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Discussion: Rachmaninov: The Bells & Symphonic Dances - Rattle

Posts: 12
Page: 1 2 next

Post by samayoeruorandajin October 18, 2013 (1 of 12)
Heard this at Tower in Shibuya on some really fine Denon headphones and a Marantz SACD player. It's a great recording of the Bells and a welcome addition to the catalog. Need to dig out my Ashkenazy recording to compare. Will hope to buy it at some point, but for those who want something a little different, quite nice.

Post by hiredfox October 18, 2013 (2 of 12)
samayoeruorandajin said:

Heard this at Tower in Shibuya on some really fine Denon headphones and a Marantz SACD player. It's a great recording of the Bells and a welcome addition to the catalog. Need to dig out my Ashkenazy recording to compare. Will hope to buy it at some point, but for those who want something a little different, quite nice.

It's being offered for as 'little' as £25 by amazon UK but as it is sourced from Korea likely to attract VAT and customs charges adding about 50% to the price. Would love to have it but even SSR cannot be worth £40 a pop.

Post by Claude October 18, 2013 (3 of 12)
BTW, it's listed as "Release cancelled" on CDJapan (which is an error of course), that's why there is no CDjapan link here. The price is $34 / 25Euro / £21

Post by hiredfox December 26, 2013 (4 of 12)
This is one of those Christmas presents that quickly finds its way to a New Year e-Bay listing. The sound quality is too poor to allow a meaningful assessment of the BPO's performance. Edgy at times screeching treble and voices that sound more electronic than real condemns this SACD as being no better than the RB version that preceded it. A great disappointment as my benefactor had obviously spent a good deal of money and not a little personal insight in choosing such a present.

Rarely will I advise others to avoid a particular disc as tastes vary so much but many would-be purchasers will I believe be as disappointed as me, in view of the cost of the disc it cannot be recommended.

Post by lennyw December 26, 2013 (5 of 12)
hiredfox said:

This is one of those Christmas presents that quickly finds its way to a New Year e-Bay listing. The sound quality is too poor to allow a meaningful assessment of the BPO's performance. Edgy at times screeching treble and voices that sound more electronic than real condemns this SACD as being no better than the RB version that preceded it. A great disappointment as my benefactor had obviously spent a good deal of money and not a little personal insight in choosing such a present.

Rarely will I advise others to avoid a particular disc as tastes vary so much but many would-be purchasers will I believe be as disappointed as me, in view of the cost of the disc it cannot be recommended.

Thanks. It seems fortunate that a friend visiting Japan ran out of time and couldn't pop into Tower to pick this up for me...

A great shame though, as the live performance of the SDs was sublime.

Post by jgr December 28, 2013 (6 of 12)
I have the SACD of Rachmaninov Symphonic Dances and The Bells. On my set up this is one of the best Warner/SACD's I have heard with no fierce sound - perhaps Rachmaninov's orchestration does play a part in the brightness of the sound at times. The voices at choir are caught in a slightly dry acoustic which the Philharmonie in Berlin posesses when full. I recommend this SACD especially for the Bells.

Post by Euell Neverno December 28, 2013 (7 of 12)
Hiredfox says the sound is terrible and JGR says it's pretty good. Evaluations of performances vary considerably with taste being one factor. But, the issue of sound quality should not be so terribly controversial, even though some prefer a warmer, less detailed presentation, while others here apparently prefer inclusion of non-musical detail, such as the conductor's respiration. Personally, when I go to a concert, I am not interested in hearing the conductor's respiration, so long as he or she continues breathing during the performance. Ditto for recorded music. Regardless of personal eccentricities, the range of judgments from terrible to pretty good is so extreme as to make one wonder.

Post by Claude December 28, 2013 (8 of 12)
Claude said:

BTW, it's listed as "Release cancelled" on CDJapan (which is an error of course), that's why there is no CDjapan link here. The price is $34 / 25Euro / £21

The cancelled item is the EMI entry. This release is by the new label owner Warner. Although there is no CDJapan link here, it can be purchased on CDJapan by searching for "WPCS-12615". The price is Y3000 / 21 Euro / $29 / 17.3 GBP.

Post by samayoeruorandajin December 28, 2013 (9 of 12)
I trust my own ears which says it's pretty damn good.

Post by Links December 28, 2013 (10 of 12)
Just to get things straight, is this the same performance and recording
of the Symphonic Dances as on the Blu-ray disc? (PCM Stereo/DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1)
If so, can someone who has both comment on what must be the huge difference
in sound on this SACD between the 2 very different recording venues for the Dances and The Bells.
Tough question seeing as this SACD is stereo only, and Warner has deprived us of the MC
mix that most certainly was made of The Bells.

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