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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Entries in Dreyer Gaido (1)

Sunday
Feb232014

Belkis, Queen of Sheba

Ottorino Respighi Belkis, Queen of Sheba concert film.  Directed 2012 by Martin Andersson in Stuttgart. Gabriel Feltz conducts the Stuttgarter Philharmoniker and the Czech Philharmonic Choir, Brno (Choir Master Petr Fiala). Features narratress Julia Jentsch, mezzo soprano Stella Doufexis, and tenor Metodi Morartzaliev.   Produced by Martin Andersson, eyecatchproductions, and the Stuttgarter Philhamoniker; published by the Breyer Gaido Music Production Company in Germany. This is a German language product with subtitles in English. Released 2014, disc has 5.1 surround sound (no further details on sound available). The picture format is Cinemascope 1:2.35 to be shown in HD TV in letterbox.  Grade: Help!

There is PR Information on the back of the keepcase in German. Here's an (edited) translation of this information into English (found on the Breyer Gaido website):

In June 2012 Ottorino Respighi’s ballet music Belkis, Queen of Sheba was given its German premiere in Stuttgart.  This was only the second production of the work ever.  The world premiere was almost 80 years ago at La Scala in Milan when it was staged with a huge orchestra and a ballet cast of some 600. It was one of Respighi’s last great works.  But the ballet has since been considered too difficult to produce.  The Stuttgart Philharmonic helped bring the long-silent masterpiece to a triumphal come-back in a concert performance with Julia Jentsch as narratress, mezzo-soprano Stella Doufexis, tenor Metodi Morartzaliev, and the Czech Philharmonic Choir, Brno. This is a unique music film, which goes far beyond the scope of the normal concert recording and tells the mythical story of the legendary Queen of Sheba. Belkis undertook an arduous journey of many years through desert and waste-lands to follows the call of King Solomon – a fairy-tale about beauty, power, and wealth.

I saw a statement somewhere that the Belkis ballet had a run of 11 performances at La Scala in 1932 before it sank into oblivion. Wouldn't it be great if the Bolshoi would give Belkis its first revival on their huge new stage!  Until then, maybe the most we could hope for would be to hear the music. But here the Stuttgart folks have, they claim, done far more. What could they be talking about? Did Respighi included singing parts in his ballet music? Well the only way to fined out is for someone to buy and audition this. If you do it, please help us with a mini-review!