SMETANA: The Bartered Bride: Overture; WEINBERGER: Polka & Fugue
from Schwanda – Chicago Symphony Orchestra/Fritz Reiner – RCA Red Seal
3-channel/2-channel SACD 82876-66376-2, 64:09 ****:
The RCA/BMG series of Living Stereo remasterings to SACD continues.
While not overall quite up to the standards of the Mercury Living
Presence reissues, they seem to be getting better each batch. Only the
New World Symphony was originally recorded on three-channel tape, so
the other three selections are two channel stereo. The recordings dates
were 1955 to 1957. What can be said about a warhorse like The New World
Symphony that hasn’t already been said? And what can be said about the
fresh and exciting experience Reiner and his Chicago players make out
of this warhorse? It’s hard to beat. The three fillers are long time
Living Stereo and pop concert favorites too. Really is a stretch to
realize that these recordings are a half-century old now!