Superb recording, superb performances
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Very much like the disc coupling the Fourth and Fifth symphonies, which I have also reviewed, this DVD-Audio disc is an exemplar of the new medium. The recorded sound has a frequency response and dynamic range unmatched by conventional CD, and only matched (indeed exceeded) by Sony's rival SACD format.At home my DVD-Audio player is plugged into my existing two-channel stereo amplifier. Even in stereo (and presumably moreso in 5.1 surround) the recording has a realism which beggars the imagination. There is a roundness and depth and detail which you just cannot hear on conventional CD. After listening to mainly DVD-As and SACDs lately, it is frankly very hard to listen to CDs, which sound as if you are listening to the performance at one remove, or watching a distant landscape through a veil.The performances are exemplary. There are better recordings of both symphonies (notably Carlos Kleiber in No. 7), but none in the current catalogue, and none which sound as good. Like Kleiber, Barenboim divides his violins left and right, which yields enormous dividends. Just listen to the finale of the Seventh, where in the coda you hear the firsts and seconds literally leaping out of the left and right channels at you. In most recordings which bunch the violins to the conductor's left, all of the action is squeezed into one channel.Barenboim is generous on repeats too, e.g., the exposition repeat in the Seventh's finale. His Staatskapelle Berlin, which is to the State Opera in Berlin what the Vienna Philharmonic is to the Vienna State Opera (i.e., a concert orchestra derived from the opera house orchestra), are on top form.I would very strongly recommend this disc. You get excellent performances of the symphonies, that hark back to an earlier generation of Austrian and German conductors, and in sound that is mind-bogglingly superior to the conventional CD. Once you listen to this it will be hard to put a CD back into your player."
Good performances, good recordings and NOT a waste...
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The reviewer below failed to actually review this recording. Instead he chose to criticize a disc for not being what HE assumed it was - he states, "The public needs to be informed", I would say, "the public needs to pay attention & inform itself". Also, this "so-called DVD", is a DVD, a Digital Versatile Disc-Audio. No misleading labelling here. It is also not merely a CD (audio and no video). You need the right equipment to fully appreciate this disc. With a basic DVD player and home theatre set-up you can enjoy Dolby 5.1 (or 2.0) sound, with a DVD-Audio capable player and the correct hook-up (three pairs RCA cables) you can enjoy DVD-Audio's multi-channel surround sound in much enhanced sound resolution. If you heard this series in a proper DVD-Audio set-up, you'd hear that these recordings are clearly not CDs. With anything in life, do some research before you buy. If something is labelled unusually (DVD-audio), you should look into it before you buy. However, each DVD-audio listing at Amazon should have a warning/explanation so that customers know exactly what they're buying. If you don't know, buy the CDs. The performances are good. The readings are more "traditional" - certainly not period performance. The orchestra sounds lovely. Barenboim's series is worth exploring."
Superb renderings in DVD-A
bobandmax | San Diego, CA United States | 03/28/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The "reviews" by Dr. Allan J. Lawson were hilarious. I laughed so hard I almost did not make the bathroom in time. The Doctor must have been very busy in his practice the last few years and also possess a "wonderful" stereo not to know or hear the difference between CD and DVD-A.I have both of the DVD-A's he "reviews" (Beethoven above and Mehta Mahler) and they are superb. The detail, clarity and depth are simply outstanding. The only caveat - if you do not have an excellent audio system, don't bother. You probably won't hear much difference."
Who still want to listen a regular CD after such an experien
vdoblin | France | 04/07/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I bought a Onkyo 939 DVD/V&A equipment following a friend's recommandation although no DVD-A were available in Europe. When I got the 7th Symphonie on DVD-A from a Web order(I got a Karajan Deutch Grammophon CD version), I was wondering if I made a right choice. Fortunately, I did ! I can say it was really climaxing my mind. The only regret is that we still miss a true 192kHz recording instead of the 96kHz yet on sale as for all the very few available DVD-A. Hopefully with the increase demand, every amateur will indeed ear the difference. That's a revolution"