Here's news about high-definition video recordings of opera, ballet, classical music, plays, fine-art documentaries, and paintings. I call these recordings "HDVDs." In the journal below are independent (and hard-to-find critical) reports on hundreds of HDVDs. Pick the best titles for your excelsisphere.

October 15. We are getting again into symphony titles and the existential issue of DVDitis. I just posted a story on a Mahler 2 recording at the Gewandhaus that might be considered DOA from the dread plague.

I recently put up a story about the 3rd version (!) of the same Giselle production published by Opus Arte. I recently posted a story about the Ekman Midsummer Night's Dream ballet (which has nothing to do with Shakespeare). I also just posted two stories about Shakespeare's The Tempest. The first is a definitive stage play version by the RSC. The second is an updated review of The Tempest movie staring Helen Mirren as Prospera (the female version of Prospero). The movie is streamlined - try it first. Then move on to the RSC "real deal", which is probably the best The Tempest ever made for home viewing.

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Friday
Sep292017

Pelléas et Mélisande 

Debussy Pelléas et Mélisande opera to libretto by Maurice Maeterlinck. Directed 2016 by Benjamin Lazar at the Malmö Opera. Stars Marc Mauillon (Pelléas), Jenny Daviet (Mélisande), Laurent Alvaro (Golaud), Stephen Bronk (Arkel), Emma Lyrén (Geneviève), Julie Mathevet (Yniold), and Stefano Olcese (Doctor / Shepherd). Maxime Pascal conducts the Malmö Opera Orchestra and Chorus (Chorus Master André Kellinghaus). Stage design by Adeline Caron; costume design by Alain Blanchot; make-up by Mathilde Benmoussa; lighting by Mael Iger; stage direction assistance by Elizabeth Calleo and Katrina Sörensen Palm; directed for video by Corentin Leconte; produced by Xavier Dubois. Released 2017, disc has 5.1 dts-HD Master Audio sound. Grade: Help!

Heres a short YouTube clip:

Friday
Sep292017

I Puritani

Bellini I Puritani opera to libretto by Carlo Pepoli. Directed 2016 by Emilio Sagi. Stars Miklós Sebestyén (Lord Gualtiero Valton), Nicolas Testé (Sir Giorgio), Javier Camarena (Lord Arturo Talbo), Ludovic Tézier (Sir Riccardo Forth), Antonio Lozano (Sir Bruno Roberton), Annalisa Stroppa (Enrichetta di Francia), and Diana Damrau (Lady Elvira Valton). Evelino Pidò conducts the Orchestra and Chorus of the Teatro Real de Madrid (Chorus Master Andrés Máspero). Stage design by Daniel Bianco; costume design by Peppispoo; lighting design by Eduardo Bravo; filmed and edited by Jérémie Cuvillier; produced by Xavier Dubois; executive produced by François Duplat. Released 2017, disc has 5.1 dts HD Master Audio sound. Grade: Help!

Please help us by writing a comment that we can place here as a mini-review of this title.

Friday
Sep292017

Die Walküre

Wagner Die Walküre. Directed 2017 by Vera Nemirova at Großes Festpielhaus in Salzburg. Stars Peter Seiffert (Sigmund), Georg Zeppenfeld (Hunding), Vitalij Kowaljow (Wotan), Anja Harteros (Sieglinde), Anja Kampe (Brünnhilde), Christa Mayer (Fricka), Johanna Winkel (Gerhilde), Brit-tone Müllertz (Ortlinde), Christa Bock (Waltraude), Katharina Magiera (Schwertleite), Alexandra Petersamer (Helmwige), Stepanka Pucalkova (Siegrune), Katrin Wundsam (Grimgerde), and Simone Schróder (Roßweiße). Christian Thielemann conducts the Staatskapelle Dresden. Set design by Günter Schneider-Siemssen; costume design by Jens Kilian; lighting design by Olaf Freese; video by rocafilm; video direction by Tiziano Mancini. Released 2017, disc has and 5.0 dts-HD Master Audio. Grade: Help!

Please help us by writing a comment that we can place here as a mini-review of this title.

Thursday
Sep282017

L'incoronazione di Dario

Vivaldi L'incoronazione di Dario opera to a libretto by Adriano Morselli. Directed by Leo Muscato at the Teatro Regio Torino. Stars Carlo Allemano (Dario), Sara Mingardo (Statira), Delphine Galou (Argene), Riccardo Novaro (Niceno), Roberta Mameli (Alinda), Lucia Cirillo (Oronte), Veronica Cangemi (Arpago), Romina Tomasoni (Flora), and Cullen Gandy (Ombra di Ciro/Oracolo di Apollo). Ottavio Dantone conducts the Orchestra Teatro Regio Torino and plays harpischord. Sets and costumes by Accademia Albertina di Belle Arti di Torino; choreographic movements and assitance to director by Alessandra di Angelis; light design by Alessandro Verazzi; techincal direction by Paolo Giacchero; video direction by Mattero Ricchetti and Adriano Figari. Released 2017, disc has 5.1 dts-HD Master Audio sound. Grade: Help!

Please help us by writing a comment that we can place here as a mini-review of this title.

Thursday
Sep282017

Missa Salisburgensis

Heinrich Ignaz Franz von Biber Missa Salisburgensis concert. Václav Luks conducts Collegium 1704 and Collegium Vocale 1704 at the Salburg Cathedral. The concert also includes other sacred works by Monteverdi. Released 2017, disc has 5.1 dts-HD Master Audio sound. Grade: Help!

Please help us with a review of this title!

Thursday
Sep282017

Monteverdi Two Classic Operas

Monteverdi Two Classic Operas Box Set released 2017. Below are the discs. Both already have been reported on this website, and you can get more details by using the links provided:

1. L'Orfeo. 2011. (Grade: B+)

2. L'incoronazione di Poppea. 2012. (Grade: Help!)

Thursday
Sep282017

Shakespeare Three Tragedies

Shakespeare Three Tragedies Box Set. This box set includes the Royal Shakespeare Company productions of Hamlet, King Lear and Othello. All three are available individually on this website, and you can get more details by using the links provided:

1. Hamlet. 2016. (No grade yet)

2. King Lear. 2017. (No grade yet)

3. Othello. 2016. (No grade yet)

Released 2017, both discs have 5.1 dts-HD Master Audio sound. Grade: Help!

Thursday
Sep282017

Bach Mass in B minor

Bach Mass in B minor concert. Herbert Blomstedt conducts the Dresdner Kammerchor and the Gewandhouser Leipzig at Bachfest Leipzig, 2017. Soloists are Christina Landshamer (soprano), Elisabeth Kulman (alto), Wolfram Lattke (tenor), and Günter Atteln (bass). Directed by Ute Feudel; produced by Paul Smaczny. Released 2017, disc has 5.1 dts-HD Master Audio sound. Grade: Help!

Please help us with a review of this title!

Thursday
Sep282017

Legends of the Rhine

The Berliner Philharmoniker Legends of the Rhine concert has the following pieces:

1. Schumann Symphony No. 3
2. Wagner "Einzug der Götter in Walhall" (from Das Rheingold)
3. Wagner "Siegfrieds Rheinfahrt (from Götterdammerung)
4. Wagner "Funeral March" (from Götterdammerung)
5. Wagner "Waldweben" (from Siegfried)
6. Wagner "Walkürenritt" (from Die Walküre)
7. Wagner "Isoldes Liebestod" (from Triston und Isolde)
8. Wagner "Prelude 3 Act" (from Lohengrin)

Since 1983, the Berliner Philharmoniker has each year given a summer concert at the Waldbühne (Forest Stage) located in a popular Berlin park. The crowd dresses informally, but the musical fare is more formal than a pops concert. In 2017, the guest conductor was Gustavo Dudamel. Released 2017, disc has 5.0 dts-HD Master Audio sound. Grade: Help!

Here is a clip from this disc:

Please help us by writing a comment that we can place here as a mini-review of this title.

Wednesday
Sep272017

L'Orfeo

Claudio Monteverdi L'Orfeo opera to a libretto by Alessandro Striggio. Directed 2017 by Paul Agnew at the Théâtre de Caen. Stars Cyril Auvity (Orfeo), Hannah Morrison (Euridice/La Musica), Paul Agnew (Apollo/Eco), Miriam Allan (Proserpina/Ninfa), Lea Desandre (Messaggiera/Speranza) Carlo Vistoli (Spirito infernale/Pastore), Sean Clayton (Pastore), Zachary Wilder (Spirito infernale/Pastore), Antonio Abete (Plutone/Spirito infernale/ Pastore), and Cyril Costanzo (Caronte/Spirito V). Paul Agnew conducts Les Arts Florissants as well as serving as director and having two roles! Costumes by Alain Blanchot. Sets and lights by Christophe Naillet. Directed for TV by Isabelle Soulard. Released 2017, disc has 5.1 dts-HD Master Audio sound. Grade: Help!

Please help us by writing a comment that we can place here as a mini-review of this title.

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