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  Scribendum -
  SC603 (2 discs)
  The Art of Mravinsky: Mravinsky in Moscow 1965 & 1972
  Tchaikovsky: Symphonic Fantasy "Francesca da Rimini" Op. 32; Symphony No. 5 in E minor OP. 64
Wagner: Siegfried's Funeral March; The Ride of the Valkyries (3 versions); Venusberg Music (Bacchanale) from Tannhäuser; Siegfried's Rhine Journey; Lohengrin, Prelude to Act III (2 versions)
Brahms: Symphony No. 3 in F Op. 90
Shostakovich: Symphony No. 6 in B minor Op. 54 (2 versions)
Beethoven: Symphony No. 4 in B flat Op. 60; Symphony No. 5 in C minor Op. 67
Glinka: Rulsan & Ludmila - Overture
Mussorgsky: Dawn on the Moskva River (2 versions)
Lyadov: Baba Yaga (2 versions)
Glazunov: Raymondo, Entr'acte Act 3
Mozart: Le Nozze di Figaro - Overture; Symphony No. 39 in E flat K543
Sibelius: The Swan of Tuonela No. 3 Op. 22; Symphony No. 7 in C Op. 105
Hindemith: Die Harmonie der Welt
Stravinsky: Apollon Musagète (ballet)
Debussy: Prelude a l'après-midi d'un faun
Bartok: Music for Strings, Percussion & Celesta
Honegger: Symphony No. 3 "Liturgique"

Alexandra Vavilina (solo flute in L'après-midi d'un faun)
Leningrad Philharmonic Orchestra
Yevgeny Mravinsky
Track listing:
  Extended-play single-layer SACD. Total timings 240'47" (Disc I), 255'17" (Disc II).
  Classical - Orchestral
  Single Layer
Recording type:
Recording info:
  Recorded live at the Grand Hall of the Moscow Conservatoire, 1965 (Disc I, tracks 25-26; Disc II) & 1972 (Disc I, tracks 1-24).
Recording engineers: Igor Veprintsev, Alexander Grossman, David Gaklin.
Licensed from Firma Melodiya Moscow.
Digital remastering: Ian Jones, Abbey Road Studios.
SACD authoring: BK Audio, engineer: Bastiaan Kuijt.

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Submitted by Polarius T
Related titles: 10 show all

Reviews: 1

Review by Jonalogic March 7, 2013 (10 of 12 found this review helpful)
How does one describe such a set, containing so many musical treasures? But also, regretfully, explicit sonic horrors...

I have expressed my opinions concerning Mravinsky and the Leningrad Philharmonic before. I believe this combination to be one of the greatest music performing treasures of the 20th century. Before much of the string section emigrated to Israel in the 80s, the strings of this orchestra were quite unique in their control, power, dynamics and singing quality; I only heard them twice, and never forgot the sound. Mravinsky was just a unique conductor, of course, and we are fortunate that Shostakovich entrusted so many of his symphonic premieres to him.

This set contains 7 RBCD's worth of music-making, much of it great. Regretfully, there is only one Shostakovich symphony, his 6th, but that is truly definitive. I have listened to this set twice in the last few weeks, and many things stand out as musical highlights:

1) The aforementioned Shostakovich

2) A stunning Hidemith Harmonie der Welt Symphony

3) A passion-filled and relentless Honnegger Symphonie Liturgique

4) A quite magnificent Sibelius 7 and luminous Swan of Tuonela

5) A Tchaikovsky 5 far superior to his DG outing, matched with a hysterical and hypnotic Francesca da Rimini

6) A superb Bartok MFSPAC - Music for Strings, Percussion and Celeste

7) A ravishingly lithe and sensuous Debussy L'Apres

8) Hair-raising 'bleeding chunks' from the Ring

Need I go on? There is nothing humdrum here, suffice it to say.

But then we come to the sound. It's not good, even when making allowances for its Russian tape/16/44 remastering - in fact, much of it is pretty damn awful. Shrieking top end, mid-range suckout, not much bass to mention, artifical balances, too many mikes and too damn close. In fact, it does rather take us back to the days of the screaming Melodiyas. And the 72's don't seem to me that much better than the '65 recordings, regretfully.

So, the music-making is great, but matched with deplorably historic sonics - hence my marking. One last piece of advice might be to listen on 'forgiving' rather than ultra-transparent equipment. My main Goldmund/Esoteric/Martin-Logan system just revealed too much, so I ended up auditioning much of the set on my A/V or study gear instead. That's never happened before. Sometimes, one can just open the window too damn wide...

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Works: 23  

Béla Bartók - Music for Strings, Percussion and Celesta, Sz. 106 BB 114
Ludwig van Beethoven - Symphony No. 4 in B flat major, Op. 60
Ludwig van Beethoven - Symphony No. 5 in C minor, Op. 67
Johannes Brahms - Symphony No. 3 in F major, Op. 90
Claude Debussy - Prélude à l'après-midi d'un faune, L 86
Alexander Glazunov - Raymonda, Op. 57
Mikhail Glinka - Ruslan and Lyudmila (Overture)
Paul Hindemith - Die Harmonie der Welt - Symphony (1951)
Arthur Honegger - Symphony No. 3, H 186 "Liturgique"
Anatoly Liadov - Baba-Yaga
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart - Le Nozze di Figaro (The Marriage of Figaro), K. 492
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart - Symphony No. 39 in E flat major, K. 543
Modest Mussorgsky - Dawn on the Moskva River
Dmitri Shostakovich - Symphony No. 6 in B minor, Op. 54
Jean Sibelius - Symphony No. 7 in C major, Op. 105
Jean Sibelius - The Swan of Tuonela, Op. 22/2
Igor Stravinsky - Apollon musagète (Apollo) for String Orchestra (1928, rev. 1947)
Peter Tchaikovsky - Francesca da Rimini, TH 46 Op. 32
Peter Tchaikovsky - Symphony No. 5 in E minor, TH 29 Op. 64
Richard Wagner - Die Walküre, WWV 86B
Richard Wagner - Lohengrin, WWV 75
Richard Wagner - Siegfried, WWV 86C
Richard Wagner - Tannhäuser und der Sängerkrieg auf der Wartburg, WWV 70