Beethoven-Symphonies Nos. 7 & 8 (Daniel Berenboim) (DVD-Audio) (2000) (NTSC)
Notes-Beethoven's Works In Their Time
Featurette-Barenboim on DVD
|Year Of Production||2000|
|RSDL / Flipper||No/No||Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||1,2,3,4,5,6||Directed By||Daniel Barenboim|
|RPI||$34.95||Music||Ludwig Van Beethoven|
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||Full Frame||
Audio MLP 96/24 5.0
Audio Dolby Digital 5.0 (448Kb/s)
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||None|
|Video Format||480i (NTSC)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||1.33:1||Miscellaneous|
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
Recorded solely with DVD-Audio in mind in 1999, the Barenboim collection of Beethoven symphonies is an instantly collectable series of the major composer’s work, something very important to have around when trying to establish a new format. Indeed, Beethoven’s 9th can be found shipping freely with many new DVD-Audio players as a wonderful introduction to the format. Few people can fail to be touched by his music, and it is for this reason his symphonies attract so much attention by artists, studios and the public.
Both the 7th and the 8th symphonies are perfect partners, being composed in the same year (1812) and taking up only little more than an hour when played back-to-back. Perhaps the 7th is the more well-known of the two, and certainly it is the more sombre in some respects, with the 2nd movement Allegretto being positively devastating in its gut-wrenching emotion. The 8th is livelier, shorter and somewhat easier to take in.
The performances for both are superb, and although I do find that Barenboim’s interpretation can be at times slightly dry, I also find a great deal of satisfaction can be gained with each new listening session. I think one could do a lot worse than have the complete Teldec Barenboim cycle of Beethoven symphonies in their collection, and the 7th and 8th continue the level of quality I have come to expect from them.
|1. Poco sostenuto Vivace|
4. Allegro con brio
|5. Allegro vivace e con brio|
6. Allegretto scherzando
7. Tempo di Menuetto
8. Allegro vivace
Stills are available for browsing whilst the MLP tracks are playing - which it should be noted are not available when listening to this in DVD-V mode with Dolby Digital where only the jacket image is presented. They are finely detailed and worth a look, if only once. The video clip is equally well presented, with no significant artefacts worth noting.
The sound quality is nothing short of breathtaking in almost every respect. Perhaps the first quality which is conveyed is a sense of “ease” with which instruments are portrayed. Timbre and tonality are presented with discretion and truth, something greatly lacking when compared with CDs which tend to clump instruments together and homogenize them. The next is depth and environment – you truly get to feel people in the room during quieter moments, hear the creaking of chairs, the turning of pages, and even breathing. Delicate passages are conveyed with poignancy, and indeed the orchestra can at times become very quiet and yet instruments still sound superb – and then in true Beethoven fashion can be in the very next instant an all-out assault, handled with aplomb by the generous dynamic range of this format.
The soundstage is expansive in width and depth, though a conservative approach to multi-channel presentation has been employed. The orchestra is very much to the front, with the the front channels doing most of the work. The surrounds provide ambience and environment cues in a manner which adds warmth and life to the recording, and this is the preferred and most natural way to present a symphonic orchestra as a “live” performance.
By way of contrast, the Dolby Digital 5.0 soundtrack merely goes through the motions, and in particular is robbed of fine left-to-right and front-to-back imaging accuracy. Certainly you can still enjoy the performance to a degree, but it ultimately lacks the subtlety and raw emotion which the PPCM track so effectively communicates.
|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-900E, using RGB output|
|Display||Pioneer SD-T43W1 16:9 RPTV. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum. This display device is 16x9 capable.|
|Audio Decoder||Built in to DVD player. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum.|
|Amplification||Sony STR DB-930|
|Speakers||Front & Rears: B&W DM603 S2, Centre: B&W LCR6, Sub: B&W ASW500|