Remzi Arpaci's Media Review

The CD-ROM starts spinning, pictures of Wagner, Beethoven, and Debussy whirl by, and the mock symphony hall grows dark. Thus began my multi-media adventure with LaserLight Digital's"Symphony No. 3 in E-flat Major", by Ludwig van Beethoven.

LaserLight produces a number of low-cost, digitally recorded classical pieces, usually costing the consumer around $4.99. For an extra $5.00, LaserLight now distributes a set of classical pieces plus some extra goodies, all for your enjoyment on any PC running Windows 3.1 or higher. These CDs were created by MusicPen, and include the normal LaserLight CD (which you can listen to with any standard CD player), the musical score, and a small video accompanied by some portion of the music.

I'll begin by describing the experience. Double-clicking on the music icon, the program starts up. At this point, a title screen appears. The window doesn't expand to fill my monitor, a minor annoyance; I trudge on. I am faced with a small array of options (click on any of the following to find out more):

Overall, I found that the program notes were OK, but nothing more than a few pages of nicely packaged text. The score was the highlight of the CD; not only did it allow the listener to follow the music as it played along, but also provided a decent system to jump around and listen to various parts of the piece . Finally, I found that the video was hardly relevant to the package, added on to allow advertising to claim that a video was included. Though the CD is a bargain at $9.99, the serious listener should look elsewhere for more information on Beethoven, and a good recording of the Third Symphony. I suggest the web (see below), and the Karajan Gold collection (Deutsche Grammaphone), respectively.

Remzi's Rating:  

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