NOCTURNE – Extended Audio Disc – 3 hours + of soothing classical music from the Virgin & EMI catalogs – Virgin Classics DVD

by | Apr 17, 2007 | Classical Reissue Reviews | 0 comments

NOCTURNE – Extended Audio Disc – 3 hours + of soothing classical music from the Virgin & EMI catalogs – Virgin Classics DVD with stereo PCM audio (plays on any DVD player) 3 31474 9, 3 hrs. 5 min. ***1/2:

Difficult to decide if this double-disc album belongs in our DualDisc, Reissue or Classical sections. Its another in the short series of extended audio discs released last year by EMI & Virgin. There haven’t been any more so perhaps the experiment wasn’t a total success. The discs are an interesting idea for certain, but perhaps the price structure is a bit steep.  I was surprised they didn’t offer both PCM stereo and Dolby 5.1, with mixed-for-surround versions of the music, and the PCM uncompressed stereo is probably only 44.1K or 48K rather than a more advantageous 96K (it refused to display the sampling rate).  The titles and performers of each are displayed over a moving image of a lovely nocturnal scene on the screen, if you use a screen display – sunrise, sunsets, moon, clouds and stars.

The selections are about what one would expect: the Adagio of the Moonlight Sonata, Clair de Lune, Liebestraum No. 3, Adagio from the Concierto de Aranjuez, Barber’s Adagio for Strings, The Swan of Tuonela, Venus from “The Planets,” Bach’s Chaconne – 26 tracks in all.  Levels are carefully matched and the sonics are “of a piece” throughout. This would be great background music for dinner or while reading before bedtime. No announcers breaking in and no violent dynamic peaks. (If it had offered Dolby 5.1 you could have used the late-night-listening compression feature which only works with Dolby.)

 – John Sunier

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