Pictures at an Exhibition


ID:                   SRLM-1068

Price:                17,476 yen

Discs:               1

Sound:              A-Mode / EFM

Running Time:   59 minutes

Released:          Sony Music

A performance of Mussorgskys Pictures at an Exhibition recorded at Tokyo’s Suntory Hall featuring the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.

Moderate at best.  This looks very much like it was shot on Betacam and then upconverted to Hi-Vision MUSE format.  The picture is never really that sharp, the colors tend to look muted, and the picture has a dark look to it.  Unfortunately MUSE compression artifacts are present in the form of noise and in dark scenes, the mosquito look as well.  While not the worst looking MUSE disc, it certainly isn’t in the “best” category either.

Sound fares much better than the video but not enough to warrant a higher rating.  The conductors voice recording seems to low (occasionally strain to hear what he is saying) and sounds strained as well.  The actual orchestra portion of the performance is okay, being primarily confined to the front left and right speakers.  Subwoofer activity is used primarily with bass and the cello sequences, but never comes across as powerful.  Surround channels are basically dead.


B-Mode sound can be more detailed and all the channels more effective.  I feel that a more multi-channel sound should have been used giving a more natural sounding environment.  Unfortunately, the sound comes across as ‘canned’.


If it’s cheap and you like these performances, go for it.  I nearly fell asleep out of boredom, and since the sound and picture weren’t that good, it was hard to hold my attention.