Kansas City Symphony Orchestra, Michael Stern – Britten’s Orchestra (2010)
SACD ISO: 3,33 GB (Stereo/MCH) | FLAC Stereo @ 24bit/88.2kHz: 984 MB | 3% Rec. Info
Label/Cat#: Reference Recordings # RR-120SACD | Country/Year: Europe 2003 | Artwork
Genre: Classical | Style: Early 20th Century, Contemporary
This “Prof. Johnson” Surround sound recording exceeded all my expectations! I never thought Prof. Johnson would buck the classical music recording industry standard of having the orchestra in front and only using the rear channels for ambient information. To my great and pleasant surprise, the orchestra surrounds the listener with the strings reaching around to the left side, the trumpets coming from the right rear and the snare drum from the left rear, etc. Also the center channel is well utilized, revealing the inner voices of the orchestra. One almost gets the sense of being in the middle of the orchestra facing the conductor but with the orchestra still correctly positioned with first violins being on the far left, string basses on the far right. For you bass lovers, the bass was deep, full, round and plump!! It was a fantastically thrilling experience, and so incredibly life like and with such a warm acoustic with great reverberation of the hall so well captured. The recording was made in the Community of Christ Auditorium in Independence Missouri. Michael Stern and the Kansas City Orchestra have given us polished performances I found to be very well done with passion and verve. I feel with this recording, Michael Stern and the Kansas City Orchestra are now major player’s in the classical music world. Superb!! Highly recommended. FYI – This is a 5.1 channel Surround recording (Bass is incredible even without the LFE channel. I listened both with and without the LFE channel on.) sa-cd.net
Benjamin Britten (1913-1976)
The Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra is a symphonic tour-de-force and audio spectacular, featuring all sections of the symphony, separately and together. Based on a famous theme by Henry Purcell, Britten writes in essence his “Concerto for Orchestra,” taking the ensemble apart, then reassembling it in a grand and jubilant finale. Dynamic range is extreme.
Britten was a dedicated pacifist, and the Sinfonia da requiem from 1940 is his musical plea for peace. It begins with stark and dramatic drumbeats that will be a test for even the finest sound systems, and builds to tremendous climaxes. This early work is regarded by many as the finest of all his orchestral scores.
Peter Grimes, Britten’s most popular opera, is heard most often in the orchestral Sea Interludes and Passacaglia, some of his most haunting and atmospheric orchestral music. “Prof.” Johnson’s transparent sonics allow one to “hear into” all these scores as never before.
Perhaps the most striking aspect of this new recording is the exceptional performance by Michael Stern and the Kansas City Symphony. RR has made many fine orchestral recordings, and we feel that this is one of our very best.
This new release was produced by four-time Grammy Award winner David Frost. Frost says he is honored to work with engineer Keith Johnson for the first time, and is full of enthusiasm for the sound quality of the masters.
01. The Young Person’s Guide To The Orchestra 17:11
02. Sinfonia Da Requiem – 2. Lacrymosa 07:55
03. Sinfonia Da Requiem – 2. Dies Irae 05:02
04. Sinfonia Da Requiem – 3. Requiem Aeternam 06:19
05. Peter Grimes – 4 Sea Interludes – 1. Dawn 04:04
06. Peter Grimes – 4 Sea Interludes – 2. Sunday Morning 03:46
07. Peter Grimes – 4 Sea Interludes – 3. Moonlight 04:28
08. Peter Grimes – Passacaglia 07:15
09. Peter Grimes – 4 Sea Interludes – 4. Storm 04:43