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There is a lot of choice in this offering from Silverline, including a large array of visual playback options, DD5.1, DTS or DVD-A audio playback, and a fair number of short frame "featurettes" about various aspects of the DVD.

The Album

Main Menu

The music is played with a fair amount of skill, but it's certainly not the LSO's finest. One or two musical fluffs , which could simply be overdubbed, have just been left in to sit there and glare at you (but you have to be a bit of a pedantic twit like me to spot them). Maybe the conducting has a lot more to do with this than I first thought. Having now heard other LSO Nutcrackers, I am getting to be more convinced of this.

Its a slightly extended Nutcracker Suite with all of the standards that we all know and love, with another 9 or so which aren't in the more well known "Suite".

Audio & Visual Options

Audio Quality

With the DD5.1 tracks engaged, the music comes thru quite clearly, but it doesn't quite gel, the soundstaging is a little fluffy, but going to DTS improves this substantially. As usual, the DVD-A track outshines the other two by a long way esp for low end frequency response, which is very clean and tidy from the double basses and timps.

The rear channels are not used as solid discrete channels, but have more of the ambience of a large concert hall as reverb - quite pleasant and certainly not intrusive.

Playlist, including visual options

Extras

There is a lot of choice for visual playback options, with storyboards, background information on the story & composer, slideshow of images from the ballet and slideshow of images from "nature". It's a little weird if you select the ballet storyboard or the background to the ballet and composer - When the storyboard for the first track is finished, the music still has some way to go, so what have they done ? They have put the visual stuff on a repeating loop. So, when the Overture finishes, you have read the storyboard at least once, and then maybe half way through the track changes....

and you even get the story unfolding before your eyes !

The still images from the ballet are slightly abstract and I did feel distracted by them, but the pictures from Nature are probably the best to relax to..... very good quality photos of forests, mountains and snow scenes.

Overall

Nice music, played OK, but could have been better. Greater attention to visual details could also have been improved. Shame to let the side down for just that extra step further.


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