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Rhapsody In Blue (Fiedler, Boston Pops) [Sacd/CD Hybrid] Hybrid SACD, SACD


Price: £8.95 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
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Frequently Bought Together

Rhapsody In Blue (Fiedler, Boston Pops) [Sacd/CD Hybrid] + Gaite Parisienne/La Boutique Fantasque [Sacd/CD Hybrid] + Mussorgsky: Pictures at an Exhibition
Price For All Three: £34.09

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Product details

  • Audio CD (14 Feb 2005)
  • Please Note: Requires SACD-compatible hardware
  • SPARS Code: ADD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Hybrid SACD, SACD
  • Label: Living Stereo
  • ASIN: B0002XNLTW
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 104,285 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Disc: 1
1. Rhapsody in Blue
2. Allegro
3. Adagio; Andante con moto
4. Allegro Agitato
5. An American in Paris
Disc: 2
1. Variations On 'I Got Rhythm'
2. Cuban Overture

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By I. Giles TOP 50 REVIEWER on 23 Mar 2013
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This disc, recorded in 1959 and 1961, is a spectacular display of exciting and idiomatic Gershwin playing by Earl wild, Fiedler and the Boston Pops Orchestra. The SACD remastering is a complete and impressive success giving an enhanced effect of a deeper sound-stage and general realism in line with most of the rest of this series of remastered discs.

As regards the performances, this is very much and example of a home team playing on their home ground. Earl Wild has performed this repertoire countless times and it shows. What is surprising is the level of excitement he is able to create as if playing it for the first time. This applies to the concerto especially but the Rhapsody is not far behind.

The purely orchestral pieces, the American and the Overture, are both given energetic and lively performances which can make so many others sound simply dull. The sleeves credit the clarinet soloist in the Rhapsody but I would have also liked the excellent trumpeter to have received equal praise for his superbly smooth delivery in both his solos in the concerto and American in Paris.

I would therefore suggest that these much enhanced older recordings and now sounding very much newer, certainly deserve to be considered very seriously by anyone interested in purchasing this generous selection. Owners of older versions of the disc can safely feel confident that an upgrade to this new remastering is well worth the modest outlay (in the USA) required.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Adam. Southsea Hants on 9 July 2012
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This is an outstanding performance and recording of this great piece of work. The sound quality,depth of detail is truely astonishing and has really brought out how good my denon system can sound. The timing The Rhapsody in Blue is slightly faster than my other recording on LP but it is lively and Im glad i went for it.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Lukasz on 10 Jan 2013
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
anyone who likes this type of music will be happy, the music is for each of us something different, but I would recommend that
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1 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Siro Casolo on 20 Aug 2009
Format: Audio CD
This is a very good SACD. Great performance and very good audio recording. Highly recommended.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 15 reviews
54 of 57 people found the following review helpful
Special, If Not Spectacular 27 Jan 2005
By RF - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
The reason I could not give this SACD a 5-star rating is that in some of the loudest passages the music becomes congested and compressed. And, I don't remember that occurring in my previous experiences with this special recording of the Boston Pops led by Arthur Fiedler. It is truly amazing, however, that such an historic recording can sound so uncannily present.

The stereo SACD layer of this disc does what SACD is supposed to do: the instruments are much better placed within the three dimensional sound stage, timbre is more accurately rendered, the instruments are, also, resolved more finely, more of the ambience of the venue is captured and the air around each of the instruments more realistically clarifies their positions, bass is much more controlled and real, which adds up to more realism and more musical drama. Some moments on this SACD are truly transcendent (I could tell you where, but I'll leave the wonderful surprises to you), while the rest is damned good.

I guess I hoped for more, though.

Why?

When this RCA Living Stereo recording of Rhapsody in Blue was last released on CD in 1997, the remastering used 20 bit technology, a customized Studer transport, Cello electronics and UV22 Super CD encoding (per the CD cover). This remastering had done a phenomenal job in getting as much musical information onto the CD as possible. Consequently, this raised the bar that the present SACD had to outstrip, which it does. However, it does not do so as handily as other Living Stereo SACDs whose prior CD release did not have such wonderful remastering.

Another problem I noticed with this SACD and some other RCA Living Stereo SACDs that have been released recently is that there is something missing at the very top end. I thought though that maybe I was just now hearing these recordings as they sounded from the master tapes, as all the hype has stated. However, Harry Pearson has the same problem. As he expressed recently, "The top octaves sound rolled off, and harmonically depleted."

Is this better than the most recent CD iteration? In most respects, yes, except for the caveats just stated.

If you treasure the RCA Living Stereo series as I do, the improvements that this SACD brings to the table are well worth the price of admission.
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
Living Stereo Rhapsody in Blue/An American in Paris hybrid SACD-DSD by BMG 30 Jun 2010
By Lynn - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
As a kid, I remember hearing the "Living Stereo" series of RCA-produced LP recordings on my uncle's expensive (for the time) "Hi-Fi" setup, and being totally impressed with the sound of the recordings. This SACD-DSD re-issue brings it all back, and today my surround-sound system far surpasses what my uncle had way back then, and the sound is so much more impressive (you do need a SACD-capable player to fully appreciate the sound technology built-into this disc, however, but I have also played it on one of my standard CD players and it still sounds amazing).

The music on this disc was originally recorded in 1959 and 1961 on 3-track professional tape, which RCA would mix-down to the standard 2-track stereo for the LP record. The "Living Stereo" series of recordings that RCA made used specially-selected microphones, and were recorded with minimal or no electronic processing or equalization on the 3-track tape. When transferred to LP, some of the dynamic range in the original recording was lost, however, due to the constraints of the LP as a recording and playbeck medium at the time (some equalization had to be added). For this SACD re-issue, the original 3-track tapes were apparently used, and the full dynamic range of the original recordings seems to be present. Note that, if you listen to this disc using a SCAD player and a surround-sound system, you will find that only the front-left, front-right, and center channel speakers are active, just the way it was originally recorded.

This recording was made in Symphony Hall in Boston, not in a recording studio, by Arthur Feidler and the Boston Pops Orchestra, featuring Earl Wild on the piano. I've been lucky enough to have attended concerts at Symphony Hall, and to my ears, I can actually hear the sonics of the hall in this recording. As for Earl Wild on piano, I imagine him to be channeling George Gershwin himself (I've always loved this music, and I find the performances on this disc to be extrememly satisfying).

While I own other recordings of this same music by other performers, on standard CD and also LP, in my opinion this "Living Stereo" re-issue by BMG is the most satisfying of them.
23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
Perfect antidote for classical (and audio) snobbery 18 May 2008
By Lawrence A. Schenbeck - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Attention all music snobs! This SACD is just what you need to clean out your ears, and your soul. I just finished listening to it after spending a dispiriting morning with a 2004 multichannel release of a major, very serious violin concerto from a major label, major soloist, major orchestra and conductor. On that disc, tepid music-making, oh-so-careful recording and mastering. Oh so boring.

Now here's the real thing. Made back when people enjoyed making and hearing "light classics" -- and it really shows. Although I'm a boomer, I was not familiar with earlier iterations of this famous Boston Pops recording. Therefore I can't comment on whether it's as good as this remastering or that original shaded dog or whatever.

All I can say is, wow! This three-channel SACD really hits the spot. The pianist, Earl Wild, is probably unmatched in this repertoire. The orchestra, under its founding conductor, plays with matching exuberance. Everyone seems to be having a ball, first measure to last. When's the last time you heard a classical recording like that?

The recorded sound is open, colorful, engaging, and totally persuasive. Sure, the soloist is brightly lit, and there's a bit of suspect reverb. But I can hear the hall, the imaging is pretty good, and it's just so involving! Bless you, Richard Mohr and Lewis Layton and all the rest. Why can't they make 'em like this anymore?

So, unconditionally recommended. Once you've heard this, you can go back to your Magnus Lindberg or Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach or Pierre Boulez or 13th-century Moldavian motets or whatever and feel like one of the few, the precious few again. But at least you will have had some fun.

I have enjoyed many of the Living Stereo SACD remasterings, but this one is quite special.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
The best SACD transfer, period! 3 July 2007
By wagnerian - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
It is unbelievable to listen to these almost 50 years old RCA recordings.

The sound stage and transparency, spatial information and autholative bass equal to today's best audiophile recordings.
You can "SEE" the interior of Boston symphony hall and feel the walls vibrating in awesome tutti!

Wonderful performance and incredible recording technique.
Must Have!
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Exciting and idiomatic performances in enhanced SACD sound 23 Mar 2013
By I. Giles - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
This disc, recorded in 1959 and 1961, is a spectacular display of exciting and idiomatic Gershwin playing by Earl wild, Fiedler and the Boston Pops Orchestra. The SACD remastering is a complete and impressive success giving an enhanced effect of a deeper sound-stage and general realism in line with most of the rest of this series of remastered discs.

As regards the performances, this is very much and example of a home team playing on their home ground. Earl Wild has performed this repertoire countless times and it shows. What is surprising is the level of excitement he is able to create as if playing it for the first time. This applies to the concerto especially but the Rhapsody is not far behind.

The purely orchestral pieces, the American and the Overture, are both given energetic and lively performances which can make so many others sound simply dull. The sleeves credit the clarinet soloist in the Rhapsody but I would have also liked the excellent trumpeter to have received equal praise for his superbly smooth delivery in both his solos in the concerto and American in Paris.

I would therefore suggest that these much enhanced older recordings and now sounding very much newer, certainly deserve to be considered very seriously by anyone interested in purchasing this generous selection. Owners of older versions of the disc can safely feel confident that an upgrade to this new remastering is well worth the modest outlay (in the USA) required.

............................................

Some dialogue from the comments section that may offer further help:

I thought that you might like to know that before I buy a recording I now look through all the reviews to see if you have posted one. Your assessments and opinions are invaluable. Thank you. (US review)

I particularly like your format of review. They give the prospective purchaser an idea of the style of the playing and relevant comparisons. They are succinct. Keep up the good work! (UK review)

I'm sure there are many other serious collectors, besides myself, who wait for your synopsis and opinion before spending their hard-earned money on new releases...
Keep up the good work!
Thank you (UK review)

............................................
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