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 Recording of the Week  New DVD page and Special Offer

I don’t know how many people saw Harrison Birtwistle’s The Minotaur on Saturday night on BBC2. I enjoyed it very much. I didn’t get a chance to see it live during its recent run at the Royal Opera House, but had read many of the (overwhelming positive) reviews about it so was thrilled to see it on the TV schedule.

I see a fair amount of live opera, the most recent being a fantastic Eugene Onegin at Glyndebourne. People ask me sometimes about how you can compare the thrill and excitement of a live performance - where anything can happen at any moment - with that on a (altogether much more predictable) DVD. While it is true that I would generally opt for the live over the recorded versions on most days, I am constantly amazed by the variety and choice now available on DVD. The ability to see and hear Renée Fleming sing Strauss or John Tomlinson sing Wagner is not something you’re going to get the opportunity to do very often in life so the ability to do so at home I find very valuable. Add to that the artists who are no longer with us like Carlos Kleiber or Jacqueline du Pré and you see quite quickly the enormous benefits that DVDs bring.

Believe it or not there are now over 2,000 Classical DVDs available, and in addition to operas you’ll find ballets, orchestral music, documentaries, rehearsal footage and a lot more. To cope with such a large number we’ve carried out a much needed re-design of our DVD page. You can now browse by label, series, artist, composer, music types, or even browse the discs of some of the major classical music filmographers such as Christopher Nupen or Tony Palmer. We believe it is the most comprehensive and user-friendly listing of its kind anywhere on the Internet and to celebrate that fact we’ve just started a special offer reducing the whole lot by up to 35%.

For the more technologically minded amongst you we’re also currently offering 25% off our range of HD DVD and Blu-ray discs. These two formats are currently battling to become the successor to DVDs, and while both offer dramatically improved picture and sound quality, the range of classical titles is still very limited and there is a way to go before either of them starts to challenge the supremacy of the DVD.

View DVD special offer