*** This is a hybrid Super Audio CD playable on both regular and Super Audio CD players. ***
I listen in awe of these performances, whose luster hasn't dimmed one iota in the passing decades. Aside from the fact that Fritz Reiner's Scheherazade remains one of the most physically exciting versions available, with playing of breathtaking virtuosity in the finale, the contributions of the orchestra's wind soloists in the two inner movements are absolutely radiant and brimming with character. There may be versions as good as this, but it remains a touchstone interpretation in every respect.
If anything, this observation is even more true of the Stravinsky, where inRead more addition to the phenomenal playing, Reiner brings a transparency to the tuttis and a shapeliness of phrasing to the work's latter stages that puts most other versions in the shade. This piece is usually very problematic, in that it tends to fall apart into seemingly unrelated episodes, beginning with a bang and ending with a whimper. Not here. Reiner sees its entire 22 minutes whole, sustaining the long narrative thread from first note to last. Sonically, whether in 3-channel SACD sound or regular stereo, these recordings represent the finest that the Living Stereo engineers were achieving in the mid-1950s and early '60s, which is to say that they remain, like the performances themselves, a standard by which all others are still measured. Magnificent!
Scheherazade, Op. 35by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov Conductor:
Chicago Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic Written: 1888; Russia Date of Recording: 02/08/1960 Venue: Orchestra Hall, Chicago Length: 44 Minutes 30 Secs.
Chant du rossignolby Igor Stravinsky Conductor:
Chicago Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century Written: 1917; Switzerland Date of Recording: 11/03/1956 Venue: Orchestra Hall, Chicago Length: 22 Minutes 17 Secs.
Average Customer Review: ( 1 Customer Review )
Absolutely Amazing!!!September 1, 2012By Richard F. Buckley (Jefferson Hills, PA)See All My Reviews"Back in the early 40's, the first vinyl my mom provided for me was a recording of Scheherezade. I played it so often and heard it elsewhere so frequently after that that it almost began to sound trite to me - ignorant slob that I am! I never replaced it in my collection because of that fact. Still, after reading all the outstanding reviews by Hurwitz, Levine et al, I decided to add this version recently. Am I ever glad that I did! I am not one who often stoops to superlatives, but this CD can only be described as magnificent, spectacular!! I have always been a fan of that genius, Fritz Reiner, and his interpretation of Scheherezade is fantastic! The CSO under his direction delivers a version so good that it is like hearing it again for the first time! Every note, every instrument is heard as R-K originally planned it, I'm sure. Not only is the directing and playing magnificent, but the sound is almost beyond belief - especially considering that it was originally recorded in the 50's when I was still just a youngster and all recorded classical music sounded like it was run through a meat grinder. The engineers did a marvelous job on this recording. It even sounds spectacular on my limited two-speaker stereo system. I don't mean to belittle Song of the Nightingale by any stretch of the imagination. It too is presented in a new and glorious light by Reiner and the CSO. It is just that I am overwhelmed by their rendition of Scheherezade.I now play this disc frequently just as I did when I was five years old, but I enjoy it even more. I can't recommend this CD too highly. Buy it while it is still a steal and on the market. Not only will you never regret it, but you will be sorry if you don't!!"Report Abuse
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