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Rimsky-Korsakov: Scheherazade - Reiner

Rimsky-Korsakov: Scheherazade - Reiner

Living Stereo  82876663772

Stereo/Multichannel Hybrid

Classical - Orchestral


Rimsky-Korsakov: Scheherazade, Stravinsky: Song of the Nightingale

Chicago Symphony Orchestra
Fritz Reiner (conductor)

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53 of 56 recommend this, would you recommend it?  yes | no

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Comment by threerandot - July 7, 2016 (1 of 2)

Review by threerandot April 12, 2008
Performance: 3 1/2
Sonics: 3 1/2

Fritz Reiner leads the Chicago Symphony in what is considered by many to be one of the definitive interpretations of Rimsky-Korsakov's Scheherazade. The disc also features Stravinsky's Song of the Nightingale.

This is a recording that has gathered a lot of favor over the years and I decided I would get a copy and see what was so special about it. I do find that there seems to be a lack of colorful playing in much of this disc, since the recording seems to be a little on the dry side to my ears. The third movement (The Young Prince and The Young Princess) is more colorful and is beautifully played. I just wish the winds weren't quite so dry sounding. The Brass is impressive if a little harsh in the fortes. Strings come through more pleasingly though.

Reiner's is a somewhat more calculated interpretation of Scheherazade than I would really like, but there is still plenty of excitement in what he does. I just wish there was more atmosphere to this performance.

The Song of the Nightingale is an interesting fill up with lots of fun playing. I appreciate the recording of this work, but I don't find myself listening to this disc that often. I wish Reiner was willing to take a little more time in building his climaxes and that the performances were a little more relaxed than they are. I also wish the sound didn't seem quite so close to the orchestra as it is.

Still, there are many who love this disc and the playing is impressive. I just wish the performances had more emotion to them. The sound as I said is a little too dry and close for my liking. Recommended with reservations.

(This review refers to the Multi-channel portion of this disc)

Comment by Wolfspaw - July 10, 2016 (2 of 2)

I have to respectfully disagree with above review. I had heard many, many superlatives of this recording and it took me years (literally) to finally purchase it. My trepidation and hesitation was due to the age of the recording... how could something recorded in the 1950's sound good when stereo recordings of the 1960's can be iffy.

To cut to the chase, this recording absolutely sounds great. The recording engineer knew what he was doing and it was even recorded in 3 channels which if your set up for Multi-Channel means that the 3 front channels are used. The mystery is why weren't recordings of the 1960's done better.... but I digress.

This was I believe my first Living Stereo purchase, and I eventually picked up Reiner's Bartok, which was only recorded in stereo and recorded even earlier, and it sounds fantastic as well. Don't let the age of these recordings hinder your interest in either of these recordings.