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Thread: Scheherazade

  1. #1
    Shostakovich fan Feanor's Avatar
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    Scheherazade

    Listening to it today, I felt I had to tell people about one of my favorite recordings from sonic perspective. The music is great too. I'm referring to Scheherazade by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, performed by José Serebrier and the London Philharmonic Orchestra. This is a Reference Recording, RR089, in stereo and HDCD encoded.

    Scheherazade is something of a classical cliché being staple fare on easy-listening classical radio. But so what, eh? It is delightful as well as accessable piece of music. The Serebrier performance is pleasantly atmospheric without being florid or overstated in the way that romantic pieces can be performed. And the sound -- WOW!! -- for 2 channel sound, no recording I own comes as closer to reproducing a live, concert hall ambience. I played the piece through my Assembage DAC 1.5 which has HDCD decoding; the unit has good detail and air, still a tad bright but much less so since I had it modified by Parts Connexion with high grade op-amps.

    For comparison I played my other version of Scheherazade by Fritz Reiner and the Chicago Symphony, a vintage recording remastered on SACD by RCA Living Stereo. I played it on my Sony CE775 in 2 channel DSD. A very good sound too, but not close to the realism of the Reference version. That performance is also very good it seems to me, however a bit more "dramatic" and a tad lush but less atmospheric by comparision.
    ...
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Scheherazade-scheherazade.jpg  
    Last edited by Feanor; 07-09-2007 at 07:33 AM.

  2. #2
    Super Moderator Site Moderator JohnMichael's Avatar
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    I too am a lover of Scheherazade. I have not heard the Jose Serebrier but I will have to check it out. My favorite recording in my collection is with the Orchestre de Paris conducted by Mstislav Rostropovich. Scherherazade and Pictures at an Exhibition by Mussorgsky are two works that started my interest in classical music.
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  3. #3
    Shostakovich fan Feanor's Avatar
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    Reference Recordings

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnMichael
    I too am a lover of Scheherazade. I have not heard the Jose Serebrier but I will have to check it out. My favorite recording in my collection is with the Orchestre de Paris conducted by Mstislav Rostropovich. Scherherazade and Pictures at an Exhibition by Mussorgsky are two works that started my interest in classical music.
    If you haven't listened to any Reference Recordings' issues, try one such as this and you'll be in for a treat. They're all HDCD, but you get virtually all the benefit without HDCD decoding. That benefit stems from the recording methods primarily, not the technical medium.

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    Super Moderator Site Moderator JohnMichael's Avatar
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    My only RR other than a sampler is Eiji Oue conducting Pictures at an Exhibition. It is a good recording but a little dry and not my favorite performance. I will try them again with the Scherherazade recording. I seem to purchase a lot of music from EMI.
    JohnMichael
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  5. #5
    Shostakovich fan Feanor's Avatar
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    Yes, granted

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnMichael
    My only RR other than a sampler is Eiji Oue conducting Pictures at an Exhibition. It is a good recording but a little dry and not my favorite performance. I will try them again with the Scherherazade recording. I seem to purchase a lot of music from EMI.
    RR isn't entirely consistent. I only have three myself. The second is Mahler's Das Lied Von Der Erde by Eiji Oue and the Minnesota Orchestra; it is a bit dry, possibly like your Pictures. But note that it sounds a lot less dry through my Sonic Frontiers tube preamp!!

    The third is John Rutter's Requiem by Timothy Seelig and the Tutle Creek Chorale. It is an utterly fabuous sound like Scheherazade.

  6. #6
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    One of my favourite pieces too, I often wonder is something like Scheherazade the equivalent of smooth jazz to classical muso snobs.

    I've got that RR CD which I haven't played for a while but I remember another very nice recording is Charles Dutoit and the Montreal Symphony Orchestra on Decca. I don't buy many classical CD's so I'm not in a position to compare interpretations but I suspect he's solid and dependable, but the recording is up there with RR's

    One I did buy recently was Murray Perahias Chopin Etudes, now that one is stunning.

    Cheers
    Mike

  7. #7
    Shostakovich fan Feanor's Avatar
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    Wink In a word, yes!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike
    One of my favourite pieces too, I often wonder is something like Scheherazade the equivalent of smooth jazz to classical muso snobs.

    I've got that RR CD which I haven't played for a while but I remember another very nice recording is Charles Dutoit and the Montreal Symphony Orchestra on Decca. I don't buy many classical CD's so I'm not in a position to compare interpretations but I suspect he's solid and dependable, but the recording is up there with RR's
    ...
    Cheers
    Mike
    Sure, Scheherzade is indeed a "smooth jazz" equivalent, but I love it as break from the grittier stuff.

    I totally agree that recordings by Dutoit and the MSO, (more correctly, OSM), are typically excellent -- head and sholders above stuff from, e.g., Deutsche Grammophon of the same vintage. Really, really too bad there is nothing from them on SACD in multi-channel.

  8. #8
    Super Moderator Site Moderator JohnMichael's Avatar
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    Another good recording/performance of Scheherazade is on Telarc. Conducted by Sir Charles Mackerras and the London Symphony Orchestra.
    JohnMichael
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    Man of the People Forums Moderator bobsticks's Avatar
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    Thanks for the rec Bill Bailey. Of course I have the Reiner and it is quite top notch. Another version I like is the 2001 recording of Robert Spano and the Atlanta Symphony--good DSD offering from Telarc.

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  10. #10
    Shostakovich fan Feanor's Avatar
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    Telarc

    Quote Originally Posted by bobsticks
    Thanks for the rec Bill Bailey. Of course I have the Reiner and it is quite top notch. Another version I like is the 2001 recording of Robert Spano and the Atlanta Symphony--good DSD offering from Telarc.

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    I have found that, for sound quality, Telarcs recordings are well above average. This applies to recordings made a good many years ago as well as to the current ones.

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