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Hi-Fi Arthur Fiedler / Boston Pops


Release Date: 07/26/2005 
Label:  Rca Victor Living Stereo Catalog #: 67895   Spars Code: ADD 
Composer:  Nikolai Rimsky-KorsakovEmmanuel ChabrierFranz LisztPeter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,   ... 
Conductor:  Arthur Fiedler
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Pops
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Multi 
Length: 1 Hours 10 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

This is a hybrid Super Audio CD playable on both regular and Super Audio CD players.




Make no mistake: Arthur Fiedler was one of the great conductors of the 20th century. He was often dismissed as a mere pops conductor who wasted his time on Beatles arrangements and mushy theme songs from the movie of the week; his detractors apparently didn’t pay attention to his performances of “heavy” music as well as the “light.” Well, first, let’s just get that “pops” business out of the way; all it means is that Fiedler was dedicated to audience outreach, and he wasn’t too proud to draw concert-hall music from vernacular sources. These are precisely qualities that Read more are becoming valued among today’s young conductors. And, at least on disc, Fiedler rarely performed even the most featherweight piece with anything less than integrity, and often with real verve. Furthermore, he brought that verve to the more traditional classics he performed, as well. His recording of Prokofiev’s Love for Three Oranges Suite—aside from the march, not anyone’s idea of pops fare—remains one of the best ever. Any Fiedler recording of so-called light classics is worth the attention of even the most serious of record collectors.


RCA has included in its latest batch of Living Stereo SACD reissues “Hi-Fi Arthur Fiedler,” which originated as a late-1950s LP containing the first three items in the headnote. As in an earlier CD reissue, it’s bulked up with the three other pieces, recorded in 1958 and 1960. The supposedly hi-fi selections, recorded in 1956, actually aren’t among RCA’s best from the period, even taking into consideration that this is early stereo. Le coq d’or ’s initial trumpet fanfare is a bit over-bright, à la Mercury Living Presence; high frequencies in general are just a little harsh, and not as open as in a modern DSD recording. There’s also a slight sense of hiss at high playback levels. What the three-channel SACD version does well, on the other hand, is provide a lovely spread of instruments across the soundstage, even if the placement has little depth. The later recordings sound much more spacious and smooth.


And the performances? All the music is played with great spirit and color, as one would expect, as well as with intelligent balance and apt pacing. Reservations reduce one to nit picking; the William Tell storm sequence could be a bit more vivid, and the Liszt is not quite as rhapsodic as the Stokowski version elsewhere in the Living Stereo SACD series. Otherwise, there is much to love here, as there has been for nearly 50 years.


FANFARE: James Reel
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Works on This Recording

1.
Golden Cockerel: Suite by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov
Conductor:  Arthur Fiedler
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Pops
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1907; Russia 
Date of Recording: 11/25/1956 
Venue:  Symphony Hall, Boston, Massachusetts 
Length: 25 Minutes 1 Secs. 
2.
España by Emmanuel Chabrier
Conductor:  Arthur Fiedler
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Pops
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1883; France 
Date of Recording: 06/26/1958 
Venue:  Symphony Hall, Boston, Massachusetts 
Length: 6 Minutes 22 Secs. 
3.
Hungarian Rhapsodies (6) for Orchestra, S 359: no 2 in D minor by Franz Liszt
Conductor:  Arthur Fiedler
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Pops
Period: Romantic 
Date of Recording: 01/03/1960 
Venue:  Symphony Hall, Boston, Massachusetts 
Length: 9 Minutes 34 Secs. 
4.
Rákóczy March, S 117 by Franz Liszt
Conductor:  Arthur Fiedler
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Pops
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1865; Hungary 
Date of Recording: 01/04/1960 
Venue:  Symphony Hall, Boston, Massachusetts 
Length: 6 Minutes 42 Secs. 
5.
Marche slave, Op. 31 by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Conductor:  Arthur Fiedler
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Pops
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1876; Russia 
Date of Recording: 11/26/1956 
Venue:  Symphony Hall, Boston, Massachusetts 
Length: 9 Minutes 41 Secs. 
6.
Guillaume Tell: Overture by Gioachino Rossini
Conductor:  Arthur Fiedler
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Pops
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1829; Italy 
Date of Recording: 11/26/1956 
Venue:  Symphony Hall, Boston, Massachusetts 
Length: 11 Minutes 46 Secs. 

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