Titles by Category

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

Feb 11.  Finally we have a good grade (A-) to brag about for the new Don Quixote from the Vienna State Ballet.  Recently we posted a F+ grade for the new C Major Bruckner Symphony 3 and an F- grade for that C Major Mahler S1-10 Box performed by the Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra. How can a major publishing house turn out something that gets an F-?

We recently posted more than you wanted to know about that Brahms Cycle Box from Belvedere. Now you can buy the 3 discs in the box independently. We bunched the 4 different deals together near the top of the Journal.

We just updated our manifesto about the best ballet and dance videos.

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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!