Salzburg Festival Opening Concert 2012


The 2012 Opening Concert for the Salzburg Festival consists of:

  1. Stravinskiy Symphony of Psalms, for Chorus and Orchestra
  2. Mussorgsky Songs and Dances of Death
  3. Prokofiev Symphony No. 5

Valery Gergiev conducts the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra and the Concert Chorus of the Vienna State Opera. Sergei Semishkur is tenor soloist for the Songs and Dances of Death. Released 2012, disc has 5.0 dts-HD Master Audio sound. Grade: NA

Ken Smith in the Awards 2012 issue of Gramophone, page 81, praises the selections on this program, the performance, and the recording on DVD. There's no hint that Smith knew anything of the Blu-ray version.

Smith does state that no lyrics were provided for the Mussorgsky or Stravinsky in printed form or via subtitles (in the original languages or in translation). The Mussorgsky lyrics are in Russian. You can find the lyrics in Russian and English on the Internet. But each song is fairly long; without subtitles, it would be hard to know where the singers are in the written text at any specific point. The Stravinsky lyrics are in Latin and are fairly short. But in this situation, lyrics are often repeated, which can make it hard follow the singers in a printed text. Ideally, the record publisher should provide the customer with lyrics in both printed form and subtitles in the original and several other languages. Then the customer can use the printed text to study the words in advance + take advantage of subtitles to stay oriented. This is especially important for lesser known works. Where the publisher provides nothing, we can only view this as an attempt to foist off a defective and shoddy product on an ill-informed public. (The worst example of this so far was when the Concertgebouw published all 10 Mahler symphonies in a Blu-ray box set with no subtitles or printed text for the singing.) We see too much of this kind of slovenliness and disrespect for the customer from the publishers of our fine-arts HDVDs.