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Discussion: Berlioz: Symphonie Fantastique - Davis

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Post by darkroommd August 12, 2007 (1 of 19)
Wondering if anyone has this on RBCD and cares to offer us a performance review?

Post by seth August 12, 2007 (2 of 19)
darkroommd said:

Wondering if anyone has this on RBCD and cares to offer us a performance review?

There are literally about 6 different CD issues of this recording, so there are no shortage of reviews out there.

I don't think it's all that great of a performance. It's certainly well played, but pretty straight forward. Muti, Gardiner and leave it in the dust.

Post by akiralx August 13, 2007 (3 of 19)
I think it very fine, certainly the best of CD's three recordings. It has long been a top choice, winning BBC R3 Building a Library I think.

These days I listen more to Chung's DG version, but I will probably get the SACD.

Post by pentaman August 13, 2007 (4 of 19)
darkroommd said:

Wondering if anyone has this on RBCD and cares to offer us a performance review?

in a comparison of 28 versions carried out by Mike Ashman for Gramophone (July issue page 53)this version came out best (and he only heard the stereo version!)

Best PentaMan

Post by seth August 13, 2007 (5 of 19)
pentaman said:

in a comparison of 28 versions carried out by Mike Ashman for Gramophone (July issue page 53)this version came out best (and he only heard the stereo version!)

Best PentaMan

I understand that you have to promote your products, but Gramophone is about as objective about Colin Davis as they are Simon Rattle.

Post by Peter August 14, 2007 (6 of 19)
I'm greatly looking forward to this release especially having heard Sir Colin conduct the European Youth Orchestra this week so superbly.

Having been on the brink of giving up my subscription to Gramophone last year after 40 years, I have since noticed an improvement in the standard of reviews and more so in articles in general. There is still too much waffle by the likes of Harriet Smith, at the expense of Gramophoney topics, one of which I would suggest is hi-res sound, but at least a few reviewers do now admit to listening to SACDs, so perhaps there's some hope for the future. Overall, I do think it a better journal than the BBC Music magazine which covers too much too superficially - its best attribute for me is the month when the CD is worth having.

As far as biased reviews are concerned, I detect no more there than in any other journal I've come across round the world, or on the web. Whether you like his work or not, Rattle is the conductor of one of the greatest orchestras, a position he didn't win in a lottery or raffle. Some music journalists think him wonderful, others not and are vitriolic in their scorn, as some are about other British conductors for one reason or another. For every one who thinks one journalist shows bias for Rattle, there'll be another thought to be showing bias against. For some time now, many Gramophone reviewers seem to have been in the pro-Rattle camp, and yes, one can speculate in vain whether this is because they think him a wonderful conductor, or whether EMI's advertising shouldn't be prejudiced. In passing, I must mention hearing that Gramophone is perceived by some to have a clear bias against US conductors and orchestras! I'd really like to see some evidence for this, unless the assertion is mischievously made tongue in cheek.

Sir Colin Davis, on the other hand, does not seem to me to have been treated by Gramophone over the past forty years as one who can do no wrong. Again, I'd like to see the evidence, Seth, if I'm mistaken.

And it's all too easy to take isolated instances and convert them to the generalised truth - perhaps I should assert that reviewers on this forum don't actually listen to the SACD layer of their discs, and that some even naively admit to it.

I do hope there are a few more of Sir CD's tapes in the vault suitable for release by Pentatone. Especially Berlioz!

Post by pentaman August 14, 2007 (7 of 19)
Peter said:

I'm greatly looking forward to this release especially having heard Sir Colin conduct the European Youth Orchestra this week so superbly.

Having been on the brink of giving up my subscription to Gramophone last year after 40 years, I have since noticed an improvement in the standard of reviews and more so in articles in general. There is still too much waffle by the likes of Harriet Smith, at the expense of Gramophoney topics, one of which I would suggest is hi-res sound, but at least a few reviewers do now admit to listening to SACDs, so perhaps there's some hope for the future. Overall, I do think it a better journal than the BBC Music magazine which covers too much too superficially - its best attribute for me is the month when the CD is worth having.

As far as biased reviews are concerned, I detect no more there than in any other journal I've come across round the world, or on the web. Whether you like his work or not, Rattle is the conductor of one of the greatest orchestras, a position he didn't win in a lottery or raffle. Some music journalists think him wonderful, others not and are vitriolic in their scorn, as some are about other British conductors for one reason or another. For every one who thinks one journalist shows bias for Rattle, there'll be another thought to be showing bias against. For some time now, many Gramophone reviewers seem to have been in the pro-Rattle camp, and yes, one can speculate in vain whether this is because they think him a wonderful conductor, or whether EMI's advertising shouldn't be prejudiced. In passing, I must mention hearing that Gramophone is perceived by some to have a clear bias against US conductors and orchestras! I'd really like to see some evidence for this, unless the assertion is mischievously made tongue in cheek.

Sir Colin Davis, on the other hand, does not seem to me to have been treated by Gramophone over the past forty years as one who can do no wrong. Again, I'd like to see the evidence, Seth, if I'm mistaken.

And it's all too easy to take isolated instances and convert them to the generalised truth - perhaps I should assert that reviewers on this forum don't actually listen to the SACD layer of their discs, and that some even naively admit to it.

I do hope there are a few more of Sir CD's tapes in the vault suitable for release by Pentatone. Especially Berlioz!

Peter,

we are currently investigating if the Requiem is available in quad format. The database says not, but recently I spoke with one of the retired balance engineers of Philips and he seemed to remember that the Requiem was recorded 4 channe. We will dig into the Philips tape archives to find out.

Best,PentaMan

Post by mwagner1962 August 14, 2007 (8 of 19)
Hmmmm...is this the same recording as the Universal Japan SACD of the old Phillips??? If this is the same recording, I have to say I very much like the Universal Japan pressing and I REALLY like the performance...

Cheers,

Post by GROOT GELUID August 16, 2007 (9 of 19)
mwagner1962 said:

Hmmmm...is this the same recording as the Universal Japan SACD of the old Phillips??? If this is the same recording, I have to say I very much like the Universal Japan pressing and I REALLY like the performance...

Cheers,

There is only one recording with the Concertgebouw orchestra and Colin Davis. But the Pentatone version is a DSD remastering using the original recording 4 track tape played back on a Studer with Polyhymnia electronics, revealing for the first time to consumers what was actually on the recorded master. Sir Colin's performances of Berlioz on Philips have set a standard.

Post by akiralx August 19, 2007 (10 of 19)
seth said:

I understand that you have to promote your products, but Gramophone is about as objective about Colin Davis as they are Simon Rattle.

I seem to recall that Gramophone was in fact rather scathing about Colin Davis' recent Enigma Variations SACD.

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