Main Menu Animation
(not 109 minutes as stated on packaging)
|Start Up||Language Selection, then Menu|
Scottish Chamber Orchestra
Festival Choir Lucerne
|Case||Super Jewel Case|
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||Full Frame||Audio (Linear PCM 48/16 2.0, 1536 Kb/s)|
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||None|
|Theatrical Aspect Ratio||1.33:1||
|Subtitles||None||Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
Amongst composers of the eighteenth century, two names stand above all others - Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart being one of course, and the other being Joseph Haydn. Amongst his formidable body of work, he is perhaps best known for his 104 symphonies, his 84 string quartets and his 62 piano sonatas. Joseph Haydn was nothing if not prolific, but his command of the vocal genres was no less impressive and Die Schoepfung is amongst the very best pieces that he composed. Whilst this is not a competitor for the greatest performance ever committed to posterity, it is nonetheless an enjoyable enough performance. It helps that the conductor is the great tenor, Peter Schreier, as he understands the demands of vocal works as well as anyone and thus provides a sympathetic accompaniment from the Scottish Chamber Orchestra. The soloists are in general good, and there is a lot of enthusiasm as well as musicality from the choir.
Whilst having certain quibbles about the presentation here, the overall impression is again favourable and there are certainly indications that the Arthaus range will provide plenty of pleasure. Whilst this particular DVD is perhaps more suited to the specialist classical music buff than the odd dabbler in the field, it is a work that deserves to be seen and heard more frequently.
The transfer is presented Full Frame and is not 16x9 enhanced.
This is a generally very sharp and detailed transfer that certainly brings out well the venue of the recording (alas, the details of which are sadly missing from the DVD package). Shadow detail is again good. The transfer is also very clear and completely free from grain. There are no low level noise problems with the transfer.
The overall colour palette is generally very good with a nice rich tone to the whole transfer. I certainly have no complaints here at all. Indeed, some of the shots of instruments are amongst the best I have ever seen, with nice consistent rich tones to the wood of the string instruments to complement the clear and detailed image. Whilst the skin tones may be a little on the pale side, I would suspect that this is a reflection of the source material accuracy rather than mastering problems. There is no problem with oversaturation here, nor any issue with colour bleed. The only real "complaint" is that the transfer has just a little problem with the very glittery, and appallingly-coloured, dress worn by Edith Mathis.
There are no MPEG artefacts in the transfer, other than what may be some slight pixelization in some of the shots with the organ in the very back of the venue. This time around there is far less of a problem with film-to-video artefacts, although aliasing is still present, most notably in the music books held by the singers. There are far less problems with instrument strings than I was expecting, although just the odd instance does raise its head. There is some noticeable wobble in the image at 47:55, but I am not certain as to whether this was introduced by the telecine process or is inherent in the source material. There was no problem with film artefacts in the transfer, although it should be noted that there is a visible flaw in the source material at 71:11, where the audio drops out briefly accompanied by a slight "flash" in the video.
Interestingly, the programme has no opening credits
and no closing credits - push play and you are straight into the music,
and when it is all over you get the bows and it is finished. This is somewhat
unusual, to say the least.
The music comes up very well in the transfer, as do the vocals from the choir. However, there is something of a problem with the vocals from the soloists, as these really are not too well-balanced in the overall sound mix. The result is that the volume needs to be turned up just a little here to aid the clarity of the soloists.
There is nothing much else to say about the audio
side of things on this DVD. Obviously, there is no use of the rear surround
channels at all, nor any use of the bass channel. There does not appear
to be even that much use of the front surround channels. The soundtrack
generally sounds good though, apart from that slight imbalance in the soloists
sound levels and the venue does provide a lot of bloom to the sound. The
soundtrack is completely free from distortion, although there is a rather
noticeable audio glitch at 58:48 where
the music jumps, suggesting that one or two notes have gone astray somewhere
in the process. Being a Linear PCM soundtrack, it obviously sounds very
similar to what we would expect on a compact disc.
|Surround Channel Use|
© Ian Morris (have
a laugh, check out the bio)
22nd October 2000
|DVD||Pioneer DV-515; S-video output|
|Display||Sony Trinitron Wega 80cm. Calibrated with the NTSC DVD version of Video Essentials.|
|Audio Decoder||Built in|
|Amplification||Yamaha RXV-795. Calibrated with the NTSC DVD version of Video Essentials.|
|Speakers||Energy Speakers: centre EXLC; left and right C-2; rears EXLR; and subwoofer ES-12XL|