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Overtures - Ančerl

Overtures - Ančerl

Columbia x Tower Records  TWSA-1056/7 (2 discs)

Stereo Hybrid

Classical - Orchestral


Overtures & tone poems by Berlioz, Borodin, Glinka, Liszt, Mozart, Rimsky-Korsakov, Rossini, Smetana, Strauss, Tchaikovsky, Wagner & Weber

Czech Philharmonic Orchestra
Karel Ančerl (conductor)

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Comment by Athenaeus - May 1, 2021 (1 of 3)

I bought this because I love Ančerl with the Czech Philharmonic but I actually wasn't expecting much. What a surprise! A lot of these little gems knocked my socks off! It's hard to beat this Ruslan and Ludmila Overture, this Capriccio espagnol or this Carnaval romain. You probably all have dozens of recordings of Till Eulenspiegel's Merry Pranks and you probably think you don't need to hear another one. This one, however, is really worth hearing.

These pieces were recorded during various sessions between 1958 and 1965 so the sound quality can't be uniform. But overall I found it to be quite good. The only problem I noticed was at the beginning of the Bartered Bride Overture; there seems to be some damage on the master tape that the engineer was unable to fix. A few years back, all these recordings were remastered as part of the "Ančerl Gold Edition". I don't own any of these RBCDs so I can't compare Tower Records' SACDs with Supraphon's Gold Edition, unfortunately. Perhaps somebody else has had a chance to compare some of Tower Records' Ančerl SACDs with previous RBCD releases and might want to post their comments...

Although I really enjoyed this set, I did find the Lohengrin Prelude was a bit of a let-down. I know the 1812 Overture is very popular but I must confess I don't care for it (and apparently Tchaikovsky didn't think much of it either). But at least I can usually look forward to those cannon shots. Not here. This is one of those recordings where they just get the percussionist to hit something really big to get a sound that's kinda like a cannon.

Apart from that, a nice little set I really recommend.

Comment by Tony Reif - Yesterday 11:29 am (2 of 3)

I've commented on several other Ancerls. The Ancerl Gold masterings are ok but lacking in detail and vividness in comparison. They probably use too much noise reduction.

Comment by Athenaeus - Yesterday 12:25 pm (3 of 3)

Tony Reif, thanks for your reply. It made me read the comments under all the Tower Records Ančerl releases on this site. I found your comparison with the Supraphon Gold Editions under the recording of Dvořák's 6th and 9th Symphonies.