OTTORINO RESPIGHI: Pines of Rome; Fountains of Rome

by | May 17, 2005 | SACD & Other Hi-Res Reviews | 0 comments

OTTORINO RESPIGHI: Pines of Rome; Fountains of Rome – Chicago
Symphony Orchestra/Fritz Reiner – RCA Victor/JVC xrcd JMCXR-0008, 37:04
****:

There was little doubt that JVC would
get around to this Reiner ringer eventually in their perusual of the
Living Stereo Victor masters. The works have been hi-fi demo material
since the LP was introduced. I remember trying to blow out the house
with Toscanini’s vivid version of these widescreen scores to epic
movies that never were. I recall my Newcomb integrated amp was really
struggling to power my home-built corner horn at the conclusion of The
Pines of the Appian Way.

Then
about 1960 came the RCA stereo LP of this recording conducted by Fritz
Reiner. As I recall, it was either $3.98 or $4.98. Now here we are
again, 45 years later and about $25 added. No, it doesn’t either look
or sound quite the same. It’s shrunk, for one thing. The neatly bound
little book actually looks like a shrunken version of my copy of the
Toscanini ablum, which had some lovely black & white photos of the
eight places depicted in Respighi’s music. Either JVC is doing a better
job of reducing the original album liner notes to 4 1/4 inches wide or
my eyes are getting better, because I could actually read them this
time and they’re most interesting. The sonics? State of the Art for
44.1K PCM certainly, and if you have a highly
tweaked CD player you’ll be in heaven. But if you had a mint copy of
the original vinyl and a good turntable setup, the vinyl would probably
be the winner.

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