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Strauss: Don Quixote, Don Juan / Reiner, Chicago So

Release Date: 01/23/2007 
Label:  Rca   Catalog #: 704604   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Richard Strauss
Performer:  Antonio JanigroMilton PrevesJohn Weicher
Conductor:  Fritz Reiner
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chicago Symphony Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 0 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

R. STRAUSS Don Quixote. 1 Don Juan Fritz Reiner, cond; Antonio Janigro (vc); 1 Chicago SO RCA 704604 (Hybrid multichannel SACD: 59:42)

Strauss plus Reiner equals obligatory purchase at some point in your life as a music-lover (unless you hate Richard Strauss). This three-channel SACD is the finest-sounding release of these particular recordings I’ve ever heard. To start with, the sonics are Read more ideal for the period, with just the right amount of natural reverb to create a sense of space (better than what Mercury managed in its dry American recordings), but not the vast echo of the later Chandos/Nimbus school. The sound is bright, but not harsh. The SACD presents a precise soundstage, the strings definitely closer than the rest of the instruments, and Antonio Janigro front and center in Quixote , yet not grotesquely close-miked. As honored as Reiner has been for this 1959 recording of Quixote , let’s not forget that much of the success depends on the glowing, elegant yet characterful playing of Janigro, who today is less remembered as a cellist than as an incisive conductor of Vivaldi and Haydn in the 1960s (sort of a Zagreb-based Neville Marriner).

The performance of Don Juan is impetuous and virile, with especially glorious work from the horn section. RCA claims this is Reiner’s 1954 recording (which was the coupling on the 1996 CD reissue), but, based on the timing and certain performance details, I believe it is actually his 1962 re-make (I don’t think RCA was making three-track recordings as early as 1954, anyway). Whatever its vintage, it’s a superb account.

FANFARE: James Reel

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

Don Juan, Op. 20 by Richard Strauss
Conductor:  Fritz Reiner
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chicago Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1888-1889; Germany 
Length: 16 Minutes 29 Secs. 
Don Quixote, Op. 35 by Richard Strauss
Performer:  Antonio Janigro (Cello), Milton Preves (Viola), John Weicher (Violin)
Conductor:  Fritz Reiner
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chicago Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1896-1897; Germany 

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