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Custom Audio Art of Systematism, Conceptual Work in Surround Sound: BOLERO by Mourice Ravel (includes traditional Orchestral version, Alexander Jero contemporary synthesizer version and discrete 7.1 presentation) [Blu-ray]


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Blu-ray Audio, November 20, 2012
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Original Item. Original Wood Packaging.

Review

Video: Slideshow Presentation from Greatest Artists of All Times (1080p)HD

Audio: 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio 24/96k

Systematism in Audio Arts represents Artistic View and Exploration of possibilities of Sound that started with Edison's invention of the phonograph in 1877 until the 1950s. Second stage of Stereo was based on inventions from the 1930s, reached the public in the mid-'50s, and has provided great listening Pleasure for four decades. Stereo improved the reproduction of timbre and added two dimensions of space: the left- right spread of performers across a Stage, and a set of acoustic cues that allow listeners to perceive a front-to-back dimension.
Current Age represented by Multichannel surround sound technology, natural involving presence in A way that is robust, reliable and consistent there each individual sound can has its Unique location in 3-dimensional space.


Bolero is a one-movement orchestral piece by Maurice Ravel (1875-1937). Originally composed as a ballet commissioned by Russian ballerina Ida Rubinstein, the piece, which premiered in 1928, is Ravel's most famous musical composition. Before Bolero, Ravel had composed large scale ballets (such as Daphnis et Chleacute;, composed for the Ballets Russes 1909-1912), suites for the ballet (such as the second orchestral version of Ma Mre l'Oye, 1912), and one-movement dance pieces (such as La Valse, 1906-1920). Apart from such compositions intended for a staged dance performance, Ravel had demonstrated an interest in composing re-styled dances, from his earliest successes (the 1895 Menuet and the 1899 Pavane) to his more mature works like Le tombeau de Couperin (which takes the format of a dance suite).

Boléro epitomises Ravel's preoccupation with restyling and reinventing dance movements. It was also one of the last pieces he composed before illness forced him into retirement: the two piano concertos and the Don Quichotte à Dulcinée song cycle were the only compositions that followed Bolero.

Bolero is written for a large orchestra consisting of:
piccolo, 2 flutes (one doubles piccolo), 2 oboes (one doubles oboe d'amore), cor anglais, 2 clarinets (one doubles on E-flat clarinet), bass clarinet, 2 saxophones (one sopranino and one tenor doubling on soprano), 2 bassoons, contrabassoon
4 horns, piccolo trumpet, 3 trumpets, 3 trombones, bass tuba
timpani, 2 snare drums, a bass drum, one piece/pair of orchestral cymbals, tamtam, celesta
harp
strings

The instrumentation calls for a sopranino saxophone in F; modern sopraninos are in E-flat. Today, both the soprano saxophone and the sopranino saxophone parts are commonly played on the B-flat soprano saxophone.

The celesta, E-flat clarinet, and the soprano saxophone only comes once in part, meaning they cannot be used in later parts of the music (including the final). The oboe d'amore actually comes twice, one after the E-flat clarinet, and the other with the oboes and clarinets.

Boléro is 'Ravel's most straightforward composition in any medium'. The music is in C major, 3/4 time, beginning pianissimo and rising in a continuous crescendo to fortissimo possibile (as loud as possible). It is built over an unchanging ostinato rhythm played on one or more snare drums that remains constant throughout the piece:

On top of this rhythm two melodies are heard, each of 18 bars' duration, and each played twice alternately. The first melody is diatonic, the second melody introduces more jazz-influenced elements. ------Alexander Golberg Jero

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. ------John Nemaric (Audiophile Audition)

Modern recording techniques have come alarmingly far in just a few short years. I've had the pleasure of having several commercial recordings released, and my earliest days in the recording studio were spent amid the flutter of reel to reel tapes. Later, exciting 'improvements' like audio Betamax (yep, you read that right) and then digital media like ADATs came into play. Over the past couple of decades-plus, we've seen the advent of hard drive recording systems, with the ubiquitous use of bells and whistles like ProTools, which can make even amateurs (are you listening, Ashlee Simpson?) sound at least passable, what with pitch correction, WAV editing and the like. Casual listeners to modern day product might be quite surprised to see how a recording is assembled, and assembled is, for better or worse, the correct term. Even back in the days of analog recordings, it wasn't unusual for rhythm tracks to be laid down first, often with 'scratch'; vocals, and then for the vocalist to come in to take their final version at a later date. While editing was certainly a more involved procedure back in the day, tape editors became so facile with their 'archaic' medium that even syllables could be fairly seamlessly fixed for a final product. (Anyone wanting a good laugh should listen to John Barry's commentary on You Only Live Twice, where he details the editing lengths they had to go to get a final take of Nancy Sinatra's vocal on the title tune). However, as often as pop, rock and even Broadway cast recordings were 'assembled' in the halcyon days of the 1950's, 1960's and 1970's, even after the advent of hard drive recording, you could count on one genre to preserve at least a semblance of the 'live' ensemble experience, and that was of course classical music. Not anymore. Choral composers like Eric Whitacre have pioneered the idea of a 'virtual choir' where people separated by continents are able to 'join together' to sing via such media as YouTube. And now we are introduced to an 'assembled' orchestra under the 'virtual baton' of Alexander Jero. Jero has been a pioneer in audio Blu-ray and has released several outstanding discs where he's licensed previously recorded material and repurposed for hi-def audio in often rather striking surround versions. Jero is recording a glut of classical warhorses anew, hiring college students to come into his private studio to work under his own baton. However, these are not live ensemble recordings in the traditional sense. Jero brings sections in separately, and records them, often utilizing previous recordings as reference material. He then assembles the final product in the mixing room. It's an unusual approach for a genre as hopefully organic as classical music, and listeners' reactions may be colored by the knowledge that high tech wizardry has at least helped to craft the architecture of any given performance. ----Jeffry Kauffman (Blu-ray.com)


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