"Salute to Vienna, a Strauss Gershwin Gala" on DVD
A Marvelous Musical Evening
If you still aren't convinced about DVD's quality potential, in that
it can take you and immerse you in the subjecct material, this disc may
be the one that does.
Performed in Vienna's Musikverein concert hall, this Dolby Digital and
DTS concert is two hours and twenty minutes of musical joy - at least
for the most part.
Gloriously and energetically performed are many works from Johann Strauss,
father and son, including such standards as "On the Beautiful Blue
Danube," "Voices of Spring," "Radetzky March,"
and many, many more. You also get a smattering of Gershwin, Copland, and
Lehar as well, but it's Strauss that makes the world go round and this
concert will show you why.
The music is performed by the Strauss Festival Orchestra under the control
of Peter Guth. Also on hand is a handful of guess stars, from narrator
Gregory Peck (who seems more than a tad out of place) to tenors Paul Groves
and Herbert Lippert, Sopranos Eva Lind and Elizabeth Norman - right to
the Vienna Choir Boys and the Boys Choir of Harlem.
Together it's a bi-national treat.
The only things we found not to our liking were some of the vocals. This
may show us up to be classical music boors, but while much of the vocal
numbers - and performances - were very enjoyable, we felt that including
the voices on such orchestral masterpieces as "Blue Danube"
and others diminished our love of the performances on those numbers.
Still, you can't blame the disc for that! And the performers, from the
individual musicians through the vocalists and the maestros, are having
such a good time that it's positively infectious.
We were also a tad disappointed that the concert was shot in 4x3, but
also acknowledge that it's understandable considering the state of the
But as for the quality of the disc - holy cow! Play this thing back on
a good audio system and the surround sound puts you right in the audience.
The instruments, the voices, the audience, all are beautifully recorded
and reproduced with the proper concert ambience.
In short, an audio delight.
The picture quality is also excellent, despite the "narrow screen"
"Salute to Vienna" is a wonderful DVD. We hope to see many
more of this quality.
Salute to Vienna, a Straus Gershwin Gala, from DVD International
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