Fireworks Music. Water Music Suite
English Chamber Orch/Johannes Somary
BACH GUILD VDS 510 TT: 52:06
These familiar Handel masterpieces emerge in a new light as engineered
in this multi-channel recording made in Conway Hall, London, 1973. The
orchestra is spread around the listener; we find ourselves right in
the middle of what's going on, and it is a most pleasing audio experience.
Water Music consists of eleven movements drawn from the entire
work; it, and Royal Fireworks, are presented in the original
scoring in these fine, large-scale performances under Somary's direction.
at an Exhibition. Khovanschina Prelude.
New Philharmonia Orch/Sir Charles Mackerras, cond.
VANGUARD VSD 509 TT: 37:22
Recorded in All Hallows Church, Gospel Oak, London, in July 1973, this is another
8-track original analog recording that is here presented in 5.0 surround. The
orchestra was spread around the conductor so some instruments come from the rear
which perhaps is a bit disconcerting - even the conductor wouldn't hear the music
like this while on the podium - however, it is a pleasant, unusual listening
experience. While these two works made a rather short LP in their original
issue, on high-priced SACD it is inexcusable to have such brief playing time
- this and Stravinsky's Petrouchka, also on Vanguard with the same conductor,
could easily have fit onto one SACD with room to spare.
R.E.B. (June 2002)