“Diabolo” – 28 classical samples + test signals (on Blu-ray only) – MD&G Pure Audio Blu-ray + SACD

by | Jul 6, 2013 | SACD & Other Hi-Res Reviews

“Diabolo” – 28 classical samples + test signals (on Blu-ray only) (TrackList follows) – MD&G 906 1757-7 Pure Audio Blu-ray + multichannel SACD (DTS-HD MA 5.1 & 7.1, PCM stereo 96/24, 2+2+2 96/24, 2+2+2+2 Auro-3D 8.0 96/24) [Distr. by E1] ****:

Didn’t know quite what to make of this Blu-ray when it was first received, partly due to its title. It turns out to be  a way to cram an amazing number of complete selections (usually short movements) from works in the Musikproduktion Dabringhaus und Grimm large catalog into a sampler.  And providing it on both Pure Audio Blu-ray and an accompanying SACD, just as Norway’s 2L does.  Since there is a large penetration of Blu-ray decks worldwide, this should put the surround sampler in front of the ears of many more listeners than if it was an SACD limited to only 80 minutes. (The extensive test signals do not have room on the SACD and are only on the audio-only Blu-ray.)

Each one of the 28 selections has an entire page in the note booklet devoted to it, with a reproduction of the album cover and a paragraph or more in both German and English.  We’ve been reviewing many of the MD&G SACDs, but there were some here that I’ve become more interested in after hearing the selection on this sample. They include the trumpet and piano plus ensemble recordings of music by Brandt and Böhme, the flute and guitar album by Maiburg and Gonzalez, the trumpet, oboe and Euphonium concertos by Ponchielli, and the “Flying Saxophone Circus” SACD. There are also a couple of Villa-Lobos albums I somehow missed.

The hi-res sonics are demo-level always, and it is nice to have a more up-to-date multichannel test signal source than the now rather old Telarc 1812 Overture SACD which I frequently use. I found it interesting that the signals are introduced on the albums by a small boy’s voice in German, since Telarc used a small boy’s voice in English. (My two cats go looking for the child in both cases.) There will be some tracks that will not be useable in a 5.1 surround system vs. a 7.1 one, as well as tracks that are only for the 2+2+2 or the Auro-3D technology.  (2+2+2 adds separate signals to  a pair of high front speakers above the normal left and right, and at a height equal to half the L & R distances to the center speaker. Auro-3D adds yet another pair of small speakers in similar fashion above the two rear surround speakers, so MD&G calls it 2+2+2+2.) I’m sure I will fine the 2+2+2 test tones here very useful when I set up my additional speakers before reviewing more of those releases from MD&G. The booklet also goes into the complex method of setting the subwoofer(s) level, since it cannot be done by ear alone.


Anton Bruckner (1824-1896)
Beethoven Orchester Bonn, Stefan Blunier

Frédéric Chopin (1810-1849)
Elisabeth Leonskaja, piano

Vassily Brandt/Oskar Böhme
Ensemble Wolfgang Bauer

Francis Poulenc (1899-1963)
Norddeutscher Figuralchor, Jörg Straube

Mauro Giuliani (1781-1829)
Andrea Lieberknecht, flute
Frank Bungarten, guitar

Antal Dorati (1906-1988)
Yeon-Hee Kwak, oboe
Münchner Rundfunkorchester, Joh. Goritzki

J.S. Bach (1685-1750)
Hariolf Schlichtig, viola, Yumi Sekiya, piano

Robert Schumann (1810-1856)
Orchester de Chambre de Lausanne
Christian Zacharias, cond.

G. F. Händel (1685-1759)
Heiko ter Schegget, recorder
Zvi Meniker, harpsichord

Franz Liszt (1811-1886)
Claudius Tanski, piano
Beethoven Orchester Bonn, Stefan Blunier

Johannes Eccard (1555-1613)
Norddeutscher Kammerchor, M. Jürgensen

“Classica Venezolana”
Anette Maiburg, flute
Nirse González, guitar

Arnold Schönberg (1874-1951)
Manuela Uhl, soprano
Beethoven Orchester Bonn, Stefan Blunier

Frédéric Chopin (1810-1849)
Hardy Rittner, piano

In dulci jubilo
Norddeutscher Figuralchor, Jörg Straube

Heinrich Scheidemann (1596-1663)
Leo van Doeselaar, Organ,

Robert Schumann (1810-1856)
Mozart Piano Quartet

Amilcare Ponchielli (1834-1886)
Roland Fröscher, euphonium
Mecklenb. Staatskapelle, Matthias Foremny

Padre Antonio Soler (1729-1783)
Godelieve Schrama, harp

Franz Schubert (1797-1828)
Schweizer Kammerchor
Musikkollegium Winterthur, Douglas Boyd

“Serenade to the Dawn”
Andrea Lieberknecht, flute/ bass-flute
Frank Bungarten, guitar

Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827)
Jin Ju, piano

“Flying Saxophone Circus”
Selmer Saxharmonic, Milan Turkoviæ, cond.

Robert Schumann (1810-1856)
Jin Ju, piano

Heitor Villa-Lobos (1887-1959)
Frank Bungarten, guitar

W. A. Mozart (1756-1791)
Christian Zacharias, piano + cond.
Orchestre de Chambre de Lausanne

Ottorino Respighi (1879-1936)
Beethoven Orchester Bonn, Stefan Blunier

Norbert Glanzberg (1910-2001)
Orchestre Symphonique de Mulhouse
Daniel Klajner, cond.

Test Signals (Many)

—John Sunier


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