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Discussion: Bizet: L'Arlésienne Suites Nos. 1 & 2, Carmen Suite - Cluytens

Posts: 2

Post by hiredfox June 29, 2011 (1 of 2)
At last a decent performance on SACD or so I thought. This comes from a recording that was very popular in the 60's and what better ensemble to play these likable Bizet Suites.

This new SACD 'though must rank as a disappointment, except in a few places the overall sound-stage is diffuse and imprecise and to compound this vagueness the orchestra is set so far back from the listener that one feels one loses touch, it is like standing right at the back of the auditorium of an empty concert hall at rehearsals - you are here, they are right over there. Consequently the visceral excitement of these suites is largely lost.

It's good to have but Dutoit and his Montreal players still cut the L'Arlesienne mustard.

Post by Jonalogic July 9, 2011 (2 of 2)
Well, I didn't much like it either, I'm afraid.

I don't find the staging too problematical, but it's all rather screechy and compressed - a very early stereo EMI, in fact, from a period when they were sonically batting far behind Mercury, Decca and RCA.

I found the performances a bit lackluster, moreover; they really don't catch fire at all in these extrovert pieces.

The Carmen exerpts are rather truncated in this not very well-filled disc.

All in all, a great pity - especially as the only other Arlesienne on SACD that I'm aware of is the Szell; and this is very far from being one of his top-rankers.