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Emerson Lake & Palmer - Pictures At An Exhibition - 35th Anniversary Collectors Edition CD (album) cover

PICTURES AT AN EXHIBITION - 35TH ANNIVERSARY COLLECTORS EDITION

Emerson Lake & Palmer

 

Symphonic Prog

3.56 | 86 ratings

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mazzaurg
3 stars This DVD produced some mixed feelings for me; mostly I think it is a positive experience for me.

The visuals are mostly excellent, except for some bad instances. They are usually very sharp, you can see the band members' hair very sharply, Keith Emerson's six-pack as well as his hands playing the keys, all very sharp. This is especially true considering that this DVD is based on some almost 40 years old footage. However, there are the psyckedelic visuals that take place mostly during 'Blues Improvisations' and the flickering cartoons that occur during 'The Hut/Curse of Baba Yaga' I think. I really don't get the point of these and they are very disturbing, obscuring the otherwise brilliant picture quality.

The sound is mostly good, with some weaknesses in the mixing, I think. Greg Lake's acoustic guitar is not immediately heard, and there are some uneventies in KE's moog(?) versus his hammond, the former being too loud. Also, GL's acoustic guitar sound is a bit harsh and rough, but whether it is as a result of his technique or the mixing I don't know; anyway, it is not nice. Still, mostly it is very convenient, the sound, and they have even managed to get it Dolby Digital/DTS 5.1.

What really makes this stand out for me is its intimacy. The band members are not, as in most concert films, separated on the stage by smoke and nice lights. Instead, it feels like you are standing right in their middle in the studio. This probably does not appeal to some, but as a musician myself, I like it. Also, concerning musician curiosities, it is interesting to see in 'The Great Gates of Kiev' when the members actually lose the beat, how Carl Palmer then rescues the situation; all this is experienced while seeing the whole band at once. So, if you want to see Keith Emerson's six-pack, Carl Palmer's greasy hair, or the band members swollen and sweaty faces, along with feeling almost like they are showing you how to play 'PaaE,' then here is your chance.

I don't understand the bonus material, a concert recording of the classical piece. I was, before watching it, looking forward to seeing the orchestrated version performed. But what do I get? A recording playing while the film shows various picture frames showing mostly abstract films whose point is to follow the mood of the music. But they are occasionally awful, and don't always fit the mood, like in 'Il Vecchio Castello.' But the sound quality is excellent.

The general impression for me is that the DVD is of mixed, mostly good, quality, but too short for being a concert film, only about 30min main feature. It certainly is good, but non essential due to its short length and some weaknesses in the filming; therefore, 3 stars.

mazzaurg | 3/5 |

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