STRAVINSKY: Le sacre du printemps. Symphony in Three Movements.
MAHLER: Symphony No. 4 in G major
JANÁCEK: Taras Bulba. Sinfonietta for Orchestra.
Suite from the Opera
The Cunning Little Vixen.
MAHLER: Symphony No. 1 in D "Titan."
SCHUBERT: Symphony No. 8 in C, D. 944 "The Great."
MOZART: Clarinet Quintet in A, KV 581. BRAHMS: Clarinet Quintet in B
minor, Op. 115.
In May 2005 this site covered Tudor SACD recordings of symphonies of Mahler, Schubert and Bruckner played by the Bamberg Symphony directed by Jonathan Nott. I found audio quality substandard on these releases. (REVIEW). Nott and his excellent orchestra deserve engineering. Now here are more releases on the same label. The first five disks listed above were produced by Bernhard Albrecht who has his own ideas about multichannel sound. His thoughts on the subject have been published, available online, and presumably were used in making these recordings. However, these new recordings are as disappointing as the first ones covered on this site. The performances are admirable in many ways—Nott is a superb conductor, and his orchestra is first-rate. But, as recorded here, they surely are not heard to advantage. In a stereophonic recording one expects a sense of presence and being in the performing venue, as well as appropriate placement of instruments. On these recordings there is little hall ambience and, incredibly, virtually no left/right effect—everything is focused on the center(!!!). Rear channels are used solely for mild ambient sound. All of these are labeled Super Audio CD Hybrid disks, but none could ever be used to demonstrate state-of-the-art audio. The only release in this series that works sonically is the coupling of Mozart and Brahms clarinet quintets. Again performers are in the center, but in a chamber work this engineering approach is acceptable. Oddly, on the Schubert disk the "Great" C major symphony is identified as the Symphony No. 8 although it is the Ninth.
R.E.B. (June 2009)