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Reviews: Rachmaninov: Symphonic Dances - Litton

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Reviews: 4

Site review by Castor January 7, 2013
Performance:   Sonics:  
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Review by emaidel January 18, 2013 (6 of 9 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:  
I am quite familiar with "The Isle of the Dead," and more so the "Symphonic Dances," and so I eagerly anticipated this disc, having been extremely satisfied with Litton's work on previous BIS SACD's. Well, I wasn't disappointed at all upon first listen, and actually found myself hearing orchestral lines and subtleties I'd never heard before.

The brooding, gloomy "Isle of the Dead" is played with such freshness and ferocity at times, it's almost as if hearing parts of it for the first time. And BIS's engineering is absolutely flawless in capturing the extreme dynamics of this work from the softest (still with great detail) to the loudest - with the appropriate excitement and power one rarely gets from anything other than a live performance.

I haven't yet listened to "The "Rock," and so will not comment on it, but I did find Litton's interpretation of "The Symphonic Dances" novel and quite exciting. while certain passages are a bit slower than I'm used to, the tempi speed up invariably and all end up with hugely impressive, explosive conclusions.

This disc is a winner all around. Not only is the musicianship of Litton the the Bergen Philharmonic something to behold, most audiophiles will be nothing less than thrilled at the sonic workout this recording gives their systems. And, while I've said this before, it's still worth noting: BIS now lists its sampling and bit rate on its recordings, likely in response to requets from those who somehow feel that they can't appreciate a recording without this knowledge. The rate used on this disc is 44.1KHZ/24 bit, which to some is simply unacceptable. Listening, on the other hand, proves BIS's owner's (Robert Barr) point: there are other factors that matter more, as this is one of the best sounding BIS discs I own, including those done at a 96KHZ/24bit rate. Most highly recommended in every respect.

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Review by jeffreybehr February 4, 2013 (4 of 5 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:  
I LOVE the music of Rachmaninov but have become familiar with the 'Dances' only the last year or so. This performance and recording, unfortunately, are NOT keepers.

The performance is quite restrained and unemotional and not at all suited to Rachmaninov.

The recording, too, sounds 'small'. There's little bloom to the orchestra in the hall, and the recording is not nearly as transparent as dozens I have that were mastered in some sort of hi-definition system.

A major disappoinment for me. I much prefer Janson's on RCO Live on all counts.

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Review by krisjan January 8, 2014 (4 of 4 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:  
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