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Reviews: Klezmer - Kleztory

Reviews: 1

Review by Dinko October 26, 2004 (2 of 3 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
A weird enough album and a mixed bag too.

The songs are all nice. This is one of the better compilations of klezmer music that I've come across. The arrangements aren't very original and they're kind of shallow. The klezmer band is simply supported by the small chamber orchestra which then picks up the tune of the song. That said, all the tunes are memorable, and I like them all. They're varied enough so that it never sounds monotone. The performances are convicing enough, by performers who obviously enjoyed the experience.

Sonically though, I'm not sure what to think. The percussion and the klezmer band are nicely captured. However, in stereo, the klezmer band is placed very forward in the mix - this leads to a number of orchestral back-up details getting burried in a muddy mess of background noise playing behind the main tune. Not unlike your average pop song. The multichannel sound is a significant improvement. Details come through, and while the orchestra is still placed in the back of the mix relative to the klezmer band, the performers nevertheless sound like they're playing in the same room as the listener in a small concert hall. The surround mix makes it appear as though the chamber orchestra is restraining itself from playing too loudly in order not to cover the klezmer players.
The problem is that while lower and middle frequencies are good, I find there is too much brightness in the sound. It's somewhat similar to a number of early digital recordings. The brightness makes one constantly aware that this is a recording. If you can get past that, this is one of Chandos' better SACD efforts.

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