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Nobel Prize Concert 2009 [Temirkanov/Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra] Blu-ray Review

  • Aspect Ratio: 1.77:1
  • Video Codec: AVC/MPEG-4
  • Resolution: 1080i/60
  • Audio Codec: PCM 2.0 Stereo; DTS-HD Master Audio 5.0
  • Subtitles: French, German
  • Region: ABC (Region-Free)
  • Rating: Not Rated
  • Discs: 1
  • Studio: EuroArts
  • Blu-ray Release Date: October 25, 2011
  • List Price: $39.99

[amazon-product region=”uk” tracking_id=”bluraydefinit-21″]B005LVEFYU[/amazon-product]

[amazon-product]B005LVEFYU[/amazon-product]

BestBuy.com:
Nobel Prize Concert 2009: Martha Argerich/YuriTemirkanov -

Purchase Nobel Prize Concert 2009 on Blu-ray at CD Universe

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Overall
[Rating:4/5]
The Film
[Rating:4.5/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:0/5]

Click thumbnails for high-resolution 1920X1080p screen captures

(Screen captures are lightly compressed with lossy JPEG  thus are meant as a general representation of the content and do not fully reveal the capabilities of the Blu-ray format)

The Film

[Rating:4.5/5]

The Nobel Prize Concert is one of the most anticipated musical events of any year since it features a world class orchestra, The Stockholm Royal Philharmonic, usually led by a premier maestro, and often includes a noteworthy soloist. For 2009, the conductor was noted Russian maestro Yuri Temirkanov and the soloist, Argentinian piano virtuoso, Martha Argerich. With the exception of a Chopin Mazurka, the program is all 20th century, with two Russian compositions, Shostakovich’s Festive Overture and Prokofiev’s two suites from his ballet, Romeo and Juliet. In between, we hear Argerich take on Ravel’s Piano Concerto in G.

The sense of occasion usually draws out the best in the players and this concert was no exception. Temirkanov bolts from the gate with a rousing Shostakovich Festive Overture and then we are treated to Argerich’s masterful performance of the jazzy Ravel Concerto. Her Chopin encore is pure pianistic magic, holding the audience enthralled.  Finally, we are treated to a superb reading of the Prokofiev ballet suites.  The concert is well recorded and videographed to boot.

Video Quality

[Rating:4/5]

For the most part, colors and camera work are beyond reproach. Instrumental highlights show good detail, while the more distant shots are just a bit soft edged. Balance tends toward highlighting soloists in favor of the more panoramic shots. I am generally OK with this but would have like a bit more of the hall and group as a whole.

Audio Quality

[Rating:4/5]

The soundstage is excellent with a well proportion spread and depth in the DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 version.  The piano is well placed against the complete orchestra. Sonic details and the bottom end are also quite good. The adagio of the Ravel concerto has the piano’s sound palette just beautifully done.You can hear how Argerich brings out Ravel’s hypnotic homage to Bach without its sounding like a transcription. Surround ambience is subtle, giving the 5.1 version a slight edge over the PCM 2.0 channel recording.

Supplemental Materials

[Rating:0/5]

The last one of these Nobel Concerts that I reviewed at least had an interview with one of the laureates. No such luck here.

The Definitive Word

Overall:

[Rating:4/5]

One of the joys of reviewing concert BDs is to come across strong performances like this. While the rest of the program is not exactly chopped liver, the raison d’etre for getting this BD is the Argerich performance of the Ravel Concerto. One could argue forever about different artists’ approaches to this piece. Mme Argerich offers a very distinctive and moving performance. It will not make me forget the Arturo Benedetti Michaelangeli classic but that one is only available on CD with less good sonics. I would encourage those fans of pianism to get this one while you can since Argerich may appear timeless but eventually all good things come to an end.  Both visual and sound recordings are solid if not at the very top of the tree.

Additional Screen Captures

[amazon-product region=”uk” tracking_id=”bluraydefinit-21″]B005LVEFYU[/amazon-product]

[amazon-product]B005LVEFYU[/amazon-product]

BestBuy.com:
Nobel Prize Concert 2009: Martha Argerich/YuriTemirkanov -

Purchase Nobel Prize Concert 2009 on Blu-ray at CD Universe

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

Overall
[Rating:4/5]
The Film
[Rating:4.5/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:0/5]

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