pie: Life & Times Of Steve Marriott + 1973 Complete Winterland
(2019) compiles the life and work of one of the most underrated
singers, guitarists and writers in all of music, who started with the
great British band The Small Faces, then found himself in Humble Pie,
where he was able to get even more wild and political, succeeding in
making the transition from a successful child movie actor to Rock
star. The interviews in the main documentary (now a few years old)
are excellent, as is the rare still, film footage, video footage
(they add faux sprocket holes to most of the 1.33 X 1 footage, even
on the video where it does not belong) and in an interesting move,
allow music performances to play in their entirety.
they include an isolated music track for the purpose of enjoying
that, but we learn of more twists and turns in his life, including a
horrible death at a young age. His best work is the work not played
enough, the played out songs at least show how popular he was at his
peaks. It is a look inside the industry that is as welcome as any
(including the David Crosby documentary above) and interviewees
extend from his close friends (many of whom were musicians) to
members of bands like Cheap Trick, The Black Crows and Ratt, plus
Peter Frampton (particularly well spoken here) and John Waite.
is still a bit short at 67 minutes (I could have thought of a few
more questions or a few more people for them to talk to), but this is
well done and highly recommended, including with all of its extras.
Nice set and worth your time.
is the 50th
Anniversary of The
Kinks: Arthur Or The Decline and Fall of The British Empire
(1969), a concept album that actually came out of a TV project that
fell through. Originally, the band was going to team up with the
Granada Network in the U.K. and produce a special about the title
character written by Julian Mitchell (he had just co-wrote Stanley
Donen's spy thriller Arabesque
(1966, reviewed elsewhere on this site) and episodes later of
among other works) and why it fell through seems to be unknown, but I
hope we hear more about this at some point.
one of the greatest of all the British Invasion Rock Bands, The Kinks
too were getting into more complex music as were their contemporaries
that same year like The Beatles (Abbey
The Rolling Stones (Let
and The Who (Tommy),
so this was a chance to show their sense of complex narrative, wit
and still create more great Rock music. I had always wanted to hear
this album in its entirety, but it was somehow missing several years
ago now from the big first cycle of excellent Super Audio CDs of the
band we covered at this link:
was a time when music was made for smart people all the time, to
challenge the listener and expect they had a brain, so it is always a
pleasure to hear any concept album, the most underrated of all music
undertakings, still ahead of tis time and still frustrating the
listener who has zero desire to listen to anything else but shallow
fluff. This album requires some serious attention, concentration and
rewards it like the best concept album releases. Though the band may
not have had the commercial and critical success of their
counterparts that lasted into the 1970s, the quality of the music was
just as good and Arthur
is as smart as Pink Floyd's Dark
Side Of The Moon
in its look at the more problematic side of British life and living.
this 2-CD set is fine, a 4-disc box set (including one with another
extra on the band's website) has also been issued, so you have
several choices if interested to enjoy and take on a remarkable work.
even more on the band, try this link:
Wolfgang Korngold: Symphony In F Sharp
is John Wilson's impressive new multi-channel recording of the
legendary film music composers work off-screen in a new Super Audio
CD edition from Chandros
Records (2019) with the title work, Symphony,
and Variations, Op. 42
This runs about an hour and is as rich and strong as all the music
he is so famous for making for classic hit movies.
it does not sound dated and is as strong as ever is a testament to
his composing and as I just did with a recent Franz Waxman release
(also on SA-CD elsewhere on this site), it is always great to hear
music film composers made on their own. I hope this is a continuing
cycle, because we need it and getting all this lesser-heard music
reintroduced is always a pleasure. This was made with the Sinfonia
of London and is highly recommended.
we have a nice surprise, Tomba
sonora with Kristin Bolstad and Stemmeklang
(2019) that is recorded entirely in a mausoleum (Emanuel Vigeland)
placing the wall of vocals against the largess and limits and shape
of the interior and getting remarkable results, which will remind
some of the music in the climax of Kubrick's 2001:
A Space Odyssey
(1968) for those familiar with the film.
of that, it does not sound like religious music or something merely
spiritual, but the five compositions are amazing in their blending of
voices, harmonies and the like are very smart, creative, interesting,
sometimes creepy and always engaging. Out of the several such Super
Audio CD/Blu-ray sets the 2L Records label has issued with multiple
audio options and trying something new and different with
instrumentals and classical music, this is my favorite release so
makes for a great demo and is also very enjoyable on its won. It may
be too much for some, but others will appreciate it and its a great
selection for all serious audiophiles or home theater fans.
for playback performance. As for picture quality, the 1080p 1.78 X 1
digital High Definition image on Art has some motion blur at
times, but is still very watchable, while the 1080p 1.78 X 1 digital
High Definition image on Crosby can show the age of the older
materials used, but has the best playback performance here.
1080i/60 1.78 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer on Schiavo
also has some motion blur, as does the
1080p 1.78 X 1 digital High Definition image on Humble,
but it also has older footage here looking as good as it can. Much
of it is old standard definition PAL analog video. The
anamorphically enhanced 1.78 X 1 image on the Humble
DVD is softer still, but fine for the old format.
the other three releases having no video, we go to sound and start
with the Blu-ray of Tomba, which has demo moments with its
impressive 48 kHz Dolby Atmos 11.1 (Dolby TrueHD 7.1 for older
systems) sound mix, then also has 96kHz Auro 11.1 (this will play in
DTS on non-Auro receivers, which includes the vast majority in the
U.S. market as of this posting). It is as sonically impressive as
anything here and IO like what they did with the program and sonics,
also focusing on the limits and opportunities of the acoustics of
where they recorded this album.
also boasts another new audio format we'll explore later called
MQA-CD, apparently on the regular CD tracks on the Super Audio CD
disc also included, will unleash master audio quality form them ala
HDCD. We'll look into that later, but the regular PCM 2.0 Stereo
CD tracks are not bad on their own, but the DSD (Direct Stream
Digital) 5.1 is best here and the DSD 2.0 Stereo is somewhere in
between. Cheers to 2L for pushing the sonic limits and limits of
every format they can get their hands on.
is also a Super Audio CD with a fine DSD (Direct Stream Digital) 5.1
mixc that rivals Tomba, then has decent DSD 2.0 Stereo and PCM
2.0 Stereo that is almost as good, in descending order. Korngold
fans will be very happy.
2.0 Stereo on the Humble and Kinks CDs are as good as
they can be, though I wish Kinks was an SA-CD, but they are fine
otherwise and show their age in limited ways. Strangely, the Blu-ray
and DVD on Humble have lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 sound, which is
fine, but I again wish Cleopatra would use lossless sound on their
DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mixes on Crosby, Art
and Schiavo all sound as good as they can, but Crosby
has some older monophonic audio, slight location audio issues in a
few spots and expected flaws in older material. It is what we do
expect from documentaries, however, so no surprise and is it fine
otherwise. Art and Schiavo also have PCM 2.0 Stereo
tracks that are fine, but not as good as their DTS-MA 5.1
include booklets in every release except Crosby and Humble,
but that adds Extended Interviews, an Original Theatrical Trailer,
Asbury Park Film Festival Q&A with Crosby & Crowe and Deleted
and Extended Scenes, we count the extra albums on Humble (that
also has Extended Interviews and hidden features) and Kinks
(with bonus tracks on the original album) as extras and the booklets
that we have all offer tech info, informative text (sometimes in
several languages) and essays.