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Rimsky-Korsakov: Scheherazade / Le Coq d'Or - Suite
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
By David Claris - Published on Amazon.com
I am glad to have these splendid versions of Rimsky-Korsakov warhorses back in my collection. The Scheherezade sounds like the very same remastering that appeared on EMI "Great Conductors" series, although EMI may have filtered slightly to soften the boldness of Decca's Classic FFSS sound. This Scheherazade from September 1954 is by the Paris Conservatory orchestra, and one of the earliest stereo recordings made by Decca. A few months earlier that summer in June, Decca recorded its very first ever stereo taping, also with Ansermet but at home in Geneva with the Suisse Romande orchestra, of Rimsky's colorful and exotic "Antar" Symphony, another ne-plus-ultra performance by Ansermet unsurpassed after more than 50 years in the catalog. The Coq d'Or suite is a mono recording from 1952 and suffers from some peak distortion right at the beginning with the trumpet fanfare, but this passes immediately. The acoustic on this occasion is rather cavernous, but this only enchances the air of mystery and magic of this fairy-tale opera suite, a sheer delight. I just LOVE it. This is a great reissue of some irreplaceable Russian classics done to perfection by the late, great Ernest Ansermet. The sound is classic Decca "FFSS" or "FFRR" and represents very faithfully what we collectors heard on those London and Decca LPs -- a sound that was at once robust and detailed with terrific bass and a sometimes hot high end (whose stridency can be easily tamed by a gentle flick of the treble dial, if desired). Et bien Voila!!
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
By John P. Mckelvey - Published on Amazon.com
Ernest Ansermet has recorded 'Scheherazade' at least 4 times, with the Paris Conservatoire and the Suisse Romande Orchestras. The basic format has been the same, but the details and the overall results have differed. Musically and sonically, this is the best of them, unless you do not appreciate the brightly colored and sharply French sound of the Conservatoire Orchestra. This orchestra, founded circa 1810 was the first to have introduced Beethoven to France. Ansermet and the orchestra work together to produce an unhurried though colorful, powerful, and beautifully shaped performance. Opinions differ, but I regard this as the best Scheherazade on records. The Coq d'Or, played by the Suisse Romande Orchestra, is well-played and recorded, but is less totally inspired than Scherazade. Nevertheless, this great issue should be on everyone's shelf.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
By William Dodd - Published on Amazon.com
This recording was my very first stereo Classical LP. This performace was imprinted on my brain and no other has sounded quite right to me over the years. Even Ansermet's later recording with his usual Suisse Romande band seemed a bit draggy by comparison. The recording is old, but the sound is quite fine. The performance is full of tension and fire, and is very much recommended by me. Le Coq d'Or is fine--- just not one of my favorite pieces.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By Brian H. - Published on Amazon.com
So great to hear Scheherazade played by a great French orchestra recorded in 1954 with bright woodwinds, forward-placed harp and violin soloists, and characteristic horn vibrato. Love it!
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