15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
Enjoyable Historic Concert!,
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This review is from: The Pyongyang Concert - New York Philharmonic & Lorin Maazel [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
As a S. Korean, who has never been to N. Korea, I really enjoyed this concert and thought the event was meaningful and historic in a once-in-a-lifetime way. At the beginning, the N. Korean audience looked like rather nervous and uncomfortable but as time goes by, they seemed to open their hearts and to be free by the power of music. At the end of the concert, their ovation was almost endless as if they would never let the musicians go. Lorin Maazel, who later mentioned that he'd felt warmth and enthusiasm from the audience, kindly explains about each music he's going to play next with some short Korean sentences, which makes the audience laugh.
New York Phil played many different works including Richard Wagner: Lohengrin, Prelude to Act III; Antonin Dvorak: Symphony No.9 in E minor "From the New World; George Gershwin: An American in Paris; George Bizet: Farandole from L'Arlesienne Suite No.2; Leonard Bernstein: Candide, Overture; Traditional: Arirang. I thought New World Symphony in Pyongyang makes sense and liked the long version (maybe too long?) of the Korean traditional music "Arirang", which was appropriate to play at the end.
Along with the flawless concert, the hi-def documentary "Americans in Pyongyang" is very interesting and enjoyable to watch. You will be able to peek some aspects of N. Korea and people's lives there.
Technically, this EuroArts's very first blu-ray is a bit disappointing, however. The concert was shot in 1080i and AVC coded but birates are around only 10mbps, which means more compression was made than most other blu-rays whose bitates are usually between 20-30. I don't understand why only one layer (25B) was used to include both the concert and the documentary in hi-def. The feature of trailors is available but actually you cannot see them (the click button doesn't work). The audio is excellent with PCM 5.1 and 2.0. A 36 page booklet included.
All in all, this blu-ray is definitely worth getting to enjoy not only the great musical performances but also the historical moments happened in Pyongyang, the last place isolated in the world.