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Thread: Blu-ray Videos of Classical Concerts

  1. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by Merl View Post
    This is a nice set. Some lovely performances.

    Attachment 123363

    For Beethoven symphonies on Blu-Ray the Jordan set takes some beating. Superb accounts of all symphonies, great sound and a thoroughly enjoyable 9th, in particular. I find Thielemann's set ponderous by comparison. Fischer and Fruhbeck de Burgos are preferable to Thielemann, for me, too.

    Attachment 123364
    Thanks for the recommendations.

    Any thoughts on this Blu-ray box set of Beethoven symphonies by Jansons?


    I'm not sure that I need 4 Blu-ray box sets of Beethoven symphonies. I already have Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos, and Christian Thielemann. So, should I add the Jordan recordings that you’ve recommended, and/or Jansons? (I like top-quality surround-sound audio, and top-quality video.)

    Switching gears to Mahler. I have Blu-rays of Abbado performances of all symphonies except 8. Any thoughts on this box set by Jarvi vs. the box set you’ve recommended?


  2. #47
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    I found these performances from 2015 and 2016 by Seiji Ozawa leading the Saito Kinen Orchestra to be very enjoyable.

    Beethoven
    • Symphony 2
    • Symphony 7
    • Choral Fantasy in C minor (Martha Argerich)



    This Blu-ray’s 1080 video and DTS HD MA 5.0 audio have excellent audio and video quality. (The Choral Fantasy in C minor has only a stereo track.)

    I enjoy watching Ozawa conduct.

    The backdrop behind the orchestra IMO is visually uninteresting, and unattractive. I think it looks like unpainted drywall. (It’s probably painted “sheetrock white”.) This is a quibble, however for me one of the things that potentially can be enjoyable about Blu-ray is seeing beautiful concert halls, and IMO this venue is lacking in aesthetic appeal.

    Bottom line, I think that this Blu-ray disc is worth owning.
    Last edited by RobertKC; Sep-02-2019 at 21:49.

  3. #48
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    I enjoyed this Blu-ray of a 2011 performance of Mahler Symphony 2 by Riccardo Chailly leading the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra. This Blu-ray has excellent video quality, and excellent DTS HD MA 5.1 audio, though it seems the percussion instruments are accentuated a bit. If you have a hi-fi system capable of significant dynamics, this recording will show-off its capabilities.



    I also enjoy the Blu-ray of the 2003 performance of Mahler Symphony 2 by Claudio Abbado leading the Lucerne Festival Orchestra (referenced in post #15), which is part of a box set of Mahler Symphonies 1 – 7.

    I’m glad to own both.

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    Senior Member Rogerx's Avatar
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    1.DVD Symphonien Nr. 3 & 9 (Karita Mattila, Violeta Urmana, Thomas Moser, Eike Wilm Schulte, Berliner Philharmoniker, Claudio Abbado / 2002)
    2.DVD Symphonie Nr. 5 inkl. Dokumentation (Berliner Philharmoniker, Claudio Abbado / 2001)
    3.DVD Missa solemnis op. 123 (Camilla Nylund, Birgit Remmert, Christian Elsner, Rene Pape, Chor der Staatsoper Dresden, Staatskapelle Dresden, Fabio Luisi / Konzertmitschnitt aus der Frauenkirche Dresden anlässlich des Wiederaufbaus 2005)
    4.DVD Symphonie Nr. 6; Violinkonzert op. 61 (Isabelle Faust, Berliner Philharmoniker, Bernard Haitink / Festspiele Baden-Baden 2015)
    5.DVD Fidelio (Jacquelyn Wagner, Norbert Ernst, Wojtek Gierlach, Opernchor St. Gallen, Sinfonieorchester St. Gallen, Otto Tausk / Mitschnitt aus dem Theater St. Gallen 2018)
    6.DVD Klavierkonzerte Nr. 4 & 5 (Daniel Barenboim, Staatskapelle Dresden 2007)
    7.DVD Streichquartette Nr. 4, 7, 14 (Juilliard String Quartet / 1975)
    8. DVD Klaviersonaten Nr. 8 & 14 (Daniel Barenboim 1983 / 1984); Diabelli-Variationen op. 120 (Boris Berezovsky / Klavierfestival Ruhr 2006); Eroica-Variationen op. 35 (Friedrich Gulda / Beethovenfest Bonn 1970); Egmont-Ouvertüre (Berliner Philharmoniker, Claudio Abbado / 2002); Romanzen Nr. 1 & 2 für Violine & Orchester / Kolja Blacher, Berliner Philharmoniker, Claudio Abbado / 1996)

    I bought this set at JPC, so glad I did, perhaps not the best quality but in perceptive, sublime .
    Last edited by Rogerx; Sep-16-2019 at 08:42.

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  6. #50
    Senior Member Merl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RobertKC View Post
    Thanks for the recommendations.

    Any thoughts on this Blu-ray box set of Beethoven symphonies by Jansons?


    I'm not sure that I need 4 Blu-ray box sets of Beethoven symphonies. I already have Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos, and Christian Thielemann. So, should I add the Jordan recordings that you’ve recommended, and/or Jansons? (I like top-quality surround-sound audio, and top-quality video.)

    Switching gears to Mahler. I have Blu-rays of Abbado performances of all symphonies except 8. Any thoughts on this box set by Jarvi vs. the box set you’ve recommended?

    As far as the Jansons set is concerned, it's a very nice set. Quite graceful yet a tiny bit brisker than traditionally in some symphonies and crisp performances. I've not watched the Blu-Ray but have heard the recordings and they are very good. Jansons is particularly impressive in the 6th and 9th. In fact, the 6th is one of the best I've heard in years. As a personal preference I would recommend the Jordan set above it as I love Jordan's vision of the whole 9. Really depends what you like. Thielemann is rather chaotic with his tempi, Jansons goes for the lyrical beauty and Jordan goes with a brisker, more exciting approach. Lots of merit in both the latter's approaches so it depends how you like your Beethoven.
    As for the Jarvi Mahler cycle it's a good set but I wasn't impressed with the 4th, 7th and 8th (I hate Mahler's 8th so it may be good, tbf. It's just not my bag). However other performances are good and I really enjoyed the 9th. Reviews of it are positive so I'd read those and try and sample it before you commit but it certainly sounds good to me (only listened to it once). Again, I have a preference for the RCO cycle as the performances are more consistent but you should try and sample both if possible.

    There's a review of the RCO Mahler cycle below.

    http://www.musicweb-international.co...s_RCO12102.htm
    Last edited by Merl; Sep-16-2019 at 18:42.

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    Thanks to a recommendation by Merl, I have enjoyed this Blu-ray box set of 2014 – 2015 performances of Beethoven symphonies by Philippe Jordan conducting the Orchestra and Chorus of the Opera national de Paris. This Blu-ray has excellent video quality, and excellent DTS HD MA 5.1 audio, however the bass singer is localized to the center channel when playing the surround-sound track, and the result is not the most natural presentation. Nonetheless, I’m glad to own this Blu-ray audio/video box set.


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  9. #52
    Senior Member Merl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RobertKC View Post
    Thanks to a recommendation by Merl, I have enjoyed this Blu-ray box set of 2014 – 2015 performances of Beethoven symphonies by Philippe Jordan conducting the Orchestra and Chorus of the Opera national de Paris. This Blu-ray has excellent video quality, and excellent DTS HD MA 5.1 audio, however the bass singer is localized to the center channel when playing the surround-sound track, and the result is not the most natural presentation. Nonetheless, I’m glad to own this Blu-ray audio/video box set.

    Glad you like it. Sometimes it's hard recommending stuff as you have no idea how others will react. As long as you enjoy it then all is good.

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    The latest Blu-ray box set that I've started enjoying:

    Schumann: The Complete Symphonies
    Christian Thielemann


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    I’ve been enjoying this Blu-ray box set of 2018 performances of Brahms symphonies by Paavo Järvi conducting the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen.

    Excellent audio quality (LPCM stereo, and DTS-HD MA 5.1), and video quality.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Merl View Post
    This is a nice set. Some lovely performances.

    Attachment 123363

    For Beethoven symphonies on Blu-Ray the Jordan set takes some beating. Superb accounts of all symphonies, great sound and a thoroughly enjoyable 9th, in particular. I find Thielemann's set ponderous by comparison. Fischer and Fruhbeck de Burgos are preferable to Thielemann, for me, too.

    Attachment 123364
    The Concertgebouw set has the advantage of multiple Conductors with one orchestra. Ivan Fischer in the Fourth is very similar to his Budapest recording

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    Quote Originally Posted by RobertKC View Post
    The latest Blu-ray box set that I've started enjoying:

    Schumann: The Complete Symphonies
    Christian Thielemann

    Do you like it? I think Thielemann is somewhat heavy footed in Schumann

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    Quote Originally Posted by Triplets View Post
    Do you like it? I think Thielemann is somewhat heavy footed in Schumann
    I’m not knowledgeable enough to critique Thielemann’s performances. I just know that I enjoy these concerts of Schumann symphonies.

    The reason I started this thread is that I’m a big fan of Blu-ray discs’ high-definition video, and hi-res DTS-HD MA 5.0 (or 5.1) surround-sound audio. It’s almost like being there.

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    The latest concert on Blu-ray that I’ve enjoyed:

    Johann Sebastian Bach. The Well-Tempered Clavier, Book I. BWV 846-893.

    Sir András Schiff performance in 2017 at the Royal Albert Hall, London.



    Excellent quality DTS-HD MA 5.1 audio (plus, as is typical of Blu-ray discs, a stereo track), and high-definition video.

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    Because all classical concerts have been canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, I’m glad to have a growing library of Blu-ray audio/video recordings of classical concerts. With high-definition video, and DTS-HD MA 5.1 surround-sound, IMO modern Blu-ray recordings are the next best thing to being in the concert hall.

    Here’s a new-to-me box set of two Blu-rays that I enjoyed very much.



    Blu-ray Disc #1: The Wiener Philharmoniker led by Christian Thielemann, and featuring Renée Fleming. Großes Festspielhaus, Salzburg, 7-8 August 2011

    • Lieder, Op. 39: no 4, Befreit by Richard Strauss
    • Lieder, Op. 48: no 5, Winterliebe by Richard Strauss
    • Lieder, Op. 29: no 1, Traum durch die Dämmerung by Richard Strauss
    • Gesänge, Op. 33: no 2, Gesang der Apollopriesterin by Richard Strauss
    • Arabella, Op. 79: Mein Elemer...Nach dem Matteo by Richard Strauss
    • Eine Alpensinfonie, Op. 64 by Richard Strauss


    Blu-ray Disc #2: The Staatskapelle Dresden led by Christian Thielemann, and featuring Renée Fleming. Semperoper, Dresden, 1 September 2012

    • Mörike Lieder: no 12, Verborgenheit by Hugo Wolf
    • Mörike Lieder: no 6, Er ist's by Hugo Wolf
    • Mörike Lieder: no 16, Elfenlied by Hugo Wolf
    • Goethe Lieder: no 29, Anakreons Grab by Hugo Wolf
    • Goethe Lieder: no 9, Mignon "Kennst du das Land" by Hugo Wolf
    • Lieder, Op. 39: no 4, Befreit by Richard Strauss
    • Symphony no 7 in E major, WAB 107 by Anton Bruckner


    I listened to the Salzburg concert on my basement system. Front, center, and left speakers are Klipsch RF-7 II. A single rear speaker is a Klipsch RF-7. Subwoofers: SVS SB16-Ultra, and a Klipsch R-115SW. Source: Oppo UDP-205. From among numerous amps, I selected: Scott LK150 for the main L&R speakers, and my Scott 296 for the center and single rear channel.

    I listened to the Dresden concert on the system in my TV room. Stereo speakers are Klipsch Palladium P-37F. Center: Klipsch RC-64III. Single rear speaker: RP-502S. Subwoofer: Klipsch P-312W. The source is an Oppo UDP-205. From among numerous amps, I selected: McIntosh MX110Z / McIntosh MC240 for the main L&R speakers, and my Scott 399 for the center and rear channels.

    These recordings feature excellent hi-res surround-sound audio, and high-def video. (I think it’s interesting that Ms. Fleming’s voice is not mixed into the center channel. Nonetheless, the audio quality is excellent.)

    IMO, these are wonderful concert recordings. They afford an opportunity to see two beautiful venues, and – of course – the opportunity to see Renée Fleming. I think that this box set represents a great value – i.e., much less expensive than attending two live concerts. (I paid $24.35 US on Amazon.)

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    Default The Firebird. The Rite of Spring.

    I started this thread to discuss modern Blu-ray recordings of classical concerts (i.e., focusing on orchestral music), however the discussion has broadened to include Blu-ray audio/video recordings of opera and ballet, so I’ll share my latest acquisition of two modern ballet performances on Blu-ray.

    The following Blu-ray disc includes 2008 performances by Valery Gergiev, featuring the Mariinsky Orchestra and Ballet, in the Ballets Russes’ production of:

    • The Firebird
    • The Rite of Spring




    This Blu-ray features excellent quality 1080 high-definition video, and DTS-HD MA 5.1 audio (plus, of course, a hi-res stereo track).

    Because I’m not knowledgeable about ballet, I enjoyed the bonus tracks that include interviews that discuss the research that went into recreating the original ballet choreography for the Rite of Spring. (I’ll paraphrase one of the comments in the interview: “… the music and dance called out the primitive in audience members”.)

    If you want to experience the full dynamic impact of The Rite of Spring, listen to the DTS-HD MA 5.1 surround-sound audio track, employing a surround-sound hi-fi system that features large speakers and subwoofers. (I listened on a system with a 15” powered subwoofer, plus a 16” powered sub, and identical front (L&R), center, and rear speakers that each have two 10” woofers - i.e., a total of eight 10” woofers plus two relatively large subwoofers. I say “relatively large” because some subwoofer aficionados would describe a 16” subwoofer as “mid-size”.) The timpani and bass drum that my hi-fi system delivered from this recording were articulate, had natural timber, and – at times – were EXPLOSIVE.

    I think that it’s interesting that in this performance of The Rite of Spring, the dancers sometimes clapped their hands, stomped their feet, and pounded the floor – which apparently is true to the original performance. (Based on what I understand from the documentary.) Do orchestra-only performances (i.e., no ballet) of The Rite of Spring include these audible elements?

    The high-definition video delivers a stunning visual presentation of the dancers, costumes, and scenery.

    The Rite of Spring isn’t quite my cup of tea, but I’m glad to have this modern audio/video recording of the music and ballet.

    I very much enjoyed The Firebird – including the costumes, dancing, and music. Ekaterina Kondaurova looks beautiful dancing the role of the firebird. IMO.

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