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Symphonies 1-4

5 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Audio CD, September 9, 2003
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Symphonies n°1 op.39, n°2 op.43, n°3 op.52, n°4 op.63 / Utah Symphony Orchestra, dir. Maurice Abravanel

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Andante , Ma Non Troppo
  2. Andante, Ma Non Troppo Lento
  3. Scherzo: Allegro
  4. Finale (Quasi Una Fantasia)
  5. Tempo Molto Moderato, Quasi Adagio
  6. Allegro Molto Vivace
  7. Il Tempo Largo
  8. Allegro

Disc: 2

  1. Allegretto
  2. Tempo Andante, Ma Rubato
  3. Vivacissimo
  4. Finale (Allegro Moderato)
  5. Allegro Moderato
  6. Andantino Con Moto, Quasi Allegretto
  7. Moderato, Allegro Ma Non Tanto


Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 9, 2003)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Vanguard Classics
  • ASIN: B0000B1A20
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,602,118 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Format: Audio CD
I had long remembered these performances, which I originally owned and enjoyed on those old-style vinyl platters, now gone the way of the 78 RPM discs that gathered dust on the shelf at my great grandmother's house.
Now, here they are again. This time round, Silverline Classics has achieved 24-bit, high resolution, 5.1 surround sound via DVD Audio versions. Since the venue is that of the Mormon Tabernacle, it makes for a unique experience to hear the Utah players in that circular space, at once both ethereal and tonally specific.
So the story has it, building materials were hard to find in the time when the tabernacle was built. It had to be mainly erected with laboriously fitted wood, helped along by endless leather ties and wooden pins to tighten the beams. As a soundstage, the tabernacle offers your ear a round, reverberant space; but still you get a simultaneous particularity that goes against the brain's logic, which would otherwise argue that you cannot get so clear an edge to high frequency transients in such big, circular air.
So it is a pleasure to report that this modern recreation on DVD Audio disc is successful. (Amazon doesn't yet seem to have sufficient high resolution clue, to list them; but look around, the discs are released and available.) DVD Audio in fact captures the tabernacle's acoustical identity, in ways that support and serve the music.
Then you must add in the impact of Abravanel's sheer musicality. Like Herbert Blomstedt, or the late Gunter Wand, Abravanel was a conductor who lived into the repertoire for years and years, always going deeper into the music. Yet he led the Utah orchestra with a self-effacing transparency, so that in the final analysis, all that is left standing in an Abravanel performance is the composer and the music.
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