Albeniz / Falla / Granados / Spain / Reiner

More of the music of Isaac Albeniz (1860-1909)

Spain has been an audiophile favorite for a very long time. Everybody should know it by now, what with both Chesky and Classic Records having remastered it in the ’90s, dismally of course, as neither of these companies showed the slightest sense that they understood how lackluster, if not downright awful, the resulting products of their efforts turned out to be.

No doubt Analogue Productions will see fit to ruin the recording the way they ruined Scheherazade.

This has never been one of the best Living Stereo titles in our experience. The highest grade I would give it would probably be a B.

“Our experience” is the key phrase in the above sentence. I can’t say there aren’t amazing sounding pressings of the album, it’s simply the case that we have never played one.

If I saw one for cheap I would of course pick it up, but in the modern world of records, that is very unlikely indeed.

Side One

The second piece on side one has very dynamic sound. There is the usual Living Stereo compression at work when the music is at its loudest but it does not seem to be nearly the problem that it often is on other RCA recordings.

Side Two

Similar sound. Again the second piece is big, rich, open and very clear.


Side One

Enrique Granados – Goyescas: Intermezzo 
Manuel De Falla – La Vida Breve: Intermezzo & Dance 
Manuel De Falla – Dances From “The Three Cornered Hat”

Side Two

Isaac Albéniz – Iberia: Navarra 
Isaac Albéniz – Iberia: Fete-Dieu A Seville
Isaac Albéniz – Iberia: Triana

AMG Review

Since its early beginnings in 1953, RCA’s Living Stereo sound has remained one of the most satisfying sound reproduction techniques, capturing the lush timbres and fiery characters of some of America’s greatest orchestras and conductors. This particular album features the music of Spanish composers de Falla, Albéniz, and Granados with the Chicago Symphony under Fritz Reiner. The orchestra brilliantly captures the sultry, sassy flair of El amor brujo. Together with soprano Leontyne Price — whose penetrating, throaty sound is ideally suited for this work — Reiner and the CSO deliver a performance that draws listeners in from the beginning and leaves them wanting more by the end.