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Guilty Pleasure: DVD-A Tomita/The Planets


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#1 of 11 Alan_Horner

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Posted April 02 2003 - 08:58 AM

Thank god for the Internet. Not only did I find out from surfing the WWW that Japanese synthesist Tomita has released The Planets 2003, a new recording on DVD-A, but I was also able to order a copy of it from Japan thanks to amazon.co.jp! Even better: it arrived at my home on the U.S. West Coast in only three days! Is this a modern world, or what?

This has got to be one of my biggest "guilty pleasures." It's schlocky in the extreme (on a scale of 1 to 10 for schlockiness, I'd give this a 20). In fact, I know some folks whose ears would gush blood if they were to listen to this (not simply ooze, but gush!). Tomita's interpretation of Holst's classical pieces is pretty far removed from the originals, and he's thrown in so many bells and whistles (and boings and chirps and what have you) that it's sometimes hard to remember what you're listening to.

Still, I love it. This new DVD-A features a surround sound mix that's about as aggressive as you're ever going to hear. If you hate sound constantly whizzing around the four main speakers, stay away from this. I actually think there's room for mixes like this, however, especially since this new mix appears to be designed for multi-channel. This is a 96/24 4.1 mix with no center channel feed; a Dolby Digital 4.1 mix is also offered on Group 2.

The clarity on the disc is amazing, but also a little disturbing. You really can hear everything, which can be distracting. There's also some shrillness to Tomita's synthesizers when playing in the upper register. It's also interesting to notice the differences between this new recording and the 1976 release. Tomita has remained very faithful to his original recording, but made some changes here and there (using a human voice for a melody line in "Venus," for instance).

I grew up loving synthesizers and jumped at the chance to get this. I wasn't disappointed, though I know it's not everyone's cup of tea. I would have preferred to have Tomita's Snowflakes Are Dancing (his synthesized interpretation of Debussy works) on DVD-A, but maybe that's coming. And yeah, I spent too much on this but I think I saw somewhere that the distributing company doesn't do business outside of Japan, making the prospects of picking the disc up here unlikely.

#2 of 11 LanceJ

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Posted April 02 2003 - 10:33 AM

Funny you should mention Tomita: just last night I played my vinyl version of his 1978 album "Kosmos". Fun stuff! But you had better like synthesizers a LOT Posted Image ("schlocky" is a good description, Alan). The song "Aranjuez" is nice.

He also came out with some CDs (and vinyl?) that were encoded with Dolby Surround. They were supposed to have sounded pretty good.

LJ

#3 of 11 terry deto

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Posted April 02 2003 - 11:30 AM

do you have a link to the amazon.co.jp page

#4 of 11 gregD

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Posted April 02 2003 - 12:42 PM

He also came out with some CDs (and vinyl?) that were encoded with Dolby Surround. They were supposed to have sounded pretty good.

For the most part, they did sound very good...

I don't even feel guilty enjoying Tomita's classic 70s-80s work, tho later efforts weren't quite as pleasing... there's lotsa magic and sparkle in those creations... and in many cases, I've been driven to buy genuine orchestral performances of pieces Tomita covered, in the interest of experiencing the real deal.

Sometimes it takes a little sugar coating to learn to enjoy the good stuff.

Hell, I might not have ever dug into classical at all if it wasn't for the classic Warner Bros cartoons...

#5 of 11 Alan_Horner

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Posted April 03 2003 - 09:30 AM

Quote:
do you have a link...
This is the direct link:
http://www.amazon.co....236333-4175506

The Japanese Amazon site has an option to shop "In English" but not every page is translated, including this one. If you're a little unsure about it, the description does indicate "2003 - New Version." It also identifies in English "DVD-Audio" and the fact that tracks 7-12 are "4.1 Dolby Surround."

Actually, this last part is a mistake. There are only 6 tracks. However, Group 1 has the 6 tracks in 96/24 4.1 and Group 2 has the 6 tracks in 4.1 Dolby Digital (thus, the 12 tracks in the Amazon listing).

Mind you, I'm not promoting Amazon, just passing on info for those who might want to order the disc.

#6 of 11 Robert James Clark

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Posted April 03 2003 - 12:43 PM

This could be a fun DVD-A...

Tomita's stuff can be in questionable taste, but "Snowflakes Are Dancing" is a very enjoyable synthesized interpretation of Debussy's piano works.

May have to pick this one up. I bought my Panasonic DVD player for the progressive output quality but I am stunned at how quickly my DVD-Audio collection is growing, the sound quality is truly revelatory...

#7 of 11 Mike_G

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Posted April 16 2003 - 12:09 PM

Oh my God. Please don't tell me this atrocity made it out to DVD-A before Jarre or Vangelis or Synergy.

Mike

#8 of 11 Alan_Horner

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Posted April 17 2003 - 06:43 AM

Quote:
Oh my God. Please don't tell me this atrocity made it out to DVD-A before Jarre or Vangelis or Synergy.
Well, as I said in my first statement, this disc isn't everyone's cup of tea. I guess you can take solice in the fact that it apparently won't be released on DVD-A outside of Japan.

And yeah, I would have preferred to have hi-rez discs from Jarre or Vangelis or Synergy before Tomita. I even mentioned that I would have even preferred his Snowflakes Are Dancing disc before The Planets. But hey, they didn't call me up for my opinion.

Actually, I would have thought that Rick Wakeman's 1999 album Return to the Center of the Earth would have been a very obvious hi-rez release before any of the above-mentioned artists. It's a new recording, it was mixed for surround (Dolby Stereo, at least), and it was released by EMI. But so far, no such luck.

#9 of 11 alanking

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Posted November 17 2010 - 05:46 AM

Your a fucking prick mate! the only atrocity i can see round hear is your fucking mouth keep it shut

you snobby little turd! tomita was the background music of my childhood so fuck off knob



#10 of 11 alanking

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Posted November 17 2010 - 05:50 AM

tomita pushed the bounderies of audio further then any one else during this period

and made it sound better whilst he was at it



#11 of 11 alanking

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Posted November 17 2010 - 05:52 AM



Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike_G 

Oh my God. Please don't tell me this atrocity made it out to DVD-A before Jarre or Vangelis or Synergy.

Mike








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