Tchaikovsky / Excerpts from The Nutcracker – Compression Works Its Magic

This RCA reissue pressing of LSC 2328 has some of the BEST SOUND we have ever heard for The Nutcracker, and we’ve played them by the dozens, on the greatest Golden Age labels of all time, including the likes of Mercury, RCA and London.

For our shootout we played Ansermet’s performance of the Suites on London, as well as pressings by Reiner and Fiedler, both of whom opted against using the Suites as Tchaikovsky wrote them, preferring instead to create a shorter version of the complete ballet with excerpts of their own choosing (shown below).

The CSO, as one might expect, plays this work with more precision and control than any other. They also bring more excitement and dynamic contrasts to their performance, adding greatly to our enjoyment of the music.

Side One

A++, Super Hot! The quieter passages have some of the richest, sweetest, most Tubey Magical sound you will ever hear in your home. There is not a trace of phony sound anywhere to be found, and the most pronounced effect it has on the listener is to make him relax and forget entirely about the sound. With this record the music is all.

The hall is huge with space around all the instruments.

Listen to how breathy the flutes are. This of course is a result of the judicious use of compression. The loudest string passages can get congested, another result of the use of compression (unavoidable in classical recordings), so we are holding the grade at A++.

Side Two

A++ to A+++, and some of the best sound we heard all day in our shootout! Every bit as rich and full-bodied as side one, but with less compression this side is more dynamic and exciting than any other that we played. A little dark, but that prevents the strings from becoming strident when loud.

The clarinet is especially musical on this recording. What a record!

Reviews and Commentaries for The Nutcracker

More of the music of Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840-1893)

Reviews and Commentaries for Music Conducted by Fritz Reiner

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Track Listing

Side One

Overture
Christmas Tree Scene
Marche
Divertissement

Spanish Dance
Arabian Dance
Chinese Dance
Trépak
Dance Of The Mirlitons
Mother Gigogne And The Clowns

Side Two

Waltz of the Flowers
Pas De Deux

Variation I – Tarantella
Variation II – Dance Of The Sugar Plum Fairy Coda