- Aspect Ratio: 1.77:1
- Video Codec: AVC/MPEG-4
- Resolution: 1080i/60
- Audio Codec: PCM 2.0 Stereo; DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
- Subtitles: None
- Region: ABC (Region-Free)
- Rating: Not Rated
- Discs: 1
- Studio: EuroArts
- Blu-ray Release Date: February 28, 2012
- List Price: $39.99
Click thumbnails for high-resolution 1920X1080p screen captures
(All Blu-rayDefinition.com screen captures are lightly compressed with lossy JPEG at 100% quality setting and are meant as a general representation of the content. They do not fully reveal the capabilities of the Blu-ray format)
This 2011 Waldbuhne concert features Riccardo Chailly and his Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra forces providing lighter than usual fare, fit for a warm August night. The concert begins with Dmitri Shostakovich’s Suite No.2 for Jazz Orchestra which gets the evening off to a spirited beat. Given this composer’s propensity for heavy, dramatic pieces, this Suite is anything but that. Nino Rota’s La Strada Ballet Suite follows. This piece is based on one of the many scores that Rota composed for famed Italian film director, Federico Fellini. Two Ottorino Respighi orchestral standards, The Pines of Rome and The Fountains of Rome complete the main portion of the program. These are high energy, bombastic show pieces that enable the players to exhibit their virtuosity. Three short pieces, by way of encores, send everyone home happy: the Allegretto from Shostakovich’s Lady Macbeth of Mtensk Suite, Respighi’s “danza gueresca” from his opera Belkis, Queen of Sheba, and Paul Lincke’s Berliner Luft. Although we think of the Berliner Philharmoniker as a German romantic period orchestra, its versatility is well exploited by maestro Chailly who appears to be enjoying the proceedings every bit as much as the casually dressed audience seated on the grass.
Shooting a concert outdoors, particularly in the evening is a videographer’s challenge. Here the crew acquit themselves reasonably well. Colors are accurately maintained and the overall image has a bit of softness that cannot be easily avoided under these circumstances. The balance between stage, solo instrumentals and audience is effectively managed.
The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 soundtrack gives an upfront perspective but there is decent ambience from the surround channels. Orchestral detail is clear and you get a good center seat about midway back.
The usual EuroArts trailers are included.
The Definitive Word
What I liked most about this program was the inclusion of material that is less often featured by major symphonic orchestras, specifically the Shostakovich and Rota pieces, but capable of providing great fun and pleasure to general audiences. We are given a view of one of the major orchestral composers of the 20th century who seldom showed his lighter side, in fact, those coming to this Jazz Orchestra Suite for the first time might think it a Viennese rather than Russian composition. Rota, best known as film score composer, was really a serious musician, in the same vein, as German-American composer Erich Wolfgang Korngold who made his mark in Hollywood after fleeing Europe before World War II. Rota’s La Strada ballet suite displays the attributes that made him so successful – melody and a great sense of rhythm. While there are countless performances of the Respighi Roman pieces, these are also most successful in their execution showing Chailly’s sympathies with this 20th century Italian master. This Blu-ray is an hour and a half of musical enjoyment that will get you on your feet at the end as it did the audience. Highly recommended.
Additional Screen Captures