More of the music of Rimsky-Korsakov (1844-1908)
Our Favorite Performance of Scheherazade – Ansermet with the Suisse Romande
This post was written in 2014 or so. It’s the story of the breakthrough pressing we discovered that year.
I attended this Dec. 2013 concert; it was a thrill like no other. (Well, maybe The Planets.)
“Guest conductor Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos’s attention to detail delivers the razzle dazzle and also discovers renewed radiance in ‘Scheherazade.'”
We did a monster shootout for this music in 2014, one we had been planning for more than two years. On hand were quite a few copies of the Reiner on RCA; the Ansermet on London (CS 6212, his second stereo recording, from 1961, not the earlier and noticeably poorer sounding recording from in 1959); the Ormandy on Columbia, and a few others we felt had shown potential.
The only recordings that held up all the way through — the fourth movement being THE Ball Breaker of all time, for both the engineers and musicians — were those by Reiner and Ansermet. This was disappointing considering how much time and money we spent finding, cleaning and playing those ten or so other pressings. (more…)