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Dutton Epoch June 2020 SACD Surround Sound Classical Releases

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humprof

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ubertrout

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Looks like we've got five new releases, and they're some great ones. @haikubass posted this image in the main thread, figured I'd reuse it here (the Chaminade disk was an earlier release):




Korngold - The Dead City (Die Tote Stadt). I know Korngold, famous nowadays mostly for his film scores and violin concerto, but I've never heard of this opera before. However, the consensus is that this is a major work and the Leinsdorf recording is definitive (this was also the premiere recording and was for many years the only one, but it's now the benchmark to which all others are held). Review of both this and a more modern performance here: Korngold: Die Tote Stadt [IL]: Classical CD Reviews- Nov 2002 MusicWeb(UK). I'm guessing Dutton won't include a libretto, but you can get a copy of it here: http://www.operatoday.com/Korngold-Die_Tote_Stadt-Libretto-1921.pdf.

Bartok - The Wooden Prince, Dance Suite. When Dutton reissued the Bartok Concerto for Orchestra and Miraculous Mandarin (https://www.duttonvocalion.co.uk/proddetail.php?prod=CDLX7360), making up for Sony's botched version, they once again didn't include the Dance Suite which was on the original LP with the Miraculous Mandarin. This release makes up for that, and also gives us Boulez conducting The Wooden Prince in full ballet form. These are among if not the best performances of Bartok and self-recommending. I don't know how these will sound in terms of the mix but I'm prepared to be impressed - Boulez was generally very open to more aggressive quad mixing. Dutton has really gotten some of the gems of Boulez's quad output released on SACD now; there's probably still 3-4 SACDs worth of material left though.

Stravinsky - The Firebird (complete) and Rite of Spring. This is a long disc, I'm glad everything fits - it isn't the suite version we're used to hearing of The Firebird, it's the complete ballet, and this is two full LPs. The main event here is likely the Boulez version of The Firebird, which I've long been asking for, so I'm excited we're getting it. It's a classic. I had kind of assumed the Rite of Spring here would be the Bernstein version, but instead we have the version with Zubin Mehta. This may actually be a good choice - the Mehta version is out of print and is supposed to be pretty good, so I'll be excited to hear it as well. It's a shame that Boulez's superb version, recorded with the Cleveland Orchestra, was done before the quad era.

Haydn - Symphonies Nos. 93-95. Haydn wrote 104 Symphonies, but they definitely get better as they go, with the last 12 (aka the "London Symphonies") being the pinnacle. With this release Dutton has completed its reissue of Bernstein's quad Haydn recordings, and we're the better for it. Self-recommending.

Strauss/Saint-Saens - Also Sprach Zarathustra/Organ Symphony. Two warhorses, in RCA recordings of Eugene Ormandy conducting the Philadelphia Orchestra, with Virgil Fox playing the organ in the latter piece. Ormandy could be more variable in his later years but he knew these pieces cold and recorded both many times. Here's a good review of this Also Sprach (which people tend to associate with 2001 but that's just the first 3 minutes) - Strauss: Zarathustra/Ormandy - Classics Today. RCA really marketed the "Organ Symphony" to the hilt with its cover (which Dutton wisely reproduced), but I don't know the recording that well. This was also issued as a Dolby Surround CD in the 90s. Should be great fun.
 

4-earredwonder

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I ordered 5 SACDs from D~V's NEW Classical Releases [the only exclusion was the Korngold]. I also opted for Priority Mail [NO tracking] and consider the £13 s/h fee a bargain since AmazonUK is charging upwards of £11 to ship a single disc nowadays.

edit: just checked AmazonUK's price on the D~V Levine Mahler [2 SACD set] and behold their price and s/h to the U.S.

 
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humprof

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Looks like we've got five new releases, and they're some great ones. @haikubass posted this image in the main thread, figured I'd reuse it here (the Chaminade disk was an earlier release):




Korngold - The Dead City (Die Tote Stadt). I know Korngold, famous nowadays mostly for his film scores and violin concerto, but I've never heard of this opera before. However, the consensus is that this is a major work and the Leinsdorf recording is definitive (this was also the premiere recording and was for many years the only one, but it's now the benchmark to which all others are held). Review of both this and a more modern performance here: Korngold: Die Tote Stadt [IL]: Classical CD Reviews- Nov 2002 MusicWeb(UK). I'm guessing Dutton won't include a libretto, but you can get a copy of it here: http://www.operatoday.com/Korngold-Die_Tote_Stadt-Libretto-1921.pdf.

Bartok - The Wooden Prince, Dance Suite. When Dutton reissued the Bartok Concerto for Orchestra and Miraculous Mandarin (https://www.duttonvocalion.co.uk/proddetail.php?prod=CDLX7360), making up for Sony's botched version, they once again didn't include the Dance Suite which was on the original LP with the Miraculous Mandarin. This release makes up for that, and also gives us Boulez conducting The Wooden Prince in full ballet form. These are among if not the best performances of Bartok and self-recommending. I don't know how these will sound in terms of the mix but I'm prepared to be impressed - Boulez was generally very open to more aggressive quad mixing. Dutton has really gotten some of the gems of Boulez's quad output released on SACD now; there's probably still 3-4 SACDs worth of material left though.

Stravinsky - The Firebird (complete) and Rite of Spring. This is a long disc, I'm glad everything fits - it isn't the suite version we're used to hearing of The Firebird, it's the complete ballet, and this is two full LPs. The main event here is likely the Boulez version of The Firebird, which I've long been asking for, so I'm excited we're getting it. It's a classic. I had kind of assumed the Rite of Spring here would be the Bernstein version, but instead we have the version with Zubin Mehta. This may actually be a good choice - the Mehta version is out of print and is supposed to be pretty good, so I'll be excited to hear it as well. It's a shame that Boulez's superb version, recorded with the Cleveland Orchestra, was done before the quad era.

Haydn - Symphonies Nos. 93-95. Haydn wrote 104 Symphonies, but they definitely get better as they go, with the last 12 (aka the "London Symphonies") being the pinnacle. With this release Dutton has completed its reissue of Bernstein's quad Haydn recordings, and we're the better for it. Self-recommending.

Strauss/Saint-Saens - Also Sprach Zarathustra/Organ Symphony. Two warhorses, in RCA recordings of Eugene Ormandy conducting the Philadelphia Orchestra, with Virgil Fox playing the organ in the latter piece. Ormandy could be more variable in his later years but he knew these pieces cold and recorded both many times. Here's a good review of this Also Sprach (which people tend to associate with 2001 but that's just the first 3 minutes) - Strauss: Zarathustra/Ormandy - Classics Today. RCA really marketed the "Organ Symphony" to the hilt with its cover (which Dutton wisely reproduced), but I don't know the recording that well. This was also issued as a Dolby Surround CD in the 90s. Should be great fun.
Thanks for this "buyer's guide"--a real public service!

Simply based on what we've heard from the same conductors on Dutton so far, I'm especially looking forward to the Bartok, Haydn, and Stravinsky discs. I'd like to have gotten the Bernstein Rite, too, but I've heard a good SQLP decode of the Mehta, and it's a powerful performance with a fairly active mix. I'll dutifully include the Ormandy in my cart, as this piece from the Guardian piques my interest in the Saint-Saens organ symphony. The Korngold opera may be a harder sell, but I like Korngold's violin concerto on Challenge and his "Much Ado About Nothing" suite on Vox. YouTube has the full opera.
 
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4-earredwonder

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LOVE your mini 'observations,' ubertrout. Ordered 5 [no Korngold]. Exciting bunch of Surround Discs! Am actually looking forward to the Saint~Saens Organ Symphony with Virgil Fox on organ. Thank you Michael Dutton for these labors of extreme ❤
 
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J. PUPSTER

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I ordered 5 SACDs from D~V's NEW Classical Releases [the only exclusion was the Korngold]. I also opted for Priority Mail [NO tracking] and consider the £13 s/h fee a bargain since AmazonUK is charging upwards of £11 to ship a single disc nowadays.

edit: just checked AmazonUK's price on the D~V Levine Mahler [2 SACD set] and behold their price and s/h to the U.S.

Why no Korngold, Die tote Stadt Ralphie; is it the opera aspect of it?
 

ubertrout

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Thanks for this "buyer's guide"--a real public service!

Simply based on what we've heard from the same conductors on Dutton so far, I'm especially looking forward to the Bartok, Haydn, and Stravinsky discs. I'd like to have gotten the Bernstein Rite, too, but I've heard a good SQLP decode of the Mehta, and it's a powerful performance with a fairly active mix. I'll dutifully include the Ormandy in my cart, as this piece from the Guardian piques my interest in the Saint-Saens organ symphony. The Korngold opera may be a harder sell, but I like Korngold's violin concerto on Challenge and his "Much Ado About Nothing" suite on Vox. YouTube has the full opera.
Thanks for the comments on the Mehta, was going to order anyway but more excited now. I'm moving this month but will order all six once that's done.
 

DuncanS

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I think its the Bartok & Stravinsky for me ( but 😳 I'll add them to the to listen to pile when they arrive!)
 

ubertrout

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Thanks for this "buyer's guide"--a real public service!

Simply based on what we've heard from the same conductors on Dutton so far, I'm especially looking forward to the Bartok, Haydn, and Stravinsky discs. I'd like to have gotten the Bernstein Rite, too, but I've heard a good SQLP decode of the Mehta, and it's a powerful performance with a fairly active mix. I'll dutifully include the Ormandy in my cart, as this piece from the Guardian piques my interest in the Saint-Saens organ symphony. The Korngold opera may be a harder sell, but I like Korngold's violin concerto on Challenge and his "Much Ado About Nothing" suite on Vox. YouTube has the full opera.
By the way, if you don't know the Saint-Saens 3rd "Organ" Symphony it's wonderful, if a bit overplayed. Saint-Saens was seriously prolific and wrote many tuneful works, especially in the concerto repertoire. His five piano concertos (especially 2, 4, and 5) all deserve to be heard more widely.

Edit to add: just realized this is the third Ormandy recording of the piece to make it to SACD, although the first in multichannel - the Columbia and Telarc recordings are both already available:

 

4-earredwonder

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By the way, if you don't know the Saint-Saens 3rd "Organ" Symphony it's wonderful, if a bit overplayed. Saint-Saens was seriously prolific and wrote many tuneful works, especially in the concerto repertoire. His five piano concertos (especially 2, 4, and 5) all deserve to be heard more widely.

Edit to add: just realized this is the third Ormandy recording of the piece to make it to SACD, although the first in multichannel - the Columbia and Telarc recordings are both already available:

And add to those this superbly recorded gem from Reference Recordings:


 

warp2600

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I happen to be listening to Tomita - Firebird sacd :) and have just noticed this new thread.
I have got the full Firebird ballet on sacd (Antal Dorati), which is stunning. Not much of a dan of the Rite of Spring, but @12 pounds this double DOUBLE offering (2 LP both in stereo and quad) is a no brainer.
 

steelydave

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@ubertrout has given an excellent summation of the artistic merits of the albums in this batch of releases, but I just wanted to add a few things:

All the Columbia albums (Firebird, Rite of Spring, Wooden Prince, Dance Suite, Haydn 93 & 94) feature quad mixes by Ray "Bitches Brew" Moore, aside from Haydn 95 which is a Larry Keyes mix, so these should all be agressive mixes, in classical terms.

This batch of discs completes the "stealth release" of two full quad LP's. The bonus material on the Wooden Prince disc, Dance Suite, is from Masterworks MQ 31368 - the other half of this LP (The Miraculous Mandarin) is on the Dutton Epoch release Boulez Conducts Bartok: Concerto for Orchestra (CDLX 7360) from November 2018. The bonus material on the Bernstein Conducts Haydn 93 & 94, Haydn 95 is from Masterworks MQ 32598 - the other half of this disc (Haydn 96) is the bonus material on the Epoch release of Bernstein Conducts Hadyn: Mass in Time of War (CDLX 7346) from October 2017.

The Firebird (MQ 33508), The Rite of Spring (M 34557) and The Wooden Prince (M 34514) were all SQ-only LP releases, so these discs represent the debut of the discrete mixes for all three of these albums. The Rite of Spring album, from 1978, was one of CBS's very last quad releases of any type, coming nearly a year after their final pop quad releases.

I'm not sure who did the quad mix of the Die Todt Stadt opera (it was a co-production between RCA and German radio, and the sleeve only credits a German engineer I've never heard of) but the two Ormandy albums were both engineered by Paul Goodman, who did most (if not all) of Ormandy's other RCA quad albums. So, I expect these are of a similarly high calibre - especially given that the original Also Sprach Zarathustra LP sleeve carried the subtitle "An Awesome Sonic Experience," suggesting that it was sort of RCA's equivalent of the Columbia Masterworks LPs that boasted of being "A Quadraphonic Spectacular." The Saint-Saens half of the disc features Virgil Fox, who I understand was sort of like RCA's version of E. Power Biggs - although funnily enough, I did come across an interview with him recently where he was chiding Biggs for being too much of a traditionalist in his arranging and playing - so if you're fond of those 'Man with a huge organ' (ha ha) types of classical albums this one might be up your alley.
 
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