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Silverline DVD-Audio Review 7/13/2001  

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Silverline DVD-Audio New Releases Review 7/13/2001
By David Johnson

What do Billy Idol and Edvard Grieg have in common? They both can be found on two new Silverline DVD-Audio compilations!

Both of the DVDs include the usual menu navigation features such as the ability to switch between Dolby Digital, DTS, and DVD-Audio surround formats. A speaker set-up menu is also included. The visuals on the “Grieg†disc seemed to fit the music better than other discs I’ve seen. The program notes are also informative and interesting. The “New Wave†disc’s visuals included still-photos of the musicians who were playing. Very cool!

Edvard Grieg (1843-1907) is Norway’s most famous composer and quite possibly, their most beloved national treasure. For those of you who are not familiar with the music of Edvard Grieg, this DVD-Audio will surely give you a strong introduction to Norway’s greatest musical treasure. For those of you who are already Grieg aficionados, this compilation might disappoint you in terms of lack of content. But the content that IS on the disc will surely please your ears and make you wish that Silverline DVD would release Grieg’s complete works on DVD-Audio!

The London Symphony Orchestra is under the careful direction of conductor, Don Jackson in this compilation of Grieg’s works, which is part of Silverline’s Classical Music series of DVD-Audio discs. (“Grieg†Silverline DVD-Audio #81029-9). One disappointment with the disc is that the compilation did not include a track of “In The Hall of the Mountain Kingâ€. But the tracks that ARE included are all top-notch renditions of Grieg’s music. They are all very sensitively performed and the recording is equally as sensitive to the demands of audiophiles everywhere. The use of the surround channels is very tasteful and never overdone. The highs are allowed to shimmer without sounding shrill. The mids are full but not overbearing. The lows are responsive and never boomy.

(“Inside the Music: New Waveâ€, Silverline DVD-Audio #81041-9) is a nostalgic and fun compilation of music from the ‘New Wave’ movement during the early 1980s, including songs from artists such as Blondie, The Knack, Missing Persons, Billy Idol, and more. Just the mere mention of these artists’ names is sure to bring back some memories of those who grew up during this time period, including myself. But the nostalgia ends there. The songs have all been remastered to meet DVD-Audio’s specifications, which is both a good thing and somewhat of a bad thing. For instance, “My Sharona†by The Knack sounded so clean in DVD-Audio that it took away somewhat from the mood that the original recording conveys. In my opinion, 80s new wave music is not supposed to sound as polished as it does here. Some of the aggressiveness and sexual energy (i.e. fun) is lost when the recording quality is too perfect. The vocals were disturbingly clear and had a presence that I am not used to when listening to pop albums. Billy Idol sounded like he was singing “Eyes Without a Face†5 feet in front of me in my living room! I preferred setting my surround decoder to “stereo†mode and listening to this disc in 2 channels as opposed to the 5.1 surround simply for nostalgia’s sake. The higher quality of the recording is welcome, but some might prefer an “older†and somewhat grainier sound.

For rating purposes, I will use a scale of 5 stars, with 1 being the absolute worst, 2 being poor, 3 being good, 4 being very good, and 5 being the ultimate best.

“Griegâ€: Music = 4 stars; Recording = 4 stars.
“Inside the Music: New Waveâ€: Music = 3 ½ stars; Recording = 3 stars.


Both of these discs are exciting additions to the DVD-Audio software selections available. They both represent significant improvement in quality during these early developmental stages of DVD-Audio.
post #2 of 2
David,
Thanks for the reviews--I'm a DVD-A fan and always like to hear about the better than average ones.
"H"

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"H" Hord "Savor the Moment"

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