R. STRAUSS: Also sprach Zarathustra; LIGETI: Atmophéres; MOZART: Symphony No. 41 in C Major “Jupiter” – Stuttgart Philharmonic/ Gabriel Feltz/ Kay Johnannson, organ – RadioBremen/Dreyer-Gaido multichannel DTS CD + standard CD – CD 21029, 79:25 ****:
This album caught my eye because it had the only multichannel recording of the trippy Ligeti Atmopheres which Stanley Kubrick used so effectively in his 2001, and secondly because it was in the I-thought-obsolete format of DTS-CD surround. It consists of two separate discs: one regular CD and the other a DTS-encoded CD. If your multichannel receiver or preamp decodes DTS and Dolby soundtrack material on movies, this will play fine, but I’m curious why Dreyer-Gaido didn’t just offer a SACD or at least a DTS DVD, which would have given them more recording time than the 80 minutes they just squeezed under, plus a higher sampling rate than on the CD. Perhaps they thought the largest population of users out there would be likely to have a CD player only and a home theater receiver, and not a DVD deck. From the credits on the album, this was perhaps a collaboration of some sort with DTS.
Regardless, the sonics are very good, and it’s nice to have the Ligeti work in all its surround sound glory—although I thought the choral version was better. There is both an instrumental and a choral version (as used in 2001). There is a great deal of competition on SACD for the other two works, but the Zarathustra is quite enjoyable. Matthias Wächter is the solo violinist in the work. The Jupiter Symphony fails to come off quite so well.
The “Mystery…” Larderet exploring decades of Scriabin’s oeuvre