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Opera, Ballet and Classical Music discs - Page 35

post #1021 of 1215
After nobody volunteered some 5.0 BR's to test my non-bass management, I went through my latest purchases and decided to use Anna Bolena for it. I had felt that D'Arcangelo was a bit weak, compared to Ramey in Semiramide, a DTS 5.1 recording, that I had used during my set-up period.
To make the long story short, I ended up with 60 hz as the cut-off for the fronts. D'Arcangelo sounded definitely fuller, while Meli lost some of his brightness. The localization of the voices in a group scene was also better. I would be willing to bet a dinner that I can hear the difference in a blind test.
I then played the Firebird again with this set-up, and I don't think I could tell the difference to my previous setting in a blind test, although I thought I still favored my old setting a bit. (Takes about 30 seconds to change and by then memory is already fading...)
So I will have better sound for 5.0's in the future, and I thank Andre, Kal and Lee for it.

Gear mentioned in this thread:

post #1022 of 1215
The audio for the horns entry in the prelude seems to be constructed in a properly balanced sound field with the surround. Perhaps a little too much carries to the rear channel, but it works given the swirling cloud-like images in the video. When the horns first come into focus they are smack dab in the center of the screen and as such they are properly complemented by the balanced effect of the audio.

From there we have a variety of camera angles, many of which are overhead and some come from the rear of the orchestra, sweeping across and to the front. As viewer and as listener, you are made to feel as though you are in the center of the orchestra. It seems to me that the last thing you would want is a constantly shifting audio mix that is trying to keep up with the video. On the other hand, you would also not want a sound field based on the placement of the instruments in a static orchestra because the video is never static.

I have a good 5.1 system and I've watched and listened to this sequence many times. I know there are differing opinions on this, but personally I find little to complain about technically. Some of the singing is uneven and Mehta is not the best Wagner interpreter (although he does seem to get the best out of his orchestra). But overall, I'm pleased with this Rheingold and the entire Ring cycle.
post #1023 of 1215
Quote:
Originally Posted by RKreutzer View Post

After nobody volunteered some 5.0 BR's to test my non-bass management, I went through my latest purchases and decided to use Anna Bolena for it. I had felt that D'Arcangelo was a bit weak, compared to Ramey in Semiramide, a DTS 5.1 recording, that I had used during my set-up period.
To make the long story short, I ended up with 60 hz as the cut-off for the fronts. D'Arcangelo sounded definitely fuller, while Meli lost some of his brightness. The localization of the voices in a group scene was also better. I would be willing to bet a dinner that I can hear the difference in a blind test.
I then played the Firebird again with this set-up, and I don't think I could tell the difference to my previous setting in a blind test, although I thought I still favored my old setting a bit. (Takes about 30 seconds to change and by then memory is already fading...)
So I will have better sound for 5.0's in the future, and I thank Andre, Kal and Lee for it.

Different recordings in different venues will either highlight or mask the frequencies that you've altered with these adjustments. Microphone position & distance from the action, full or empty hall, and recording engineer preference all will affect the apparent tonal balance of a recording. Many halls even have movable panels, etc. that can alter the acoustic properties of that space, so even recordings with the same forces/location can sound different.

Listen mostly to how the double basses integrate into the musical fabric, how "chesty" bass voices sound (too much is unnatural), whether you can differentiate the type of drum being struck, and your impression of the acoustic signature of the hall. All these sounds contain clues as to the smoothness of the crossover region in your bass management. Footfalls, moving chairs, effects on-stage, etc. all sound more realistic when you get this right.

Finally, the credit is all yours for doing the work to tune things a bit more exactly!

Lee
post #1024 of 1215
Thread Starter 
The Metropolitan Opera's 2012-13 Live in HD Schedule:
http://www.metoperafamily.org/metope...einhd1213.aspx

Twelve performances. At a quick glance, The Tempest and Rigoletto appear to be highlights for me.
post #1025 of 1215
Quote:
Originally Posted by R Johnson View Post

The Metropolitan Opera's 2012-13 Live in HD Schedule:
http://www.metoperafamily.org/metope...einhd1213.aspx

Twelve performances. At a quick glance, The Tempest and Rigoletto appear to be highlights for me.

Rigoletto holds a special place for me. The first time I heard it, I was sitting in the living room of Sid Marks (longtime classical reviewer for the Absolute Sound magazine). Luciano Pavarotti walked on stage from my left to center stage, singing one of the classic sections from the piece. I'll never forget this, as it was the moment that got me interested in opera. This was from the classic Decca recording.

I'll try to catch this new one! Thanks for the heads up!

Lee
post #1026 of 1215
Nice, Lee. I'll bet we all have a story that recalls the single moment that got us interested in opera. For me it was the scene in Moonstruck when Nicholas Cage took Cher to see La Boheme at the Met. They showed about 20 seconds of Mimi's farewell from act 3. That was enough.
post #1027 of 1215
Quote:
Originally Posted by R Johnson View Post

The Metropolitan Opera's 2012-13 Live in HD Schedule:
http://www.metoperafamily.org/metope...einhd1213.aspx

Twelve performances. At a quick glance, The Tempest and Rigoletto appear to be highlights for me.

Jimmy not conducting any? Too bad.

fafner
post #1028 of 1215
His health seems to be going downhill, lately. I'll certainly miss him, too.
post #1029 of 1215
Thread Starter 
It's been a while since an opera disc from Netflix made it to my mailbox. I watched the Blu-ray of Busoni's Doktor Faust last night. Thomas Hampson in the title role from Zurich in 2006. I'd never heard this version of the Faust story, and really enjoyed it. Quite an interesting production. Excellent video. The sound was fine, though at times the voices seemed a bit "distant". Two extras: interviews with Hampson (about 30 minutes) and conductor Philippe Jordan (about 15 minutes).

Well worth checking out if you're a Netflix subscriber.
post #1030 of 1215
Thanks R Johnson, I added it to about 10 other items I'm waiting for since months. Their definition of "short wait" equals my "forever".
But your post is proof that they do send out at least some once in a while.
post #1031 of 1215
Blu-rays seem to have fallen in price lately, so I picked up a few more.
This one http://www.amazon.com/Verdi-Il-Trova...225895&sr=1-23
was one of the first I saw some years ago on TV (2004?) and I liked it back then. Although its from 2002, the price came down only recently. May be another production is about to be released and they are clearing the inventory.
The stage is often relatively dark, so the background is a bit soft. But when a spotlight is on the singers, picture quality is quite good. The dark scenes are probably more of a problem for a projector than a plasma or LCD TV.
This is an LPCM (5.1) soundtrack. Sound stage is about a foot beyond the corner speaker, so it is not that wide. Voices mostly from the center, although there is a bit of movement within the middle. Applause mostly from the fronts. No mics. on the singers.
So it's not exactly to my preference, but the orchestra is reasonably well recorded and the voices are o.k., given the limitations of recording with stage mics. only.
As far as the performance is concerned, I thought it was well sung and acted.
I’d give it an 8 out of 10.

Here are 3 scenes from youtube:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=57jiK7CaBsQ (picture on youtube not too good, but he sings it quite well)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Qo7bBSJKqM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e5qI8tIMz_Q
post #1032 of 1215
Thread Starter 
It would appear that your lower price was only for a limited time.
It shows at $44.99 for me right now. Your cost?
post #1033 of 1215
^

This recording (Il Trovatore, Royal Opera, Opus Arte) is currently offered for much lower prices by Amazon partners. See the links on the main Amazon page for the item with labels like "20 new from" or "More buying choices. 26 used & new from". I think that's what RKreutzer meant.
post #1034 of 1215
Right, I buy most from Classical Music Superstore, $20.82 + 2.98 shipping.
No trouble returning, if I don't like it.
post #1035 of 1215
Thread Starter 
Thanks!!
I've rarely ventured into Amazon's "marketplace". The Classical Music Superstore looks like a good option.
post #1036 of 1215
Next up is Berlioz's Les Troyens. How can you go wrong with the composer of Symphonie fantastique. This one is 32.79 + 2.98, but the performance is on 2 blu-rays, run-time 314 minutes. Details here: http://www.amazon.com/Berlioz-Troyen...384099&sr=1-13
Picture is fine.
It's a DTS-HD MA 5.0. Sound comes to life around -9 db. Soundstage extents from the corner speaker to about half the distance to the surround speakers. Singers carry well hidden mics. and the voices move across the stage. Orchestra and chorus are well recorded and I couldn't find much fault with it. Technically, it's a 9 out of 10.
We know since Carmen, that Antonacci can sing and act (she is the star in Acts 1 and 2), Graham (acts 3-5) comes in second as far as acting is concerned. You can't go wrong with Tezier and Kunde has a very fine voice.
Here are 2 samples from youtube:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q5By6XucMaU
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G8Pr0...eature=related
Highly recommended.
post #1037 of 1215
Here are the details of Cosi Fan Tutte:
http://www.amazon.com/Mozart-Cosi-Fa...508391&sr=1-18
Picture is fine, seems to be made for a projector.
Audio is Andy Rose, do I need to say more? A 10 out of 10
Well acted and well sung, I don't think you can do it much better than this.
24.41 +2.98, a bargain.
Some clips:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Wi7UsXW1As
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ilD7X...eature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pr2LB...eature=related
post #1038 of 1215
Now you're starting to cost me money, Kreutzer.....

Lee
post #1039 of 1215
Thread Starter 
2012 WAGNER'S RING CYCLE ENCORE

http://www.fathomevents.com/performi...ncore2012.aspx

This May, enjoy select encore performances from the Metropolitan Opera's new production of Wagner's Ring cycle, part of the award-winning series The Met: Live in HD.

The majority of the presentations will take place throughout the month of May at 6:30 PM local time across the country, with Gotterdammerunng showing at 12:00 PM local time. The series begins with the new documentary Wagner's Dream, which chronicles the making of the Met's Ring cycle, followed by the four individual operas. Don't miss this opportunity to experience these exciting performances, captured live on the stage of the Met.

Featured performances:
Wagner's Dream - Monday, May 7, 2012
Das Rheingold: Met Opera Ring Cycle Encore - Wednesday, May 9, 2012
Die Walküre: Met Opera Ring Cycle Encore - Monday, May 14, 2012
Siegfried: Met Opera Ring Cycle Encore - Wednesday, May 16, 2012
Götterdämmerung: Met Opera Ring Cycle Encore - Saturday, May 19, 2012
post #1040 of 1215
Is there any official confirmation whether or not the Met Ring will released on blu-ray?
post #1041 of 1215
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by david515mi View Post

Is there any official confirmation whether or not the Met Ring will released on blu-ray?

Not to my knowledge.
But I certainly think it will be.
The question is: When?
post #1042 of 1215
Quote:
Originally Posted by R Johnson View Post

Not to my knowledge.
But I certainly think it will be.
The question is: When?

None of them have been released on their Met Player application yet either - hope they will be on there in the future and they are just holding off for the repeats.

Speaking of which does anyone else here subscribe?
post #1043 of 1215
Upto 30% off all blu-rays at Presto Classical until 15 June!
post #1044 of 1215
Thanks for that Presto info. Do you have experience with shipping from the UK to the US?
post #1045 of 1215
This is only a DVD, but there is a label on the box saying it was recorded with HD equipment, so there is a good chance that this will be released as a BR. I didn't want to wait.
Details here: http://www.amazon.com/Bellini-Purita...sr=1-1-catcorr
I gave the Met BR with Netrebko an 8.5, which seems in retrospect too generous in comparison to this Florez/Machaidze performance.
It's a DVD, so the longer shots reveal that, but the closer shots are o.k. It comes as 2 DVDs, so Decca did not squeeze it on one only.
Audio (DTS 5.1) is excellent.
The orchestra is very well recorded with a soundstage reaching 2/3 towards the surrounds. This also gives the impression of the orchestra pit up front with a deep stage like La Gazzetta. Off-stage chorus is out of the left surround.
Sound of the singers is so much better due to well hidden body mics, although it is mostly through the center. Sometimes the orchestra is a tad too loud relative to the voices, but overall this wins hands down over the Met production audio-wise.
Whatever Netrebko might have over Machaidze (and it is not that much in my view) is far outweighed by the better recording technique. Florez skips the Palermo F, but sounds flawless otherwise. All other principals are also a lot better sounding than in the Met's performance. It's a 9.5 out of 10.
As for the performance, it is more static than the Met's with mostly stand and deliver and little action. Lighting seems to also show that Italy needs to spend less. But it is complete and about 25 min. longer than the Met's cut version.
Some excerpts to make your mouth water...Sorry Lee...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TKpu8wn4UhA
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IAYxf...feature=relmfu
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z3dgG...feature=relmfu
post #1046 of 1215
Kreutzer, the devil you are.

Lee
post #1047 of 1215
post #1048 of 1215
OA's Macbeth, available for about $24, details:
http://www.amazon.com/Macbeth-Blu-ra...sr=1-1-catcorr

While it is not one of my Top 20 Operas, at that price, how can you go wrong?

Picture is very good, even in the darker scenes there is normally a spot light on the principals.
Orchestra is well recorded, sound-stage 2 feet beyond the corner speaker, orchestral thunder right out of the surround. Chorus is also well recorded and balance between principals, chorus and orchestra is quite good. Principals wear mics. and the voices are fine, but they are sent only to the center (my only complaint). 8.5-9 out of 10.
As for the performance, I liked Keenlyside’s acting better in the Magic Flute and even in Hamlet, somehow his Macbeth is a bit lifeless.
Monastyrska seems mostly angry and her acting didn’t impress me either. So it’s mostly a “stand and deliver” affair with the chorus/witches moving around a bit more. It’s a bit stylized, but it’s a good picture with decent sound.
Here is a bit from youtube:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U88np...eature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q3sKzSg9XT4
post #1049 of 1215
Listened to Chopin's piano concerts yesterday.
Details are here:
http://www.amazon.com/Piano-Concerto...rhf_se_p_img_1

Sound stage is quite wide, halfway to the surrounds. Orchestra is well recorded with the celli and double basses on the right, where I prefer them.
Piano is also well recorded, at times it is a tad too loud and the clarinett or bassoon are drowned a bit. But overall a good recording.
Here is one of Kissin's 2 encores:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d70K27D1UwU

Afterwards I played the No 2 concerto from one of my Rubinstein dvds, details here:
http://www.amazon.com/Chopin-Concert...7439224&sr=1-1
While picture is 4:3, sound is DTS 5.1 and for 1975 well recorded. Piano blends in more with the orchestra. Soundstage is not quite as wide but still much better than stereo. And you get an 88 year old Rubinstein, who is my preferred Chopin pianist.
I consider this a bargain dvd for about $19.
post #1050 of 1215
Thread Starter 
Well, not on optical disc just yet...
I plan to preserve the broadcasts on hard disks though.

-------

Great Performances at the Met - "Wagner's Ring Cycle"

A Major Television Event - Robert Lepage's Production of Wagner's Complete Ring Cycle with an All-Star Cast -- Airs on THIRTEEN's Great Performances at the Met September 11-14 Primetime on PBS

New companion documentary, Wagner's Dream, chronicling the backstage challenges of creating the Met's landmark production, begins week-long Wagner festival

....

Full information at: http://www.thirteen.org/pressroom/release.php?get=3921
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