First, I agree with all those superlatives other reviewers have been lavishing on the performance and the wonderful sense of presence in the Musikverein. The video, all the more so in Blu-ray, adds immeasurably to the overall experience, musical and otherwise. Not only does one have a seat better than anyone in the house, even in that superb concert hall, but a student can get the benefit of a closeup view of Ms. Mutter's marvelous technique. Also, seeing the fervor with which the musicians of the Berliner Philharmoniker delved into the music sent chills up my spine--the kind of commitment on display here, by musicians who could play this stuff in their sleep but chose instead to play with the enthusiasm of people playing it for the first time in their lives, was truly exciting.
I did find some unfortunate flaws in the engineering of this Blu-ray, however--at least in the copy I received; and I have carefully checked my setup, comparing with other nominally identically encoded Blu-rays; and I have discovered that there are no sub-woofer channels active. It's not PCM 2.1 or PCM 5.1, but rather PCM 2.0 and PCM 5.0. For those of us who depend upon a standard satellite-speaker/sub-woofer setup, this can be a problem, although there are various workarounds, depending upon the configuration of one's A/V system. In my case, for example, it is necessary to select the PCM Stereo track on the Blu-ray and then let my receiver simulate the surround, synthesizing a woofer track in the process. Those who use full-range stereo speakers, and not a sub-woofer, or those whose sub-woofer connects by speaker wires (rather than, or in addition to, a .1 [LFE] line-level connection) should have no problem, however.
The engineering problems do not end there, though. I found that, first, there is no access to a "Top Menu." When using the Pop-up menu as an alternative, I discovered that once in the Audio setup portion, I could not move to another function such as "Chapters" or "Subtitles," UNLESS I navigated back through the audio choices, thus being forced into PCM Stereo (not surround) whether I wanted it or not. Once one leaves the pop-up menu, (s)he can then push the "audio" button on the remote and then set the audio to surround mode.
Except for the lack of bass ("other than that Mrs. Lincoln, how did you like the play?"), I thought the audio was quite spectacular. When playing the surround tracks, there is not much difference in the sound of the orchestra; and I don't notice a great deal of extra hall ambience; and perhaps that is as it should be. The surround mostly comes into play during the applause or during quiet passages, when one becomes aware of the "air" around him or herself; but that's a nice touch.
The poor technical "authoring" of the Blu-ray is almost enough to make me suggest getting the DVD instead, assuming it does not suffer from the same problems; however, if you have a large-screen TV--one on which you can see a dramatic difference between Blu-ray and DVD--I still recommend the Blu-ray because, even though the technical glitches are inexcusable, they are also surmountable.
- Format: AC-3, Classical, Color, Dolby, DTS Surround Sound, Multiple Formats, NTSC, Widescreen
- Language: English
- Subtitles: French, German, English
- Region: All Regions
- Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
- Number of discs: 1
- Studio: Warner Music Group Germany Holding GmbH / Hamburg
- DVD Release Date: 1 Feb 2009
- Run Time: 122 minutes
- Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
- ASIN: B001OBT3FM
Amazon Bestsellers Rank:
14,115 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
- #3706 in TV Shows (Movies & TV)