*** 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: ( 4 Customer Reviews )
A Stunning Performance and Recording May 30, 2017By owen ryan (lakewood, CA)See All My Reviews"After reading David Hurwitz's above review, look up Penguin Guide's review and you will be compelled to believe this is possibly the finest recorded performance of Scheherazade that there is. I won't waste any redundant superlatives in trying to describe how wonderful this offering is since it has all been said already. GET THIS CD WHILE IT IS STILL AVAILABLE! Sony is discontinuing RCA's SACD catalog."Report Abuse
OMG!May 29, 2017By Philip Tasho (Alexandria, VA)See All My Reviews"You have never heard Scheherazade until you hear Fritz Reiner's version. It gives you goose bumps! It is dramatic and mysterious and in my opinion captures what Rimsky Korsakov set out to convey. wow!"Report Abuse
What have you known since the mid 1960s?January 20, 2015By charles l. See All My Reviews"I grew up with this recording; it was my father's favorite piece and favorite recording. I later studied clarinet with the principal clarinetist in the recording. What can I say? That I am delighted to hear this recording in a 3-channel version 50 years later? Of course, I am thrilled to hear the sonic qualities of it; or, of course, that I am reminded of all the magnificent Reiner/ CSO recordings of the 50s and early 60s, but did the engineers of RCA really need 50 years to bring out these recordings? You can compare, musically, Reiner's achievement with "the top of line" for the op. 35, but this interpretation still maintains for me, its musicality, but then, home is home ... There may be better, but there is nothing like home. Wonderful. Bring out more Reiner/CSO recordings in 3-channel, like the Bartok pieces? Or the Tchaikovsky 6th?"Report Abuse