Solti Centenary Concert Blu-ray offers solid video and superb audio in this excellent Blu-ray release
No synopsis for Solti Centenary Concert.
For more about Solti Centenary Concert and the Solti Centenary Concert Blu-ray release, see Solti Centenary Concert Blu-ray Review published by Jeffrey Kauffman on May 8, 2013 where this Blu-ray release scored 4.0 out of 5.
Sir Georg Solti's immortal recording of Der Ring des Nibelungen topped my list of classical Blu-rays last year, even though it
was "only" an audio Blu-ray. Solti's contributions to 20th century classical music are legendary, and with the centenary of
Solti's birth last year, fans were treated to two more celebrations. Sir Georg Solti: Journey of a Lifetime provided a retrospective
biography of the stellar conductor, and now this new release presents a musical reminiscence of sorts, as several
pieces that meant something to Solti during his lifetime are performed, with interstitial commentary by Solti's widow.
One of Solti's most notable (no pun intended) accomplishments was forming the World Orchestra for Peace, an
assemblage of musicians from all over the world who pledged to work together to promote mutual understanding
between cultures. This effort sprang from a special 80th birthday celebration for the Maestro where a handful of musicians
from world orchestras he had conducted just in that one year banded together to perform at a concert given in his honor.
The Orchestra for Peace moves through a huge gamut of pieces here, including everything from Mozart to Mahler, though
unfortunately several of the selections here are merely excerpts, though we do get a thrilling rendition of Bartok's
Concerto for Orchestra. However that is offset by Lady Valerie Solti's incisive
commentary, some of which is culled from Solti's own autobiography, which puts every piece in its biographical context.
The playing here is effortless and artful, under the expert leadership of Solti's hand picked successor Valery Gergiev.
Solti Centenary Concert is presented on Blu-ray courtesy of Unitel Classica and ArtHaus Musik with an AVC encoded
1080i transfer in
1.78:1. While there's nothing horribly wrong with this high definition presentation, it never really pops as strongly as many
other contemporary classical Blu-ray releases. The image is sometimes a bit on the soft side and colors tend to be muted.
Solti Centenary Concert features two excellent sounding audio options, a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 surround mix
and an LPCM 2.0 stereo mix. Both feature excellent fidelity which capably supports both the varied music as well as the
spoken interludes. Hall ambience is very nicely rendered in the surround mix.
This is a wonderful compendium of pieces which Solti himself considered to be unusually important in his musical history and
development. Aided by a stellar cast of guest stars and the fantastic World Orchestra for Peace, and with the really
wonderful commentary by Lady Valerie Solti, Solti Centenary Concert is a suitably celebratory outing that helps all
classical music lovers to remember just what an iconic figure Solti was. Recommended.
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