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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Oh My Goodness Gracious, Yes!, 21 July 2006
By 
J Scott Morrison (Middlebury VT, USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Respighi: Fountains of Rome, Pines Of Rome / Debussy: La Mer (Audio CD)
The SACD reissues of RCA recordings from their wonderful 'Living Stereo' days is reaching full spate. The Reiner/ChicagoSO Respighi, rapturously acclaimed when it first came out, is heard here in even more glorious sound with the addition of SACD multichannel reproduction. The performance itself, along with the older and now sonically hors de combat Toscanini/NBC SO recording, are possibly the most exciting, the most 'right' I've ever heard. The Chicago was in marvelous condition in those days and the brass are especially glorious in the Pines of the Appian Way section. But lest we slight the winds and strings, they have their day, too, the latter especially deep and satiny in Pines of the Janiculum. Of more recent recordings of 'Pines' I have raved about a 2000 Cincinnati SO recording but this one, frankly, puts it in the shade both sonically and musically. This is a must-have for those who have the appropriate equipment to hear it in SACD.

As for 'La Mer' it too is given a good performance but it is not going to be anyone's primary reason for acquiring this disc. There are too many other La Mer recordings that are its equal or better.

As of the date of this review there are no sound clips for the prospective buyer to hear, but eventually, I assume, Amazon will put up sound clips from this disc and if they have by the time you're reading this I'd urge you to listen just to the first few seconds of the opening of 'Pines.' That high frequency orchestration, so exciting in live performance and so easily compressed and messed up by sound engineers on recordings, is absolutely clear and thrilling.

This is a must-have. It's that simple.

Scott Morrison
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Debussy \the pines, 27 Oct 2012
By 
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This review is from: Respighi: Fountains of Rome, Pines Of Rome / Debussy: La Mer (Audio CD)
another great issue of sacd DSD remastered old analog three channel stereo recordings simply fantastic bettered only by the latest DTS HD Master audio blu ray pure digital hi bit recordings of today , its simply fasinating how good these 50s 60s recordings on this label are , the performance is excellent too

if you are an audiophile and you have good Hi End equipment do yourself a favour and buy this you wont regret it

john
walsh
maidstone , kent
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An unmissable upgrade for fans of these famous recordings, 18 Mar 2013
By 
I. Giles (Argyll, Scotland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Respighi: Fountains of Rome, Pines Of Rome / Debussy: La Mer (Audio CD)
I have owned these recordings of the Respighi since they first came out in the 1959. They have always been my favourite performances however many I have since bought. More recently I have acquired the Debussy as a fill-up. This too is fine and a more than generous extra item, but it will always be the Respighi that attracts the collectors.

There have been several reincarnations of these very famous recordings and I have resisted this latest one on the basis that enough is enough. However, having sampled a few of the others in this SACD series and been very impressed I have finally weakened and invested once more in this latest appearance.

Well, it is an absolutely phenomenal improvement with extra body, definition, presence and sense of sheer reality. The Debussy is better too!

Once more this Respighi/Reiner combination heads my list of preferred recordings, not just as a performance but also as sound. Considering its age, that is an almost unbelievable statement.

In summary therefore, I would suggest that whatever other recordings collectors have or newcomers are considering, this SACD version by Reiner deserves the most serious consideration as a future purchase.

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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...
Thank you (UK review)

I'd also add to this. When you in particular review a particular CD, I pay pretty close attention. I would say the characteristics of your reviews I value the most are the detail and general sense of balance and fairness that comes across. That's a great help. Thanks for taking the time on your reviews. (US review)

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars RCA did the impossible, the recording to own, 25 Aug 2012
This review is from: Respighi: Fountains of Rome, Pines Of Rome / Debussy: La Mer (Audio CD)
this is the best recording of these pieces full stop. It is clear, well perfomed, has life and soul..... it gives an amazing feeling of warmth and depth. RCA living stereo really has captured perfomances at their best... and this is living proof.... buy it and prove me wrong, i dare you.... if i only had one CD on my desert island it would be this one..... it really is that good, it transports you to another dimmension, puts you on the front row....
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazingly Vivid Performances, 23 Nov 2008
By 
Scriabinmahler (UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Respighi: Fountains of Rome, Pines Of Rome / Debussy: La Mer (Audio CD)
This is wonderfully vivid and glorious recording of the both works and definitely one of the finest stereo recordings by Reiner/Chicago SO. The gorgeous orchestral colours and vitality in their playing is incomparable to today's correct yet very dull performances of the same pieces.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous recording, 3 Jun 2014
By 
Kenneth F. Mcara "Kenneth F. McAra" (Dundee, Scotland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Respighi: Fountains of Rome, Pines Of Rome / Debussy: La Mer (Audio CD)
In the first instance, Pines of Rome is a wonderful piece of music. I remember going to hear the Royal Scottish National Orchetra performing it in the Caird Hall in Dundee and being blown away in the final movement when the supplementary brass bands began playing from the galleries to either side and behind us... This recording is over 50 years old but is fabulous nevertheless. It was recorded using 3 separate microphones, each of which was recorded separately (rather than mixed into stereo). SACD technology allows this to become an analogue recording in an early version of surround sound, using the front 3 speakers, which gives extra depth of sound. For whatever reason, SACD never quite caught on, but the Living Stereo recordings are worth seeking out if you have the equipment to play them on. A standard 5.1 system plus a reasonably up-to-date blu ray player should be enough, but check that it is SACD-compatible.

If you like this, you will love the crystal clear 3-channel recording of Turandot with the incomparable Jussi Bjorling...
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