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  Esoteric -
  Dvorák: Cello Concerto, Beethoven: Cello Sonata No. 3 - Fournier
  Dvorák: Cello Concerto
Beethoven: Cello Sonata No. 3

Pierre Fournier, cello
Friedrich Gulda, piano
Berliner Philharmoniker
George Szell
Track listing:
  Classical - Orchestral
Recording type:
Recording info:
  Analog recording: September 1971

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Submitted by Ad Rhenum
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Reviews: 1

Review by mwgfrg February 5, 2014 (7 of 7 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
With this release the last of what I have always felt are the four great analog stereo Dvorak Concerto recordingss has made it to SACD (the other three being Starker/Dorati, Rostropovich/Karajan and Piatigorsky/Munch). With two other famous analog recordings, Rostropovich/Giulini and DuPre/Barenboim, and two excellent digital versions, Wispelway/Fischer and Queyras/Belohlavek, there is an SACD for everyone's taste. This is one of my very favorites. Probably no one knew or knows this music better than Szell, and he has the Berlin Philharmonic to work with, no less. Fournier was a very elegant cellist, and while he could match practically anyone technically, he does not dig into the solo part as Starker and Rostropovich did. The result is a bit more lyrical an interpretation than the others, but Szell keeps the intensity level high. The sound was always quite respectable DG analog, and Esoteric's transfer is a worthy one. Recently I have read on this site comparisons between the Esoteric transfers of several recordings and the SHM-SACD releases of the same material (Mravinsky's Tchaikovsky Symphonies and Ansermet's Three-Cornered Hat ballet) and was curious enough to buy the SHM-SACDs also. The comparisons as I read them seem to favor the SHM-SACDs as cleaner and more detailed, and while I would generally agree with those conclusions, sometimes the Esoterics nevertheless seem to convey more of the sheer power of the recordings--especially on the Tchaikovsky Symphonies. They sometimes seem to project the sense of the orchestra in a defined hall space a bit more strongly than the Universal issues do. Frankly, I cannot tell you which I prefer on the symphonies overall, although on the Falla I certainly prefer the SHM-SACD version. The reason I mention this is that this aspect of the Esoteric transfer sound is very much what the Dvorak recording conveys. The sense of the orchestra in a defined space is quite strong. Comparing it to other versions of the same recording, the SACD is definitely preferable to a Japanese SHM-CD, which was noticeably better than the budget CD reissue I used to have, and is almost but not quite the equal of a German audiophile LP pressing from the '90s. The Beethoven sonata is equally excellent, but is not as challenging to transfer so is not that much different from the CD version. Highly recommended if you can justify spending your money on these overpriced Japanese reissues.

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Works: 2  

Ludwig van Beethoven - Cello Sonata No. 3 in A major, Op. 69
Antonin Dvorak - Cello Concerto in B minor, B. 191 Op. 104