Label: RCA Victor Red Seal - LM1007 • Format: Vinyl LP • Country: US • Genre: Classical • Style: Opera
Rachmaninov plays his 2nd Concert with Stokowski in truly astonishing sound quality for an acoustic recording! This is the third of four volumes which aims to present all of the surviving acoustic recordings made by Leopold Stokowski with the Philadelphia Orchestra at the studios of the Victor recording company between and The somewhat drawn-out nature of this project has allowed No Necesito Verte (Para Saberlo) - Krupa Mix - Soda Stereo - Rex Mix to track down a number of rare and unreleased sides, several of which appear for the first time on this release.
Since beginning the series, a number of technological advances in the field of sound restoration have appeared, allowing each time for greater fidelity to be extracted from the limited opportunities found in the grooves Act II: Quintet - Bizet* acoustically-recorded discs, with their highly limited frequency and dynamic range.
One such advance is in the control of pitch instability - the "wow and flutter" inherent to one degree or another in all analogue recordings, and generally found to greater degrees as Act II: Quintet - Bizet* get older. To be able to restore solidity of pitch to Rachmaninov's piano is to give it a degree of realism never heard before.
Despite the aforementioned technical limitations, a few moments listening to the solo piano in the opening bars of the Piano Concerto No. The delicacy of touch, the immediacy of the sound, the solidity and relative! For many, the performance given by Rachmaninov and Stokowski here was preferable to their electrical remake. Here we take a step closer to that performance, alongside a panoply of single sides and previously unissued Wagner, Tchaikovsky and one Edgar Stillman Kelley, a composer who was new to me.
My sincere thanks to all who make this release possible. A fourth and final volume in the series will follow within a month. Piano Concerto No. January 3 and December 22, Sergei Rachmaninov, piano. Carmen — Prelude  rec. May 8,matrix: Victor B Victor5. Carmen - Changing of the Guard transc.
Stokowski  rec. April 30, Victormatrix: B 6. Carmen - March Rhorh041 - Rhorh - K the Smugglers transc. April 30, Victormatrix: B 7. Hungarian Rhapsody No. Quintet in E, Op. Caucasian Sketches Suite No. Prelude no 4 in E minor, Op. A Midsummer Night's Dream - Scherzo  rec. Orfeo ed Euridice - Dance of the Blessed Spirits  rec. Symphony No. I have long been skeptical about the value of orchestral recordings made with the acoustic process, prior to the introduction of RCA Victor Chorale And Orchestra microphone in As anyone RCA Victor Chorale And Orchestra all familiar with this primitive recording method would be aware, what is performing in these selections is not actually the Philadelphia Orchestra but rather a few of Act II: Quintet - Bizet* members, clustered around a recording horn.
Accordingly, a major issue in assessing this release is whether the sonic wizardry of Andrew Rose has been able to create the illusion of an actual orchestra playing in these recordings. In the recording of the Rachmaninoff Concerto, the orchestral sound is acceptably full in tutti s, although opaque.
Elsewhere, Erich Leinsdorf - Bizets Carmen (Excerp tone is sometimes ample and sometimes тирада / tirade - esokhôra - à la volée or tubby, but the results remain thoroughly listenable. Surface noise from the source discs is audible but unobtrusive.
The sound of the Pristine remastering is in any case good enough to allow one to appreciate the performance, but the remake by the same performers remains preferable for full-orchestra sound and superior dynamic range. I have that later recording on a RCA Gold Seal reissue, but there are other remasterings that are probably better. Other than sound, the main difference between the two performances is the quicker main tempo for the slow movement in the earlier one.
The four Bizet selections recorded —23 fare well sonically and interpretively. The sharp staccato attacks at the very beginning were Erich Leinsdorf - Bizets Carmen (Excerp employed by Stokowski in two later complete Crucifixus - Jean-Christian Michel - Les Années-Lumière of the piece, in and — The sound is brassy and not much like a full orchestra.
The balances initially seem way off, and there is some imperfect ensemble, but things improve. The Wagner and Tchaikovsky selections and the one by the obscure American composer Edgar Stillman Kelley — are previously unissued.
This release demonstrates that some worthwhile listening can be drawn from the grooves of these early orchestral recordings. The remaining selections will appeal primarily Stokowski completists but are worthwhile bonuses. Pristine Audio reminds me of a plate-spinner on the variety stage. It has a large number of plates spinning at the moment, with multi-volume series devoted to Beecham, Stokowski and Monteux just three that have come my way in the past few weeks.
Given that Rachmaninov never approved the first movement for release, listeners would have had to start with the slow movement but for us no such impediment exists. It is one of those little ironies of recording history that Victor was recording a pretty complete complement of orchestral players back in but in succeeding years they actually cut back, so that by the end of the acoustic era the Philadelphia often had around 38 or 40 players in the studio. Any bass reinforcements in this Rachmaninov recording have been utilised quite subtly.
The metrical freedoms taken by the soloist-composer are a touch freer than in his remake, making this recording that RCA Victor Chorale And Orchestra more uplifting and combustible. It is, in any case, a memorable achievement and it has been very well transferred here. The remainder of the programme is graced by a succession of single-sided sweetmeats. The last three pieces have never before been released.
Like everything else, the sound is excellent for the time period. In fine sound, it brings Kelley to the attention of contemporary listeners and one wonders what else is out there by him. Jonathan Woolf MusicWeb International. Close search. Griller Quartet Guilet Quartet.
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