Notes and Editorial Reviews
This selection is a Hybrid Multichannel Super Audio CD. The Stereo Hybrid SACD program can be played on any standard compact disc player. The DSD Surround and Stereo programs require an SACD player for playback.
Musically, these conventional readings offer high-quality period-style performances, marked by predictably brisk tempos, taut rhythm, no vibrato in the upper strings, and attention to repeats. It's hard to hear any meaningful contribution by conductor Marco Boni, other than that he rightfully stays out of the way and does not over-conduct. Of course, the purpose of this release is meant to expose the public to the supposed glories of multi-channel SACD, and as with its other original recordings, Pentatone does not
The surround mix is excellent, with subtle information going to the rear speakers and the main action upfront. The small timpani in the Serenata Notturna feature clearly in the center channel without seeming contrived; each stroke is cleanly defined, and the winds throughout play beautifully. Based on their initial releases, Pentatone (like Telarc) seems to capture bass in multi-channel more realistically than other labels. However, the violins, principally in the Symphony No. 29, sound thin and glassy (a consequence of eliminating vibrato, not the mixing) against the full-bodied timbre of the cellos and doublebass.
My only complaint is that the recording venue adds a bit too much reverberation decay, such that new phrases start before the preceding ones have seemingly finished. Nonetheless, this is a decidedly good sonic effort in a medium that so far has been plagued by largely variable-sounding recordings.
--Michael Liebowitz, ClassicsToday.com
Works on This Recording
Symphony no 5 in B flat major, K 22 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Royal Concertgebouw Chamber Orchestra
Written: 1765; Netherlands
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