Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Good, solid Beethoven with stunning dvd-audio sound
Dan Fee | Berkeley, CA USA | 11/15/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Well, I had been curious about the dvd-audio series of Beethoven symphonies from conductor Daniel Barenboim and the Berlin Staatskapelle for several months; but the nice happenstance timing of WEA lowering their list prices on these discs, plus my purchasing the new "universal" Pioneer DV-563a player, put it right in my path as a key moment to adventure into this added territory of High Resolution. First, I must confess that I am not much of a Barenboim fan, either in his career as Great Pianist or in his career as Great Conductor. Nevertheless, I am generally a fan of the darker, richer European orchestra sound, especially as exemplified in bands like the Dresden Staatskapelle, Vienna Philharmonic, and others. Within the first half of listening to the first movement, I decided I was quite happy with this purchase. The dvd-audio sound is exemplary: full range, replete with detail, rich overtones, and powerful heft. The multichannel mastering has been done very well. You get a large soundstage with only one orchestra playing, neither a channel-dancing blizzard of special effects, nor the minimalist added rear channel ambience which barely manages to suggest more of the venue than ordinary 2-channel stereo (which you sometimes find on other discs). Especially, it is nice to hear the whole Berlin orchestra playing in something like a real space. While the studio in which this recording was evidently made scores points for resonance and clarity; it still sounds like a studio, rather than a concert hall. Better this passing and subtle sense of artificial limit as the louder orchestra meets the studio walls, than the opposite extremes of recording in venues so large the sound just expands outwards until it finally disappears. Although Barenboim has sometimes in the past billed himself, or allowed the marketing people to "tag" him as, a devoted disciple of the truly great Wilhelm Furtwangler; in this Beethoven Third he steers a very middle course, and just lets the music play itself straightforwardly. The interpretation leans towards the Romantic schools of Beethoven playing, without straining for strikingly eccentric phrasing or too fast-too slow tempos. The Third Symphony has long been considered a break-through example to subsequent Romantic interpretation, after all; and here the performance reminds us that this symphony is both a considerable step in Beethoven's musical development, as well as a founding musical proof for the later descendants of nineteenth century symphonies and orchestral tone poems, all the way up to Mahler at least, if not further. One of the very great pleasures to be gained in having this disc in your collection is it's good, solid ability to remove that sense of listening to a recording, along with not having to make allowances for limitations in the sound so that you can concentrate on the performance. Here is an effortless means of allowing yourself to get into the Beethoven 3rd Symphony, no reservations needed. No, dvd-audio is still not quite exactly like having the Berlin Staatskapelle in your living room; but it is several subtle and powerful steps nearer to that holy grail of home reproduction. The dvd audio on this disc is so good, you can stop listening to the sound and just concentrate on the music. Highly recommended."
A Whole New Way to hear music!
A. Craig | Grand Junction,CO | 12/30/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This recording of the Beethoven Symphonie no. 3 with Daniel Barenboim and the Berliner Staatskapelle is one of the new DVD-Audio releases from Teldec. The audio on this disc really gives you the "you are there" feeling Maestro Barenboim and the orchestra deliver a solid good old fashioned full bodied performance there is very little of the "period instrument style" here, This and the other DVD-Audio recordings of the rest of the Beethoven Symphonies cycle from Teldec herald a new way to hear music."