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Bartók: Concerto for Orchestra, The Miraculous Mandarin - Boulez

Bartók: Concerto for Orchestra, The Miraculous Mandarin - Boulez

Dutton  CDLX 7360

Stereo/Multichannel Hybrid

Classical - Orchestral


Bartók: Concerto for Orchestra, The Miraculous Mandarin

New York Philharmonic
Pierre Boulez (conductor)

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2 of 3 recommend this, would you recommend it?  yes | no

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Comments (11)
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Comment by Graham Williams - January 4, 2019 (1 of 11)

I have the Sony Classical single layer SACD of these superb performances (Bartok: Concerto for Orchestra, Miraculous Mandarin - Boulez)

Unlike the original quadraphonic LP that placed listeners in the centre of the orchestra, the rear channels appear to be only used for ambient information.

Please can anyone confirm the review on Amazon information suggesting that this Dutton reissue has used the original quadraphonic tapes or is it just the re-mixed Sony again?

Comment by ubertrout - January 6, 2019 (2 of 11)

I have this. It's from the original quadraphonic tapes - the difference is clear and obvious comparing the two.

Comment by Bruce Zeisel - January 11, 2019 (3 of 11)

So does this disc embrace the "Tacet" technique of putting the listener in the center of the action, or does it create a more realistic sound with ambient information coming from where it should ?

Comment by ubertrout - January 12, 2019 (4 of 11)

It's closer to Tacet than ambient hall sound design. If you prefer a hall ambience perspective stick with the Sony issue (although there were parts I heard prominently in the quad mix that I couldn't hear at all in the Sony mix).

Comment by Graham Williams - January 16, 2019 (5 of 11)

Thank you ubertrout. That is most helpful.

Comment by hiredfox - April 26, 2019 (6 of 11)

I should have gone to Specsavers!

Had I read the previous comments attentively it would have registered with me that this recording would not suit stereo listening. It does not! All I can say is that the original 8 track-tapes do not mix down well to two channel listening, which is understandable with the ensemble recorded "in the round" as it were. Best described as a sonic spectacular with sounds popping off at you from a pretty random orchestral layout that makes sense only from the booklet photographs and no doubt sounding fine in mch.

Of course the music is very familiar so one knows what to expect and when, once you get used to the "where" images are stable. For this listener the experience was too uncomfortable to be relaxing so in that sense this disc in stereo disappoints, highlighting the "sonic spectacular'' at the expense of the music. Despite this the musicianship is beyond reproach as you would expect from the New Yorkers in their heyday.

Do not buy if your are a stereo listener.

Comment by ubertrout - April 28, 2019 (7 of 11)

@hiredfox, I'm curious if you've had a chance to compare to Bartok: Concerto for Orchestra, Miraculous Mandarin - Boulez, or even to a RBCD version of this performance? Is the critique for all versions of this recording or only the SACD stereo layer?

Comment by hiredfox - April 30, 2019 (8 of 11)

My comments were specifically for the new Dutton recording's SA-CD stereo layer

Comment by diw - May 7, 2019 (9 of 11)

So ubertrout you think that this is significantly improved in MC than the original Sony? I have that disc but must admit I don't listen to it much...

Comment by ubertrout - May 11, 2019 (10 of 11)

This is a totally different mix from the Sony disc - it's the quadraphonic mix from the 1970s, presented without any changes. The surround mix on the Sony disc is a new 5.1 mix that's much more shy about surround use.

Comment by hiredfox - May 12, 2019 (11 of 11)

That's interesting. The booklet included with the Dutton disc has a photograph of the players seated in the round, so the recording is fully compatible with that.

Are you suggesting that the Sony disc may have been recorded at a different time with a more conventional orchestral arrangement? I would find that hard to believe in which case if Sony used the same master tapes as ~Dutton one wonders how they could have achieved a more conventional aural landscape?