Review by Monteverdi May 26, 2004 (3 of 3 found this review helpful)
|The first Saint-Saëns Symphonie #3 on SACD I believe, along with the Richard Strauss arr. Reger/Koch The Entry of The Knights of The Order of St. John of Jerusalem, and the disc’s title, Frank Zabel’s Touching Colours. Amazingly enough, this is the second SACD to offer the Barber Toccata Festiva, with Linn Records being first. The recordings are 24/96 multichannel masters.
The organ is the Kuhn-Organ, St. Arnual Cathedral, Saarbrücken, an instrument of standard tonal resources, without what I would term “truly earth-shaking assets.” The orchestra is the fine Radio Symphony Orchestra of Saarbrücken.
The performances are fresh and enjoyable. The organist Christian Schmitt work achieves distinction with well-chosen registers, and Johannes Wildner conducts with flair and a sense of drama. The recording engineer finds plenty of clarity and a good balance between orchestra, organ and large cathedral acoustic. The text on the back of the CD cites “…iridescent sound mixtures” as a quality of the music and recording. I agree.
If the Organ Symphony doesn’t match the wild erotic abandon of the peerless Charles Munch and the Boston Symphony Orchestra with Berj Zamkochian, the artists do deliver a most rousing Barber performance with some exciting surprises, and the effective Zabel composition.
The Strauss closes the disc with what the Knights of St. John would find appropriate for their entrance, I’m sure.
Have fun with this. I have.
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