- Performer: Joakim Svenheden
- Orchestra: London Philharmonic Orchestra
- Conductor: José Serebrier
- Composer: Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov
- Audio CD (October 12, 1999)
- Number of Discs: 1
- Label: Reference Recordings
- ASIN: B00001X52M
- Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #188,037 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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José Serebrier, early in his career, was Leopold Stokowski's assistant. Both of these pieces were recorded several times by Stokowski. (Stokowski recorded Scheherazade six times, and provided an astonishing recording of the Great Russian Easter Overture late in his career, with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra on RCA Victor, coupled with the world premiere recording of Khatchaturian's Symphony No. 3.) So it is perhaps only natural that Serebrier would eventually turn to these two pieces to add to his own recordings posterity.
The booklet notes by Serebrier set out in detail his efforts to arrive at an authoritative performance of Scheherazade, including not only review of all of Stokowski's recordings but those of such stalwarts of Scheherazade performances as Ansermet, Beecham, Bernstein, Monteux and Reiner. Then, working with the London Philharmonic orchestral score, obviously a palimpsest of accumulated markings by other conductors over the years, he "scrubbed clean" the score and the instrument parts to arrive at a clean sheet, a "tabula rasa," as the basis for this performance. The result is a Scheherazade that is faithful to the original intentions of Rimsky-Korsakov, right down to every detail of orchestration, tempi and dynamics.Read more ›
This is another flawless release from Reference Recordings. When sonic engineering exceeds the level of "excellent" as it does here, I must resort to the term "superb." There is the "DG sound" and the "Telarc sound," but this is clarity at its best. I cannot call this the "Reference sound" because there is no sonic signature. This is just pure and clean. Did I say superb? I meant to.
Rarely does a CD exceed all expectations, but this is definitely one of those rare finds.
We have begun to take good sound from this source as a matter of course, and this HDCD-encoded disk lives up to the high RR standard. But one thing I noted right away in auditioning this disk is that conductor José Serebrier never seems to be conducting these pieces for mere sonic effect. He seems to treat them as serious music, not as merely orchestral sonic showpieces. The same goes for engineer Keith Johnson. There are no bass drum whacks recorded in such a way that they seem to be jarring just for the sake of being jarring.
This theme of honesty even carries over into the liner notes, wherein Serebrier contributes a fascinating essay that considers not only Rimsky-Korsakov's music, but also the way it has been conducted and recorded over the years. He mentions several notable recordings and shares his observations about what he thinks the strengths and drawbacks of each are. How interesting--and how rare! If you are a big fan of Scheherazade, the liner notes by themselves are worth the price of the CD, making the CD itself a bonus, and the whole package a remarkable value.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
When I listen to Rimsky's masterpiece, I want a rich, romantic, over-the-top performance. Rimsky-Korsakov was a great master of orchestration as well as gorgeous melodies, and this... Read morePublished 14 months ago by Matthew J. Mosca
I bought this particular music because it is classical music I recalled loving it many years ago. Recently decided I wanted to buy some classical music that I knew I liked, for a... Read morePublished 24 months ago by P. Stang
Recording sounds flat, as though overly compressed. Not full enough. I'd go for another recording. Too bad Linn Records doesn't have this.Published on May 1, 2013 by Michael V. Sullivan
This is a well produced performance of Scheherazade. The technical and sound quality were great, and the conductor and London S O did an amazing job. Read morePublished on March 15, 2013 by barnsters
Great symphonic recording has space, air, imaging, realistic hall dynamics and clear instrument placement on the sound-stage. I good one to take when auditioning stereo equipment. Read morePublished on February 16, 2013 by Tam Pon
Scheherazade has always been a huge favorite piece for me.. So to me there are certain sounds and tempo I always listen out for. Read morePublished on September 6, 2012 by Django
After reading review after review on Amazon, I've decided there really are very few truely bad performances. In most cases, it all depends on what you like. Read morePublished on April 13, 2006 by PDS