BEETHOVEN:  Symphony No. 9 in D Minor, Op. 125 "Choral"
Anna Tomowa-Sintow, soprano; Agnes Baltsa, contralto; Peter Schreier, tenor; Josť van Dam, bass; Wiener Singverein; Berlin Philharmonic Orch/Herbert von Karajan, cond.
DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON SACD 471 640 (F) (ADD) TT: 66:54 (5.1 channel) 

This performance of Beethoven's Ninth was recorded in 1977 and has been issued several times on CD; this is its most recent incarnation (See REVIEW).  Sound quality never was particularly good - and here it is in "surround sound" - although it really isn't.  Doubtless nearly three decades ago this was recorded with many microphones, possibly with many different discrete tracks as well, but there is no surround sound presence -  although there is an element of hall space. As in the original recording, this "surround" version has balances that are askew. It's an odd choice for one of the first surround sound releases from Universal Classics.

DVORAK:  Slavonic Dances, Opp. 46 and 72
Budapest Festival Orchestra/Iván Fischer, cond.
PHILIPS 470 601 (F) (DDD)   TT:  70:28 (5 channel)

This is the real thing, multi-channel sound with much hall ambience and presence, keeping the orchestra basically in front but with the pleasing sound of reflected sound. We find ourselves very, very close up, almost too much so, but the overall effect is far superior and much more natural than the adjoining DG release of the Karajan Ninth.  (See REVIEW)

R.E.B. (NEXT SURROUND REVIEW)

 

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