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Reviews: Rhapsodies - Stokowski

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Reviews: 4

Review by dschawv July 30, 2005 (4 of 11 found this review helpful)
A lot of fun.
Came away from this recording saying that Stokowski was truly a magician.
I may not go to this recording for anything more than complete belief in his ability to transform an orchestral sound.
At time, it can be blasphemy. But, it can be truly magnificent.
simply enjoy for that great sound that Stokowski could get the orchestra to play with.

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Review by Ivymike August 9, 2005 (12 of 12 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
Another Shaded Dog that gets lots of breathless panting on ebay.

The sound on this 3-channel SACD is noticeably better than on the original RCA Living Stereo CD. The presence of the center channel is welcome; the original had a bit of the hole-in-the-middle effect going on that is neatly taken care of here. The sense of air around the woodwinds, and their proper placement in the soundfield, will surely bring smiles. Two engineers' work is represented on this disc: that of Bob Simpson and Lewis Layton. Simpson was fond of pushing recording levels as high as possible, a la Arthur Lilley at London, with a sound that is very upfront and teeters into roughness as the tape hit saturation. The advantage to this is that there is practically no tape noise on his tracks. The soundfield is very wide and pleasantly reverberant.
Layton's work is not pushed so high in level and consequently tape hiss is more apparent in his tracks. The sound is cleaner, though, and one doesn't sense that that extra tenth of a decibel will send the tape into massive overload. The strings are set back away from the speaker plane somewhat, but the soundstage is still wide and deep, deeper in fact than that on Simpson's tracks. There is a great deal of rumble and what sounds very much like traffic noise apparent in Manhattan Center.

The performances are true Stokowski: terrifically exciting and sure to send purists screaming.

Great stuff!

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Review by CA 94542 Native January 23, 2010 (1 of 1 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
Liszt? Enescu? Smetana? Wagner? Not having a formal background in classical appreciation, I wondered what the connection was . . . till I looked up the definition of a "rhapsody". Don't know enough to differentiate a Stokowski interpretation, either. But I will say this: this album is a joy to behold! As with other Living Stereo releases, there's a sort of hollow edge, reminding you that this is not a modern recording. But - ! As with the other SACD LS releases, the performance stuns and the incredible dynamic range overrides any fault one may find with the recording. I was familiar with most of this album but Wagner's "Triston und Isolde" was new to me, and what a haunting, lovely piece it is. And only twelve bucks US!

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Review by EdBoxer June 20, 2012 (3 of 4 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:  
Having owned “Rhapsodies” on LP and Living Stereo CD, I was particularly disappointed in this recording. Yes, these are exciting performances. But, I don’t see much of a gain in SACD for this recording. The soundstage is very deep. So deep that clarity suffers because of “cathedral” reverberance. The sound in the Enescu is particularly muddy. At some points, you can barely hear the brass in the back row.

The Wagner selections have a much better sound – clear, wide soundstage. The Tristan oboe is playing right in front of you. The Tannhauser chorus is crystal clear (displaying some flat sopranos).

Sound for Rhapsodies - 2
Sound for Wagner - 4.5

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