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Reviews: Bach, J.S.: Sinfonias, Bach, C.P.E./Vivaldi: 4 Oboe Concertos - Heinz Holliger

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Reviews: 2

Site review by Polly Nomial November 18, 2008
Performance:   Sonics:  
The text for this review has been moved to the new site. You can read it here:

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Review by canonical February 28, 2009 (3 of 5 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:  
With Holliger at the helm, I had high hopes for this SACD re-release of a 1974 recording. Alas, it turned out to be rather disappointing.

The performances of the English Chamber Orchestra under Raymond Leppard are heavy and stodgy.
The sound is flat and dull. The ECO accompaniment is too large, too heavy, and certainly so by today's standards.

Comparing, for example, Holliger's Vivaldi RV 465 Bflat concerto on this SACD (1974) with the plain redbook CD with Hans de Vries/I Solisti di Zagreb re-release on EMI (1978), I far prefer the sound and the performance of the redbook CD 1978 de Vries.
The de Vries is more spritely, more lively, more baroque. The accompaniment of I Solisti di Zagreb on EMI is far superior to that of the ECO, far more in balance, far more in the style of 'Concerto Grossi', with solo parts singing through. By contrast, the ECO comes across as a droning, heavy orchestra .... to the extent of almost being unpleasant.

As for sonics, I have listened to both the redbook encoding and the SACD stereo encoding on the same disc, and there's really not much between them.

If I was interested in Baroque oboe recordings on SACD, the new Alexei Utkin Bach oboe series on Caro Mitis has been receiving excellent reviews:

Bach: Oboenwerke, Volume 2 - Alexei Utkin

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