More of the music of Rimsky-Korsakov (1844-1908)
More music conduced by Ernest Ansermet
- Outstanding Double Plus (A++) sound throughout this vintage London pressing of Ansermet and the Suisse Romande’s superb performance of this dazzlingly symphonic suite
- It’s also fairly quiet at Mint Minus Minus, a grade that even our most well-cared-for vintage classical titles have trouble playing at
- This copy will go head to head with the hottest Reiner pressing and is guaranteed to blow the doors off of it
- The top end is natural and sweet – this is the way the solo violin in the left channel is supposed to sound
- Extraordinary Demo Disc sound – the brass has weight and power on that powerful first movement like nothing you’ve ever heard in your life outside of a live performance
- Finding the best sounding pressings of this exceptional recording was a breakthrough for us – here was sound we had never experienced for the work, and let me tell you, that was a thrill I will never forget
- These are the stampers that always win our shootouts, and when you hear them, you will know why – the sound is big, rich and clear like no other Scheherazade you’ve heard
- We’ve come up with a simple listening test to help our audiophile brethren judge pressings of Scheherazade, especially those woeful iterations of the music on Heavy Vinyl. We hope you will find time to avail yourself of it.
- There are about 80 orchestral recordings that I consider to be personal favorites, and this one deserves a place right at the top of that list
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 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.
Here it is many years later and we’re capitalizing on what we learned from the first big go around, which is simply this: the Ansermet recording on Decca/London can not only hold its own with the Reiner on RCA, but beat it in virtually every area. The presentation and the sound itself are both more relaxed and natural, even when compared to the best RCA pressings.
The emotional content of the first three movements (all of side one) under Ansermet’s direction are clearly superior. The roller-coaster excitement Reiner and the CSO bring to the fourth movement cannot be faulted, or equaled. In every other way, Ansermet’s performance is the one for me. 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 potential. (more…)