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  Site review by Polly Nomial July 11, 2012

Another greatly disappointing disc. In theory, the results could have been excellent for Martin Spangenberg is former principal clarinet with the Munich PO and has performed concertos under Levine & Celibidache among others. The orchestra are "all active or former members of the Gustav Mahler, EU ... more
  Site review by Polly Nomial July 11, 2012

Oh, where to begin? Warnings started flashing through my mind within seconds of the opening - where was the shaping of the introduction themes? Things do not improve with tempo choices that manage to rob the music of all its drama, neuroses and passion. It as if Zacharias wishes to view Schumann as ... more
Queen: Flash Gordon      (2 of 2 found this review helpful)
  Review by alan1074 July 11, 2012

When the film "Flash Gordon" was released, I was still at Primary School. I adored the movie though, and it was my first real introduction to the music of Queen, via the soundtrack and the top 10 single, which I had on 7". For that reason it was one of the first Queen albums I ever owned and one of ... more
Mahler: Symphony No. 6, Henze: Sebastian im Traum - Jansons          (3 of 4 found this review helpful)
  Review by willemvoorneveld July 11, 2012

Mahler 6 and Henze: Sebastian im Traum (2003-04)-Jansons, KCO live. According to writers of his time, Mahler himself was shocked after hearing the premiere of his own recently (1906) completed 6th symphony. Only the Scherzo gives a bit of relieve but all other movements end into tragedy. The ... more
Mahler: Symphony No. 6 - San Francisco/Michael Tilson Thomas          (2 of 3 found this review helpful)
  Review by willemvoorneveld July 11, 2012

Mahler’s 6th starts off with a grim march and ends with a sudden blast of A minor accord accentuated by big drum. The two middle movements, the Scherzo and a moderate Andante, are thematically interwoven with the 1st and 4th movement, almost like how Bach puzzled with themes in his “kunst der Fuge”. ... more
Queen: Hot Space      (3 of 3 found this review helpful)
  Review by alan1074 July 10, 2012

Although the price is somewhat eye watering, I had to see what the quality of my favourite Queen album was like in super audio. I had a feeling that it was coming, and as such I had held off buying the 2011 standard CD re-issue. First impression was that there was a lot more air in the material, ... more
Gandolfi: The Garden of Cosmic Speculation - Spano          (2 of 2 found this review helpful)
  Review by jagxjr15 July 10, 2012

Although Mr. Lang, who wrote the first review didn't mention it....If you have a good 5.1 channel surround setup and you enjoy surround music, you will have fun near the end of 'The Universe Cascade'!. This is not merely a 'conventional' surround recording of an orchestra, where the surrounds are ... more
Mahler: Symphony No. 5 - Jansons        (5 of 9 found this review helpful)
  Review by willemvoorneveld July 9, 2012

Plenty of Mahler 5 releases on SACD and RBCD are available and there are many good performances among them. Among them I count Haitink, Abbado, Chailly, Tilson Thomas, Bernstein and Boulez and this list is not complete for sure. For starters in Mahler’s music the 5th is maybe the best option to ... more
Come Away, Death        (2 of 2 found this review helpful)
  Review by wilbur July 7, 2012

Wow! I had been tentative about buying this disc, as the pieces I knew well (Finzi and Mussorgsky) I would normally prefer with a man singing, but I decided to give it a go. Again: wow! The thing that is perhaps the most stunning about this disc is the recording quality, which is simply astounding. ... more
Dave Brubeck Quartet: Time Out        (10 of 10 found this review helpful)
  Review by Discspinner July 7, 2012

Hard to believe this was recorded in the late 50s. The sound is dynamic, and despite that there is almost no distortion from loudness of an instrument exceeding the recording capacity, which I have heard on some early recordings. Drums are particularly well rendered as evidenced by "Take Five" in ... more
Beethoven: The Nine Symphonies - Kempe        (4 of 8 found this review helpful)
  Review by ThierryN July 7, 2012

I own the following versions of LVB symphonies: Abbado ( CD + 9 in HD) Barenboim (only 9 in HD) Bernstein Bloomstedt Chailly Harnoncourt Jochum Kleiber (only 5&7 in HD) Klemperer Krips Kubelik Mackerras Ormandy Rattle Solti Steinberg Tilson Thomas (only 5 in HD) Wand From the music persoective, I ... more
Bruckner: Symphonies Nos. 3 & 4 - Jansons        (3 of 15 found this review helpful)
  Review by JohnProffitt July 6, 2012

The previous reviewer makes an odd statement that should not pass without correction. I can think of no "Bruckner specialists" at all who consider the Third Symphony to be "immature" in any fashion. Revolutionary, certainly; and central to the composer's emerging and evolving concept of the ... more
Bruckner: Symphonies Nos. 3 & 4 - Jansons        (12 of 15 found this review helpful)
  Review by willemvoorneveld July 5, 2012

Bruckner 3 & 4, Mariss Jansons. By many Bruckner specialists the 3rd symphony is considered an immature work. But it has too many attractive ingredients to ignore and therefore it is regularly programmed and recorded. In the opening movement the trumpets are, loud and clear, playing the first ... more
  Site review by Geohominid July 5, 2012

Wes10brass are a 10-member symphonic band of highly-talented brass players from the orchestras of North Rhine-Westphalia in Western Germany. Some of them also play with orchestras such as the Philharmonia, Concertgebouw, Mahler Chamber Orchestra, Anima Eterna Brugge, Taverner Consort and Players, ... more
  Site review by Castor July 4, 2012

This is the second recording of Richard Strauss's Elektra to appear in the SACD format. The first was released in 2006 on the Profil label and was notable for the especially strong casting of the main roles, the thrilling conducting of Semyon Bychkov (always impressive in Strauss) and the ... more
  Review by Steveoboogie July 3, 2012

I never could understand why this and Layla were recorded so poorly. I know there were a lot of ego's involved and Clapton would be at his worst as far as his drug problem was concerned but somehow they pulled off a great record. Closer to Traffic then Creem but fans of either should like this. The ... more
The Hot Spot        (3 of 3 found this review helpful)
  Review by Steveoboogie July 3, 2012

Just to comment on another persons reveiw. You say on some of these tracks the is not even real music. I would love to know what makes something qualify as music. Do you write of ambient music off for lack of form? Just curious. As for this soundtrack. I fell in love with it when I saw this film in ... more
Paganini: 24 Caprices - Accardo          (1 of 1 found this review helpful)
  Review by Lute July 3, 2012

I should have searched for more information and reviews of this SACD before I bought it. The performance is not bad. Actually, it is quite good. The problem here is the sound. There is a harshness to the violin sound. At times there even seems to be a slight distortion... which is a shame because it ... more
Ben Webster: See You at the Fair        (3 of 3 found this review helpful)
  Review by gotoma8 July 2, 2012

This is one of Ben's best albums and this SACD is so amazing! I've never heard so much air, rich tones and breadth from Ben's Sax! It's a short album though, that's unfortunate...as the music and performance is astounding! A must have for any Ben fans.
  Site review by Geohominid July 1, 2012

It is immediately evident that this disc, recorded by Telarc in 1999, was intended as a demonstration of their DSD surround sound techniques. Featuring their resident best-selling organist, Michael Murray, it also boasts the organ of St Sulpice, Paris, one of the best-preserved Cavaillé-Coll organs. ... more
Sommer: Sapphos Gesänge, Goethe Lieder - Kulman, Skovhus, Weigle        (4 of 5 found this review helpful)
  Review by JJ June 30, 2012

Hans Sommer (1837-1922), “expert in natural sciences and mathematics professor,” embraced composing late in life, and was encouraged by Franz Liszt, who told him concerning the “Sapho’s Songs”: “The songs are without a doubt very dramatic, but done with taste and moderation. Continue like that!” In ... more
  Site review by Geohominid June 29, 2012

Haydn hated his last monumental work, and is reported to have declared that it "broke my back". Working tirelessly on 'The Seasons' from 1798 to 1801, his health was ruined by a debilitating series of ailments. Afterwards, for the remaining 8 years of his life, he had the strength only to pen a few ... more
Gentle Giant: Octopus      (1 of 1 found this review helpful)
  Review by Sergey June 29, 2012

One would like to ask John: but on what you're listening to this CD? Recording with an abundance of air, impressive bass, vivid and emotional vocals. Very good separation of instruments. Universal get the most out of the master tape.
  Review by Sergey June 29, 2012

Given the initial low quality recording of this CD Universal Japan have done the impossible. Fast and accurate bass deep, Vocals Byron sneaks up needles. The disc sounds very vigorously and openly. Drayf present in every note. Recommend. Recording of the album with the best quality just does not ... more
Beethoven: Complete Piano Works Vol. 11 - Brautigam        (8 of 9 found this review helpful)
  Review by seth June 28, 2012

The chief reason to buy this disc is for Brautigam's dazzling performance of the Eroica Variations. Infrequently played and recorded merely because it's not one of the numbered 32 sonatas, the Eroica Variations is a clever, virtuoso work from the beginning of Beethoven's second period. It exhibits ... more
Debussy, Dutilleux, Ravel - Jansons        (8 of 11 found this review helpful)
  Review by willemvoorneveld June 28, 2012

A new release of Debussy’s La Mer and Ravel’s La Valse is not a daring undertaken for a label, but adding a relatively new and unknown work from Henry Dutilleux deserves praise. This SACD issue contains Dutilleux's semi violin concerto L’Arbre des Songes (Finished in 1985). Different from a normal ... more
The Who: Tommy      (1 of 2 found this review helpful)
  Review by Sergey June 28, 2012

From playing the disc is simply breathtaking. Many modern artists would envy such a quality record. This SACD-SHM discs just a new level of sonic performance previously unattainable!
The Who Sell Out      (1 of 1 found this review helpful)
  Review by Sergey June 28, 2012

An excellent record. You understand that the record is old, but at the same instruments sound distinct and clear, deep bass. Listen very comfortable, the sound of volumetric. It is fair to say that some things are not written very clearly, but this is the lack of a soundtrack. Overall: drive that is ... more
Rainbow: Rainbow Rising      (1 of 3 found this review helpful)
  Review by Sergey June 28, 2012

I want to say: do not scare anyone by their estimates. This CD was originally never shone outstanding quality recordings. And indeed the entire Rainbow. Universal Japan is not published record again. It only brings the highest quality that record that was made originally. As for this disc: there is ... more
Shostakovich, Schnittke: Piano Trios - Kempf Trio        (6 of 6 found this review helpful)
  Review by willemvoorneveld June 28, 2012

Shostakovich Piano trios are popular items and are played frequently and thus are also widely available on CD. The trio’s are considered master pieces of a genre that was also extensively used by Brahms. The reviewed recording is from the Kempf Trio that unfortunately stopped functioning as a trio ... more
  Site review by Polly Nomial June 27, 2012

This disc of four cantata's celebrates Christmas day, the first & second days of Christmas and the first Sunday after Christmas. The vocal team is familiar: Gerlinde Samann (soprano), Petra Noskaiova (alto), Christoph Genz (tenor) and Jan Van der Crabben (bass). They are all on fine form as is the ... more
  Site review by Polly Nomial June 27, 2012

The Royal Scottish National Orchestra really do a fantastic French sound these days, arguably one of the finest outside of the country itself. So it is with great pleasure that one listens repeatedly to this disc from them under Neeme Jarvi of Saint-Seans. Most of the favourite (purely) orchestral ... more
  Site review by Castor June 26, 2012

PentaTone have definitely established a winning formula for success with the ten Wagner operas they are currently recording in association with Deutschlandradio Kultur in Berlin. First assemble a cast of the finest and most experienced Wagner singers available. Secondly engage a conductor with a ... more
Mike Oldfield: Tubular Bells      (1 of 2 found this review helpful)
  Review by Bill Sykes June 26, 2012

I read analogue's review and, as I already own the hybrid, I was intrigued at the prospect of such a different experience. I first owned Tubular Bells on stereo cassette (you know, the plastic containers for magnetic tape just waiting to scrumple in your player allowing you those irrecoverable ... more
The Who: Quadrophenia      (1 of 2 found this review helpful)
  Review by Bill Sykes June 26, 2012

Beautiful, sumptuous, warm instruments (you can hear Keith's snare and feel Roger's sneer) the presentation of this masterpiece is wonderful. I waited to love The Who, knowing the hits, hearing the odd album track here and there. I picked up the deluxe SACD edition of Tommy because Pete mixed it and ... more
Mozart: Don Giovanni - Opera Senza        (0 of 6 found this review helpful)
  Review by ThierryN June 26, 2012

A wonderful orchestra texture, both poetic and pwerfull.
Mozart: Requiem - Enoch zu Guttenberg        (4 of 10 found this review helpful)
  Review by ThierryN June 26, 2012

I have a dozen version of Mozart Requiem, and listened to a dozen of live performances. This version is THE ONE. The one I have dreamed of for 30 years. It breathes, it cries, the human pronunciation is tuned to instruments one. Articulation, phrasing, intonation are so right. I am moved and ... more
Chopin: Piano Concertos Nos. 1 & 2 - Nakamichi, Arita        (5 of 5 found this review helpful)
  Review by Adrian Cue June 25, 2012

At the end of last century Japanese pianists surprised many music lovers with their technical skills, winning important prizes at international contests. Ikuyo Nakamichi was one of them. After winning the 1986 Mendelssohn contest in Berlin, she felt ready to participate the following year in the ... more
Stravinsky: Oedipus Rex, Les Noces - Gergiev        (5 of 5 found this review helpful)
  Review by willemvoorneveld June 25, 2012

Gergiev’s Les Noces is one with a rifle in the attack. There is little subtlety in the way Gergiev plows through the score. I do not know who is to blame for this subpar performance; is it the team of soloists, the recording engineers or Gergiev himself or just all of them together. The soloists ... more
Vivaldi: L'Amore per Elvira - La Serenissima        (2 of 2 found this review helpful)
  Review by Lute June 25, 2012

"superbly stylish...sails off into the stratosphere"...Evening Standard ...is printed on the back of the case. Well... Who could argue with that! Another wonderful SACD release fron Linn. A collection of little known cantatas by Vivaldi, and 3 of his sonatas for violin & cello come together to make ... more
Billy Joel: The Stranger        (2 of 39 found this review helpful)
  Review by gonzostick June 25, 2012

Why bother with this two channel disc, when the original Sony/CBS issue was MCH and in surround?
Chopin, Grieg: Cello Sonatas - Kanka, Klepac        (2 of 2 found this review helpful)
  Review by madisonears June 24, 2012

This disc hasn't been reviewed in five years, and it definitely deserves more attention and your consideration. I was not familiar with these works before hearing them here, so I have no comparisons to make. I can't imagine anyone playing them with more character or more emotional intensity than ... more
Gentle Giant: Octopus      (1 of 1 found this review helpful)
  Review by Steveoboogie June 24, 2012

This is a brilliant SACD. Not only is this one of Prog. rocks masterpieces but they did a nice mastering job on it. Gentle Giant are not as easy to swallow as Yes or Genesis but are a band worth checking out. Their music (in my case anyway) took a while to grow on you. I am very happy I picked this ... more
  Site review by Polly Nomial June 24, 2012

A wonderful issue of a tragic momento. Somewhat frustratingly, no timings are included in this release, so for the aid of potential buyers Sonata No. 21: I-20'13, II-9'04, III-4'13, IV-8'24 Der Muller und der Bach - 5'09 Sei mir gegrusst - 4'20 Fruhlingsglaube - 3'35 Auf dem Wasser zu singen - ... more
Stéphane Denève conducts Debussy        (5 of 11 found this review helpful)
  Review by sacd_fan_2007 June 24, 2012

I thought I'd add a mini-review for the SACD-stereo layer and rbcd-cd layer. I'm pleased with the recording quality even if the concert hall is cavernous. The ratings are on a basis of comparison to some of the leading available recordings on rbcd, many of which I own. Although, I am not stating ... more
Soler: Selected Sonatas for Harp - Godelieve Schrama        (1 of 1 found this review helpful)
  Review by Lute June 24, 2012

A lovely offering of harp sonatas by the Catalan composer Padre Antonio Soler. Originally composed for harpsichord, these sonatas have a transparency that makes them suitable for the harp as well. Their sunny, carefree manner is very appealing. Hard to imagine that they were composed by such a ... more
  Site review by Polly Nomial June 23, 2012

6 works from Telemann and a work previously attributed to Telemann adds up to a glorious of Baroque music making in these hands. This is the début recording of Ensemble Meridiana and a very fine début it is too - one can see why they have been celebrated seemingly wherever they go! The music is ... more
Elgar: Symphony No. 1 - Brabbins        (9 of 9 found this review helpful)
  Review by Adrian Cue June 22, 2012

A late reaction, but in view of the discussion I thought that it might be useful for those still making up their mind about which one to go for. Well, as far as I am concerned, this one is a real disappointment. I should have known better. I got this disk cheaply by mail order from ‘the best ... more
Galakonzert der Dresdner Staatskapelle - Rudolf Kempe      (1 of 4 found this review helpful)
  Review by Lute June 22, 2012

Glorious sound!! The music jumps out of the speakers. It is only in 2 channel stereo, but who needs surround when it's so full. The sound has good depth and spacial quality. To say nothing of the wonderful music making! Only 46 minutes of music, but... Highly recommended for lovers of Strauss, and ... more
The Doobie Brothers: what were once vices are now habits        (1 of 1 found this review helpful)
  Review by jackan June 21, 2012

First off, this is my favorite Doobie Brothers period. What Were Once Vices are now Habits, and Stampede are my favorite Doobie Brothers albums. To me, it is where the lineup had jelled, and they had matured into a song writing and performance groove. More coherent than the first couple of albums, ... more
  Review by lenw June 21, 2012

I very much like Sara K's artistic impressions and musically I do enjoy this album. I also appreciate the in-site she provides about the creation of each song. Sonically I give the album credit for clear delineation between instruments. But I don't give this album as high marks as her "Play On ... more
Rihm: String Quartets Nos. 1, 4, 5 & 8 - DoelenKwartet          (4 of 4 found this review helpful)
  Review by willemvoorneveld June 21, 2012

Wolfgang Rihm – Streichquartette 1, 4, 8, 5 Four string quartets from German composer Wolfgang Rihm (1952) composed between 1970 and 1988. The quartets continue the line of compositions for string quartets from Hayden, Beethoven, Shostakovich and Bartok to mention a few of the main protagonists in ... more
  Site review by Geohominid June 21, 2012

The Gateway Chamber Orchestra is a relatively new ensemble which made its début in 2008 with Schoenberg's Chamber Symphony No. 1, which features on this disc. Based at Austin Peay State University, the ensemble is built from a pool of professional musicians from the University and hinterland. They ... more
Rickie Lee Jones: It's Like This        (1 of 1 found this review helpful)
  Review by Listenerman June 21, 2012

I can't say enough for this disc as well as the two other very different SACD releases from Rickie Lee. About the only thing they have in common is perfection of performance and production. "It's Like This" is sure to be a crowd-pleaser, not just for Rickie Lee fans, because of the familiar ... more
Shostakovich: The Nose - Gergiev          (1 of 3 found this review helpful)
  Review by willemvoorneveld June 20, 2012

The satirical opera The Nose is the first of four (not three as mentioned in the booklet) Opera’s that Shostakovich would compose, and all of them are masterpieces and all 4 are very different. In this opera, unlike the other 3, tonality is almost non-existent. Very modern for the time (1928) and ... more
Tchaikovsky, Glazunov: Violin Concertos - Gluzman, Litton        (5 of 8 found this review helpful)
  Review by jeff3948 June 20, 2012

Vive la Vadim, Lauda Litton, Bravissimo Bergen, and Bravo BIS Performance Wow, what a performance! Vadim, Litton and the Bergen give us the most exciting final movement of the Tchaikovsky I‘ve ever heard. Vadim’s emotional bravura and romantic spirit is in full bloom and Litton’s strong and ... more
Rhapsodies - Stokowski        (3 of 4 found this review helpful)
  Review by EdBoxer June 20, 2012

Having owned “Rhapsodies” on LP and Living Stereo CD, I was particularly disappointed in this recording. Yes, these are exciting performances. But, I don’t see much of a gain in SACD for this recording. The soundstage is very deep. So deep that clarity suffers because of “cathedral” reverberance. ... more
  Site review by Geohominid June 20, 2012

Poor Max Bruch; not only an un-reconstructable late Romantic, his G minor Violin Concerto, penned at the age of 25, became such a success that it overshadowed most of his other life works, leading to deep depression. He was vitriolic towards other more progressive colleagues, whom he saw departing ... more
  Site review by Polly Nomial June 19, 2012

The Skalkottas will be unfamiliar to many but to those not au fait with his compositional style should not be concerned - it shows remarkable similarities to Shostakovich but with a little more atonality replacing the grim irony of the Russian master. The Concertino of 1939 is a remarkably sunny ... more
Dvorak: Symphony Nos. 8, 9 - Fischer          (2 of 3 found this review helpful)
  Review by willemvoorneveld June 19, 2012

This is a good example of a splendid recording with a caveat. I like this performance and recording a lot because it gives the impression of a live performance with substantial symphony hall acoustics. Based on the results on disk I have to assume that the Italian institute in Budapest is quite a ... more
Shelby Lynne: Just A Little Lovin'        (2 of 2 found this review helpful)
  Review by Discspinner June 18, 2012

A tribute to the late Dusty Springfield, the instrumentation is pared back to showcase the interpretations of these classics by Shelby Lynne. The feel is intimate and "live." The vocals are wonderful, which was a pleasant surprise since I don't know anything about Lynne as an artist. The band ... more
Schumann: Symphonies Nos. 1 & 3 - Paavo Järvi          (7 of 19 found this review helpful)
  Review by ruxtonvet June 18, 2012

This is a flat two dimensional, thin, somewhat bright sounding SACD. The interpretation is quite joyful although I am no Schumann expert but the sound is strikingly bad. I listen in two channel.
The Who Sell Out      (3 of 3 found this review helpful)
  Review by analogue June 18, 2012

This album has grown on me over the years and it contains their classic I can see for miles. This was the Who's answer to PET SOUNDS AND sergeant pepper. its FULL OF JINGLES, COMMERCIALS AND PSYCHEDELIA. This new shm sacd contains both the mono and stereo versions of the album and thats a great ... more
Ella Fitzgerald: Like Someone In Love        (3 of 3 found this review helpful)
  Review by analogue June 18, 2012

This new sacd release from the late 50's is very exceptional. I was very surprised by the sound quality. Some listeners might find the type of style of this music somewhat sappy, sentimental and passe but such is not the case. Yes its a very romantic album and the string and orchestra section might ... more
  Review by vonwegen June 18, 2012

Folks, the reason this SACD disappoints is because the original vinyl does too. Fact is, this album's sessions were blighted by the drug issues of two of the band, and it shows in some of the mixes, especially "Talk Of The Town", which is one of the two standout tunes. This album is without a doubt, ... more
Martin: Die Weise von Liebe und Tod - Steen        (1 of 1 found this review helpful)
  Review by willemvoorneveld June 18, 2012

The Swiss Born Composer Frank Martin lived and worked the most part of his life in the Netherlands. His musical language definitely caries all the ingredients of 20th century composing styles; nonetheless his style is unique and individual and not easily comparable with other composers. Several of ... more
Wagner: Orchestral Music from The Ring - Cleveland Orchestra/Szell      (4 of 4 found this review helpful)
  Review by EdBoxer June 17, 2012

I’ve owned these on LP and CD. The performances get raves from almost every reviewer. They are near perfect. Szell conducted 86 performances at the Met from 1942-1946, including 4 Ring Cycles in 1944 and 1945 (with Traubel and Melchior). He conducts with opera experience. What sets these recordings ... more
Strauss Family Waltzes - Cleveland Orchestra/Szell      (2 of 2 found this review helpful)
  Review by EdBoxer June 17, 2012

I’ve owned these on LP and cassette. The virtuosity in Perpetuum Mobile alone is worth the price of the disc. Jaw-dropping virtuosity. These may not be quite as “Viennese” as others but they are played impeccably. And they are obviously having a dammed good time making these recordings. The sound ... more
Both Sides, Now - Håkan Hardenberger        (3 of 3 found this review helpful)
  Review by steviev June 17, 2012

You know you're in for a mopefest when the most upbeat cut on a disc is the Waltz and Love Theme from "The Godfather." Let me set the scene: golden early evening sunlight plays through forest of pine, blackberry tangles, and scotch broom; my day's work is done, and I'm melting deep into my ... more
Stéphane Denève conducts Debussy        (11 of 14 found this review helpful)
  Review by jeff3948 June 16, 2012

I must say I was very impressed by the detail and beauty of both the performance and the recording of this Debussy 2 SACD set. I followed up with re-listening to versions of the three major pieces, Nocturnes, Images, and La Mer plus the Faun in my collection by Previn, Haitink, Boulez, Tortleir, ... more
  Site review by Geohominid June 16, 2012

The French have had a love-affair with the harp since Medieval times, yet very few harp concertos, even in France, appear on modern concert platforms. Outside France, the usual suspects are the Mozart concerto for flute and harp (written in the manner of a keyboard piece) or (rarely) Boieldieu's ... more
Shostakovich: Symphony No. 4 - Gergiev        (5 of 6 found this review helpful)
  Review by willemvoorneveld June 16, 2012

The SACD at hand is a somewhat older release with Gergiev in Shos 4. There are many releases of Shostakovich symphonies but not too many feature on SA-CD. This CD stems from the early days of SACD releases and I think at the time Philips was not fully clear yet on how surround recordings should ... more
Stravinsky: Pulcinella - Chicago Symphony Orchestra        (4 of 6 found this review helpful)
  Review by willemvoorneveld June 15, 2012

The performances of Stravinsky’s work by Pierre Boulez should be well known by now. Integrity, never over the top and the tempi always feel natural. As if this music need to be performed no other way. On this recording Boulez was very lucky with the soloists, Roxana Constantinescu and Kyle Ketelsen, ... more
Baltic Runes - Hillier          (2 of 2 found this review helpful)
  Review by willemvoorneveld June 15, 2012

Vocal works from Nordic composers are hot, for good reasons. Concerts in western Europe are fully booked when the likes of Pärt, Tormis and Kreek show up on program posters and the influx of choral works from the Baltics and Scandinavian countries has revived choral singing. There is a lot to be ... more
Brahms: Symphonies Nos. 2 & 3 - Jansons        (4 of 4 found this review helpful)
  Review by willemvoorneveld June 15, 2012

Brahms 2 & 3 So far this is my favourite recording of Brahms 2 & 3. Key words that come to my mind after listening to nr 2. are: architecture, Balanced, warm, deep emotions and also light and clear. Jansons reveals more layers from the score than I had ever heard under other conductors, and he ... more
Schnittke: The Piano Concertos - Ewa Kupiec, Frank Strobel        (6 of 6 found this review helpful)
  Review by willemvoorneveld June 15, 2012

One of the most recorded and performed works of Alfred Schnittke might be the Konzert für Klavier und Streichorchester from 1979. In this recording this piece gets a philosophical treatment from Ewa Kupiec. She plays the work slower than any other performer I know and in doing so she reveals a few ... more
Aho: Symphony No. 12 - Storgårds        (4 of 4 found this review helpful)
  Review by willemvoorneveld June 15, 2012

The music: According to the contemporary composer Kalevi Aho, the Luosto symphony should preferably be performed at a specific location outdoors in Finnish Lapland (named Luosto). The composer refers to this as spatial music. This sounds like a very romantic set-up or Sibelius squire. However the ... more
  Site review by Geohominid June 14, 2012

Finnish composer Seppo Pohjola (b. 1965) comes from a family of three musical brothers, and is the youngest but only surviving sibling. Olli, the oldest, was a renowned flautist and member of the Avanti! Chamber Orchestra, Matti was a cellist in the same orchestra. Seppo's own instrument was the ... more
  Review by chopchip June 14, 2012

excellent cd. very enjoyable variety of music
Yes: Fragile        (6 of 11 found this review helpful)
  Review by rorschach2009 June 14, 2012

Rhino should be hanged by a dog's tail for releasing this SACD. Let me clear a few things first. This release is NOT A FRESH REMASTER from the original tapes. Rhino released a DVD-A in 2002 from freshly remastered analog tapes, and mind you -- those remasters were badly done. This SACD is based on ... more
Norah Jones: Come Away With Me        (1 of 2 found this review helpful)
  Review by rorschach2009 June 14, 2012

Norah Jones is an extremely overrated singer. And nowhere is it more apparent than on this SACD. If sonic quality of an SACD can't make her singing enjoyable, nothing else will. The sonics are partly to blame for a disappointing listening experience. Mixing has not been done properly. More detail ... more
Bach: Goldberg Variations - Glenn Gould          (0 of 2 found this review helpful)
  Review by Ian Xavier Roskell June 14, 2012

Glen Gould's performance is there but it's vauge...his touches are there but they aren't as fully there the zanph re-performance technology is quite good it works well with oscar peterson's jazz and his friend art tatum but a genuis so ahead like gould is a whole other ball park. The technology is ... more
Mahler: Das Lied von der Erde - Klemperer        (2 of 12 found this review helpful)
  Review by Ian Xavier Roskell June 14, 2012

It's a little disapointing that there isn't a 5.1 version of this great recording on the market but it's still very good even if it's just in stereo. The sound is excellent both in part due to the High sampling of the SA-CD and the detail that Klemperer takes in his conducting. The main motif that ... more
Beethoven: Symphonies Nos. 1-9 - Haitink          (3 of 7 found this review helpful)
  Review by Ian Xavier Roskell June 14, 2012

I don't need to say much...buy if it's possible that a recording can be called a masterpiece that is exactly what has been achieved. A masterful collection of masterpiece recordings by a master of music who wrote masterpieces all of which are perfectly captured in this collection. This is a crown ... more
Mahler: Symphony No. 5 - Gergiev          (1 of 3 found this review helpful)
  Review by Ian Xavier Roskell June 14, 2012

Straight forward this recording lacks the bite and energy that is required of the 5th the rondo left me unmoved; but the 4th movement is beatifuly performed I was brought to tears by how moving Gergiev's vision of the love song is; its rare that it's performed as a song of passion and love rather ... more
  Site review by Geohominid June 14, 2012

It is often wise sometimes to sit back and look at a broader context. For most modern music-lovers, our sense of the Classical period in music history is virtually defined by Haydn and Mozart. Giants they may be in their field, but we must admit that other musician/composers were plentiful in Europe ... more
  Review by cigarette jones June 13, 2012

very nice album. bought it for the pop singles "dare you to move" and "meant to live" and thought it might be a good rock sample of sacd sound. i was pleasantly surprised, not only by the smooth and crisp analog sound, but also by the overall quality of the album. i really liked most all of the ... more
  Site review by Geohominid June 12, 2012

The organ featured significantly in Rued Langgaard's early career as a performer and composer. He showed his talents as early as age 11 in his improvisations on the instrument in 1905, and later took the only professional position of his life as organist at Ribe (South Jutland) in ... more
The Who: Quadrophenia      (2 of 2 found this review helpful)
  Review by Whistlerskibum June 12, 2012

This album has been one of my of desert island album for 30+ years. This SACD is now my go to digital copy and comparable to my classic records 200g vinyl. Since I have the booklet in my vinyl version wasn't too bummed about the booklet not being included with SACD. Highly recommended.
Richard Strauss: Josephs Legende - Fischer          (6 of 13 found this review helpful)
  Review by ruxtonvet June 12, 2012

I purchased this based on the SACD.net reviews and the fact that I basically like Richard Strauss. This is definitely not first rate Strauss. There is little to distinguish the beginning from the middle and end of the piece. There is good reason that the piece has fallen out of favor. What was ... more
Dire Straits: Love Over Gold      (2 of 2 found this review helpful)
  Review by Steveoboogie June 11, 2012

I have had every version of this album on CD since the first one came out from Phillips in the 1980's. First of all I agree there is no "sameness" (every song sounds the same) on this CD. Your telling me Industrial Disease sounds like Telegraph Road ? This is an excellent album and comes third after ... more
Dvorák: Symphony No. 7, Othello, The Wild Dove - Flor        (7 of 7 found this review helpful)
  Review by emaidel June 11, 2012

Sometimes one purchases a recording and likes one or more aspects of it, but doesn't care much for another. This particular disc is all but a revelation: everything is absolutely first rate. The Malaysian Philharmonic has rarely played with such conviction, giving freshness, life and genuine ... more
  Site review by Geohominid June 10, 2012

"On the fourteenth of December at ten o'clock, exequies were held at the Church of St Nicholas in the Lesser Quarter for the Kapellmeister and court composer Wolfgang Amadé Mozart who passed away in Vienna on the fifth of this month. The ceremony, executed by some of the finest local musicians under ... more
Depeche Mode: Violator        (1 of 1 found this review helpful)
  Review by audvoid June 9, 2012

I've had this SACD since it was released but recently rearranged my living room for optimal surround listening. I popped the disc in my player and was completely blown away. I've been a Depeche Mode fan for over 20 years and can honestly say I was startled by how great this album sounds. Along with ... more
The Who: Quadrophenia      (4 of 4 found this review helpful)
  Review by pabu June 9, 2012

What a crasy version. SHM SACD is the third I've just bought. First was a cd before remastering, second after remastering. But neither can be compared with this SACDs. Because the sound is excellent: the consistency of John Entwistle's bass, the real sensation of drumsticks' impact on toms, the ... more
Strauss: Till Eulenspiegel, Don Juan etc. - Cleveland Orchestra/Szell      (4 of 5 found this review helpful)
  Review by EdBoxer June 9, 2012

These performances by Szell and the Cleveland Orchestra are classic Strauss recordings. Szell was an apprentice to Strauss and Strauss highly approved of Szell’s performances of his works. The Cleveland Orchestra plays marvelously. Listen to the string tone in the finale of Todt und Verklärung. ... more
Gershwin: Rhapsody in Blue - Fiedler        (4 of 5 found this review helpful)
  Review by EdBoxer June 9, 2012

I've owned most of contents of this SACD on LP, Cassette, and/or CD. The best performance here is the Concerto. Wild and Fieldler are not only ripping through this unabashed, they are clearly having a great time. The Rhapsody in Blue and American in Paris are both very well played and among my ... more
Offenbach: Gaite Parisienne etc. - Boston Pops/Fiedler        (2 of 3 found this review helpful)
  Review by EdBoxer June 8, 2012

These are classic performances by Fiedler and the Boston Pops. Yes, they are fast and there are a few glitches. But that does not in any way diminish the amount of fun they are clearly having. I'll take fun with a few glitches over sterile perfection anytime. The sound on the two channel SACD is a ... more
  Site review by Polly Nomial June 7, 2012

A recording to savour, although it may not be to everyone's tastes. Firstly it should be noted that both the works presented here face stiff competition: Gergiev's electrifying account of the symphony with the VPO on RBCD and Tchaikovsky: Serenade for Strings, Francesca da Rimini - Stokowski for Francesca da Rimini on SACD. Those ... more
  Site review by Polly Nomial June 7, 2012

After some fine accounts of the 6th and Manfred symphonies, Kitajenko's account is something of a disappointment. Things start well enough, with a rich, luxurious patina from the Gurzenich-Orchester Koln conjured up under Kitajenko's baton. Tempo choices are not extreme on one side or the other ... more

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