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Scottish Fantasy, Violin Concerto No.1 Hybrid SACD, SACD

5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

Price: £4.95 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details
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£4.95 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details Only 5 left in stock. Sold by Great Buys Uk and Fulfilled by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.

Product details

  • Conductor: Ion Marin
  • Composer: BRUCH
  • Audio CD (11 Mar. 2013)
  • Please Note: Requires SACD-compatible hardware
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Hybrid SACD, SACD
  • Label: Tudor
  • ASIN: B00B3S5Z9Y
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 284,474 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
  • Sample this album Artist (Sample)
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Product Description

Braunstein/Marin/Bamberger So

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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Bruch on SACD - 2ch or 5.1 + 2ch CD layer.

We already had a CD version of both the Scottish Fantasy and Violin Concerto No. 1, but I have always found it hard to listen to, because in the quiet passages there is a lot of background hiss, like you hear on poor quality tape recordings.
So I was looking for a new copy that would, I hoped, be free of such distractions. This version caught my attention, as a multi-channel SACD recording, positively reviewed.
I am always a bit nervous when an item ends up in my electronic basket labelled as "audio CD", as to me SACD is a separate category. Before now I have ordered an SACD item from Amazon only to be send a standard CD, which I have had to return. Additionally, there is often no mention of whether an SACD is multi-channel or just stereo, so where possible I look at pictures of the casework (if there are any) to see what it says, or see what I can find elsewhere about the product.
Anyway, this one is fine: typical SACD hybrid, with a CD layer that will play on any CD player, and SACD stereo/multi-channel layers that will play on any SACD-compatible player. I have not listened to the CD layer nor the SACD stereo, so the comments that follow relate to the multi-channel recording, although I'm sure the others will be fine.
As with all SACD recordings, if you have a CD-only player, if you buy this you'll end up with something more than you can use, but that's up to you.
The channel mix sounds about right to me, with enough of the orchestra distributed to the R and L channels, both front and rear, to sound convincing, leaving the solo violin in the front centre where you want it. The surround mix sounds natural rather than contrived, which is just as it should be.
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I like this a lot
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0x94b623fc) out of 5 stars 1 review
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x952651bc) out of 5 stars It makes a pleasant addition to the catalogue. 9 July 2013
By John J. Puccio - Published on
Format: Audio CD
The Fantasy starts off rather solemnly with an introduction marked "Grave," which is slow and somber, indeed, before giving way to the more familiar and frolicsome melodies that follow. Braunstein infuses the opening with a good sense of atmosphere and emotion. The Adagio that follows has an appealing melancholy, which Braunstein never over-sentimentalizes. He ensures the Scottish airs have a lovely lilt, and he sweetly captures the flavor of the Scottish countryside. Then he brings a zesty spirit to the central Allegro and a quiet longing to the Andante. While Braunstein and Maestro Ion Marin give us a grander Finale than we often hear, overall this is a relaxed, broadly comfortable reading, full of charm and good will. It's quite delightful, actually.

Next up is the Concerto No. 1 in G-minor for Violin and Orchestra, Op. 26, possibly Bruch's most well-known work. The composer premiered a revised version in 1867, and it's been one of the staples of the violin repertoire ever since. It has a curious first movement, a Vorspiel (or Prelude) leading directly to the second movement. This Vorspiel is like a slow march, with some ornamental flourishes along the way. Braunstein seems perfectly at ease with the Romanticism of the music, yet in an easygoing, if passionate, manner.

The Adagio is famously melodious and forms the centerpiece of the work. In its broadly sweeping themes we find one of the most soulful of Romantic slow movements. Here, Braunstein plays wonderfully, capturing all of the music's inner tensions and heartrending beauty. In the Finale Braunstein provides a necessary good cheer without overdoing things, without wearing out his welcome. Instead, his playing is as light and lyrical as the rest of his interpretation. This makes a most congenial, most welcome addition to the catalogue.

In terms of sound, there is an excellent sense of depth, air, and space. The solo violin is out front, of course, but not too far and, thus, not bigger than life as sometimes happens in these affairs. The midrange sounds clean and smooth and reasonably transparent, the highs fairly well extended, the lows a tad lightweight but adequate. Transient attack is fine, as is ambient bloom.

John J. Puccio
Classical Candor
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