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Zubin Mehta: Los Angeles Philharmonic — Dvorak, Mozart, Bartok Blu-ray Review

mehta-los-angeles-philharmonic-blu-ray-cover

  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Video Codec: AVC/MPEG-4
  • Resolution: 1080i/60
  • Audio Codec: PCM 2.0 Stereo
  • Subtitles: No
  • Region: ABC (Region-Free)
  • Running Time: 110 Minutes
  • Rating: Not Rated
  • Discs: 1 (1 x Blu-ray)
  • Studio: EuroArts
  • Blu-ray Release Date: February 26, 2013
  • List Price: $39.99

 –

Overall
[Rating:3.5/5]
The Performance
[Rating:4/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:3/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:3/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:1/5]

Click thumbnails for high-resolution 1920X1080p screen captures

(All TheaterByte 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)

 

The Performance

[Rating:4/5]


How long does it take for a conductor make a symphony orchestra his own? I am not sure but in this case, Zubin Mehta was in his thirteenth season with the Los Angeles Philharmonic.  The give and take from the podium to the musicians and back had become a second nature affair that is consistent throughout the wide range of repertoire included in this program.  The LA Phil and Mehta begin with Mozart’s Bassoon Concerto, given a worthy solo effort by principal bassoonist, David Breidenthal. The group follows with one of the 20th century’s symphonic masterpieces, Bartok’s Concerto for Orchestra, and  concludes with works by Czech composer, Antonin Dvorak, The Carnival Overture, the rousing Symphony No. 8, and one of the Slavonic Dances in G Minor.  Given the significant stylistic differences and mood swings of these works, it is to the credit of Mehta and his forces that each receives an appropriate treatment.

Video Quality

[Rating:3/5]

This is a resurrected video, obviously shot in standard definition for the televisions of 1977. The overall picture has a soft quality with a some obviously blurring of detail in the distant shots.  Kirk Browning’s direction gives us varied views of the maestro, the players, and their instruments. Considering the provenance of the master video tapes, this remastering gives us about as good a rendition of the concert as it is likely to receive.

Audio Quality

[Rating:3/5]

In 1977, we were still living in an analog, two-channel world and that is the soundtrack on this BD. Instrumental voices are well heard if just a bit compressed in the louder passages. Playing the audio through the surround matrix mode on a typical A/V processor will provide a very satisfying soundstage. Perhaps we do not get the full ambience of the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, but we do get reasonable balance from the stage.

Supplemental Materials

[Rating:1/5]


EuroArts gives us a program booklet with notes by Mehta himself and a few trailers for other EuroArt classical BDs.

The Definitive Word

Overall:

[Rating:3.5/5]

Maestro Mehta has had a long and highly successful career in classical music that now spans more than half a century. This historic video lets viewers in on some of the secrets to Mehta’s success with a group of highly skilled musicians. His baton technique should be required viewing for aspiring conductors as he gives this orchestra a clear sense of direction in matters of tempi and dynamics. If none of the performances on this program could be regarded as the definitive renditions of these great works, they are all most enjoyable and give us a good bit of the composers’ intentions without distortion or editorializing. What impressed me most of all was how much mastery of diverse repertory, Mehta had already accomplished by the age of 39. Obvious shortcomings of sight and sound aside, this is an opportunity to see some really outstanding music making, something to be savored and cherished.

Additional Screen Captures

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[amazon-product region=”ca” tracking_id=”bluraydefinit-20″]B00ARWDRGK[/amazon-product]

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BestBuy.com:
Zubin Mehta: Los Angeles Philharmonic - Blu-ray Disc

Purchase Zubin Mehta: Los Angeles Philharmonic — Dvorak, Mozart, Bartok on Blu-ray at CD Universe

Shop for more Blu-ray titles on Amazon.com

[amazon-product region=”uk” tracking_id=”bluraydefinit-21″]B00ARWDRGK[/amazon-product]

[amazon-product region=”ca” tracking_id=”bluraydefinit-20″]B00ARWDRGK[/amazon-product]

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BestBuy.com:
Zubin Mehta: Los Angeles Philharmonic - Blu-ray Disc

Purchase Zubin Mehta: Los Angeles Philharmonic — Dvorak, Mozart, Bartok on Blu-ray at CD Universe

Shop for more Blu-ray titles on Amazon.com

Overall
[Rating:3.5/5]
The Performance
[Rating:4/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:3/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:3/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:1/5]

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