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Discussion: This England - Kalmar

Posts: 29
Page: 1 2 3 next

Post by sacd_fan_2007 November 24, 2012 (1 of 29)
I clicked recommended based on listening to the 2-channel SACD layer. Here are my thoughts:

1. In London Town, Op. 40
Very energetic and virtuosity displayed

2-5. Vaughan Williams Symphony 5
While I really enjoy VW's compositions for concert band and his symphonies 3 & 4 for orchestra, I don't find symphony 5 interesting. There is definitely some nice woodwind playing here, but I'm the wrong person to talk to about this selection.

6-10. If you can get past some audience noises in the Dawn and Passacaglia movements, this is probably the best available Peter Grimes Four Sea Interludes & Passacaglia on SACD. Still buy the Kansas City version on Reference Recordings for the clean (audience free) recording in a better concert hall. Despite the less than ideal concert hall and audience intrusion, this Oregon Symphony performance delivers. The brass is particularly outstanding in the Sunday Morning and Passacaglia movements. The viola solo in Passacaglia is haunting but tasteful. Past SACD recordings of this work have been too polite... I'm talking about the Paavo Jarvi and Michael Stern interpretations. This Oregon Symphony recording is more aggressive, like the great rbcd recording with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and Libor Pesek. Maybe not quite as good, but close.

Again, PentaTone does a terrific job in less a less-than-ideal concert hall. Shame on those audience members coughing and/or chatting during the quiet sections.

Post by diw November 24, 2012 (2 of 29)
So this is a live recording? Unusual for Pentatone.

Post by hiredfox November 25, 2012 (3 of 29)
sacd_fan_2007 said:

I Shame on those audience members coughing and/or chatting during the quiet sections.

Let's not go there!

Post by Windsurfer November 25, 2012 (4 of 29)
sacd_fan_2007 said:


Shame on those audience members coughing and/or chatting during the quiet sections.

Coughing .... sometimes forgivable - chatting ? NEVER.

Post by akiralx November 25, 2012 (5 of 29)
I didn't fine Kalmar's RVW Fourth quite fiery enough though it was well played - so the Fifth might suit them better.

All three works are favourites of mine so I may well get this.

Post by hiredfox November 26, 2012 (6 of 29)
akiralx said:

I didn't fine Kalmar's RVW Fourth quite fiery enough

This may help your understanding...

http://www.philharmonia.co.uk/concerts/series/vaughan_williams/music/symphony4/

Post by akiralx November 26, 2012 (7 of 29)
hiredfox said:

This may help your understanding...

http://www.philharmonia.co.uk/concerts/series/vaughan_williams/music/symphony4/

Not sure what I'm looking for?

Post by pgmdir December 4, 2012 (8 of 29)

Post by akiralx December 4, 2012 (9 of 29)
Yep, read that review - I'm going to pass on this one.

I'm sure it's pretty good, but I think the orchestra are maybe a bit light-toned for this music. I suspect the RVW 5 will sound rather like Spano's: beautiful but lacking spirituality.

Post by sacd_fan_2007 December 4, 2012 (10 of 29)
I think the Hurwitz score of 8/8 is a fair grade for this OSO recording. However, since jumping on the SACD bandwagon 5+ years ago, I have found Mr. Hurwitz's reviews to be wildly inconsistent. Some of his 10/10's result from gross exaggeration... the Nielsen with PY Phil being the most recent example. I will also point to his glowing 10/10 review of Telarc's Paavo Jarvi's Britten disc.

[I'm also puzzled by the Classics Today frequent criticism of Bernard Haitink.]

Before you totally dismiss this new OSO album, give the Britten portion a listen: Kalmar is not a very good interpreter of Vaughn Williams, but based on his Britten Sinfonia da Requiem (A Time of War SACD) and Peter Grimes Sea Interludes (This England SACD), he sounds like a leading interpreter of Britten.

Overall, "This England" is not among the best SACD values if you only buy for the Britten. But it may be the only really strong version of Four Sea Interludes on SACD.

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