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Discussion: Elgar, Vaughan Williams: Enigma, The Wasps, Greensleeves - Stern

Posts: 41
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Post by Euell Neverno September 24, 2013 (1 of 41)
If you want more than the Overture from the Wasps, that could be a reason for acquiring this recording of the Kansas City Symphony, which like Castor I have in RBCD format. A more limited RBCD performance of the Overture, Entre'acte I and March of the Kitchen Utensils by the Royal Philharmonic on their so-called "Audiophile Collection" seems to me to be played with more verve than this KC offering and is also well recorded.

Maybe the surround would make this disk worth acquiring in SACD format, although the back channels only add ambiance, according to Castor. I found the Enigma variations quite ho-hum. The sound is typically smooth Prof. Johnson fare.

Note: listened to RBCD only.

Post by diw September 24, 2013 (2 of 41)
I am pleased to hear that the MC mix is a more conventionally done, rather than the Britten.

Post by akiralx September 24, 2013 (3 of 41)
I too have the RBCD and like The Wasps music a lot, and the EV are enjoyable, if not alongside my top choices (Jochum, Solti II).

Post by hiredfox September 27, 2013 (4 of 41)
I hear today from Amazon that the release of this disc has been delayed until mid October earliest.

Post by wehecht September 27, 2013 (5 of 41)
hiredfox said:

I hear today from Amazon that the release of this disc has been delayed until mid October earliest.

I've been listening to my copy repeatedly over the past three days. Stereo listeners may be spoiled for choice among the numerous Enigmas in the catalog (I'm including classic rbcds in that statement), and while I'm not touting this as a desert island version, for mch fanciers this one beats the Jarvi/Telarc pretty handily and is really quite good. Sonics are typical Prof. Johnson, extremely smooth, fulsome bass, just begging you to crank up the volume. As the review indicates the mch mix is much more natural, not the conductor's ear view that we got on Reference's Britten disc, good news for some of us, not so much for others. The VW Wasps suite is really evocative. All in all I'm quite pleased.


Post by hiredfox October 9, 2013 (6 of 41)
Once in a while even superlatives cannot convey well enough innermost feelings aroused by a sense of being in the presence of something pretty special. This was one such occasion for me. Without question in my mind this SACD must rank amongst the finest yet produced.

It is founded on an enchanting and beguiling performance by the Kansas City Symphony capturing perfectly the essential gentile middle-class Englishness of this popular repertory in a way that eludes most UK orchestras - a pleasant surprise to this Englishman. Their playing captivates and seduces from beginning to end and brings a freshness to these works that too often can become hackneyed.

It succeeds because the recording is admirably free of artefacts that distract and undue emphasise and so natural in its presentation that you forget that it is a recording to which your are listening. You become immersed in the music more deeply than most recordings allow. It is an ambition that is rarely achieved.

Grammy Awards are no strangers to Reference Recordings and I dare say this will earn them another.

Being a mid-Western American orchestra perhaps explains why the Kansas players couldn't resist making the ballet movement of Wasps sound like a hoe-down in the best Copland tradition, reminding us that they also have a good sense of humour.

Only a curmudgeon will not add this recording to his/her library.

Post by sgb October 9, 2013 (7 of 41)
I may not want to embellish my words quite as extensively as hiredfox has, and I may not go so far as to say that it may be THE best sounding SACDs I've ever heard, but it rates 5 stars for sonic superiority nonetheless.

Post by rammiepie October 9, 2013 (8 of 41)
I received this disc the day it was released and can attest to its unabashed fiery romanticism. Has anyone compared this SACD to the HRx counterpart also available from Reference Recordings?

Post by Links October 9, 2013 (9 of 41)
Amazon US, japan, France, and Canada, spelling is an an Engima with them.

Post by nucaleena October 9, 2013 (10 of 41)
Rammiepie said ...Has anyone compared this SACD to the HRx counterpart?

Rammie, what does this (HRx) mean?

Links said ...spelling is an an Engima with them.

Links, what is this apropos?

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