Pure Audio Blu-ray releases on LSO Live April 27 2015
Mendelssohn’s Symphony No 5 'Reformation', Nielsen’s Symphonies Nos 1–6, Mendelssohn’s Symphony No 3, Overture: The Hebrides & Schumann’s Piano Concerto and Berlioz’s Symphonie fantastique are the first recordings on LSO Live to be released in the innovative new format Pure Audio Blu-ray, which is set to revolutionise the way we see and hear music.
What is Pure Audio Blu-ray?
LSO Live is one of the lead partners in the development of the exciting new format Pure Audio Blu-ray, which allows millions of homes to experience HD content, both audio and visual, on any Blu-ray player – from PlayStations to high-end equipment.
On the new Pure Audio format, the LSO’s performance can be heard in high resolution sound, in surround and stereo. Certain releases also include HD video footage of the concerts, allowing the London Symphony Orchestra’s performances to be seen and heard to full effect from the comfort of your own home.
Pure Audio Blu-ray isn’t just for high-end audio enthusiasts however, and works with or without a screen. Tracks can be navigated using the standard controls on your Blu-ray remote control – just as you would on a CD. And for those who prefer navigating on a screen, the Pure Audio Blu-ray also provides menus just as on a video Blu-ray. These pop-up screens give information about the tracks, track lengths, audio streams and video content.
Pure Audio Blu-ray maintains LSO Live’s mission of using the latest high-density recording technology for widespread distribution. Our competitive prices are set to challenge previous Pure Audio releases, encouraging the broadest reach possible and ensuring that Pure Audio Blu-ray is available to all lovers of music!
But what if you don’t have a Blu-ray player?
Don’t worry – if you don’t have a Blu-ray player there is a Super Audio CD (SACD) included in each release. SACDs look like normal CDs but have a much higher audio quality due to being recorded through a new process called Direct Stream Digital (DSD). You’ll need an SACD player to hear the higher quality audio, but it’s not a problem if you don’t have one; LSO Live issue hybrid-SACDs which will play on normal CD players (though you will only hear the CD mix and not the high density SACD mixes).
Pure Audio Releases on LSO Live
Available to pre-order now, LSO Live’s latest Pure Audio release is the second instalment of Sir John Eliot Gardiner’s Mendelssohn symphonies cycle.
The ‘Reformation’ Symphony (as Mendelssohn’s Fifth Symphony is commonly known) was written to commemorate the 300th anniversary of the Augsberg confession – a ground-breaking event in the Protestant Reformation. Completing the album are two of Mendelssohn’s overtures, Ruy Blas and Calm Sea and Prosperous Voyage, both inspired by literary works.
Recorded live in March and October 2014, the concert performances were critically acclaimed. The Guardian and The Times gave 5-star reviews and the Evening Standard observed that ‘Gardiner’s Mendelssohn with the LSO packs a surprisingly hefty punch.’
The recently released Nielsen Symphonies Nos 1–6 box set, conducted by the late Sir Colin Davis, includes a Pure Audio Blu-ray disc which contains downloadable audio files of the pieces. The symphonies were originally released between 2011 and 2013, receiving numerous accolades including BBC Radio 3 Disc of the Week (Symphonies Nos 1 & 6), a 2014 ICMA Nomination in the Symphonic Music category (Symphonies Nos 2 & 3) and a place on The Telegraph’s Best Classical Recordings List (Symphonies Nos 4 & 5).
LSO Live launched the start of its Mendelssohn symphonies cycle with the release of Mendelssohn Symphony No 3, conducted by Sir John Eliot Gardiner, on SACD and Pure Audio Blu-ray. The album also features Overture: The Hebrides and Schumann’s Piano Concerto, performed by Maria João Pires. HD video footage of the full performance of the concert, recorded in January 2014 at the Barbican Hall, is included on the album, which was awarded Editor’s Choice by Gramophone and received an ICMA 2014 nomination in the Best Collection category.
Mendelssohn’s Symphony No 3 (commonly known as the ‘Scottish’) and his Hebrides overture (‘Fingal’s Cave’) are amongst the composer’s most popular works and were inspired by his travels to the British Isles, in particular the rolling Scottish landscapes. Schumann’s Piano Concerto, meanwhile, is one of the most performed pieces in the piano concerto repertoire and is dazzlingly performed on this release by the Portuguese pianist Maria João Pires.
LSO Live’s first Pure Audio Blu-ray release was Berlioz Symphonie fantastique & Overture: Waverley, conducted by Valery Gergiev. The album, which includes HD video content of the full concert performance of Symphonie fantastique, received a CHOC de Classica and **** Performance ***** Recording from BBC Music Magazine.
Berlioz found inspiration for his music in an array of sources, including his own turbulent personal life. His experience of unrequited love is expressed in the emotionally charged Symphonie fantastique which tells the story of an artist’s ‘hopeless love,’ complete with waltzes, witches and a hallucinogenic nightmare.
In order for LSO Live to keep releasing products in Pure Audio Blu-ray, we need your help.
To help achieve the LSO’s goal of taking the Orchestra’s music out beyond the concert hall we have launched our most ambitious fundraising campaign to date: Moving Music. Moving Music is raising the money so we can keep filming to release in new formats like Pure Audio Blu-ray.
In 2012 we were challenged to raise £6 million by 31 May 2015 – and if we did so this would release £3 million of matched funding from Arts Council England. The support so far has been great, but to reach our target we are now appealing to you to help us in the final stage of our campaign.
From £10 to £1000: your donation, small or large, would help us to film our performances, present the material in innovative way and distribute them through the latest digital technologies for years to come! All gifts to Moving Music are gratefully received, and raise a 50% match grant from Arts Council England. With Gift Aid, this means that your contribution to the LSO is worth up to 75% more than your original donation, at no additional cost to you. With this in mind, there has never been a better time to give!