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  Dutton -
  CDLX 7322
  Vaughan Williams: Concerto for 2 pianos, A London symphony (1920 version) - Lenehan, McCawley, Yates
  Vaughan Williams: Concerto for 2 pianos; A London symphony (1920 version)

Leon McCawley, piano 1
John Lenehan, piano 2
Royal Scottish National Orchestra
Martin Yates
Track listing:
  Classical - Orchestral
Recording type:
Recording info:

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Related titles: 3

Reviews: 1

Review by wilbur September 3, 2015 (10 of 16 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
This CD is problematic. Strictly speaking, it is as described, but only if you read the "fine print" (not that details are actually given!). This is one of just a very few modern (i.e. produced this century) SACDs - in fact the ONLY such one I have ever seen - that is in fact a STEREO, rather than multi-channel recording. I buy a lot of SACD's, and I do so primarily BECAUSE of the multi-channel aspect. I - pretty understandably, I think - bought this assuming that. I was pretty shocked, therefore, to find this hybrid SACD consists of a stereo SACD layer and a stereo Red-Book layer. What is the point? There is no significantly discernible difference between the two. Both are a little dim in recording standards. Hugely disappointed that this is/was not a multi-channel recording, and given the fact that the overwhelming - I mean UTTERLY overwhelming - majority of new SACD's ARE indeed multi-channel, I actually think this actually classifies as deceptive marketing on Amazon UK/Dutton's part. The 1920 version of the symphony is absolutely worth the price of the CD, but this release could - and should - have been so much better! The recording quality is "OK", but the level is quite low and there is particularly no sparkle in the percussion area (so essential in the Symphony, at the least) with cymbals and triangle particularly poorly caught (to name just a couple of details). The biggest problem, of course, is the absence of the multi-channel layer, which makes the recording sound (duh) two-dimensional. Only the very finest two-channel recordings can create the sense of space we all look for. This is not one of them. A tragically missed opportunity!

PS - listened again. The concerto is OK. The 2nd movt. of the Symphony, however - one of RVW's greatest, greatest creations - is turgid in the extreme. Unbelievably uninspired conducting: slow, metrical. Yuk.

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Works: 2  

Ralph Vaughan Williams - Concerto for 2 Pianos
Ralph Vaughan Williams - Symphony No. 2 "A London Symphony" (1911-13, rev. 1918/20/33)