11.2 C
New York
Friday, November 27, 2020
Advertisement

Mahler: Symphony No. 4 [Chailly/Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra] Blu-ray Review

mahler-4-chailly-gewandhaus-blu-ray-cover

  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Video Codec: AVC/MPEG-4
  • Resolution: 1080i/60
  • Audio Codec: PCM 2.0 Stereo (48kHz/24-bit); DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz/24-bit)
  • Subtitles: English, French, German, Japanese
  • Region: ABC (Region-Free)
  • Rating: Not Rated
  • Running Time: 61 minutes
  • Discs: 1 (1 x Blu-ray)
  • Studio: Accentus
  • Blu-ray Release Date: April 30, 2013
  • List Price: $39.99

Overall
[Rating:4.5/5]
The Performance
[Rating:4.5/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:4.5/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:4.5/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:2.5/5]

Click thumbnails for high-resolution 1920X1080p screen captures

(The below TheaterByte screen captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray Discs and losslessly compressed in the PNG format. There should be no loss of picture quality with this format. All screen captures should be regarded only as an approximation of the full capabilities of the Blu-ray format.

 

The Performance

[Rating:4.5/5]

title

Riccardo Chailly has taken his orchestra, the Leipzig Gewandhausorchester on a trip to the Mahler symphonic repertory in the city where Mahler got his start as a symphonist. The Symphony No. 4 continued the combination of orchestra and voice that Mahler initiated with his second and third symphonies, reaching its apotheosis in the monumental eighth symphony (“Symphony of a Thousand). This piece begins with a sprightly sonata complete with sleigh bells. The second movement features a solo violin, tuned a tone higher, that represents “Death the Fiddler.”  In the slow, poco adagio, third movement, we get one of the Mahler moments of ineffably gorgeous music that contrasts sharply with the vocal finale. Here, the soprano (Christina Landshamer) sings a seemingly innocent hymn “Das himmlische Leben” (The Heavenly Life) taken from the poetry collection of Des Knaben Wunderhorn, a source for another Mahler work. However, a closer look at the text shows that beneath the gentle exterior we hear of the slaughter of an innocent lamb by Herod (an obvious reference to the crucifixon).

chai

Mahler and Chailly seem to be made for each other, as I have come to appreciate in the previously reviewed Blu-rays from this series (Symphonies No.2 and No. 8). This 2012 concert recording continues the high performance level of its predecessors. The musical approach is one of obvious affection for the score, tempered by a keen sense of rhythm and pace. Soprano Landshamer has one of those bright youthful voices that seem to pour endlessly out of the German music academies.

Video Quality                                                                                               

[Rating:4.5/5]

all

Another superb job turned in by Director Henning Kasten. Color and detail are spot on. Viewers will enjoy watching maestro Chailly “sing along” with soprano Landshamer. The balance between close and distant shots is perfect.

Audio Quality

[Rating:4.5/5]

singer

This performance venue is not only visually arresting but has some of the best acoustics that I have heard. The recording team deserves praise for bring this to the viewer in pristine dts HD Master Audio 5.1 sound.  The orchestral balances, the projection of the vocalist, and all of those small nuances that Chailly’s baton extracts from his forces are right there. The two-channel alternative is very good but not nearly as ambient.

Supplemental Materials

[Rating:2.5/5]

flutes

We get a delightful short feature on the legendary Welte-Mignon piano player that is worth the price of admission.  If you have never seen one of these devices in action, you will be amazed at how well it works, controlling mechanical fingers and feet driven by perforated paper rolls that were recorded by the original artists, in this case, Gustav Mahler himself. A piano version of the Symphony No. 4’s finale emerges eerily from the Steinway, as Mahler played and heard it. Finally, there is a nice interview with maestro Chailly on his approach to this symphony.

The Definitive Word

Overall:

[Rating:4.5/5]

bassoon

This realization of Symphony No. 4, Mahler’s “little” masterpiece, only little when compared to his much larger and longer symphonies, is an event to be savored. Riccardo Chailly gives this work its due and is skillfully aided and abetted by the Accentus recording team. As was the case with the Mahler Symphony No. 2, the rival Blu-ray disc comes from the ageless Claudio Abbado and the Lucerne Festival Orchestra, a recording that received the coveted and rarely awarded “5 disc” designation. In that EuroArts release (in higher resolution 96 kHz/24-bit surround sound), the soloist is mezzo-soprano Magdalena Kožená who gives us a more mature and expressive reading of the vocal finale. If Abbado gets us closer to “the heavenly life” than does Chailly, the distance between these two performances is not that great. Choices between these two Blu-ray Discs might come down to the inclusion of the five Ruckert Lieder on EuroArts disc or the extras on the Accentus disc. Mahler fans will eventually want both discs for their individual virtues.

Additional Screen Captures

[amazon-product region=”uk” tracking_id=”bluraydefinit-21″]B00BK6HSXK[/amazon-product]

[amazon-product region=”ca” tracking_id=”bluraydefinit-20″]B00BK6HSXK[/amazon-product]

[amazon-product]B00BK6HSXK[/amazon-product]

Shop for more Blu-ray titles on Amazon.com

strings

hand

clars

horn

 

harp

[amazon-product region=”uk” tracking_id=”bluraydefinit-21″]B00BK6HSXK[/amazon-product]

[amazon-product region=”ca” tracking_id=”bluraydefinit-20″]B00BK6HSXK[/amazon-product]

[amazon-product]B00BK6HSXK[/amazon-product]

Shop for more Blu-ray titles on Amazon.com

Overall
[Rating:4.5/5]
The Performance
[Rating:4.5/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:4.5/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:4.5/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:2.5/5]

 

Advertisement

Related Articles

My Hero Academia: Heroes Rising (Blu-ray Review)

An excellent entry (or farewell?) for this beloved franchise with lots of action and great animation.

Train to Busan Presents: Peninsula (Blu-ray Review)

This is an uneven but still fun to watch sequel to the 2016 smash hit zombie/action movie lands on Blu-ray with a rollicking Atmos mix.

Chernobyl (4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Review)

The account of the 1986 Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant disaster in Ukraine, Soviet Union, and the subsequent health and political fallout is told in five gripping episodes.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Stay Connected

301FansLike
0FollowersFollow
724FollowersFollow
- Advertisement -

Notice of Compliance with FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION 16 CFR Part 255

In accordance with the Federal Trade Commission 16 CFR part 255 guidelines, this website hereby states that it receives free discs and other theatrical or home entertainment “screeners” and access to screening links from studios and/or PR firms, and is provided with consumer electronics devices on loan from hardware manufacturers and/or PR firms respectively for the purposes of evaluating the products and its content for editorial reviews. We receive no compensation from these companies for our opinions or for the writing of reviews or editorials.
Permission is sometimes granted to companies to quote our work and editorial reviews free of charge. Our website may contain affiliate marketing links, which means we may get paid commission on sales of those products or the services we write about. Our editorial content is not influenced by advertisers or affiliate partnerships. This disclosure is provided in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR § 255.5: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

Latest Articles

My Hero Academia: Heroes Rising (Blu-ray Review)

An excellent entry (or farewell?) for this beloved franchise with lots of action and great animation.

Train to Busan Presents: Peninsula (Blu-ray Review)

This is an uneven but still fun to watch sequel to the 2016 smash hit zombie/action movie lands on Blu-ray with a rollicking Atmos mix.

Chernobyl (4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Review)

The account of the 1986 Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant disaster in Ukraine, Soviet Union, and the subsequent health and political fallout is told in five gripping episodes.

2067 (Blu-ray Review)

With the world deforested and people dying from a deadly disease caused by synthetic oxygen, a quiet tunnel worker receives a message from the future and must save humanity in this uneven but watchable dystopian Aussie indie sci-fi thriller.

The Irishman (Criterion Collection) (Blu-ray Review)

Martin Scorsese's Academy Award-nominated (Best Director) late career crime world epic gets the Criterion Collection treatment it deserves.
%d bloggers like this: