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Reviews: Music for Strings - RPO/Simonov

Reviews: 2

Review by Jonalogic June 11, 2013 (3 of 6 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:  
This is yet another real 'sleeper' disc from Simonov on Membran. The pieces (Tchaikovsky Serenade, Grieg Holberg Suite, Mozart Eine Kliene Nachtmusik) may be veritable warhorses for string orchestra, but here they are intensely played, with real intent and a sense of seriousness and discovery.

Both the Tchaikovsky and Grieg are played somewhat slower than usual, but with surprising passion and drama - no routine playing through, here!

OK, the sound is a bit fluffy and woolly, but Tring/Membran seem to have used less mikes than usual, and the result is a well balanced string sound with merely a touch of PCM-itis that remains well within the bounds of the bearable. Not bad, in fact.

If the repertoire appeals, this is a real bargain, therefore. In fact, I can now recommend all the Simonov recordings on Membran. IMHO, they remain the stand-outs in the entire (never-ending) series, which goes some way to explaining their inexorably rising prices...

Normal moans apply about crappy notes and zero gaps between tracks, but we already knew that, didn't we?

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Review by jeffreybehr July 4, 2013 (3 of 5 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:  
I agree with Jonalogic's comments about the Tchaikovsky. The performance is excellent--strong, and I love the slower tempi Simonov uses. I enjoy this work, and this disc, purchased due to Jonalogic's comments, is now my favorite performance. The recording is VERY nice sounding for what I assume started as a many-microphones, multimono recording. The orchestra is more distant than Membran's normal, and there's more space around the orchestra, both of which make for a VERY good sense of an orchestra playing in a hall that has some character. Compared with SACDs mastered in analog or either hi-rez format, transparency is significantly lacking, but this Serenade is still a pleasure to listen to. Highly recommended. The Grieg I have no opinion about, and I didn't listen to the Mozart. I LIKE TCHAIK! (I graded the sonics 4 instead of more stars for the lack of transparency. Spatially, it would get 4-1/2 or even 5 stars from me.)

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