Thursday, December 24, 2009

Rimsky-Korsakov - Scheherezade, Borodin - Symphony 2 - Kondrashin, Concertgebouw

Rimsky-Korsakov - Scheherezade, Borodin - Symphony 2 -
Kondrashin, Concertgebouw

Symphonic | single flac, cue | no log, cover | 1 CD, 320 MB
July 10, 2001 | Philips| RapidShare

What makes a reference recording? First, a great rendition of the material. Second, great sound and finally, lasting appeal. This one has it all.

The interpretation of the material by the Concertgebouw Orchestra proves that Kirill Kondrashin captured the essence of the Thousand and One Nights. He tells us a story about adventure, love and magic through the music.

The balance between the festive and more dramatic parts is superb. Surprisingly, the full interpretation runs 44:16 even though it seems, at first, that it is played rather rapidly (to a rare loss of control even). But the accent on the more majestuous parts of it, make it clock at the average length of Scheherazade renditions.

As for the sound, it is incredible. Philips has done a phenomenal job at restoring this already acclaimed recording. The 96kHz 24-BIT process proves to be first rate. The placement of the instruments in the orchestra is even better that with the previous release of the material. The winds section sounds great and the brass section full. A MUST for any audiophile. The only thing they could not fix is the almost imperceptible click between takes during the conclusion. Many people might not even notice.

As for the lasting appeal, you will be coming back to this one time and time again. It is not a coincidence that Scheherazade has been recorded time and time again. It is because it is an all time favorite. It will become one of yours after listening to this performance.

Lets not forget about Borodin though. Too often, Scheherazade has been matched with the Capriccio Espagnol. This recording matches it with Borodin's Symphony No.2. Great choice! The dynamics of the piece will wake you up for sure. Some may find it a bit to aggressive, but for my part, I find it to be very well suited to complement Scheherazade. The only quirk is that it is a live rendition of the symphony. Some might not like to hear people coughing and moving. The symphony also benefits a little less from the remastering process, but chances are you will buy it for the extraordinary rendition of Scheherazade anyway...Amazon

CD Content

# Scheherazade, symphonic suite for orchestra, Op. 35
Composed by Nikolay Andreyevich Rimsky-Korsakov
Performed by Concertgebouw Orchestra Amsterdam
with Herman Krebbers
Conducted by Kiril Kondrashin

# Symphony No.2 in B minor
Composed by Alexander Borodin
Performed by Concertgebouw Orchestra Amsterdam
Conducted by Kiril Kondrashin

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