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Reviews: Bartok: Concerto for Orchestra, etc. - Solti

Reviews: 3

Review by Jonalogic July 14, 2010 (8 of 9 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
I always ask this one. Why do strange folk like me buy stupidly expensive SACD remasters of 40-50 year old analog recordings? Are we totally deranged? Yes, of course, that goes without saying, but anyway...

1) For great, classic performances or
2) For great old analogue sound
3) On a really good day, for both!

So, how does this stack up, then?

These are simply stunning performances and superlatively played throughout, and this fact remains the main rationale for buying this release. The Concerto surpasses even the fine Reiner on Living Stereo (although I have to say that recording - one of the LSC greats - comfortably surpasses this at a sixth of the price). The Mandarin is sleazy, raucous, dangerous and shocking- just as it should be. Just great, as is the Dance Suite. The crazy time signatures just make my head spin...

Also the sound is noticeably better than some of the recent duff Esoteric remasters- reviewed here alsewhere. You can hear the Decca microphone 'tree' layout, but there's too much gain-riding going on, and it seems a bit bass-lite and dry up-top. Still, with these performances, who cares? It IS comfortably superior to the RBCD, as well. But the channels seem reversed. Violins from the right? At this price? You cannot be serious.

The packaging booby prize definitely goes to Universal; I really don't think the cardboard foldaround looks good or will wear well over the years. However, there's a real kicker; cleverly, this packaging is totally non-standard in size and will not fit in a row of CDs or SACDs. So I ended up scanning and scaling down the artwork, reprinting and inserting into a bog-standard jewel box. Not what I'd expect for that price! For a super-premium pricetag, I think we're entitled to expect better. What marketing genius in Universal thought of this one?!

So, is it worth this eye-watering price? Only you can answer that one.

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Review by Digitalman December 5, 2012 (2 of 7 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
What a kind of sacd !!! If you love Bartòk and his "Concerto for Orchestra" ... you really need to get this sacd !! My five stars for sound engineer Kenneth Wilkinson: incredible masterpiece !!!

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Review by luvselgar April 11, 2014 (2 of 3 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
My wife bought me this sacd from Academy Records in the Flatiron district of New York when we were there in February for our birthdays. Although I have the rbcd I couldn't wait to do a side by side comparison. The sound is much more immediate and involving than the cd and has real punch and a high 'wow' factor. In fact, it reminded me of when I heard my first ever cd back in the 80's when the difference in sound quality over an Lp was palpable.

Ok, I have to admit I don't have an sacd set up but I have a friend who does! Listening on his system really had the hairs on the back of my neck standing on end! Obviously, the performance needs no advocacy from me suffice to say it was worth getting on all fours to grovel around at the back of my system to swap the speaker channels around for this one disc. (I gave the cables a clean whilst I was down there too!) I found the packaging to be cheap and nasty in the extreme although it was second hand so it may have been a replacement box. The paperwork was original but appeared to have been printed on the cheapest possible paper.

In total, worth it if you're prepared to put a bit of labour in. And remember what the LSO players must have gone through at the original session!

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