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  Living Stereo
  Rhapsodies - Stokowski
  Liszt: Hungarian Rhapsodies, Enescu: Romanian Rhapsody No. 1, Smetana: Ma Vlast (Moldau), The Bartered Bride (overture), Wagner: Tannhauser, Tristan and Isolde (excerpts)

RCA Victor Symphony Orchestra
Leopold Stokowski (conductor)
Track listing:
  Classical - Orchestral
Recording type:
Recording info:

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Related titles: 7 show all

Reviews: 4 show all

Review by Ivymike August 9, 2005 (12 of 12 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
Another Shaded Dog that gets lots of breathless panting on ebay.

The sound on this 3-channel SACD is noticeably better than on the original RCA Living Stereo CD. The presence of the center channel is welcome; the original had a bit of the hole-in-the-middle effect going on that is neatly taken care of here. The sense of air around the woodwinds, and their proper placement in the soundfield, will surely bring smiles. Two engineers' work is represented on this disc: that of Bob Simpson and Lewis Layton. Simpson was fond of pushing recording levels as high as possible, a la Arthur Lilley at London, with a sound that is very upfront and teeters into roughness as the tape hit saturation. The advantage to this is that there is practically no tape noise on his tracks. The soundfield is very wide and pleasantly reverberant.
Layton's work is not pushed so high in level and consequently tape hiss is more apparent in his tracks. The sound is cleaner, though, and one doesn't sense that that extra tenth of a decibel will send the tape into massive overload. The strings are set back away from the speaker plane somewhat, but the soundstage is still wide and deep, deeper in fact than that on Simpson's tracks. There is a great deal of rumble and what sounds very much like traffic noise apparent in Manhattan Center.

The performances are true Stokowski: terrifically exciting and sure to send purists screaming.

Great stuff!

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Review by dschawv July 30, 2005 (4 of 11 found this review helpful)
A lot of fun.
Came away from this recording saying that Stokowski was truly a magician.
I may not go to this recording for anything more than complete belief in his ability to transform an orchestral sound.
At time, it can be blasphemy. But, it can be truly magnificent.
simply enjoy for that great sound that Stokowski could get the orchestra to play with.

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Review by EdBoxer June 20, 2012 (3 of 4 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:  
Having owned “Rhapsodies” on LP and Living Stereo CD, I was particularly disappointed in this recording. Yes, these are exciting performances. But, I don’t see much of a gain in SACD for this recording. The soundstage is very deep. So deep that clarity suffers because of “cathedral” reverberance. The sound in the Enescu is particularly muddy. At some points, you can barely hear the brass in the back row.

The Wagner selections have a much better sound – clear, wide soundstage. The Tristan oboe is playing right in front of you. The Tannhauser chorus is crystal clear (displaying some flat sopranos).

Sound for Rhapsodies - 2
Sound for Wagner - 4.5

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Works: 6  

George Enescu - Romanian Rhapsody No. 1
Franz Liszt - Ungarische Rhapsodien (Hungarian Rhapsodies), S. 244
Bedrich Smetana - Má Vlast (My Fatherland), JB 1:112
Bedrich Smetana - The Bartered Bride, JB 1:100
Richard Wagner - Tannhäuser und der Sängerkrieg auf der Wartburg, WWV 70
Richard Wagner - Tristan und Isolde, WWV 90