Contents of each CD are listed below. Reviews are in Surround Sound feature on this site. To read review, click on links
|BEETHOVEN: Symphony No. 5.
MENDELSSOHN: Symphony No. 4.
BBC and Boston Symphony Orch/Sir Colin Davis, cond. (PTC 5186 102)
BEETHOVEN: Piano Concertos 2 and 4.
Stephen Kovacevich, pianist; BBC Symphony Orch/Sir Colin Davis (PTC 5186 101)
VIVALDI: Six Flute Concertos.
Severino Gazzelloni, flute; I Musici (PTC 5186 108)
MOZART: Horn Concertos. Rondo.
Alan Civil, horn; Academy of St. Martin in the Fields/Sir Neville Marriner, cond. (PTC 5186 195)
HANDEL: Organ Concertos, Vol. I & II
Daniel Chorzempa, organ; Concerto Amsterdam/Jaap Schroder, cond. (PTC 5186 103 & 104)
TCHAIKOVSKY: Symphony No. 6. Nutcracker Suite.
Orchestre de Paris/Seiji Ozawa, cond. (PTC 5186 107)
ROSSINI: Eight Overtures
Academy of St. Martin in the Fields/Sir Neville Marriner, cond. (PTC 5186 106)
|These eight CDs
are initial releases in a series on a new label, PENTATONE, recordings
originally made by Philips in four channel sound in
the early 1970's. At that time there was considerable interest in
quadraphonic recordings although equipment on which to play them was not
perfected. Experimental Quadraphonic LPs were not successful, so these
tapes were never issued in four-track sound. Now, with the advent
of SACD (Super Audio Compact Disk) which can convey multiple channels and
have audio quality superior to regular CDs,
these original four-channel recordings are being issued, identified
as RQR - Remastered Quadro Recordings. Although SACDs are
capable of carrying six discrete channels (identified as 5.1), these Pentatone
contain just the four original channels - left and right, front and rear
(some CD players might indicate there are five channels when playing these
CDs, but there are only four - this is an eccentricity of the player which
apparently cannot read the information accurately).
How do they sound? Magnificent in every way, rather proving that four channels are all needed to convey totally natural sound. Directionality is not exaggerated, performers are primarily in front, but ambient sound from the back adds remarkable realism to the sonic picture. With SACD's improved sonic capability, strings no longer have the edgy quality heard on previous LP/CD issues.
These CDs actually contain three different versions of the program. If
you have a regular CD player, you can play the regular CD stereo tracks.
If you have an SACD player you can
listen to the regular stereo tracks but via the SACD channels, which
are quite superior to the regular CD tracks. And if you have an SACD
equipment, you can hear the program in four-channel sound. List price
on these superb CDs is about $20.
R.E.B. (March 2003)