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 Universal Pictures (1)

Saturday
May302015

The Hollow Crown

The Hollow Crown television film series. Each film is an adaptation of one of the works of Shakespeare's Henriad: Richard II; Henry IV, Part I; Henry IV, Part II; and Henry V. Directed by Rupert Goold (Richard II), Richard Eyre (Henry IV, Parts I & II), and Thea Sharrock (Henry V). Stars Ben Whishaw (King Richard II of England), Rory Kinnear (Henry Bolingbroke), Clémence Poésy (the Queen), David Suchet (the Duke of York), Patrick Stewart (John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster), David Morrissey (Earl of Northumberland), Tom Hughes (the Duke of Aumerle), James Purefoy (Thomas Mowbray, Duke of Norfolk), Lindsay Duncan (the Duchess of York), Ferdinand Kingsley (Bushy), Samuel Roukin (Bagot), Harry Hadden-Paton (Green), Tom Goodman-Hill (Sir Stephen Scroop), Adrian Schiller (Lord Willoughby), Peter de Jersey (Lord Ross), Finbar Lynch (Lord Marshall), Lucian Msamati (the Bishop of Carlisle), Richard Bremmer (the Abbot of Westminster), Rhodri Miles (the Welsh Captain), David Bradley (the Gardener), Simon Trinder (the Gardener's Assistant), Isabella Laughland (the Queen's Lady), Daniel Boyd (the Groom), Jeremy Irons (Henry IV), Simon Russell Beale (Falstaff), Tom Hiddleston (Prince Hal/King Henry V), Julie Walters (Mistress Quickly), Alun Armstrong (Earl of Northumberland), Joe Armstrong (Hotspur), David Bamber (Robert Shallow), Niamh Cusack (Lady Northumberland), David Dawson (Poins), Michelle Dockery (Lady Percy), Tom Georgeson (Bardolph), Iain Glen (Earl of Warwick), Nicholas Jones (Archbishop of York), David Hayman (Earl of Worcester), James Laurenson (Earl of Westmoreland), Geoffrey Palmer (Lord Chief Justice), Harry Lloyd (Edmund Mortimer), Maxine Peake (Doll Tearsheet), Paul Ritter (Ancient Pistol), Robert Pugh (Owen Glendower), Alex Clatworthy (Lady Mortimer), Ian Conningham (Peto), Stephen McCole (Douglas), Adam Kotz (Hastings), Henry Faber (Prince John of Lancaster), Mark Tandy (Sir Richard Vernon), Pip Torrens (Mowbray), Tim McMullan (Silence), Michael Keane (Thomas Wart), Dominic Rowan (Coleville of the Dale), Jolyon Coy (Sir Walter Blun), John Hurt (the Chorus/Falstaff's boy as a man), Geraldine Chaplin (Alice), Paul Freeman (Thomas Erpingham), Tom Georgeson (Bardolph), Richard Griffiths (Duke of Burgundy), Paterson Joseph (Duke of York), Anton Lesser (Exeter), Paul Ritter (Ancient Pistol), Malcolm Sinclair (Archbishop of Canterbury), Owen Teale (Captain Fluellen), Mélanie Thierry (Princess Katherine), Lambert Wilson (Charles, King of France), Edward Akrout (Louis, the Dauphin), Tom Brooke (Corporal Nym), Jeremie Covillaut (Montjoy), Maxime Lefrançois (The Constable of France), Stanley Weber (Duke of Orleans), Gwilym Lee (Williams), Richard Clothier (Earl of Salisbury), Nigel Cooke (Bishop of Ely), John Dagleish (Peto), George Sargeant (Falstaff’s boy). Cinematography by Danny Cohen (Richard II) and Ben Smithard (Henry IV, Parts I & II); produced by Pippa Harris, Sam Mendes, Gareth Neame, and Rupert Ryle-Hodges. Released 2015, disc has 5.1 dts-HD Master Audio sound. From the picture of the back of the package above, you can see that this is marked for Region B only, and this is also pointed out in the Amazon for sale posting.  It would appear no Region A or C version of this has been released. Grade: Help!

This box set has motion picture adaptations of the four plays in the Henriad. The movies run about 8½ hours total. The four plays would run something like 11 hours, so the  movie adaptions have substantial cuts. The Hollow Crown series got great popular and critical acclaim.

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