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Scheherazade / Song of the Nightingale Hybrid SACD - DSD


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Audio CD, Hybrid SACD - DSD, January 25, 2005
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Frequently Bought Together

Scheherazade / Song of the Nightingale + Mussorgsky: Pictures at an Exhibition, A Night on Bald Mountain and Other Russian Showpieces + Dvorak: New World Symphony and Other Orchestral Masterworks
Price for all three: $29.30

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (January 25, 2005)
  • SPARS Code: ADD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Hybrid SACD - DSD
  • Label: RCA
  • ASIN: B0006PV5VC
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (57 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #11,149 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. The Sea And Sinbad's Ship
2. The Story Of The Kalender Prince
3. The Young Prince And The Young Princess
4. Festival Of Bagdad/The Sea/The Ship Goes To Pieces On A Rock Surmounted By A Bronze Warrior (Shipwreck)/Conclusion
5. Presto
6. Chinese March
7. Song Of The Nightingale
8. The Mechanical Nightingale
9. The Emperor's Displeasure At The Departure Of The real Nightingale
10. The Emperor's Sickroom
11. The Real Nightingale Returns To Thwart Death
12. Funeral March And Finale

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Amazon.com

This is a classic recording of these two works, led with grand authority by Fritz Reiner. The Chicago's brass and wind section play gloriously throughout, and the final movement of Scheherazade (we learn from the original producer [1960] in an accompanying essay) was recorded in one take--an almost unheard-of feat. This fast movement is taken at breakneck speed, with no loss of clarity or power, with the strings in the hands of magicians. Stravinsky's Nightingale has never sounded so exotic, so bristling over with color, since this 1956(!) recording under Reiner, and the wonderful surprise with this new release of old material is the revamped sound: the original "Living Stereo" was a fantastic breakthrough in recording, and this new SACD format has returned the spatial relationships to something so "real" that it comes as close as I've ever heard to a true concert hall experience. Simply glorious. --Robert Levine

Customer Reviews

The result is as close to the original sound of Orchestra Hall as your loudspeakers and room acoustics can provide.
Kenneth Stuart
This is an excellent orchestra caught at its prime resulting in a truly world-class performance of this well known and well loved music.
Dick K
I'm sure there must be some truth to this, because what we have here is one of the best performances of "Scheherazade" I've ever heard.
Transfigured Knight

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

138 of 142 people found the following review helpful By Kenneth Stuart VINE VOICE on February 12, 2005
Format: Audio CD
Since a web search will give you many details about both the performance and the sound quality, I will give you merely a summary.

This is simply one of the best classical music releases of all time. I don't say that lightly, as a classical music fan and audiophile for over 35 years.

It has been recognized for even longer, that this is one of the finest and most emotionally satisfying performances of romantic period classical music, and likely the definitive performance of Rimsky-Korsakov's Scheherazade. (And, in my opinion, contains the best oboe performance in classical music.)

It has also been widely recognized as one of the best recordings ever of an orchestra, the highly sought after original LP usually residing in the list of top recordings in many audiophile magazines. More recently, it has been pressed on LP by two different audiophile companies.

However, these days most of us don't want to go to the trouble of dealing with LPs, and it is generally recognized that the relatively early CD format, while having great convenience, did not quite provide the full sound quality present in a top LP playback setup.

Recently, this situation has been remedied by the introduction of two "high resolution" disc formats that give all the sound quality of a top LP playback setup in an affordable player compatible with DVDs and CDs as well. These two formats are "DVD-Audio" and "SACD".

SACD has become the format of choice for classical music fans, and so RCA (now BMG) chose to re-release all their excellent sounding "Living Stereo" series recordings on SACD. Back in the 50's and 60's, producer Richard Mohr and engineer Lewis Layton literally invented stereo recording in a celebrated series of brilliant releases.
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50 of 54 people found the following review helpful By Larry VanDeSande VINE VOICE on April 12, 2006
Format: Audio CD
Rimsky-Korsakov's kaleidoscopic sea adventure "Scheherazade" is one piece of classical music that, more than most others, screams for the highest level of sonic production. The classic Reiner-Chicago Symphony version gets it in this SACD treatment. The sound is more vivid here than I can ever recall with great clarity exposing orchestral details -- the snare drum in the third movement and coincidental timpani and cimbal beats in the finale -- never before so apparent in the recording.

This SACD, unlike some other re-releases of RCA classic performances, plays in three channels. I like all this and it sounded wonderful in my living room. I was somewhat disappointed with violins coming from the center right channel, a position opposite of their setting in orchestral format. Still this is an update of a classic performance of the music that is still considered by some critics the benchmark in this music.

The makeweight Stravinksy piece is a delightful 22 minute excursion into that composer's fine mind. Hearing that music for the first time on this recording, I made a quick link between this and the film music of Bernard Herrmann in the way both composers used portamento strings for effect, as opposed to musical value.

Having said this, I still think the best version of Rimsky-Korsakov's wonderful music goes to either of the modern recordings led by Leopold Stokowski, a conductor with far more imagination and influence on musicians than the stern and hard-driving Reiner, who was often hated while respected by his players.

Stokowski's two modern stereo versions -- on the Decca/London label with the London Symphony and on BMG/RCA with the Royal Philharmonic -- are both superior readings, in my opinion.
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27 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Dick K on September 9, 2006
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
What a treat for the ears!

The Living Stereo series was wonderful then and it's even better now. This hybrid SACD has fantastic sound quality and, thankfully, is completely true to both music and the original recording. Originally recorded in "3 channel stereo" that's what you get here--no, there's nothing in the rear channels of the surround mix but that's exactly the way it should be. Taken directly from the nearly 50-year old (!) masters, the engineers did nothing at all to the sound except digitize and transfer each track to the SACD/CD master. Nothing added, nothing subtracted. And the quality of those masters is astounding--clear, bright and full. No tape hiss. No loss of highs. Just wonderful music expertly performed.

Dissapointed you're only getting 3 channels and not 5-7? Don't be. You'll hear musicians across the broad but shallow Chicago Symphony Hall just as the engineers heard them in the recording sessions in 1960 and 1956. And those musicians are superb, particularly to my ears, on the Sheherazade portion. This is an excellent orchestra caught at its prime resulting in a truly world-class performance of this well known and well loved music.

In short, get this CD! Even if you don't have a universal player now, the 2 channel transfer is equally good, a faithful recreation of a classic LP. And if you can play the SACD layer so much the better because for the first time you'll hear exactly what was recorded and what the engineers heard in nearly 50 years ago.
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Scheherazade / Song of the Nightingale
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Price: $9.99
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