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  Telarc -
  Grieg: Holberg Suite, Dvorak/Elgar: Serenade for Strings - Conrad van Alphen
  Grieg: Holberg Suite Op. 40, Dvorak: Serenade for Strings in E major Op. 22, Elgar: Serenade for Strings in E minor Op. 20

Rotterdam Chamber Orchestra
Conrad van Alphen (conductor)
Track listing:
  Classical - Orchestral
Recording type:
Recording info:

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Reviews: 4 show all

Review by analogue March 18, 2009 (7 of 11 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:  
When I first purchased this sacd I was really impressed with the sound quality. The music was exceptional. I found the sound rich, deep and expansive. As time has progressed and my sacd collection grew it seems the sound quailty is not as good as I previously thought.

There is a sort of harshness to the strings in this sacd. There is a nice lower end to be sure and a nice thickness to the sound but perhaps it's to dynamic. Not all the tracks have this problem only when the strings are massed together. They become strident and bothersome. The recording is top notch but still I find this problem exists for me and it pulls me away from complete enjoyment of this recording. There is something slightly off with regards to the sound quality.

Its a pity really. Because the music and the performance is magnificent. This music makes you think in a very subtle but profound way. This is not background music. It compels one to think and be moved. It is inspiring, makes one think of natures grandeur and reaches deeply within you as a human being.

Recommended with reservations.

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Review by Hans4 October 24, 2010 (3 of 6 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:  
I have used this CD and another by the same orchestra (Shostakovich string quartet 10) to select new high end equipment that can play them. By selecting high(er) end amplifiers and interconnects and speakers I could enjoy what is really on the track - the violins are simply playing no-holds-barred which exposed weak links in my audio equipment especially in fortissimo E-string attack. I have been to their concerts as well, so I know how lush and exuberant they sound in reality.

So to summarize, I would say the MCH sound quality is actually superb.

Musically, Conrad stimulates a youthful fresh enthusiasm in the players that keeps your attention riveted on what is going on.

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Review by jeffreybehr May 8, 2012 (1 of 1 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:  
My absolutely favorite disc for determining just how transparent a system is...or isn't. I love the Dvorak and especially the Elgar Serenades, and the recording of the latter is simply the most 'see-throughable*' music recording I've ever heard. My system can make the music sound as if I'm sitting atop a stepladder behind the conductor and that those expert players are playing just for ME. My favorite movements are the slow ones of the Dvorak and Elgar pieces.

It's time for someone to resissue this disc; I'd like another, but I'm not paying $50!

BTW the massed strings playing loudly do sound slightly harsh compared with those strings playing softly, but that's what REAL massed strings playing loudly sound like, to me, at least.

I believe tht Polyhymnia, the company that records and releases the PentaTone recordings, did this one; Everitt Porter was Producer and Recording Engineer.

* that is, the ability to see all the way thru to the hall's back wall with nothing in the way...the feeling that NOTHING is between me and the instruments. VERY few systems and recordings ever do this for me, and I'm proud to be able to write that mine system does, at least sometimes. :-)

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Works: 3  

Antonin Dvorak - Serenade for Strings in E major, B. 52 Op. 22
Edward Elgar - Serenade for Strings in E minor, Op. 20
Edvard Grieg - Fra Holbergs tid (Holberg Suite), Op. 40