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Who stole the Rite of Spring bass and who pushed the microphones away...?
on 24 April 2012
This SACD is recorded with two sonic mind-sets:
One is the Firebird & tango, the other is the Rite of Spring:
The rite of spring:
Yes, the Channel Classics here "reveals EVERY detail of what's on offer", as the other reviewer put it - including a muffled, weak, unsubstantial bass attacks that robs the reading and the listening pleasure of what's in the score.
The orchestra is given a bit of too distance placement from the microphones (in the editing and in the 'control-board'/volume setting) as a result the sound does not have the concert hall spread nor a good large studio recording spread - its quite narrow and almost contained in a shoe-box (read that as unimpressive SACD offering of such a great music...)
I guess the recording team has done what's possible there (and a bit more by the extensive use of too many microphones) counting-in that the concert-hall stage there is cramp, not big enough for a beefed up orchestra - see photos of this recording and how the back of the stage is formed like a horse-shoe with the musicians practically flattened against the back-wall; Bad for such a gigantic work and that the players are huddled together there...
Quite a disappointment this one is in-spite of the rave reviews endowed on it by the so called 'Gramophone tin-can-ears'...One should whole heatedly turn to the Concertgebouw SACD recording or to the Bis SACD offering instead.
I am certain the two recordings with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, one on RCA (Yuri Temirkanov - DDD recording) the other on Tring label (Yuri Simonov DDD recording) do to the 'Rite of Spring' more justice, has more drive, more tension, and a better sound-stage presentation and sounds more dynamic. (Not to forget the Colin Davis conducting the Concertgebouw, an amazing achievement from the mid Seventies on a Philips ADD)...
The Firebird and the Tango - fare better and enjoy a better perspective of what's there is for a SACD recording:
The orchestra has a better spread, taken not from too far perspective and the details are quite clear, yet, again, the bass range is limited and the explosions on the bass are tamed as if it was done in purpose as not to harm a mediocre home playback systems - so almost always the bass sounds like a Salami hitting the sofa...
Nevertheless, the Firebird & Tango are the better recording as a whole, but a five star for this SACD...? i think not.