LISZT & ENESCO Rhapsodie – London Symphony Orchestra/Antal Dorati – Mercury 3-channel SACD

by | Jul 6, 2005 | SACD & Other Hi-Res Reviews | 0 comments

LISZT: The Six Hungarian Rhapsodies; ENESCO: Roumanian Rhapsody
No. 1 – London Symphony Orchestra/Antal Dorati – Mercury 3-channel SACD
475 6185, 73:50 ****:

Many Eastern European composers have been drawn to the music of the
gypsies, and even Brahms set gypsy melodies in some of his works and
used the alternation of major and minor tonality so common to gypsy
music.  Franz Liszt even wrote a book about the gypsies and their
music. He created the form of the Rhapsody to allow for an abandoned
sort of improvisatory quality in his settings of some of these gypsy
melodies. He wrote 15 such Hungarian Rhapsodies for piano and later
transcribed six of them for orchestral performance. The warhorse No. 2
will be instantly familiar, but all the works are full of energetic
melodies and rhythms and Dorati’s forces play them to the hilt. The
themes of Enesco’s Roumanian Rhapsody are paraded out with little or no
development in this equally familiar-sounding 12-minute work.

The addition of the third channel (no surround signals present at all)
does fill in the central portion of the orchestral soundstage and give
a more seamless aural picture of the players in front of the listener
than the two-channel version.  Of course this will depend on how
well your center speaker matches with your left and right frontal
speakers and also on how effective a phantom center channel your system
can conjure up.

– John Sunier

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