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! _______________________________________________________________________________

Entries in Bodega (1)


Flamenco Flamenco

Flamenco Flamenco dance film by Carlos Saura. This is a full-length motion picture showing 21 performances of flamenco today. This title has been released in Europe under two different labels: Cameo Media (Spain) and Bodega (France). Both versions of this title are Region B only and have 5.1 dts-HD Master Audio sound. Grade: B+

I found this in May 2012 at the gift shop of the Paris Opera Garnier. I had never seen anything about it in our Internet resources. I asked the Phantom of the Opera if I should buy it. He said he'd be really disappointed if I didn't.  Well, a friend in France was able to show me movie, and it was better than I expected.

Saura was able to get a bunch of great acts to come to his studio where they could be filmed under uniform, controlled conditions. The stage was decorated with a lot of classy artwork which is used ingeniously to tie the various acts together. The video was made on film stock an 24 frames per second; it has that rich, painterly look you can't get with digital video. I also think it benefits also from progressive handling of the video (contrasted to the usual 1080i specification). The sound is great. Here is a screenshot, taken from the behind-the-scenes extra, showing the stage and the various art recreations:

The acts vary from fairly traditional to a bit racy. True hard-core, old-school flamenco lovers might bemoan some of this, but even they would probably agree that there is nothing tacky or sentimental afoot.

On returning to the  U.S., Flamenco Flamenco would not play on my Region A Oppo. But in honor of Flamenco Flamenco and to appease the Phantom, I bought a new machine that plays Region B. (The player can handle Region C also, but I've yet to hear of a disc that works only in a Region C device.)

I bought the French version from Bodega. Of course, the singing and the spoken language in the extras is in Spanish. The subtitles are in French only.

The film uses a lot of shadow and the color palate runs to orange shades and teal; I understand this is popular now as a technique for giving "pop" to movie images. The director was looking for drama, atmosphere, and warmth---not razor-sharp resolution. The film looks great on my HT display with more "life" than our screenshots convey.

Here is a screenshot for each of the 21 acts on the film:

Rumba - María Ángeles Fernández, Carlos de Pepa y Josemi

Alegría - Sara Baras


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