The 3 Tenors-Christmas (2000)
Scene Selection Anim & Audio
|Year Of Production||2000|
|RSDL / Flipper||No/No||Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||1,2,3,4,5,6||Directed By||None Given|
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||Full Frame||
English Linear PCM 48/16 2.0 (1536Kb/s)
English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||None|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||1.33:1||Miscellaneous|
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
One sad trait of many fine performers is that they don't know when to retire, and they stain their great reputation with mediocre performances late in life. Pavarotti is well past his retirement date - at his prime I considered his voice to be a thing of almost godly perfection, but he has now lost the absolute control that set him apart. Carreras, too, has reached the point where he no longer sounds natural and relaxed and his face, always very expressive, seems to get contorted into parodies of himself as he strains to get the sound out. Domingo is the only one of the trio with a voice strong enough to justify a continuing career.
One further point to note is the attitudes of the singers. This is supposed to be a Christmas performance, so you would expect joviality and relaxed fun on the part of all concerned. Domingo does his bit, to be fair. Carreras only smiles twice; most of the time he either has a look of total surprise on his face, or he seems to be suffering as a result of major exertion. Pavarotti is too busy reading his teleprompter (one of those US Presidential transparent gadgets) to really acknowledge much at all.
Normally in these reviews we comment on picture sharpness. In this case I'll skip that and discuss, instead, the picture fuzziness. The poor video source results in just about every problem you could imagine - edges are ill-defined, brightly-lit objects exude a glowing halo around them in the form of permanent screen bloom that also destroys all foreground detail and less well-lit areas such as the audience show up as a general indistinguishable mass. As an indication of the extent of this problem, the white vests and ties of the 3 Ts generally dissolve into a single, washed-out, white area.
Colours are limited, but what there is is poorly defined and a long way from looking realistic. Skin tones are crude and suffer from the washed-out look. Colour bleed is a continual problem.
The voices of the three singers dominate the soundscape (naturally enough), and can be heard with crystal-clear clarity. Given my comments earlier, this may not be such a flattering thing! At times I felt that the orchestra was a little subdued in the recording. Otherwise, it displays a reasonably full frequency range, with nice bass being provided by the bigger stringed instruments. There are no obvious technical faults in the recording. Incidentally, while the disc is labelled as being a 5.1 recording, I don't think the .1 channel ever gets any use. Bass is handled adequately well by the other five channels.
Audio sync was generally without a fault, although in one piece halfway through the concert (Adeste Fideles) I got a strange feeling that something wasn't quite right. Whether the sync got just a little way out or, more significantly, the piece was dubbed after the event, I can't say, but that was the only problem in this regard.
|Surround Channel Use|
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
|DVD||Toshiba SD-K310, using S-Video output|
|Display||Pioneer SD-T43W1 (125cm). Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.|
|Audio Decoder||Built in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.|
|Speakers||Richter Wizard (front), Jamo SAT150 (rear), Yamaha YST-SW120 (subwoofer)|