Review by Jonalogic March 29, 2013 (8 of 10 found this review helpful)
|Since no one has reviewed this, I thought it was worth summarising my impressions. I suppose one's musical response to this SACD will very much be dependent on your feelings about the composer. Personally, I straddle the fence I'm afraid. I love the early Lutoslawski of 50s and 60s - the Concerto for Orchestra (simply a great piece), the 1st and 2nd Symphonies, Mala and so on.
Somewhere along the line, however, Lutoslawski ditched tunes and structures which I can understand, resulting in the 1980s in music I find just baffling. On the cusp of the these two periods, we find the undoubtedly great 'Cello Concerto of 1969.
Interestingly, this recordings features two pieces from each period - the early dance prelude and First Symphony - both of these accessible, musically cogent, fun and fascinating. These are matched with two (IMO) po-faced 'advanced' pieces - Partita and Chain 2 which, frankly, leave me cold. But you can judge for yourself!
OK, I suspect this may simply reflect my inability to cope with really avant garde modern music, perhaps - but I suspect my response might not be unique!
Needless to say, if you have followed this complete series of Lutoslawski recordings on Chandos, you will expect superb, committed playing and conducting throughout. And that's precisely what you get.
I might straddle fences on the music but, fortunately, I can be far less equivocal when it comes to assessing the sound quality; it's simply fabulous, and state-of-the-art in every respect that my ears and equipment enable me to assess. It's supremely transparent, neutral, airy and timbrally accurate, with great staging, coherent hall sound, totally realistic dynamics and fine, layered dimensionality. This judgement will come as no surprise to afficionados of current generation Chandos recordings- they really are on a hot streak right now!
Needless to say, Ralph Couzens is simply a genius of a sound engineer; we have a fine and proven hall here in the Watford Colosseum; and the hand-built Thuresson main miking set sounds - er... not there at all. Add this to the proven Chandos minimalist approach, low mike count and transparent signal stages, and we can get sonic magic.
That what this disc offers. Enjoy... or maybe not!
Was this review helpful to you?