BACH: Brandenburg Concertos
Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra

BERLIOZ: Hungarian March from The Damnaion of Faust. Symphonie fanstique, Op. 14
Hans Jorg lbrecht, organ
OEHMS SACD OC 692 :TT: 59:31

Music of Piazolla, Cobian, Troilo, Demare, Gardel, and Lindberg
Trio Tangoporia (Christian Lindberg, trombone; Jens Lundberg, bandoneon; Roland Pontinen, piano).
BIS SACD 2108 TT: 72:26

Here are two surround sound disks that will delight the collector - wonderful music, brilliantly played, and recorded using state-of-the art digital techniques The first is a Tacet issues, a blu-ray audio disk that contains either two or multi-channel versions, whichever the listener prefers. These recording was made more than a decade ago and has been available on CD since then. Now we have it in true surround sound, surely the most effective way to experience the music. We have all six Brandenburg Concertos in superlative performances by a chamber ensemble from Stuttgart.. Detailed diagrams are provided showing specific location of each instrument, and that is exactly what we experience in the surround sound versions. We are right in the middle of the performing group, a terrific place to be, and all of the instruments are reproduced with uncommon presence n aned clarity. Don't miss these exciting release.

Hector Berlioz did not particularly like the organ apparently feeling its sound quality was inappropriate for his musical ideas. His Fantastic Sympony is a cornerstone of imaginative orchestration, a favorite in concert halls everywhere, and there are several hundred recordings by most of the great conductors and orchestras .Distinguished organist Hansjörn Albrecht wrote program notes for this SACD and valiantly defends his organ trnscription, saying it extends the aural possibiliies of Framz Liszt's piano transcription. Albrecht performs on the magnificent Goll-Orgel in Kulture und Kongresszentrum Luzerne, and it produces huge masses of sound. He previous had recorded organ trnscriptions of music by Wagner, Mussorgsky and Holst. Unfortunatel, for this listener, it doesn't work. There are huge masses of sound indeed, but the lack of truly percussive effects surely is a debit. The symphony is prefaced with the organist's transcription of another orchestral masterpiece, the March from The Damnation of Faust. Again, it just doesn't work. Limited playing time, less than an hour; easily more music could have been included, perhaps music more appropriate for the instrument.

If you'd like to hear three top-notch performers having a lot of fun, check out BIS's Tangophoria SACD. Master trombonist Christian Lindberg, bandoneon virtuoso Jens Lundberg, and pianist Ronald Pontinen join forces for a collection of lively tango-related tunes in their own vibrant, colorful arrangements. The recordings were made December 2013 in Stockholm's Musikaliska. Instruments are recorded close=up with a fine natural spread of the sound; no attempt was made to separate the instruments into rear channels. This is a charming, highly entertaining SACD.

R.E.B. (January 2015)