450 Years Sachsische Staatskapelle Dresden-Live (1998)
|Year Of Production||1998|
|RSDL / Flipper||RSDL (45:55)||Cast & Crew|
|Start Up||Language Select Then Menu|
|Region Coding||1,2,3,4,5,6||Directed By||Elisabeth Birke-Malzer|
Select Audio-Visual Distrib
Sachsische Staatskapelle Dresden
Carl Maria von Weber
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||
Audio Linear PCM 48/16 2.0 (1536Kb/s)
Audio Dolby Digital 2.0 (256Kb/s)
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||1.78:1|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||1.78:1||Miscellaneous|
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||Yes, minor in credits|
The concert comprises the following four pieces:
Ultimately, I cannot help but feel that this is an underwhelming performance of what should have been a somewhat more rapturous concert. After all, how often does an orchestra celebrate its 450th birthday? Whilst presented on a good DVD, the lack of sparkle here is really a serious deterrent to a really enthusiastic welcome for the DVD. If you are a fan of the pieces offered, then perhaps you might find more enjoyment here than I.
The transfer is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1, reflecting the fact that this was recorded for Japanese television. I would suspect that it is a high definition recording too. The transfer is 16x9 enhanced.
Whilst it is not quite of reference quality, it is certainly not too far short thereof. This is a consistently sharp and detailed transfer, which really brings out every detail in the venue as well as the orchestra. There is hardly any lapses here in focus and shadow detail is generally excellent throughout. Clarity is excellent and there is no issue whatsoever with grain or low level noise in the transfer.
Obviously with a concert recording of this nature, we do not expect to see plenty of bright, vibrant colours - which is just as well, as we do not get any. What we do look for is some nice saturation of colours and a decently consistent depth to the black tones in particular. That is precisely what we do get. The result is a very natural looking transfer with just the right sort of touch as far as vibrancy is concerned. I guess if I were to be super critical, the colours are just a tad undersaturated at times and just once or twice I felt that perhaps we could have seen a bit more sharpness in the blacks. Overall though, I seriously doubt that there is much here that would raise the hackles of anyone but the most ultra-fastidious. There is no evidence at all of oversaturation and colour bleed is not an issue at all.
There are no MPEG artefacts in the transfer. Apart from some really exceedingly minor aliasing issues, there are no film-to-video artefacts present in the transfer. However, I cannot stress enough that these really are very minor and on a 68 cm display device I would suggest that they would be unnoticeable. Even the usual culprits of strings simply do not create an issue here. There were no noticeable film artefacts in the transfer.
However, all is not quite perfect with the DVD and we now get to the big disappointment of the whole package. This is an RSDL formatted DVD, and I was dumbstruck to find the layer change occurring mid-scene at 45:55. Basically this is one of the most horrendous layer changes I have seen. Given the length of the programming, it would seem entirely feasible to place the layer change in the break between the the Rienzi Overture and Eine Alpensinfonie, which would have been at the very least completely non-disruptive. Instead, the change is placed right in the middle of one of the scenes in the tone poem and right as Giuseppe Sinopoli is flourishing his baton! Result? A noticeable pause in the music and a completely disruptive pause in the flow of a work of music that lives by the flow it creates.
There are two soundtracks on offer on the DVD, being Linear PCM 48/16 2.0 and Dolby Digital 2.0 efforts. Obviously these are not language tracks but plain old music tracks. I listened to the Linear PCM soundtrack whilst also extensively sampling the Dolby Digital soundtrack.
The music comes up pretty well in both soundtracks, although it has to be said that the Dolby Digital soundtrack in particular does really lack a lot of body and comes over in an almost recessed manner. The uncompressed Linear PCM soundtrack also slightly suffers from a lack of sparkle at times, so I am guessing that perhaps part of the problem is the source material itself. Of the two soundtracks, the Linear PCM is the obviously better sounding effort. There did not appear to be any sync problems in either soundtrack.
Obviously there is nothing in the way of surround channel and bass channel use in these two soundtracks, and really there is not much more to say about them. They are free of any distortion or other blemishes.
|Surround Channel Use|
|DVD||Pioneer DV-515, using S-Video output|
|Display||Sony Trinitron Wega (80cm). Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.|
|Audio Decoder||Built in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.|
|Speakers||Energy Speakers: centre EXLC; left and right C-2; rears EXLR; and subwoofer ES-12XL|