BRAHMS & TCHAIKOVSKY: Violin Concertos – Jascha Heifetz, violin – Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Fritz Reiner, Conductor – RCA Living Stereo

by | Oct 20, 2005 | SACD & Other Hi-Res Reviews | 0 comments

BRAHMS & TCHAIKOVSKY: Violin Concertos – Jascha Heifetz,
violin – Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Fritz Reiner, Conductor – RCA
Living Stereo 82876-67896-2 – Multichannel (3) SACD, 64 min. *****:

This most recent regeneration of this classic warhorse from RCA’s
Living Stereo catalog offers a bonus no previous version can boast –
original three-channel sound, in all its glory! Actually, only the
Tchiakovsky was recorded in multichannel; we get the Brahms in
no-frills, ho-hum stereo. However, I give the nod to the SACDs in
head-to-head comparison with any other previous incarnations, with the
SACDs offering (in my opinion) far and away the most analog-like sound
from any digital source. My ears tell me that the SACDs of the Living
Stereo repertory offer the last word in just about every aspect of
available recorded sound.

These classic performances by Jascha Heifetz with Fritz Reiner and the
CSO are indisputably first-rank; in addition to the peerless artistry
of Heifetz, you get the unparalleled beauty that was the Chicago
Symphony – thank God John Pheiffer and Lewis Layton were there to get
it for perpetuity on magnetic tape. In the Brahms’ Adagio movement,
just listen and bask in the delicate interplay between strings,
woodwinds, horns and Heifetz – truly as close to musical perfection as
it comes!

With regards to the three-channel Tchaikovsky, RCA got it right way
back in the fifties, achieving the proper recorded balance of
soloist-to-orchestra. Heifetz sounds very natural, and not at all
disjointed from the proceedings, while the CSO sounds more dynamic than
on any previous digital disc version of this material. Very highly
recommended!

— Tom Gibbs
 

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