Symphony No. 1 in F Minor — Franz Vorraber, piano (Rach.)/ Würzburg
Philharmonic Orchestra/Daniel Klajner — Nishimura multichannel DVD-A
Don’t know how we missed reviewing this when it first arrived; it
carries a 2003 release date. Recording engineer Tatsuo Nishimura
is based in Düsseldorf and takes a bit of a different tack in his
approach to DVD-A. He prefers to record live concerts, and
employs all 5.1 tracks for the multichannel option, using 48K sampling
rather than 96K. Instead of relying on the DVD-A player to mix
down to two channel for those without surround systems, he provides a
separate stereo mix using a one-point mike system. On some of his
discs he even provides a portion recorded binaurally for headphone
playback! There is also the standard DVD-video Dolby 5.1 option
The Rachmaninoff concerto is a winner — a kaleidoscope of all the
composer’s favorite tricks rolled into a tour de force of piano
concertos. Vorraber sounds unfazed by the work’s
challenges. The acoustics are somewhat distant but very realistic
— as though one is seated middle of the concert hall. In this
they reminded me of the recent Waterlily SACDs recorded live in Russia.
There is no unnatural spotlighting of the piano — it’s not in your lap
as on so many recordings. The Finale is especially breathtaking.
The Symphony isn’t quite as successful as some of the other recorded
versions but provides a nice balance with the concerto and certainly is
the most light-hearted of all the composer’s symphonies.
— John Sunier