11/20/2017  
Take Me To The River on Blu-ray & DVD Feb 5Phantom From 10,000 Leagues (1956) on Blu-ray & DVD Jan 5Condemned on DVD & Blu-ray Jan 5Broad City: Season 2 on DVD Jan 5McHale's Navy: The Complete Series on DVD No 17Return to Sender on Blu-ray & DVD Sep 29The Phantom of the Opera with Lon Chaney Blu-ray & DVD Oct 13

follow us on twitter

dOc on facebook

NE News Editor

Jennifer Esposito Is Your Newest NCIS Agent in Season 1...
Critics Are Split on Ghostbusters Reboot ...
'Respect is key': The Game, Snoop Dogg lead march to LA...
Kristen Stewart's Sheer Dress At 'Equals' Premiere -- S...
"A Slow Slipping Away"-- Kris Kristofferson's Long-Undi...
Fox News' Roger Ailes Sued for Sexual Harassment by Ous...
Garrison Keillor Retires from 'Prairie Home Companion' ...
Jennifer Aniston is Pregnant: Star Steps Out in Loose D...
Hiddleswift Is One Big Song Promotion -- A Theory...
Elvis Presley's daughter Lisa Marie Presley files for ...





Microsoft Store

Share: email   Print      Technorati.gif   StumbleUpon.gif   MySpace   digg.gif delicious.gif   google.gif   magnolia.gif   facebook.gif
Permalink: Permalink.gif



Buy from Amazon

Buy from Amazon.com

Image Entertainment presents
Beethoven: Symphony No. 9 (1991)

"O Freunde, nicht diese Toene."
- Ludwig van Beethoven

Review By: Mark Zimmer   
Published: March 18, 2001

Stars: Venceslava Hruba-Freiburger, Doris Soffel, James Wagner, Gwynne Howell
Other Stars: Gewandhaus Orchestra and Chorus, conducted by Kurt Masur
Director: Rodney Greenberg

Manufacturer: WAMO
MPAA Rating: Not Rated for (nothing objectionable)
Run Time: 01h:12m:25s
Release Date: March 06, 2001
UPC: 014381925920
Genre: classical


Style
Grade
Substance
Grade
Image Transfer
Grade
Audio Transfer
Grade
Extras
Grade
B+ A+A-A D-

DVD Review

Beethoven's Ninth is of course one of the titanic and most daunting works in the symphonic repertoire. In its successive movements it unites heroism, fate and affirmation, climaxing in the hymn Ode to Joy, taken from Friedrich Schiller's poetry, proclaiming that all men are brothers.

The performance by the Gewandhaus Orchestra on this disc is overall quite good. Kurt Masur of the New York Philharmonic acts as conductor, and gives a vigorous reading to the symphony. I don't agree with all of his tempi, however. Notably, the first movement seems to drag terribly, so that the walking bass in the coda sounds as if it is lumbering instead. He does, however, observe most (but not all) of the repeats in the Scherzo, which is all too rarely done. The slow third movement is taken at a surprisingly brisk tempo, which helps rescue it from falling into lugubriousness, as is so often the case. Masur takes far too long a pause between the third and fourth movements, ignoring Beethoven's attacca instructions completely. The reason for the lengthy pause is unclear, since the soloists are brought on stage between the second and third movements. The Finale proceeds with gusto until an incredibly breakneck Prestissimo concludes the piece, leaving the viewer gasping.

The vocal quartet is exceptional, both in their solo work and as an ensemble. They are always quite nicely balanced both against each other and against the orchestra. The men also put some expressiveness into their singing, which is all too rarely seen in performances of the Ninth. When tenor James Wagner, during the Turkish March, sings "Laufet brueder, eure bahn,", he acts as if he means every word of it.

The chorus unfortunately is not quite so sparkling; their enunciation is badly lacking and the lyrics barely understandable even to one who has heard the piece, literally, hundreds of times. The chorus includes a wing of children, which is probably a significant part of the problem. Why the decision was made for this inclusion is unclear, but it doesn't work well.

The camera work tends to be repetitive; about five more cameras should have been used. We tend to sit and watch Masur at lengthy stretches which loses its appeal after a while. He tends a little toward the histrionic and that only entertains so long.

Overall, however, a good performance of a great masterwork.

Rating for Style: B+
Rating for Substance: A+

 

Image Transfer

 One
Aspect Ratio1.33:1 - Full Frame
Original Aspect Ratioyes
Anamorphicno


Image Transfer Review: The image is better than typical for a live concert. Blacks are extremely deep and rich. Colors are good throughout. While the picture is occasionally a bit soft, it is otherwise excellent.

Image Transfer Grade: A-

 

Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0Germanyes
Dolby Digital
5.1
Germanyes


Audio Transfer Review: Both the 5.1 and Dolby Surround tracks exhibit excellent range. A bit of hiss is audible during quiet solos, but overall the noise level is quite minimal. This disc provides an odd circumstance that I actually prefer the Dolby Surround track to the 5.1 track. Even though the 5.1 audio has a broader soundstage, the mix of the DS track is far more pleasing to my ear. The low bass is overemphasized on the 5.1 track to the point of shaking the house, which seems excessive for a dozen celli and a handful of double bassi. The timpani also sounds rather harsh on the 5.1 track. Finally, the orchestra in the Finale is mixed to mask the chorus, making the task of understanding their words even more precarious. The Dolby Surround track suffers from none of these defects, and is quite satisfactory all the way round. There is orchestral sound coming from the surrounds on both tracks, which is not everyone's cup of tea but which I didn't find too distracting here. The A grade is for the DS track; the 5.1 track gets a B- grade.

Audio Transfer Grade: A

 

Disc Extras

Static menu
Scene Access with 6 cues and remote access
Music/Song Access with 4 cues and remote access
Packaging: Snapper
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: single

Extras Review: Nothing at all. Nada. Squat. Chaptering is wholly inadequate. The Finale should have at least 3 chapter stops (preferably 5 or 6) but it only gets one here. No subtitles in any language are included, which is a grave oversight, especially concerning the mix for the chorus on the 5.1 track. This disc is about 4 chapter stops away from an F.

Extras Grade: D-

 

Final Comments

Although one can quibble with some interpretive decisions, this is a good perfomance with an exceptional quartet out front. The Dolby Surround track is oddly preferable to the 5.1 track, which is overloaded on bass. No extras at all.

Mark Zimmer is Project Director of The Unheard Beethoven, a nonprofit website devoted to making Beethoven's unrecorded music available in the form of MIDI files for free over the Internet.

 


Back to top

Search 10,000+ titles:

or Advanced Search

DVD REVIEW ARCHIVE


Get FREE Shipping on all orders at TimeLife.com! - 120x90

 



Microsoft Store

Keywords

television, jennifer esposito, blue bloods, ncis, mark harmon. duane henry, wilmer valderrama, michael weatherly, bull, movie, ghostbusters, comedy, chris helmsworth, melissa mcarthy, kristen wiig, celebrity, rap, game, shoop dogg, jayceon terrell taylor, alton sterling, kristen stewart, equals, jonathan simkhal, nicholas hoult, music, kris kristofferson, country music hall of fame, alzheimers, lyme disease, fox news, gretchen carlson, fox and friends, steve doocy, roger ailes, the real story with gretchen carlson, radio, garrison keillor, a prairie home companion, jennifer anniston, baby bump, justin theroux, taylor swift, tom hiddleston, calvin harris, lisa marie presley, michael lockwood, riley and benjamin keough, danny keough, michael jackson, nicolas cage, tom affleck, boston fan, bill simmons, hbo show, any given wednesday, tom brady, deflategate, hamilton, lin-manuel mianda, periscope, heart tweet machine, hamilton mixtape, cable, hbo, curb your enthusiasm, larry david, bernie sanders, saturday night live, maya and marty, christina grimmie, murdered, plaza live, before you exit, marcus grimmie, nashville, cmt, president brian phillips, the tonight show, jimmy fallon, president obama, the roots, hillary clinton, tim mcgraw, faith hill, maggie mcgraw, humble and kind, ellen degeneres show, titi pierce, coldwell banker robbins & free realty, hairspray live!, tracy turnblad, york theatre company, john waters, jennifer hudson, harvey fierstein, martin short, derek hough, j.k. rowling, harry potter and the cursed child, noma dumezweni, emma watson, judd apatow, paul freig, melissa mccarthy, romance, history channel, roots, remake, anika noni rose, t.i., malachi kirby, josh duhamel, transformers, fergie, black eyed peas, axl, double dutchess, abc, music city, grand ole opry, chip esten, lennon stella, the voice, alisan porterm, christina aguilera, ceelo green, ariana grande, sia, the little big town, 2016 billboard music awards, pink, just like fire, pamela neal, warrior princess, send my love (to your new lover), billboard music awards, adele, patrick daughters, bryan cranston, lbj, all the way, melissa leo, frank langella, todd weeks, hard sell, kristin chenoweth, wicked

On Facebook!
digitallyOBSESSED!
digitallyOBSESSED!
Promote Your Page Too

Visit:

Zarabesque.com

Original Magic Dress.com

Susti Heaven

Become a Reviewer | Search | Review Vault | Reviewers
Readers | Webmasters | Privacy | Contact
Microsoft Store