Jessye Norman at Christmas (1992)

by | Nov 21, 2005 | DVD & Blu-ray Video Reviews | 0 comments

Jessye Norman at Christmas (1992)

Christmas Concerts at Notre-Dame and Ely Cathedral
with Vittoria Regional Choir/Maitrise de Radio France/Lyon Opera
Orchestra/ Lawrence Foster; American Boychoir/Ely Cathedral Choristers/
Vocal Arts Chorus/ Bournemouth Symphony orchestra/ Robert De Cormier
Studio: Philips DVD 074 3104
Video: 4:3 full screen, all-region
Audio: DTS 5.1, PCM stereo
Length: 70 minutes + 51 minutes
Rating: ****

A wonderful Christmas program, with impressive staging and a topflight
audio surround program courtesy of DTS.  This is in fact one of
the first DVDs I have seen which provides only the DTS option in
addition to Linear PCM – no Dolby Digital.  The idea is that
nearly as many users now have DTS decoding either in their receivers or
preamp or directly in the DVD player, it’s more transparent-sounding
than Dolby due to less data reduction, not offering it frees up more
disc capacity for extras or a longer program, and last but not least no
useage fee has to be paid to Dolby Laboratories.

The DVD pairs up two concert telecasts of the sort which are common
fare in Europe but almost extinct in the U.S. – one at Paris’ famed
Notre-Dame and the other in Britain’s Ely Cathedral, which was heavily
damaged in WW II and later rebuilt. The Paris event is the most
majestic with its long shots the length of the cathedral and a
veritable forest of religious statuary rising behind the chorus. When
the front/rear balance is properly struck the feeling of being in
Notre-Dame is quite convincing. A perfect gift DVD to show off your new
home theater sound system or large flat screen display!

Selections: Notre-Dame = Jubilate Fanfare, Jubilate Fantasy, Et
excultavit, Ave Maria, Wiegenlied, die Allmacht, Behold that Star, Star
of Wonder, Rockin’ for the World, O Poor Little Jesus, Go Tell It on
the Mountain, He Shall Feed His Flock, Repentir, Agnus Dei, Sanctus.
Selections: Ely Cathedral = O Come, O Come Emmanuel; Once in Royal
David’s City; Unto Us a Child is Born, Hark! The Herald Angels Sing;
Good Christian Men Rejoice; O Holy Night; The Holly and the Ivy; See
Amid the Winter Snow; I Saw Three Ships; Jessye’s Carol; The Coventry
Carol, In the Bleak Midwinter; Silent Night; Angels We Have Heard on
High; We Three Kings; Adeste fideles; Amen.

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