Titles by Category

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.

December 2. I just posted a review of the 2016 Royal Ballet Nutcracker. We have on our Alphalist a thorough rundown and grade on each of the 10 Nutcracker Blu-rays you could order for a Christmas present!

I just updated and added screenshots to the Priory title The Grand Organ of Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral. Finally we have reported on all 5 of the Priory organ Blu-rays. These exemplary recordings include a Blu-ray video, a DVD video, and a CD! Each of these titles has a fine program of organ music played by virtuoso musicians. In addition, there are fabulous bonus extras with information about the cathedrals, the towns where they are located, the details of each organ instrument, and a discussion of each selection that is played in the recital. Never before was so much value in recordings conveyed for such a modest price.  To see information on all these Priory titles, just go to the left navigation bar and click on "Priory" under "Titles by Publisher." Then all 5 Priory stories will be instantly produced for your enjoyment! _______________________________________________________________________________

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!)

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

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!

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

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.

Wednesday
Sep272017

L'Orfeo

Luigi Rossi L'Orfeo opera to a libretto by Francesco Buti. Directed 2016 by Stéphane Vérité at l'Opéra national de Lorraine (Nancy). Stars Judith van Wanroij (Orfeo), Francesca Aspromonte (La Musica/Euridice), Giuseppina Bridelli (Aristeo), Giulia Semenzato (Venere, Proserpina), Luigi de Donato (Augure, Plutone), Ray Chenez (Nutrice, Amore), Renato Dolcini (Satiro), Dominique Visse (Vecchia), Victor Torres (Endimione, Caronte), Marc Mauillon (Momo), and David Tricou (Apollo). Raphaël Pichon conducts Pygmalion (a combination of orchestra and choir). Staging by Jetske Mijnsseni. Released 2017, disc has 5.1 dts sound. Grade: Help!

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

Wednesday
Sep272017

Mozart Requiem Mass

Mozart Requiem Mass performed 2017 at the Herkulessaal in Munich. Mariss Jansons conducts the Chor und Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks (Bavarian Radio Orchestra and Choir). Singers are Genia Kühmeier (soprano), Elisabeth Kulman (mezzo soprano), Mark Padmore (tenor), and Adam Plachetka (bass). Released 2017, disc has 5.0 Dolby Digital sound. Grade: Help!

Please help us with a comment or mini-review about this title!

Monday
Sep252017

Norma

Bellini Norma opera to libretto by Felice Romani. Directed 2016 by Àlex Ollé at the Royal Opera House. Stars Sonya Yoncheva (Norma), Joseph Calleja (Pollione), Sonia Ganassi (Adalgisa), Brindley Sherratt (Oroveso), David Junghoon Kim (Flavio), and Vlada Borovko (Clotilde). Antonio Pappano conducts the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House and the Royal Opera Chorus (Concert Master Peter Manning). Set design by Alfons Flores; costume design by Lluc Castells, lighting design by Marco Filibeck. Directed for screen by Jonathan Haswell. Released 2017, disc has 5.1 dts-HD Master Audio sound. Grade: Help!

Here the official trailer:

And here's a long (83 min.) and well-done explanation of this production from Pappano, director Àlex Ollé, and others:

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