DVD & Blu-ray Reviews

MOZART: Clarinet Quintet, Horn Quintet, String Quartet K.169, Blu-ray 3D (2010)

A fine chamber music concert in topflight video and audio, but the 3D doesn't add much.

Published on March 13, 2013

MOZART: Clarinet Quintet, Horn Quintet, String Quartet K.169, Blu-ray 3D (2010) 

Performers: Ruokai Chen, clarinet/ Corey Klein, horn/ The Old City String Quartet – AIX
Studio: AIX Records 86065 [Distr. by Naxos]
Video: 16:9 1080i HD 3D
Audio: Dolby TrueHD 5.1 (96/24) “stage perspective;” Dolby TrueHD 5.1 “audience perspective;” PCM stereo (96/24); BD-ROM audio files (all stereo: FLAC 96/24; MP3 320 kbps; headphone “surround mix” 48/24)
Subtitles: None
Extras: How to use the disc; Test tones; Performer bios; BD-ROM audio files; 3D Music Album; THX Media Director; Previews
Length: 53 min.
Rating: ****

Interesting idea—to have classical concerts in 3D as well as hi-res surround sound. I really enjoyed the 3D Carmen, but am not sure there is as much advantage to having a straight chamber music recital in 3D—even with the ultimate hi-res fidelity and multiple playback choices offering by AIX. This time both the choice of repertory and the fidelity of the media are without question, and the variable turns out to be the expertise of the performers. The quartet won a Gold Medal in 2010 at the Fischoff Chamber Music Competition, whatever that is, and the two soloists on clarinet and French horn are fellow Curtis Institute of Music graduates. And why are they all wearing dark glasses in the group photo on the back of the album? Had to have brighter lights for the 3D?

So everything seems up to snuff, but I’m sure most music lovers would rather have the Emerson Quartet or some top celebrity players involved, especially at the $35 for the disc involved. Of course such a production wouldn’t have been possible with the performance fees that would mean. The performances are excellent, but I don’t think the very natural and effective 3D really adds that much to the experience. I preferred the PCM stereo audio feed via ProLogic IIz.

TrackList:  MOZART: Clarinet Quintet in A K.581; String Quartet K.169; Horn Quintet in E-flat Major K.407

—John Sunier




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