B.B. King and Friends Live at the Royal Albert Hall (2011) Blu-ray AVC 1080i DTS HDMA 5.1 | 1 GB x 19 + 3 Rev.

B.B. King Live at the Royal Albert Hall is presented on Blu-ray courtesy of Shout! Factory with an AVC encoded 1080i transfer in 1.78:1. Once again a live concert performance receives a generally fine and sharp looking presentation, though once again aggressive blue lighting results in rampant banding and posterizing. When B.B. asks for the upstage lights to be raised so that he can see the audience, and a battery of blue lights comes on, it’s a paradigmatic example of banding, and once the camera switches to the audience, which is bathed in an hallucinogenic swirling hue, it’s another perfect (if that’s the right word) example of posterizing. Fine detail is quite good in the many close-ups, but it’s noticeably lacking in some of the midrange and especially the far shots. There is some minor aliasing and shimmer around things like the guitar strings and, strangely, the stubble on B.B.’s face.

http://www.blu-ray.com/movies/BB-King-Live-at-the-Royal-Albert-Hall-Blu-ray/37823/

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Duration: 00:37:14 File Size: 4.54 GiB
Video info: MPEG-2 | 1920x1080i | ~17.5 Mbps | 29.970 fps | 16:9
Audio info: MP2 Audio | 384 Kbps | 2 channels | 48.0 KHz

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Duration: 00:08:37 File Size: 1.24 GiB
Video info: MPEG-2 | 1920x1080i | ~20.5 Mbps | 29.970 fps | 16:9
Audio info: AAC Audio | 192 Kbps | 2 channels | 48.0 KHz

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Duration: 00:08:57 File Size: 1.28 GiB
Video info: MPEG-2 | 1920x1080i | ~20.5 Mbps | 29.970 fps | 16:9
Audio info: AAC Audio | 192 Kbps | 2 channels | 48.0 KHz

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Duration: 00:20:47 File Size: 2.10 GiB
Video info: MPEG-2 | 1920x1080i | ~14.5 Mbps | 29.970 fps | 16:9
Audio info: AC-3 Audio | 384 Kbps | 6 channels | 48.0 KHz

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Duration: 00:03:50 File Size: 564 MiB
Video info: MPEG-2 | 1920x1080i | ~20.5 Mbps | 29.970 fps | 16:9
Audio info: AAC Audio | 192 Kbps | 2 channels | 48.0 KHz

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Title: Woodstock – 3 Days of Peace & Music – Director Cut
Nation: USA
Year: 1970
Genre: Concert
Format: 1920×1080
Duration: 224 min
Size: 36.7GB+26.8GB

An intimate look at the Woodstock Music & Art Festival held in Bethel, NY in 1969, from preparation through cleanup, with historic access to insiders, blistering concert footage, and portraits of the concertgoers; negative and positive aspects are shown, from drug use by performers to naked fans sliding in the mud, from the collapse of the fences by the unexpected hordes to the surreal arrival of National Guard helicopters with food and medical assistance for the impromptu city of 500,000.

Starring: Joan Baez, Joe Cocker, The Who, Crosby, Stills & Nash
Director: Michael Wadleigh

http://www.blu-ray.com/movies/Woodstock-3-Days-of-Peace-and-Music-Blu-ray/11704/

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Shelly Manne – 2 3 4 (1962) [Analogue Productions Remastered 2011]
PS3 Rip | ISO/FLAC@24bit/88.2kHz+Scans | No LOG, No CUE | 1.51/0.71 Gb (Incl. 5 % Recovery)
Genre ~ Cool, Hard Bop | Label ~ Analogue Productions CIPJ 20 SA

This unusual CD reissue has five selections from a date featuring the great tenor Coleman Hawkins, pianist Hank Jones, bassist George Duvivier and drummer Shelly Manne. Both “Take the ‘A’ Train” and “Cherokee” find the group at times playing two tempos at once (Manne sticks to doubletime throughout “Cherokee”) and showing that they had heard some of the avant-garde players. The most swinging piece, “Avalon,” was previously available only on a sampler while “Me and Some Drums” features Hawkins and Manne in a very effective duet with the veteran tenor making his only recorded appearance on piano during the first half. This CD is rounded off by a pair of trio features for Eddie Costa (with Duvivier and Manne); one song apiece on vibes and drums. A very interesting set with more than its share of surprises. ~ AllMusic

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Ottorino Respighi – Pini di Roma, Trittico, Tre Corali
Beethoven Orchester Bonn / Stefan Blunier
PS3 SACD ISO: 2,90 GB | Stereo + Multichannel DSD | Full Artwork | 5% Recovery Info
Label/Cat#: MDG # 937 1677-6 | Country/Year: Germany 2011 | Genre: Classical

The latest in MDG’s fine series of live recordings by Stefan Blunier and the Beethoven Orchestra of Bonn is an intelligently chosen programme of three of Respighi’s orchestral works that illustrate the many and varied aspects of this master orchestrator’s compositions as well as his homage to music of the past. It is also pleasing to see two of the works making their first appearance on SACD.
The delicate ‘Trittico Botticelliano’ of 1927 was conceived while the composer and his wife were touring the United States and is representative of his interest in, and study of, the Renaissance and Baroque music of his native country. Respighi chose to depict both the atmosphere and spirit of three of the most celebrated of Botticelli’s paintings, ‘Spring (La Primavera)’, ‘The Adoration of the Magi’ and ‘The Birth of Venus’ using small orchestral forces. Each of these three tiny tone poems is exquisitely scored, and thanks to Blunier’s relaxed tempi, the players of his cultivated Bonn orchestra have time to relish each of the individual solo opportunities provided. The sound is both diaphanous and crystal clear.
Like many 20th century composers Respighi made arrangements of the music of earlier masters, and the ‘Tre Corali’ is one such example. His arrangement for orchestra of three of Bach’s most well-known organ chorales may be anachronistic, but few could fail to marvel at Respighi’s imaginative scoring and respectful treatment of them. The three chorales are ‘Nun komm der Heiden Heiland’, ‘Meine Seele erhebt den Herren’ and ‘Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme’. The manner in which the luxurious and glowing string sound has been captured on this recording is particularly arresting.
The final work on this SACD is the much-recorded ‘Pini di Roma’, the second part of the so-called ‘Roman Trilogy’ and a piece beloved of many audiophiles. Blunier is not a conductor who rushes his fences and his tempi in all but the first section of the work are slightly more measured than is often the case, but are nevertheless quite convincing. The first part of ‘The Pines near a Catacomb’ is wonderfully atmospheric as is the balancing of the distant trumpet and nightingale song in the section that follows. Unfortunately the total absence of deep organ pedal notes at any point comes as a major disappointment. Blunier’s steady pace does pay dividends as the army of the Consul traverses the Appian Way accompanied, on this recording, by exceptionally thunderous drums. It is, however, a pity that the use of the surround channels for the extra brass is a mite cautious and consequently the work’s final bars fail to make the impact found on the recent thrilling Neschling recording Respighi: Roman Trilogy – Neschling. An enjoyable performance then, but not a first choice for this work in an increasingly crowded field.
MDG’s 5.1 recording is of high quality, possessing a wide dynamic range, an excellent sense of depth and tonal veracity, but it is important to stress that this disc does need to be played at a high volume setting or the sound can seem somewhat lacking in presence. Though these are live recordings, extraneous noise is minimal and there is no applause.
Not withstanding the reservations outlined above, this is a most enjoyable SACD. SA-CD.net

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Martin Stadtfeld – Der junge Beethoven
PS3 SACD ISO: 3,2 GB | Full Artwork | 5% Recovery Info
Label/Cat#: Sony Classical # 88697599792 | Country/Year: Germany 2009
Genre: Classical | Style: First Viennese School

This might be a single disc, but it is really two different recordings, in two different halls, at two different times, of two distinct musical forms.
In the above, WoO numbers refer to the German acronym WoO (Werk ohne Opuszahl) meaning a ‘work without an opus number’ as given in the Kinsky-Halm catalogue. Hess numbers refer to additional works listed in the catalogue by Willy Hess that are not in the Kinsky-Halm catalogue.
The Sony SACD piano sound has a lovely zingy bass, and yet a softer ‘distant’ quality. Stadtfeld has a light delicate touch where appropriate, and equally some uber sturm und drang when needed, as in the absolutely magnificent Prelude in F minor WoO 51. There is, however, some slight unevenness in Stadtfeld’s ornamentation in the Rondo, which suggests that slower tempi might be appropriate. Indeed, I think his Rondo No.1 is too rushed by any measure, to the extent that musical virtue is lost. In this regard, I distinctly prefer the version with the American pianist Russell Sherman on Redbook CD (6min10sec vs 4min53sec for Stadtfeld). The Allegretto, the fabulous Prelude and the Adagio are all splendid. On balance, the solo repertoire is a very fine recording of unusual early Beethoven repertoire, and comes highly recommended.
… My inclination: enjoy the disc the way it should have been correctly conceived … as an excellent solo album by a very talented pianist … and just ignore the rest.

sa-cd.net

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