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Discussion: Richard Strauss: Josephs Legende - Fischer

Posts: 20
Page: 1 2 next

Post by andrewb April 7, 2007 (1 of 20)
If this disc had not been produced by Channel Classics and conducted by Ivan Fischer it is likely that I would not have bought the disc. A work of Richard Strauss which was entirely unknown to me? - normally this might be regarded as a risky purchase but knowing the quality of music from Fischer's previous discs I felt this would probably be worthwhile investigating.

In short there is some excellent music here, played magnificently and with exemplary sound. With a large Strauss orchestra it is difficult to hear the detail but this recording succeeds better than in any other Strauss recording that I have heard before.

The music was written for the ballet, but it might be better to regard it as another Strauss tone poem, although a long one: 64 minutes and 70 tracks.

The 51 page booklet has been glued into the packaging because it was too big to fit into the normal sized slit of a digipack, this makes it a little awkward to read, but is an understandable necessity.

Post by terence April 7, 2007 (2 of 20)
those interested in this work may also wish to investigate a DG DVD release of it forthcoming in may from the vienna state opera. it includes a 5.1 DTS mix of the soundtrack.

Post by seth April 10, 2007 (3 of 20)
An interesting work. I probably would not be able to identify it as Strauss if listening blindly.

I'm not quite certain what to make of it, but the music certainly receives an excellent performance by the BFO and Channel as always has done a good job recording them.

I know a lot of people are screaming for Fischer to do more Dvorak, but I'm happy to that he's expanded into Strauss.

A note to Channel Classics: If you're going to with digipack, please do not attach the liner notes to the case. Take a look at how Harmonia Mundi does it.

Post by Castor April 12, 2007 (4 of 20)
terence said:

those interested in this work may also wish to investigate a DG DVD release of it forthcoming in may from the vienna state opera. it includes a 5.1 DTS mix of the soundtrack.

This is a Unitel studio film, not an actual performance, of an 'interpretation' of the ballet by John Neumeier. It was made 30 years ago and looks particularly 'camp' to me.
Neumeier has altered some of the action but the soundtrack is complete and played by the Vienna PO conducted rather stolidly by Heinrich Hollreiser.

Judith Jamison as Potiphar's wife has the longest legs I have ever seen!

Sorry, this seems to be turning into a review :)

Post by terence April 12, 2007 (5 of 20)
thanks castor. what's the sound like?

Post by Castor April 12, 2007 (6 of 20)
terence said:

thanks castor. what's the sound like?

I only have an off-air DVD recorded from the satellite channel ZDF. The sound is not bad, but I imagine that DGG will have improved it considerably for a commercial release as well as creating a multi-channel mix. Picture quality is fine.

Post by Big Al June 23, 2007 (7 of 20)
Bought this CD at HMV in Statford (had been visiting to watch King Lear and was the only SACD in the shop I considered worthy to buy as a momento of my visit - was aware it had received Disc of the Month in Gramophone) but I have to say I am somewhat disappointed with it.

The sound is to my ears a let down - there is little to distinguish between normal CD replay and SACD replay (I do not have a 5.1/surround/multi-channel set-up). I have been so impressed with SACD that I feel reluctant to buy ordinary CDs any longer but don't sense that huge difference here. I will perservere but doubt that I will get to enjoy this work anywhere near as much as all the other Strauss works which I love.

Am I the only listener to hold this view - all the other postings and reviews that I've read have been positive.

Post by kansub June 23, 2007 (8 of 20)
Big Al said:

Bought this CD at HMV in Statford (had been visiting to watch King Lear and was the only SACD in the shop I considered worthy to buy as a momento of my visit - was aware it had received Disc of the Month in Gramophone) but I have to say I am somewhat disappointed with it.

The sound is to my ears a let down - there is little to distinguish between normal CD replay and SACD replay (I do not have a 5.1/surround/multi-channel set-up). I have been so impressed with SACD that I feel reluctant to buy ordinary CDs any longer but don't sense that huge difference here. I will perservere but doubt that I will get to enjoy this work anywhere near as much as all the other Strauss works which I love.

Am I the only listener to hold this view - all the other postings and reviews that I've read have been positive.

I was disappointed too by the sound. Did not sound too SACD to me. The Sinopoli version on DG was as good sounding on CD. Another fact not mentioned in reviews/product details except on this site,is that the surround is 5.0 not 5.1, which in my mind takes out quite a bit of oomph from the recording.

Post by Big Al June 23, 2007 (9 of 20)
kansub said:

I was disappointed too by the sound. Did not sound too SACD to me. The Sinopoli version on DG was as good sounding on CD. Another fact not mentioned in reviews/product details except on this site,is that the surround is 5.0 not 5.1, which in my mind takes out quite a bit of oomph from the recording.

Thanks kansub - I was so concerned that I have even wondered if there is in fact a stereo only SACD channel on the disc (as referred to on this forum in a thread started by putmess). On my player the display indicates (in very small letters) CD or SACD and can be switched by depressing the Sound Mode button - but tere still remains a small doubt...

Before anyone asks I have had my ears syringed (twice) !

Post by tommwi June 23, 2007 (10 of 20)
I agree with the negative comments above. This recording has turned into a disappointment on almost all accounts. The conductor lacks Strauss idiom and doesnít make much of its ballet music. Lack lustre, no involvement and the orchestra fail to deliver and donít stand a chance to the Dresden Staatskapelle (DG). For what it is worth and I don't listen to mch - this is the worst sounding SACD from the otherwise excellent Channel Classics I have come across. The DG sound for Sinopoli from 10+ years ago on CD is well up to the task of beating this release in the end. Iím confused and I don't understand the great reviews this one has got.

/Tommy

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