This is a brand new recording (2010 and 2011) by Jardi Savall and his Le Concert des Nations were they pull out a magnificent performance and the recording engineer, Manuel Mohino, does a superb job at capturing this performance in 5.0 surround sound.
Performance: The performance is committed and passionate and delicate when called for. Jordi Savall has completely abandoned himself to the characters of these pieces and one gets lost in them. In the notes to this recording, Raphaelle Legrand says, "In this opera (Les Boreades) the eighty-year-old Rameau was more experimental than ever before: the textures are ever more varied, the touches of instrumental color more delicate, and the Rococo fantasy and refinement are taken to their utmost expression, all at a time when the new generation was inventing the classical orchestra." And Savall with his Le Concert des Nations gives us those varied beautiful textures and delicate colors. here. One more tidbit, in Les Boreades - Les Vents, Jordi Savall uses several real wind machines that surround you to great effect (Go to YouTube and enter "8ftyJLl6jl4" in the search window. Please note that this video only shows one wind machine, however, in this recording it sounds like several wind machines were used surrounding you, but it could be the effect that the reverberation of the hall produces. What a JOY this performance was! I'm going to go listen to it again as soon as I finish this review!
Recording: Engineer Manuel Mohino gives us a 5.0 surround recording with the orchestra placed directly in front of you and surrounding you about 180 degrees around with the harpsichord to your far left and slightly behind. Basically you are setting right at the conductor's podium! The recording venue is the luxurious Arsenal in Metz France. I have heard one other recording made at the Arsenal of Handel's Water Music and Fireworks music, but it was a disaster because the recording technique placed the microphones much too distant from the orchestra so the details were completely washed out by the reverberation of the hall on the Glossa label: Handel: Water Music & Fireworks (Le Concert Spirituel / Herve Niquet). However, in this case Manuel Mohino has placed the microphones at the perfect distance from the orchestra to capture detail and still retain the beautiful 3 to 4 second reverberation time of this hall. The original instruments here sound sumptuously organic. The Holy Grail is to have warm acoustics with detail and nice reverberation and Manuel Mohino has achieved this feat! It is a truly realistic gorgeous (you are there) recording. My SACD player is the Denon DVD-3910 and my play volume used was -18db on my Denon AVR-3805 receiver with a speaker efficiency of 91db, this provided the perfect "live" volume.
Conclusion: I complete all around 5 star rating!
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