Naxos Musical Journeys
If you've been looking for something to toss into your DVD player when you're tired of watching movies, the folks at DVD International aim to please. Following the popular interactive titles Aquaria and Coral Sea Dreaming, DVD International, in cooperation with Naxos and other home-video producers, has released six "Naxos Musical Journey" DVDs, featuring the music of Bach, Handel, Mozart, Vivaldi, and both an "Italian Festival" and a "Spanish Festival" with various composers. Along with the timeless music (in either Dolby Digital or DTS 5.1 surround mixes), scenes from the composers' native lands play across the screen, traveling from the most rustic of venues to local community celebrations. Each disc has its highlights, although this writer is most enamored of Bach's subtle "Air on the G String," Vivaldi's lively "The Four Seasons" (included in its entirety), and damn near everything by Mozart and Handel. Menu navigation is on board to help you find your favorite stuff, but these are "set-it-and-forget-it" DVDs, best run when you have company over conversation and adult libations, or even if you'd just like to curl up with a good book on the couch and be surrounded by the wonderful 5.1 mixes. Great videotape sources, all titles distributed in keep-cases.