Fritz Reiner (dir), Chicago Symphony Orchestra
Reference: BMCD 842
Bar code: 8427328008426
· Collectors Edition
· Issued in Digipack
· 2 Original LPs on 1 CD
· Original Cover Art and Liner Notes
· Living Stereo Recordings
· Newly Remastered in 24-Bit
Prokofieff and Stravinsky were responding to an impulse deep in the Russian creative mentality when they wrote these works so widely separated by time and location. That is the cultivation of the story-telling impulse, the capacity to make music relate a story, paint a picture or depict a situation. That, to them, was Russian art, and it hasnt changed (fundamentally) since.
Heard for its own sake: this is a sonic experience in which Strausss imagination and skill, and those of Fritz Reiner and his players, make Also sprach Zarathustra not only incomparably thrilling on first hearing butno matter how often repeatedinexhaustibly rich in new revelations of sheer sound-sorcery.
"Most older listeners agree that Prokofiev's Lieutenant Kijé Suite was ideal repertoire for Fritz Reiner and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. With its big tunes, bright colors, bold harmonies, and unrelenting rhythms, Reiner and the Chicago -- the pre-eminent Strauss performers in America at the time -- excelled in Prokofiev's Kiji. In this superb RCA recording, Reiner and the Chicago were at the top of their form and their Kiji is witty, sassy, brave, ironic, and altogether hilarious. As sumptuously remastered, Reiner and the Chicago's Kiji is still the best available.
Most older listeners, however, cannot agree that Stravinsky's Song of the Nightingale was anything like the right repertoire for Reiner and the Chicago. With its spiky motifs, its primary colors, its hard harmonies, and its relentless rhythms, Reiner and the Chicago were seemingly out of their element. But although their approach is essentially Straussian, Reiner and the Chicago still excel at Stravinsky's Nightingale. In this superb RCA recordings, Reiner and the Chicago's Nightingale is warm, lush, sweet, and even a little sexy, a sort of Salome à la Stravinsky. As voluptuously remastered, Reiner and the Chicago's Nightingale may not sound like Boulez and the New York Philharmonic's modernist Nightingale, much less Stravinsky and the Columbia Symphony's mechanical Nightingale, but it is still arguably the best available, albeit from a less doctrinaire point of view."
James Leonard -All Music Guide