Rimsky-Korsakov: Scheherazade / Capriccio Espagnol
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The only quibble that could be raised is the overly w-i-d-e dynamic range of the recording. This CD is one of Telarc's audio engineering spectaculars, but listening to it at lowered volume levels late at night is a problem due to the immense -dB range, especially in the third movement. At lower volume levels, Hulmann's delicate playing is barely discernible. This rules it out as a Scheherazade for considerate late-night listening.
Mackerras leads an incredibly charged performance. I think one of Mackerras' favorite instruments must be the trombone, because in the many recordings I have him conducting in, the trombone parts seem to be emphasized. There's no exception in this recording of Scheherezade, and the effect is dazzling. Along with that, the sonics of bass drums banging and cymbals crashing, you'll hear glories of recorded sound that you just can't hear in classic recordings such as Karajan's, Reiner's, etc. Certainly, this recording is a classic in and of itself. As a lover of Scheherezade, I whole-heartedly recommend this recording as a great performance, a great recording, and a classic example of the orchestral colors that Rimsky-Korsakov became famous for.
So what's the best? That's the problem: I have no idea. I downloaded it years ago without much attention to the personnel involved. The answer is lost for now, which is sad because I would love to purchase it. It's absolutely magical, about slightly better than this one. The violin on it is very moving. The only clue I have is that the climax after the violin solo in the third movement (yeah, yeah), there is no cymbal crash, which I happen to prefer. Again, this recording by Mr. Mackerras is only slightly less enjoyable.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This was a gramophone magazine award winner. The Telarc digital sound is better here than some other of its CDs, but there is still the problem of balance where brass overpowers... Read morePublished 20 months ago by david
This CD looks almost new and it is played well. I am so satisfied and happy to buy this quality of CD for cheaper price!
The only issue is the broken case. Read more
I replaced an old vinyl version of this piece, and am very happy with the quality of this recording. Telarc productions are always top notch. Read morePublished on March 13, 2014 by Fusion Head
Recording seemed seriously out of balance. Lower registers over emphasized. Hard to hear the solo violin. Telarc has issued some superb recordings but this is not one of them. Read morePublished on March 5, 2014 by Carl H Stineman
. . . by which I don't mean that this is the best "Scheherazade" ever -- there are a number of really good ones -- but just that this is a very satisfying performance of some of... Read morePublished on January 9, 2014 by Stanley Crowe