Label: Analogue Productions – AAPC 2201-45 – 200 Gram Virgin Vinyl
Mastered By Ryan Smith at Sterling Sound – RCA LSC-2201
AAA 100% Analogue – Limited Edition – Pressed at QRP Quality Record Pressings
This LP was Remastered using Pure Analogue Components Only, from the Master Tapes through to the Cutting Head
The Absolute Sound Super Disc List Harry Pearson Super LP List
The Golden Dozen LPs – Harry Pearson, The Absolute Sound, June/July 2007
Stereophile Magazine Record to Die For!
“…The second movement is just ravishing in the beauty of the Chicago’s playing and Reiner’s romantic approach; there is some staccato triple-tonguing done by trumpeter Adolph Herseth in the fourth movement that should leave you, if not him, breathless. But let it just be said that, after you hear this, no other Scheherazade will ever replace it in your affections.”
Both the music and the sound are transportive, making this easy to recommend Music 10/10 Sound 10/10 Michael Fremmer Stereophile.
These reissues mastered by Ryan K. Smith at Sterling Sound from the three track masters are the finest sounding “Living Stereo” reissues I’ve yet heard and in my opinion beat the originals in most ways–unless you’ve built a system as a shrine to the originals. Winner of a Gruvy Award, chosen by AnalogPlanet’s editor, Michael Fremer, for vinyl records that are musically and sonically outstanding and are also well mastered and pressed.
The jewel in the Living Stereo crown. This, like the Respighi, is considered one of the very best LPs by Reiner, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and RCA’s crew. Another Mohr and Layton classic.
“…I’d have to say that the usual stumbling blocks have been sidestepped. Great care has been taken to do the right things, starting with the way the decision to remaster these RCAs was made.” – Jonathan Valin, The Absolute Sound.
RCA Living Stereo classical LPs – the gold standard for top quality orchestral performance and sound! Another sonic and musical blockbuster from the unbeatable combo of Reiner and RCA (and Mohr & Layton). Recorded in 1957 at Chicago’s Orchestra Hall; the original analog session tapes were used in mastering for this LP in the Analogue Productions reissue series. Mussorgsky’s inspiration for Pictures was the death of his dear friend, the architect and visual artist Victor Hartman. Having died at age 39, Hartman had not yet had the opportunity to realize any of his architectural visions, and Mussorgsky was angered that his friend would have no legacy.
The piece is known today primarily through the orchestral version created by Maurice Ravel in 1922. In fact, the work had already been orchestrated multiple times, by a variety of lesser names. Some conductors today find that Ravel’s version, in spite of its color, sacrifices some of the coarse nature inherent in Mussorgsky’s piano original. Furthermore, Ravel worked from Rimsky-Korsakov’s edited version of the piano part – the only one available at the time – which changed some notes and rhythms.
None of the orchestrations, however, change the fundamental spirit of the piece. Mussorgsky imagines himself making his way down the hallway that showcased his late friend’s work, with his stately procession represented by the Promenade that opens the piece and returns several times. Upon stopping at each image, he reflects on what he sees. Between the early movements, the promenade returns regularly, as Mussorgsky is conscious of moving from one scene to the next. As the work progresses, however, he becomes less aware of the interval between pictures, and more immersed in the continuous psychological experience of moving from one state of mind to the next. By the end, the composer sees himself transformed by the connection with Hartman through his visual expressions of Russian pride and humanity.
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