Customer Review

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Mariinsky recording disaster. Beware..., 5 May 2012
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This review is from: Shostakovich: Symphony Nos. 2 & 11 (Mariinsky Orchestra & Chorus / Valery Gergiev) (Audio CD)
From the audio point of view, this Mariinsky theater recording is a disaster:
The SACD multichannel layer front speaker's sound is almost like a mono recording; it does not spread beyond the front speaker and certainly it will not stretch wall-to-wall in front of the listener.
This is as a result of the recording taken from way too far from the stage, not even from a good balcony sit. It is like listening to a concert standing at the corridor that leads to the concert-hall.

This distanced recording does not allow the layer of depth withing the orchestral players to shine, (it is a bulk of a small block of sound) which does not allow dynamics to develop properly, certainly the whole 'shebang' written into passages of the Shostakovich score does not come to life (one wonders if the recording engineers were aware that a SACD is capable of 120 dB of dynamic, certainly they never listened to other SACD labels like Bis, or RCO - as to get an idea of what is technically available when occupying the SACD terrine...)
Occasionally on big climax and tutti, the front sound will wake-up from its slumber just a bit, but this will not raise the sound-picture into any resemblance to a good theater sound.
The rear speakers are hardly noticeable even with the ear close to the drivers (in case one was wondering if they get any signal).
The volume has to be advanced by about 6-to-9 dB forward (worse than some BIS SACD recording in that regard - but at least the Bis can through a wide sonic picture, an auditorium-like sound).

As said, from the audio point of view this is a sonic disaster; these poor Marinsky recordings are just SACD imposters, one should be well advised not to risk getting the other Marinsky recordings in that series, as they would far no better.

So, if you were looking to buy an impressive performance of Shostakovich symphonies, these will not fit the bill. Beware.
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Tracked by 2 customers

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Showing 1-4 of 4 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 3 Jan 2013 18:07:19 GMT
Malx says:
What are your thoughts on the stereo layer?

Posted on 28 Feb 2013 18:57:29 GMT
D. S. CROWE says:
The new Maryinsky concert hall is a disaster acoustically unless it's alive recording, when the presence of the audience seems to absorb some of the dry neutrality of the ambience. They are ALL like this- the 10th is terrible! Bring back the old Kirov Theatre.As ever, SC.

In reply to an earlier post on 28 Feb 2013 21:17:15 GMT
Thanks for the "vote of confidence".
It always amazes me, the amount of audacity recording engineers are born-with (or acquire while getting paid) and the audacity they smear together together with some sound-death producers - to dare and bring out to the public those horrible recordings...!!!

In reply to an earlier post on 1 Mar 2013 15:25:12 GMT
D. S. CROWE says:
You are so right-however, if you cast your mind back, I was extolling te virtues of the Shostakovich 7 I saw in concert with Nelsons/CBSO. I hope you've noticed that it is now released on Orfeo-I've reviewed it-and although no SACD, the stereo is STUNNING-everything these Maryinsky's are not. By the way, the re-mastered Lennie B Mahler Symphonies for DSD are little short of miraculous in terms of the enhanced sound quality-the performances always were great, but now after all these years, they can finally be appreciated in their full glory. I'm obsessed with them-can't stop playing the Adagio from the 10th which Lennie makes a self standing tone poem-and the SOUND!!
Part of the problem today is anodyne conducting, orchestras sounding so similar (THANK GOD for THE VPO!) and because modern halls are ALL "acoustic neutral," engineers feel they have to zonk the effects up to combat this, and we end up with a thin haphazard sound picture. Don't get me started!! Best Regards, Stewart.
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