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Discussion: Saint-Saëns: Symphony No. 3 - Bélanger , Nézet-Séguin

Posts: 14
Page: 1 2 next

Post by terence April 13, 2006 (1 of 14)
This disc has just had a 10/10 review at:

http://www.classicstoday.com/review.asp?ReviewNum=9855.

I'm going to investigate. Will post review later....

Post by Peter April 13, 2006 (2 of 14)
terence said:

This disc has just had a 10/10 review at:

http://www.classicstoday.com/review.asp?ReviewNum=9855.

I'm going to investigate. Will post review later....

Et ici aussi: http://www.classicstodayfrance.com/review.asp?ReviewNum=1532

Post by fafnir April 13, 2006 (3 of 14)
I obtained this recording on-line from Archambault after reading the Classics Today review. It is a magnificant recording, both interpretively and sonically. However, the potential purchaser should be forewarned that it is recorded in very resonant space. Although there is no loss of orchestral clarity, the decay time is very significant - on the order of two to three seconds, I would guess. Also, all the bass drivers, including those in the surround loudspeakers, will be given quite a workout.

I will use this recording as the primary demonstration disc for showing-off the possibilities of SACD. The sense of being tranported into a large acoustic space is almost palpable.

Post by Peter April 13, 2006 (4 of 14)
fafnir said:

I obtained this recording on-line from Archambault after reading the Classics Today review. It is a magnificant recording, both interpretively and sonically. However, the potential purchaser should be forewarned that it is recorded in very resonant space. Although there is no loss of orchestral clarity, the decay time is very significant - on the order of two to three seconds, I would guess. Also, all the bass drivers, including those in the surround loudspeakers, will be given quite a workout.

I will use this recording as the primary demonstration disc for showing-off the possibilities of SACD. The sense of being tranported into a large acoustic space is almost palpable.

Sounds great! Thanks for the information. I'll wait till the neighbours are out before I play it.

Post by Beagle April 13, 2006 (5 of 14)
It may surprise non-Canadians to learn that the famous Maestro Nézet-Seguin is a 'mere boy', i.e. twenty-something.
http://www.montrealmirror.com/ARCHIVES/2000/012000/music2.html

Post by onebit April 13, 2006 (6 of 14)
From the Atma website:

"Philippe Bélanger, the young musician who holds the post of official organist at the Saint Joseph's Oratory in Montreal, recorded this disc on the Oratory's imposing five-manual Von Beckerath organ. For the "Organ Symphony", the orchestra was positioned below the organ loft and, with the help of cameras for synchronization, recorded simultaneously with the organ. The presence of the orchestra beside the splendid organ within an acoustically rich and generous space allows this work to resound in its full, solemn dimensions."

A great sounding disc, and a performance to match. Highly recommended.

Post by flyingdutchman April 13, 2006 (7 of 14)
Yes, but where can you get it in the US?

Post by armenian April 13, 2006 (8 of 14)
"However, the potential purchaser should be forewarned that it is recorded in very resonant space."

That is the kind of sound that I like, where in the US can I find this SACD?

Vahe

Post by Dinko April 14, 2006 (9 of 14)
The problem becomes though that with the three arrays of microphones they used, it's a weird mix. Some of the instruments sound very close-miked, but the overall picture is of one of a very resonant hall (9 seconds of reverb according to ATMA).

I'm not sure if it's good or bad. It's nice to have such detail in such a warm accoustical space. But I'm still undecided as to whether the superior transparency and significant amount of reverb work well together.

The performance is true YNS/OMGM though.
Yannick Nézet-Séguin and the Orchestre Metropolitain du Grand Montreal have truly been this city's classical music ray of light, far ahead (in terms of creating interesting performances) of their more popular Montreal Symphony Orchestra cousins.
YNS just has this way of keeping the music flowing with a constant forward momentum where it keeps the listener and the musicians on the edge of their seats.
You know what they say about conductors, right? If the orchestra never looks at the conductor, he's probably not doing much anyway. YNS' musicians though keep looking at him, as if they never know what's coming next.
End result: the best kind of orchestral music-making: clear textures, forward momentum, technically accurate and emotionally charged performances. I've seen only one disappointing concert of theirs, and it's mostly because the orchestra didn't have the weight to pull off Bruckner's Ninth symphony they way the VPO or the big US bands can do it.

http://www.orchestremetropolitain.com

Post by Dinko April 24, 2006 (10 of 14)
Terence, first of all, very accurate review. Well put.

With respect to the orchestra, I'd say this is the way they always sound, regardless of repertoire or location. That's what makes ATMA's recordings with them so special. They just nail the orchestra's sound so well it's like reliving their concerts at home time and time again.
The Oratoire Saint-Joseph is a very reverberant place. To some extent that's what makes it so peaceful and relaxing, but it's probably one of the reasons no one ever records there. My only explanation is that they needed a good organ, and that's the only one they found, short of recording the orchestra in one location and the organ elsewhere.

Now this is one of my pet peeves so bear with me once more if you will. I'm not sure about the OMGM not being the OSM. As I mentioned earlier, I myself think the OMGM is the better band. Heard life, they're almost as accurate technically, but more interesting emotionally. In concert, my experience so far has been that you'll hear more outright cacks and quacks from the OSM than the OMGM, in addition to the OSM's bored, blase attitude towards the music. I have to say, the OSM most people know around the world, the OSM I love and the one I first heard and marvelled at - the one from those fantastic Decca CDs - is far from the OSM heard live. The sound is different, the playing is different. The OMGM live sounds like the OMGM on those ATMA discs.
Nezet-Seguin's approach is pretty much the same. Radio-Canada broadcast the Saint-Saens third when Nezet-Seguin conducted it in Germany last year. I remember the approach sounding more "open" somehow, but the rythms I recall were very similar to what he recorded for ATMA.

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