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.


Entries in VAI (1)


Das Lied von der Erde & Tod und Verkl√§rung

Mahler Das Lied von der Erde (Song of the Earth) & Richard Strauss Tod und Verklärung (Death and Transfiguration). Neeme Järvi conducts the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande in a live performance in 2012 at Victoria Hall in Geneva. Paul Groves (tenor) and Thomas Hampson (baritone) are soloists. Video recording directed by Jason Starr; produced for Blu-ray by Allan Altman; executive producer was Edward Cardona. Released 2013, disc has 5.1 dts-HD Master Audio sound. Grade: Help!

This is our first HDVD from Video Artists International or VAI. (They published  Blu-rays with Jerome Rose playing piano, but we excluded them because the sound was stereo only.)

Das Lied von the Erde consists of the following songs that take about an hour to perform:

I. Das Trinklied vom Jammer der Erde
II. Der Einsame im Herbst
III. Von der Jugend
IV. Von der Schönheit
V. Der Trunkene im Frühling
VI. Der Abschied

Das  Lied was included as part of the Mahler Symphony Box set published a while back by the Concertgebouw Orchestra. But the bone-headed folks at RCO Live (Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra) didn't include subtitles in German or any other languages (along with other problems). So we gave that effort a "D+."  VAI says they will provide subtitles in German, English, French, Italian, and Japanese for this product.

We don't normally associate VIA with recordings that have strong commercial appeal. But the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande has a distinguished history, and both Groves and Hampson are fully qualified. This was available early in the U.S. and customers are giving it 5 stars. So maybe VIA has a winner  here. It appears this will not be carried by Amazon in Germany and France, possibly due to copyright problems.