Symphony No. 3 Organ
- Is Discontinued By Manufacturer : いいえ
- 製品サイズ : 14.27 x 12.5 x 0.84 cm; 108.86 g
- メーカー : RCA
- EAN : 0090266150021
- 商品モデル番号 : 2025733
- レーベル : RCA
- ASIN : B000003FEG
- ディスク枚数 : 1
This is another of Charles Munch's blazing collaborations with the Boston Symphony Orchestra in the French repertory, and a fine example of how this conductor could take a warhorse and turn it back into a serious piece of music--serious but not dull. The opening Allegro is impassioned, the Adagio is intensely poetic and expressive, and the finale generates real edge-of-the-seat excitement. The "Living Stereo" remastering has restored the lifelike presence of the original recording and minimized the effects of tape saturation in the loudest passages. The glorious tone of the orchestra comes through loud and clear, along with a thrilling sense of Symphony Hall ambience. Debussy's La Mer and Ibert's Escales... make a generous coupling and are every bit as impressively performed. --Ted Libbey
The Saint-Saens is a grand disappointment: the instruments are taken from all the corners of the concert hall (a mis-editing of the three microphones pick-up stations); the organ is weak, unimpressive, the flutes are coming from the direct left-side then wonder to the center (proportionally to where they should have been at the first place). The violins emanates pinpointed directly from the face of the left speaker without the hall ambience for them - as if recorded with a pin-point support microphone that went wild...
Chaotic SACD editing.
The La Mer sounds confused, unimpressive and unfocused.
This is no spectacular item as it claims to be, SACD or not.
An RCA disappointment - no shame in admitting to it.
Over the years I have owned a number of alternative recordings in the belief or hope that a newer recording would have better sound and an exciting performance to match. This has proved not to be the case and Munch still reigns supreme. The question now remains, which compilation is best?
There was a Red Seal issue which definitely does not have the openness of sound of the Living Stereo version. However its couplings of the Poulenc organ concerto and Franck's Chasseur Maudit are invaluable for being the most exciting ever of the Franck and a particularly good Poulenc. The disc therefore stays in the collection.
There is also the SACD version of the Living Stereo disc being discussed in this review. This offers stupendous sound when heard in its SACD form via good quality playback equipment. The stereo Living Stereo sound, good though it is, is simply outclassed by the SACD version. The same difference applies to the two fillers although it must be stated that the star item sonically is the symphony which was recorded in 1959 and three years later than the other two items which were recorded in 1956.
The Ibert Escales, a rarity on disc, is generally well played with drive and commitment but suffers from relatively close miking and a lack of ambiance and a rather dry acoustic. This is an original balancing decision and the recording lacks the opulence and depth of stage of the Saint Saens although the SACD version played through surround equipment opens out considerable more than the Living stereo version.
The Debussy has the important and totally effective extra brass triplets heard clearly at the end of the last movement. These add greatly to the excitement and are rarely included - the Reiner version also has them, and it is a mystery to me why no-one else has remarked about this important point on either disc. The differences of soundstage relating the the rest of the program apply equally to this piece which lies between the other two in sonic effectiveness.
Generally one would not choose a Munch recording expecting sensitive subtleties of interpretation. Munch is more about the broader canvas, excitement, drive and thrills. He had an orchestra that could deliver these and that is what we get on this disc.
There are no other choices on disc to be made as regards recordings of the Ibert Escales but there are several more subtle and effective versions of the Debussy to be had, even from the same era - Reiner springs to mind for example. However, Munch is simply in a class of his own when it comes to the Saint Saens and the SACD version is the one to have of that.
I would suggest that the disc's longevity in the catalogues is testament to its considerable appeal and would therefore advise that it should be seriously as a strong purchase option, especially for the Saint Saens.
The other pieces (Debussy and Ibert) on the SACD are nicely played, but it is for the Saint-Saëns that I highly recommend this disc.
Note for those with multi-channel playback equipment: On the SACD multi-channel layer, these are 3 track recordings (left, centre, and right speakers).
The remaining works are: Debussy, La mer, another favourite of mine, and Ibert, Escales, which was new to me.