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  Site review by Polly Nomial August 20, 2012

As the title indicates, this is the first volume in a projected cycle of all Mendelssohn's string chamber works (including the quintets and octet) to be presented on 4 discs. The present volume includes the first two numbered quartets and closes with the early quartet completed when Mendelssohn was ... more
Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 6, Romeo & Juliet - Paavo Järvi          (6 of 7 found this review helpful)
  Review by Adrian Cue August 20, 2012

Choosing between the available recordings of Tchaikovsky’s 6th Symphony is by no means an easy task. So far there are no less than 19 different super audio versions. Even if we take out the older, ‘refurbished’ ones, as well as the ‘Japan only’, there remains a choice of 9. What I suppose most of ... more
  Site review by Castor August 19, 2012

There is such a bewildering array of recommendable versions of these evergreen works available on CD, and to some extent even on SACD, that any new recording must offer something special to make its mark in such a crowded field. While some combine one or more of the four concertante works heard here ... more
Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 5, Pique Dame Overture - Kitajenko        (4 of 4 found this review helpful)
  Review by jeffreybehr August 18, 2012

Just heard this for the severalth time, and it's now my favorite. Previous comments about poor choices for tempos ring wrongly FOR ME--Katajenko's tempos are slower than some, and nothing ever sounds rushed, it all sounds JUST RIGHT. I especially love that he doesn't speed the end of that ... more
  Site review by Geohominid August 17, 2012

Clearly JSB thought a great deal about his collection of six Concertos for Harpsichord, BWV 1052a - BWV 1057. During 1738-9 he meticulously revised and converted some existing movements (possibly some from violin concertos and probably some from organ concertos), also going to the trouble of binding ... more
  Site review by Castor August 17, 2012

The Melba recordings of the State Opera of South Australia's performances of the four operas of Wagner's 'Der Ring des Nibelungen' given in Adelaide in 2004 were greeted with fulsome and justifiable praise when they were released between 2005 and 2007. It is not altogether surprising then that Melba ... more
Billy Joel: 52nd Street        (7 of 7 found this review helpful)
  Review by analogue August 16, 2012

This was a good follow up to his classic Stranger album. It features three radio hits and some solid tracks that are rarely heard outside of this album. If you're expecting a drop dead gorgeous and mind blowing sacd of this album....you will not find it here. Unfortunately. This new Mofi sacd ... more
The Doobie Brothers: what were once vices are now habits        (3 of 3 found this review helpful)
  Review by p59teitel August 13, 2012

A classic album from the Doobies' early-mid 70s peak as a rock outfit before Michael McDonald's pop sensibilities took them in a different direction. Great tunes, great playing. The MFSL SACD presents the blackest, quietest background of any version to date, along with a clean treble, a sweet ... more
  Site review by Geohominid August 10, 2012

The sombre cover photograph of this disc, of the artists sitting on the pedestal of a War Memorial on either side of two red poppy wreaths, says much about its contents. Both Ivor Gurney (1890-1916) and George Butterworth served in the First World War trenches and died there; Vaughan Williams, an ... more
Olivia Newton John: Physical      (1 of 1 found this review helpful)
  Review by FagenFan August 8, 2012

What's the point of re-mastering this without any kind of mch mix? Ok, for the sake of memorabilia, this is too good a money making opp for UM for to pass up, let's just do a quickie and get it over with. Sonics wise, after volume level compensation, I actually found the sound to be a bit too ... more
Mahler: Symphony No. 1 - Fischer          (21 of 24 found this review helpful)
  Review by cherrell August 8, 2012

I guess I will start at the beginning. The opening of the 1st movement, that A chord, the descending 4ths, is absolutely sublime. It was almost like hearing it for the first time. No tension, just pure sound. I must point out the trumpet fanfares and how much I enjoyed that they were in the distance ... more
Beethoven: Piano Concertos Nos. 1, 2 & 4 - Ikuyo Nakamichi, Paavo Järvi          (6 of 6 found this review helpful)
  Review by Adrian Cue August 8, 2012

On the occasion of Ikuyo Nakamichi ‘s forthcoming visit to France, where she will be playing Beethoven at ‘La Roque d’Anthéron Festival’ (on the 14th of August, to be precise), I thought this would be the right moment to turn my attention to her and listen to ‘what she has to say’ in that respect. ... more
  Site review by Castor August 8, 2012

Ivan Fischer and his marvellous Budapest Festival Orchestra have a already given us outstanding recordings of Mahler's 2nd, 4th, and 6th Symphonies in performances that not only show these artists to have supreme grasp of the Mahlerian idiom but also demonstrate Fischer's ability to look at these ... more
Queen: A Day at the Races      (3 of 3 found this review helpful)
  Review by SnaggS August 7, 2012

Queen has been on my "todo" list for along time, waiting for the prejudice from being subjected to radio repetition to fade. It took 15 years, and with the SHM releases I bit the bullet on these releases. I'm pleasantly surprised to find that this album, comprised of songs which I haven't heard, is ... more
Chick Corea: Rendezvous in New York          (0 of 1 found this review helpful)
  Review by teac4010 August 7, 2012

One of a few SACD's I purchased recently with all 6 tracks loaded. I'm not the greatest fan of modern jazz but this one is unusually good. The multitracks add the extra dimension that is missing in stereo.
Bruckner: Symphony No. 9 - Rattle        (13 of 13 found this review helpful)
  Review by mwgfrg August 6, 2012

I have been following through various recordings, over 25 years and with great interest, the ongoing development of the two major competing finale completions of the Bruckner 9th. I have listened with delight in past months to the "final" SPCM version heard here and the "final" William Carragan ... more
Black Sabbath: Black Sabbath      (8 of 8 found this review helpful)
  Review by analogue August 5, 2012

I just love to be surprised by sacd titles. I hoped for the best when I ordered this shm sacd of Black Sabbath's first titled album. The sound quality regarding these Black Sabbath discs are all over the place. Paranoid was amazing as was Heaven and Hell. But the other sacd releases left something ... more
  Site review by Geohominid August 5, 2012

Panihida, in the context of the Orthodox Christian tradition, is the Service through which prayer for the departed will, in the general Resurrection, result in their being reunited with loved ones. In the Finnish Orthodox tradition, it has come to be the memorial service on death, and comes from the ... more
Stan Getz and Bill Evans: Stan Getz & Bill Evans      (2 of 9 found this review helpful)
  Review by Croc August 4, 2012

very good sound quality
Tchaikovsky: Manfred Symphony - Kitajenko        (16 of 16 found this review helpful)
  Review by Oakland August 2, 2012

I have listened to the Kitajenko conducted Tschaikowsky Manfred Symphony numerous times over the past two years. My opinions have evolved but not by that much. Out of the gate I found this recording to have far and away superior sound than other Manfred's I own but thought that the performance came ... more
Beethoven: Symphony No. 9 - Haitink          (3 of 15 found this review helpful)
  Review by ruxtonvet August 2, 2012

Whenever I see LSO Live I know the sound quality wiill be awful but then I read a good review and I buy the disc. It is not the halls fault. I have been in Barbican and the sound quality was magnificent - not at all dry. This disc in two channel was totally two dimensional. No depth at all. No ... more
Dave Brubeck Quartet: Time Out        (2 of 8 found this review helpful)
  Review by Beck August 2, 2012

This is not a review but a response - I agree wholeheartedly. Of note I **do** think Analogue Productions improved considerably on the Getz/Gilberto title and they said they worked from a different master there as well. THEIR WEBSITE CONFIRMS THAT THE 2 CHANNEL MIX is REMASTERED but the ... more
Billy Joel: The Stranger        (8 of 8 found this review helpful)
  Review by analogue August 2, 2012

I own the original Sony sacd from the earlier days of sacd. The multi channel layer has Joel's voice on its own channel and thats a thrilling thing to hear. Separated from the other music is a different experience. The original stereo layer however.has gradually waned on me. I have always been ... more
Polychoral Splendour from the four galleries of the Abbey Church of Muri        (2 of 2 found this review helpful)
  Review by Lute August 2, 2012

Spectacular!!! What a wonderful performance and recording of this beautiful music!!! I really don't have much to add to the excellent review above. I completely agree with him...except for one minor point... A photo of the Abbey Church of Muri & the performers of this glorious music can be found ... more
Bruckner: Symphony No. 7 - Haitink        (4 of 4 found this review helpful)
  Review by willemvoorneveld August 1, 2012

Haitink takes the cow by the horns from the very start of the opening Allegro. He reads more detail from the score than my preferred comparison readings of this symphony; Eugen Jochum (1978) with Dresden and Giulini with VPO (1987), both on RBCD. It also seems that for Haitink this opening movement ... more
  Site review by akiralx July 31, 2012

One of the finest of all Schumann symphony cycles is here given a new lease of life in EMI Japan's hybrid stereo three SACD set. One more disc than the EMI Great Recordings of the Century incarnation - but unlike that set, here the Manfred Overture is included. Sonically this set is marginally but ... more
Rolling Stones: Metamorphosis        (1 of 2 found this review helpful)
  Review by progboy July 29, 2012

Metamorphosis is really an odds and sods album and is one of the obscure artifacts from the discography of the Stones! The music on this album is pretty much a collection of rare outtakes and snippets from the cutting room floor. The orchestral version of "out of time" is worth the admission alone! ... more
  Site review by Geohominid July 28, 2012

Finland has a rich supply of interesting churches, and within them, many interesting and important organs. Fuga's growing inventory of organ recordings allows a wider range of International ears to savour these instruments. Ylistaro is a modestly-sized town in south Ostrobothnia, and its church ... more
Schoenberg: Pierrot Lunaire Op. 21, Suite Op. 29 - Prazak Quartet          (4 of 6 found this review helpful)
  Review by current93 July 27, 2012

Exceptional disc all around which raises to new heights the status of Prazak Quartet, Madame Caiello and Praga Digitals. Both compositions are new to SACD, so no comparisons and competition. Firstly, in Pierrot Lunaire Op. 21 I must admit great performance of Alda Caiello, who provides full range ... more
Beethoven: Symphony No. 9 - Haitink          (4 of 10 found this review helpful)
  Review by Ian Xavier Roskell July 26, 2012

The Definitive Beethoven 9th Audiophile recording... I bought this 9th along with the LSO's complete Beethoven cycle (besides the point the every work of the cycle is performed with excellence.) I turned to the famed 9th first, what is within this recording is a powerful performance with all ... more
Wes Montgomery: A Day in the Life      (1 of 1 found this review helpful)
  Review by Croc July 26, 2012

Sound quality is good. not the best but good indeed. As for the music - i didn't like too much all those covers they played here. Interestingly - the best track here is the one composed by Wess himself. Honestly - i wouldn't buy this title second time and would put my 60$ on something else.
Holly Cole Trio: Don't Smoke In Bed        (0 of 4 found this review helpful)
  Review by Croc July 26, 2012

top rate sound quality.
Dire Straits: Love Over Gold      (2 of 4 found this review helpful)
  Review by Croc July 26, 2012

i think this is the best sounding Dire Straits album. Finally it doesn't have that over emphasized mid bass which works good with small speakers or in the car - but with a full range system it excites the room too much and hurts overal sound quality.
Rachmaninov: Piano Concertos Nos. 1 & 2 - Richter, Sanderling        (4 of 5 found this review helpful)
  Review by JJ July 25, 2012

This SACD is an unparalleled document devoted to the pianist Sviatoslav Richter. On the program are the well-known Concerto for Piano N°2 Op.18 dating from 1901, the Concerto for Piano N°1 Op.1, and the Preludes Op.23 N°1, Op.32 N°9, N°10, N°12. The Concerto N°2 Op.18 was recorded in 1959 with the ... more
Stravinsky: The Firebird etc        (3 of 7 found this review helpful)
  Review by JJ July 25, 2012

Dedicated to the Russian composer Igor Stravinsky, in brilliant interpretations, magnified by an exemplary DSD remastering, here, in two stereo SACDs, is a musical anthology that cannot be ignored. These analog tapes from concerts dating from 1970, 1971, 1980, 1983 and 1987 have here been remarkable ... more
Ravel: Daphnis et Chloé - Skrowaczewski        (2 of 4 found this review helpful)
  Review by Araner July 25, 2012

Excellent performance, excellent sound! Many details, dynamics, especially Daphnis et Chloé very impressive. One of the best recordings I've heard.
Brahms: Violin Concerto - Oistrakh, Szell        (5 of 6 found this review helpful)
  Review by esotericphile July 25, 2012

Sheer Bliss. This is an exquisite piece of music recorded superbly. It was pricey and worth every cent. From the moment I put it on, I was electrified and carried away to my own private performance of the Brahms concerto in D. My partner, not an sacd enthusiast, was also impressed. Having heard this ... more
Bruckner: Symphony No. 5 - Haitink        (5 of 5 found this review helpful)
  Review by willemvoorneveld July 25, 2012

Among the 10 Bruckner symphonies, the 5th would get my vote as the one with the most beautiful introduction; it evolves from silence and remains constraint till, minutes later, the Adagio commences. Attention assured. Not less convincing is the six bar orchestral end-motive, whereby the orchestra ... more
  Site review by Geohominid July 24, 2012

Surely, by now everyone has heard of the magnificent and much-recorded Ostrobothnian Chamber Orchestra from the south-west of Finland. They are a string band of 19 members (plus in this case a harpist). One of the world's top chamber orchestras, the OCO started off from a children's orchestra in ... more
  Site review by Castor July 23, 2012

Over the last three decades the character of Sir John Falstaff or 'Plump Jack', as portrayed by Shakespeare in Henry IV Parts I and 2 and Henry V, has been something of an obsession for Gordon Getty as his opera has gradually taken shape . This recording of what is described as a 'Concert Version' ... more
Marian McPartland: Silent Pool        (0 of 1 found this review helpful)
  Review by teac4010 July 22, 2012

This was one of my first SACD's that demonstrated the full capabilities of the media. All six channels are strongly apparent with a full range of sonics. Did I mention that McPartland is at her finest? Amazing musician.
Miles Davis: Milestones......        (11 of 11 found this review helpful)
  Review by undertone July 21, 2012

Milestones, recorded in two sessions in February and March of 1958, represents a transition in the course of Miles Davis’ restless musical path. The previous year, Miles had fired his sidemen John Coltrane, Red Garland, Paul Chambers and Philly Joe Jones out of frustration with their heroin and ... more
Sonny Rollins: Way Out West      (1 of 1 found this review helpful)
  Review by Little Nemo July 20, 2012

To those comparing the SHM SACD with the Analogue Productions SACD: a little background is in order. Unfortunately Doug Sax - or his research staff - has made some really bad blunders and secured several second- or third-generation tapes, thinking he had the originals, despite the rather hissy ... more
  Site review by Geohominid July 20, 2012

Collectors of Chopin's music on disc will have in mind the sound of a modern grand piano. Any suggestion of hearing the Etudes on a period piano would probably conjure images of wooden sounds and broken mechanisms. Hardy Rittner blows away all preconceptions on this MDG disc, using a Viennese Conrad ... more
  Site review by Geohominid July 20, 2012

This is the fifth SA-CD in a series from Audite featuring the former Benedictine Abbey Church of Muri in Switzerland. The Muri Abbey was established by the Hapsburg dynasty in 1087, and in its present incarnation is a multimedia arts centre (Murivision). Its spectacular octagonal church with ... more
  Site review by Polly Nomial July 19, 2012

Another lovely disc of Mozart from Wallisch that proves beyond any doubt that Mozart in Vienna - Gottlieb Wallisch was no fluke. Subtitled "Paris & Vienna - a tale of two cities", this disc pertains to contain works written for the two centres of C18 musical life but as the informative notes make ... more
  Site review by Polly Nomial July 19, 2012

A really enterprising and worthwhile release of contemporary music that deserves to be heard. The string quartet "Surviving a son's suicide" is surprisingly restrained emotionally but to these ears all the more effective for that. The first movement is entitled "Browsing his childhood photographs", ... more
Elvis Costello: My Aim Is True      (3 of 3 found this review helpful)
  Review by analogue July 19, 2012

In their haste to classify and categorize any music some critics and listeners simply apply a label and an album like this simply becomes a punk release. I am not a fan of punk but lo and behold.....this album is not merely punk. It is so much more and for those who might be curious about this ... more
Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 5, Francesca da Rimini - Jansons        (10 of 11 found this review helpful)
  Review by willemvoorneveld July 19, 2012

For a long time I had the Mravinsky recordings (1960’s DGG) as my preferred set for Tchaikovsky 4,5 and 6, but sound quality, as can be expected, was not good at all on the 80’s’ ADD CD’s. We know that each of Tchaikovsky’s late symphonies concerns a conflict of a courageous but deeply vulnerable ... more
  Site review by Polly Nomial July 18, 2012

Another wonderful disc from Rittner who quite surpasses himself here. These works as many will be aware are some of the most popular (to audiences at least, teachers may well hold other views!) studies of the piano and each of the Op. 10 & Op. 25 sets contain popular encores of many a pianist. Not ... more
  Site review by Polly Nomial July 18, 2012

This disc is a re-release of Carel Kraayenhof: Tango Royal, presumably with less Netherlands-centric documentation though. The recording values from a technical standpoint are everything we have to expect from PentaTone and their team of engineers and no complaints can be made on this front. Where ... more
Mussorgsky: Pictures at an Exhibition - Jansons        (13 of 19 found this review helpful)
  Review by willemvoorneveld July 18, 2012

Ok, another “Pictures at an exhibition” was not where we were waiting for (How many of them do we already have) unless there are special reasons to release one. On top of that this disc only provides 33 minutes of music, so all in all this sets high expectations. And after listening I found at ... more
  Site review by Geohominid July 17, 2012

Heinrich Scheidermann (c.1596-1663) grew up in a small town in Holstein where his father was the organist (and also the organist at St Catherine's Church in Hamburg, at that time a rich Hanseatic city). Naturally Heinrich was given organ lessons by his father, which he followed up in Amsterdam from ... more
Wagner: Lohengrin - Janowski        (2 of 2 found this review helpful)
  Review by Daland July 17, 2012

I partly agree with the review above, but there is a major caveat. I think that it was wrong to cast Klaus Florian Vogt in the title role even though he has sung the role in Bayreuth and elsewhere. Vogt, who is currently hailed as a new Heldentenor, has a bright and loud voice that can cut through ... more
Rautavaara: Book of Visions etc. - Franck          (6 of 6 found this review helpful)
  Review by willemvoorneveld July 17, 2012

The “pièce the resistance” of this disc is the Book of Visions, a piece of 40 minutes completed in 2005, complemented with his earliest Symphony (1955) and the Adagio Celeste for String orchestra completed in 2000. The title of this disc could easily point to the evolution in Rautavaara’s composing ... more
Stéphane Denève conducts Debussy        (10 of 28 found this review helpful)
  Review by Celebidache2000 July 16, 2012

I received this disc (set) last week with a feeling of great anticipation, after reading many great reviews. My let down was immediate. I will use the "fish bowl" analogy. Just as a fish bowl distorts light in such a way that the fish inside it cannot be perceived as "free swimming" but are rather ... more
Mahler: Symphony No. 8 - Haitink        (9 of 11 found this review helpful)
  Review by willemvoorneveld July 15, 2012

Haitink has recorded several Mahler cycles during his career. In the early seventies and later in the mid 80’s he recorded with the Concertgebouw Orchestra followed by an almost complete series with BPO in the early 90’s (both on CD and DVD) and more recently, live recordings with CSO, the ... more
  Site review by Geohominid July 15, 2012

Hans Sommer (1837-1922) was truly a Renaissance Man. He began composing music at the age of 10, but his published Op.1 had to wait until he was 37. Part of the reason for this was that his step-father was Peter Wilhelm Friedrich Voightländer, who owned the famous Voightländer & Son optical company ... more
Bruckner: Symphony No. 9 - Paavo Järvi        (6 of 8 found this review helpful)
  Review by JohnProffitt July 15, 2012

Once again I would like to add the historical and musicological perspective against the romantic nonsense passed on for decades regarding Bruckner and his Ninth Symphony. The composer most assuredly did not -- in any shape or form -- consider the Ninth "finished", "complete", "satisfactory" or, God ... more
Cannonball Adderley Quintet: In San Francisco        (2 of 2 found this review helpful)
  Review by Little Nemo July 15, 2012

The music here is not simply "straight-ahead hard bop" as suggested by Claude. This is mostly "soul jazz" - jazz with a heavy soul (and R 'n B) bent - although there are a couple of numbers played in the hard bop style as well. The band swings throughout and the solos from Cannonball show him to be ... more
Bruckner: Symphony No. 9 - Paavo Järvi        (1 of 7 found this review helpful)
  Review by harold July 14, 2012

Just got around to auditioning Paavo Jarvi's Bruckner Nine with The Frankfurt Radio Symphony, (RCA/Sony SACD 88697542572.) Recorded live with a very respectful audience, the, (IMO,) splendid performance is well served with you are there engineering - ideal for music intended to, as the composer is ... more
Bolcom, Foss, Gandolfi, Golijov - Boston Symphony Chamber Players          (4 of 6 found this review helpful)
  Review by Stanbury July 14, 2012

This is a great SACD: superb playing, fine recording quality, and a wonderful selection of music. About the music: it is all 20th-century American compositions, from four composers with close ties to the BSO. Windsurfer comments that "one has to develop an ear for this sort of thing", but don't be ... more
  Site review by Castor July 14, 2012

This is the penultimate release in Mikhail Pletnev's Tchaikovsky Symphony cycle with the Russian National Orchestra for PentaTone. The earlier issues have shown that in the main Pletnev is a persuasive guide through these works. Occasionally his predominantly safe approach to the later symphonies ... more
Rachmaninov: Symphonic Dances, Vocalise - Johanos        (4 of 5 found this review helpful)
  Review by jeff3948 July 13, 2012

Mini review just to warn you. I bought this Stereo only SACD in hopes that it would be a block buster recording like several other Vox/Turnabout recordings, for instance the Ravel Skrowaczewski/Minnesota Recordings and many RCA Living Stereo SACDs. The performances here are good but not great. The ... more
Chopin: Complete Etudes - Hardy Rittner        (8 of 9 found this review helpful)
  Review by Adrian Cue July 13, 2012

Chopin lovers should not miss this opportunity. I was at odds with Hardy Rittner’s Brahms project (Brahms, piano concerto no. 1, MDG 904 1699-6). It had nothing to do with his playing. On the contrary. It was the choice of instrument and the somewhat clunky accompaniment. (The argument that Brahms ... more
Grand Chopin, Works for Piano and Orchestra - Mertanen, Telaranta        (3 of 3 found this review helpful)
  Review by Adrian Cue July 12, 2012

Alba records specialize in Nordic and off the beaten track repertoire with mainly Finnish artists and ensembles. Here we have an attractive compilation of Chopin’s works for piano and orchestra. The Krakowiak and the Andante spianato & Grande polonaise brillante are well known; The Grande fantaisie ... more
Mahler: Symphony No. 7 - Jansons        (5 of 7 found this review helpful)
  Review by willemvoorneveld July 12, 2012

After the first listening session I was perplexed about this recording; had I been listening to only dull performances of the 7th of Mahler before, or differently put, does Mariss Jansons extract more music from a score than any other conductor? The answer is probably not but fact is that this ... more
  Site review by Geohominid July 12, 2012

Sweden's long tradition of vocal music has its roots in troubadour music, songs such as the 'air' or folk ballad, festival and celebratory music,and spiced with revised Lutheran psalms. As musical historians have deduced, it is "Swedish-sounding" from the incorporation of folk harmonies, melodies ... more
  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      (3 of 3 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        (9 of 12 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

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