Top positive review
Rattle's Birmingham M2. - nailed it, first time! The original and the best - out with the GROC....
17 May 2018
This original EMI release shows just how poor many of EMI's "art" remasters were. Take the "Great Recordings of the Century" release of this very recording, remastered using "Abbey Road Technology". Transferred at a lower volume level and sounding oddly balanced - the instruments suddenly disappear into the murkiness and the whole performance seems small-scale - how is this possible? Being a digital recording, there should have been very little difference in sound quality! But listen to the original EMI release, and the sound is truly awe-inspiring, at "sensible" volume levels! And the performance has matured - like a fine wine over the years - it was facing stiff competition from the likes of Walter and Klemperer when this recording was released, in the late-Eighties, and it was easy to be dismissive. Almost everyone I knew at the time - mostly older listeners - said that Rattle hit the wrong tempo from the first note and failed to recover thereafter. I didn't agree, and think this Rattle recording deserved the praise it received, for both the performance and its magnificent sound quality. And, Dame Janet Baker, resplendent, in all her glory, is the jewel-like cherry on top of this substantial cake! Cake aside, give the remastered GROC a miss and buy the original, and see/hear what all the fuss was about! Very collectable 2-CD set.