Burt Bacharach: A Life In Song

Featured In Issue 206, April/May 2016

WSR Score5
Basic Information on new release titles is posted as soon as titles are announced. Once reviewed, additional data is added to the database.
Eagle Rock Entertainment
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Single Side, Single Layer (BD-25)
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Richard Valentine
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DTS HD Lossless 5.1
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Burt Bacharach: A Life In Song was produced as a concert by BBC Events Production to celebrate the life and career of Burt Bacharach, the composer, producer, pianist, and singer who defined the art of songwriting, crafting timeless music that captivated, inspired, and cemented his legacy into history's songbook. The performances feature Joss Stone, Justin Hayward, Alfie Boe, Sophie Ellis-Bextor, Shaun Escoffery, Michael Kiwanuka, and Laura Mvula. (Gary Reber)

Filmed at London's Royal Festival Hall in 2015, A Life In Song presents on-stage conversations between Burt Bacharach and Michael Grade traversing different aspects of his years in music, interspersed with performances of many of his best-loved songs. The evening culminates in a medley of some of Bacharach's most famous film songs performed by the man himself and his band, and a performance of “That's What Friends Are For” featuring the entire evening's cast.

The 1.78:1 1080p AVC picture is absolutely beautiful, with a glorious color palette provided by stage and overhead lighting. The hues are rich and warm as well as lush. Contrast is excellent, with deep blacks and bright highlights. The staging is well dressed and visually appealing. Costumes, especially of the women singers, are classically beautiful and elegant. Resolution is superb, with fine detail evident in facial features, hair, clothing, and in the variety of instruments, microphones, cabling, and stage monitors, etc. This is a reference class act in concert video production that will not disappoint. (Gary Reber)

The DTS-HD Master Audio™ 5.1-channel soundtrack is meticulously performed with a wonderful orchestra that sounds full and lyrical performing Bacharach's distinguished compositions. Beautiful classic melodies throughout will warm your heart. Fidelity is superb, and while the focus is a wide and deep soundstage, London's Royal Festival Hall is ever present, though, nuanced. And when the audience shows its appreciation, the surrounds light with love. Every instrument is distinctively naturally textured, and the Steinway & Sons grand piano produces gorgeous sounds. And when Burt takes over, the magic just intensifies. The interview segments are informative and perfectly balanced. This is an absolutely must-own concert by one of the most distinguished and cherished composers of the American songbook. You will find that playing it over and over again will be an absolute joy. (Gary Reber)