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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Quite outstanding
C Major has given us two outstanding disks, both recorded live in September 2011 at the Lucerne Festival, the one under review here and the other with the Beethoven "Emperor Concerto" and Scheherazade as the major pieces (see my review). Both feature the great Concertgebouw Orchestra (rejuvenated in the past two decades and, as my friend Clive S. Goodwin observes...
Published on 16 May 2012 by Gerhard P. Knapp

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0 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Too Expensive
A Great Orchestra and an inexperienced Maestro, in a below average hall, do not deserve this price.
This is a Blue Ray video. THere is no point to make videos of orchestral performances. The image is boring, on all of them. DTS-HD is not better than SACD. I have OPPO BDP-83, Simaudio Moon Amplification and TANNOY Glenair Loudspeakers. Blue Ray is for movies, that's...
Published 18 months ago by A. Neves Tavares


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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Quite outstanding, 16 May 2012
By 
Gerhard P. Knapp "gpk" (Salt Lake City, UT, United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Shostakovich: Symphony No, 8 (Lucerne Festival Sep 2011) (C Major: 710004) [Blu-ray] [2012][Region A & B] (Blu-ray)
C Major has given us two outstanding disks, both recorded live in September 2011 at the Lucerne Festival, the one under review here and the other with the Beethoven "Emperor Concerto" and Scheherazade as the major pieces (see my review). Both feature the great Concertgebouw Orchestra (rejuvenated in the past two decades and, as my friend Clive S. Goodwin observes elsewhere, with a welcome increase in women musicians) under the incredibly gifted young Latvian conductor Andris Nelsons. My first encounter with Nelsons was the recent Barenboim/Chopin piano concertos DVD recording (Arthaus: see my review) where he provided stunning accompaniment for the soloist with the Staatskapelle Berlin. As can be expected, C Major's audio and video are state of the art, much superior to some other labels.

Wagner's Rienzi Overture and Strauss' Dance of the Seven Veils from Salome are orchestral showpieces, brilliantly played with ample opportunities for the first desks to shine in their solo passages. Tempi are fairly slow, but to no detriment of the musical impact. Regarding musical substance (don't ask me to define the term in a brief review...) they may be lightweight, but they provide a welcome counterpoint to the Shostakovich 8, a multi-layered, dark, brooding and often sarcastic piece, arguably this composer's most "difficult" symphony, a journey of way over an hour's music through pain, despair, angst, defiance and lament. I have heard many readings of the symphony, most of which appeared to stay on the music's surface, unable to come to grips with the shifts in mood and to get to the core of this symphonic microcosm. Suffice it to say that, from the first bar through the pseudo-optimistic and ultimately subdued finale, Nelsons and the Concertgebouw musicians deliver a deeply felt, immensely powerful and equally nuanced reading. The highlighting of details is in part due to the overall rather deliberate tempo, which I find appropriate to the symphony's inner development. For once, the tempi of the two grotesque scherzi are perfectly right, the Largo does not drag, but shines in its bleak beauty, and the entire musical experience is utterly moving. If you love the symphony, get this disk.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fine performances rather than definitive interpretations given an excellent recording, 5 May 2012
By 
I. Giles (Argyll, Scotland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Shostakovich: Symphony No, 8 (Lucerne Festival Sep 2011) (C Major: 710004) [Blu-ray] [2012][Region A & B] (Blu-ray)
This concert was the first of two featuring the Concertgebouw Orchestra conducted by Andris Nelsons and was held at the Lucerne Festival in September 2011.

The program features three fine works which together make for a very satisfying program. The concert opens with a taut performance of Wagner's Rienzi Overture and which clearly displays Nelson's conducting style as being physically very involved with the music making of the players. It is easy to see why his obvious enthusiasm would encourage considerable levels of commitment from the players and why he has attained such prominence at such a young age.

The performance of the overture itself is very steady at 13.19 minutes. This interpretation is markedly slower than either Klemperer or Handley on CD for example, but about the same as Tennstedt in Japan or the Lang-Lessing performance at the start of his opera recording which are both on video discs. This preference for slower tempi is maintained throughout the concert and applies to both the following Dance of the Seven Veils by Strauss and the 8th Symphony of Shostakovich where Nelsons adds about another 7 minutes to the interpretation by Haitink with the same orchestra on CD. This latter is not considered fast and it is no mean feat for Nelsons to sustain such steady tempi throughout without any accompanying slackening of tension.

Indeed, it is this important control of tension in these three works that is so impressive as all three works require such an approach in order to communicate their messages. Nelsons is able to make use of the high level of skill displayed by this fine orchestra to bring out all sorts of subtleties of expressive detail without any trace of sentimentality. The Wagner overture is thus able to achieve a weighty military substance (the opera is about revolution and eventual destruction) without bombast, as indeed does the wartime Shostakovich 8th symphony while the Strauss Salome Dance achieves its seductive allure without losing sight of Salome's unsentimental purpose of achieving the head of John the Baptist as her ultimate reward.

The recording is of a high visual and sonic standard and is typical of the work achieved in these ways by the producer, Paul Smaczny, who is very experienced at recording concerts at this venue. The imaging is crisp and detailed and is based on obvious familiarity with the recorded works. The sound is equally fine and is presented in DTS-HD MA 5.1 and stereo.

I have enjoyed this concert very much as an addition to other recordings that I own of all three works. The concert does not provide definitive interpretations of any of the three pieces but they nevertheless add up to make an involving total concert. The audience is rightly very enthusiastic! This is a quality product overall and should give much satisfaction to future purchasers and, in my opinion, is therefore worth at least 4 stars.

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I particularly like your format of review. They give the prospective purchaser an idea of the style of the playing and relevant comparisons. They are succinct. Keep up the good work! (UK review)

I'm sure there are many other serious collectors, besides myself, who wait for your synopsis and opinion before spending their hard-earned money on new releases...
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0 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Too Expensive, 22 April 2013
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This review is from: Shostakovich: Symphony No, 8 (Lucerne Festival Sep 2011) (C Major: 710004) [Blu-ray] [2012][Region A & B] (Blu-ray)
A Great Orchestra and an inexperienced Maestro, in a below average hall, do not deserve this price.
This is a Blue Ray video. THere is no point to make videos of orchestral performances. The image is boring, on all of them. DTS-HD is not better than SACD. I have OPPO BDP-83, Simaudio Moon Amplification and TANNOY Glenair Loudspeakers. Blue Ray is for movies, that's all
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