Beethoven s Violin Concerto is Featuring John Eliot Gardiner and his Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique - and Presented in DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 at a 24/96 kHz bit and sample rate, the sound on this disc is awe-inspiring. The 7.1 palette gives a recording engineer the opportunity to map acoustically the orchestra and hall with incredible detail, and this recording does just that. With soloist Viktoria Millova's violin dominating the center channel and the orchestra spread in a wide arc in the frontal soundstage, the sound stage is huge, laterally wide, with full height and deep depth. The balance between the soloist and the orchestra is spot on. Strings have a sweet airy high end delivered without harshness and fatigue. The lower strings have a woody full-bodied character that just blooms in the room without sounding bloated and loose. Woodwinds are expertly captured, and reveal a literal potpourri of tonal color and textures. The LFE is powerful, showcasing the tympani's powerful fundamentals. The surround channels are heavily used, rendering the halls open and highly reverberant quality with impeccable palpability. No audiophile would be disappointed with the sound quality of this release; the audio quality is first rate.This only concerto for a solo string instrument and is one of the cornerstones of the violin repertory. It is conceived on a huge scale and must have presented an enormous challenge to the violinist who first performed the work on 23 December 1806, Franz Clement, who essentially had to play the work at sight.
Mendelssohn was a violinist himself and the E minor Concerto is an integral part of the violin repertory. The concerto was given its first performance on 13 March 1845 when Ferdinand David was soloist. Mendelssohn had agonised over minute details of the work with David yet the final result is one of a piece of seeming great spontaneity and youthful freshness. The concerto was immediately recognised as a masterpiece and has remained so ever since.
Audio Presentation: 24bit / 96k 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio
This was Beethoven's only violin concerto, and was finished in 1806 and premièred on December 23, 1806. He wrote the work for friend and leading violinist of the day Franz Clement. It is one of the most popular violin concertos ever written, and its composition brought it closer to the symphonic genre - which gave the work a wider appeal for both musicians and listeners alike. It was believed that Beethoven finished the solo work so late, Clement had to sight read the piece during its opening performance. The première did not go so well, so Beethoven retooled the piece in a revised version of solo piano and orchestra which was later published as Opus 61a. For many years, it was not recognized for the beautiful work that it is, and was not played by violinist of the time. It took composer Felix Mendelssohn to re-introduce this work to the public in the mid 1800's, at it has been played by many violinists over the years. Felix Mendelssohn's concerto in E minor for violin and orchestra Opus 64 was completed in 1844, and had its first performance in March 13, 1845. The concertos premiere was a great success, and was played again the following year with great fanfare and accolades from listeners and musicians alike. Like Beethoven, Mendelssohn had a unique gift of melody. In listening to the opening phrases, I can see why he could not get this theme out of his head. I have heard this piece played several times, and the opening theme is something I can recognize with just a few notes played. Mendelssohn's concerto has influenced many a musician and composer of the years, and is widely regarded as the most plagiarized work of all time. This concerto has developed a reputation as an essential work to master by aspiring violinist, and usually is the first Romantic era pieces they learn. It is also the most widely played work for concerts and music competitions. --Jeffrey Kauffman
This music-only Blu-ray discs delivers 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio if and when connections are made with 1.3 and/or 1.4 HDMI cables. If connected with optical cables it will only deliver 5.1 or 6.1 standard DTS quality sound. For the purpose of this review I only used high-speed 1.3 cables connecting the Blu-ray player and the 7.2 AV receiver. I should mention that the present receiver is one of Onkyo s new generation of THX-certified products built around high quality Burr-Brown DACs. The DTS-HD MA encoding of this recording as connected with 1.3 HDMI cables produces a variable bit rate (VBR), bit-for-bit (lossless) stream that includes 7.1 channels with sample rates of 96 kHz. Just as well the DTS-HD MA-encoded files also contain a backward-compatible DTS Digital Surround 5.1 (and 6.1) core with a bit rate of 1509 kbps. However, this review concerns itself only with 7.1 DTS-HD MA channels reproduction. The unique acoustic reality experience that his recording affords to my ears as to the musical phrasing and playing of these two very complex scorings, the orchestral presence, instrumental sections separation, high and low dynamics and instrumental solos are far superior to anything I have heard on so-called true surround recordings. We are placed at the same location that the conductor assumes in the podium, we are not part of the audience - we hear what the conductor hears. Orchestral sound is very close and all around, especially the sound coming out of the two side-surround speakers. In my mind the use of these side speakers totally redefines surround sound; this is a new experience and something to behold. ----Audiophile Audition Review