Andrew Lloyd Webber-Royal Albert Hall Celebration (1998)

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Released 11-Apr-2001

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Music None
Rating Rated G
Year Of Production 1998
Running Time 128:05 (Case: 126)
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (72:14) Cast & Crew
Start Up Language Select Then Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By David Mallet
Studio
Distributor

Universal Pictures Home Video
Starring Tina Arena
Michael Ball
Antonio Banderas
Boyzone
Sarah Brightman
Glenn Close
Julian Lloyd Webber
Marcus Lovett
Lottie Mayor
Dennis O'Neill
Donny Osmond
Elaine Paige
Ray Shell
Case Amaray-Transparent
RPI $36.95 Music Andrew Lloyd Webber


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Frame English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio None
16x9 Enhancement No
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.33:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles None Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits Yes, end credits superimposed over orchestra

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    Andrew Lloyd Webber - The Royal Albert Hall Celebration is a special concert put together in 1998 to celebrate the 50th birthday of noted musical theatre composer Andrew Lloyd Webber.

    Recent visitors to this planet who may not have heard of Andrew (rest assured most inhabitants of Earth will have attended one of his musicals or at least have heard of his name) will be interested to know that Andrew is the composer of some of the most popular musicals of recent times, including:

    plus a few others I have not mentioned. He has won numerous awards including seven Tonys, three Grammys, five Oliviers, a Golden Globe, an Oscar, the Praemium Imperiale, the Richard Rodgers and the Critics Circle Award for Best Musical 2000. He was knighted in 1992 and created a life peer in 1997.

    The concert features highlights from Andrew's musicals (mentioned above) performed by various artists including our very own Tina Arena, Michael Ball, Antonio Banderas, Boyzone, Sarah Brightman, Glenn Close, Julian Lloyd Webber, Marcus Lovett, Lottie Mayor, Dennis O'Neill, Donny Osmond, Elaine Paige, Ray Shell, Kiri Te Kanawa, and Bonnie Tyler.

    The song list for the concert is:
 

Song Musical/Work Performer
Whistle Down The Wind WHISTLE DOWN THE WIND Tina Arena
Any Dream Will Do JOSEPH & THE AMAZING TECHNICOLOR DREAMCOAT Donny Osmond
Close Every Door JOSEPH & THE AMAZING TECHNICOLOR DREAMCOAT Donny Osmond
Intro and Variations I-IV VARIATIONS Julian Lloyd Webber
Requiem for Evita EVITA Orchestra and Chorus
Oh What A Circus EVITA Antonio Banderas
High Flying Adored EVITA Antonio Banderas
Don't Cry For Me Argentina EVITA Elaine Paige
There's a Light at the End of the Tunnel STARLIGHT EXPRESS Ray Shell
Hosanna REQUIEM Dennis O'Neill
Pie Jesu REQUIEM Sarah Brightman & Ben De'ath
Gethsemane JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR Michael Ball
Superstar JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR Marcus Lovett
The Phantom of the Opera THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA Sarah Brightman & Antonio Banderas
All I Ask Of You THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA Sarah Brightman & Michael Ball
The Music Of The Night THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA Sarah Brightman
Tire Tracks & Broken Hearts WHISTLE DOWN THE WIND Bonnie Tyler
No Matter What WHISTLE DOWN THE WIND Boyzone
Vaults of Heaven WHISTLE DOWN THE WIND Michael Ball
Once Upon a Time SUNSET BOULEVARD Glenn Close & Marcus Lovett
With One Look SUNSET BOULEVARD Glenn Close
As If We Never Said Goodbye SUNSET BOULEVARD Glenn Close
Love Changes Everything ASPECTS OF LOVE Michael Ball
Memory CATS Elaine Paige
The Heart Is Slow To Learn   Kiri Te Kanawa
Whistle Down The Wind WHISTLE DOWN THE WIND Lottie Mayor with Andrew Lloyd Webber
The Jellicle Ball CATS Orchestra

    I was expecting (and even looking forward to) performances by the likes of Sarah Brightman, Michael Ball, and Elaine Page - after all, these are artists associated with Andrew and in some cases have been made famous by their stage performances of the songs. However, I must admit I was surprised by the inclusion of artists such as Tina Arena, Donny Osmond, Boyzone and Bonnie Tyler. However, everyone gave really credible and good performances.

    I don't know some of the artists featured here, but my vote for the Coolest Name for an Artist I Have Never Heard Of Before is Ben De'ath - especially as the name is attached to a boy with the sweetest voice and the most angelic face yet.

    The weakest link is probably Antonio Banderas - despite his devastatingly handsome good looks and his ability to carry off his tune, his voice is not as powerful or compelling as the others. Noticeably absent from the concert was "Mr. Phantom" himself Michael Crawford.

    The highlight for me was Glenn Close - even though I vaguely knew she had appeared on Broadway I never suspected her to be this good - she was awesome in her performances of selections from Sunset Boulevard.

    All in all, this is a must-have concert if you are a fan of Andrew Lloyd Webber. Even if you can't stand the man, I would still recommend that you at least have a look.

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Track Listing

1. Whistle Down The Wind
2. Any Dream Will Do
3. Close Every Door
4. Intro And Variations I-IV
5. Requiem For Evita
6. Oh What A Circus
7. High Flying Adored
8. Don't Cry For Me Argentina
9. ...A Light At The End Of The Tunnel
10. Hosanna
11. Pie Jesu
12. Gethsemane
13. Superstar
14. The Phantom Of The Opera
15. All I Ask Of You
16. The Music Of The Night
17. Tire Tracks & Broken Hearts
18. No Matter What
19. Vaults Of Heaven
20. Once Upon A Time
21. With One Look
22. As If We Never Said Goodbye
23. Love Changes Everything
24. Memory
25. The Heart Is Slow To Learn
26. Whistle Down The Wind
27. The Jellicle Ball

Transfer Quality

Video

    This is a full frame transfer (1.33:1, not 16x9 enhanced) sourced from what appears to be a video master. In general, the transfer is reasonably sharp and detailed, and has acceptable colour saturation.

    The video is marred by quite frequent occurrences of colour and luminance smearing, which I suspect is present in the video master. This smearing looks similar to edge enhancement haloing during Tina Arena's appearance in Chapter 2 but on closer inspection I realized that it is actually the luminance bleeding of Tina's profile into the background. This artefact is particularly noticeable in the smearing of Donny Osmond's white shirt and also the blue haze surrounding Julian Lloyd Webber. Fortunately, the artefact settles down in the latter half of the concert to nothing more than a minor annoyance.

    Other than the above artefact, the transfer is quite clean and there is very little evidence of MPEG artefacts or video noise.

    This is a single sided dual layered disc (RSDL). The layer change occurs just at the end of Chapter 19 at 72:14. This is a very well-placed layer change (particularly for a concert) since I didn't even notice the layer change on first viewing and I had to go specifically hunting to find it.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

    There are two audio tracks present on this disc: Dolby Digital 5.1 encoded at 448 Kb/s and Dolby Digital 2.0 encoded at 192 Kb/s. I listened to mainly the Dolby Digital 5.1 track.

    I was initially quite impressed by the enveloping ambience of the opening of the concert (Chapter 2 start until the appearance of Tina Arena - 1:06-2:10). The sounds of various instruments seem to be nicely spread across all speakers. However, the rest of the concert is more conventional with the surround speakers mainly used for ambience and I suspect this is actually a stereo track remixed for surround rather than a true surround track.

    The Dolby Digital 2.0 track is mastered at a lower level compared to the 5.1 track (about 6 dB lower) but surprisingly sounds nearly as good as the 5.1 track and has a nice rich sound compared to most Dolby Digital 2.0 tracks which sound tinny.

    The audio track does not have a strong low frequency component so the subwoofer is very rarely used.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

    There are no extras on this disc, and the menus are pretty boring and static, but you do get the option of choosing which language you want the menu titles to be presented in. I would have thought it would have been pretty easy to add some extras - cast and crew profiles, information on the musicals featured in this concert etc.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    I can't find any evidence of this disc currently being available in R1.

Summary

    Andrew Lloyd Webber - Royal Albert Hall Celebration is a truly excellent concert if you are an Andrew Lloyd Webber fan. If you are not, I would encourage you to at least give the disc a spin for the concert features some great performances. It is presented on a very minimalist DVD with above average audio and video transfers.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Christine Tham (read my biography)
Sunday, April 29, 2001
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV-626D, using Component output
DisplaySony VPL-VW10HT LCD Projector, ScreenTechnics 16x9 matte white screen (203cm). Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationDenon AVR-3300
SpeakersFront left/right: B&W DM603; centre: B&W CC6S2, rear left/right: B&W DM601

Other Reviews NONE
Comments (Add)
Such a disappointment -
A fave in our home -