STRAVINSKY: The Rite of Spring
RESPIGHI: The Fountains of Rome. The Pines of Rome.
FALLA: The Three-Cornered Hat Ballet
Classic Records has been around since 1994 focusing
on high quality LP vinyl issues of audiophile recordings utilizing the
latest technology and original audio sources courtesy of Everest and
Vanguard. Here are six recent releases from Classic
a unique format. Each of the above contains
two-track stereo CD (not SACD) of the program that usually
(but not always) has tracks for individual sections of the music. The
is a two-sided DVD, one for DVD video playback, the other for DVD audio
playback (in very fine print the sides are identified as audio or video).
One side is the
24 bit/192 kHz, and
bit/96 kHz. The other side, DVD Video, contains the two channel
24 bit/96 kHz, and three channel Dolby AC-3. These are not video DVDs;
all one sees on the screen is limited program information. The finest
audio quality is
the DVD Audio two channel 24/192; one might wonder why the three-channel
recording also isn't 24 bit/192. At any rate, all of these sound terrific
and will delight audiophiles. Producers/engineers Bert Whyte (Everest)
and Seymour Solomon(Vanguard) did a spectacular job more
decades ago, achieving remarkable detail usually with natural unexaggerated
The Berlioz—a terrific performance from Abravanal and his massed forces—is different from the others in format, inexplicably so. There are two DVDs, one in stereo, the other multi-channel. This recording was originally made in four channels, so impressive in the Requiem as the four brass bands are in separate corners: it is a tremendous listening experience to hear them that way. For whatever reason, producers decided to issue a conventional stereo version, and only on DVD—no CD. Puzzling! Does anyone want to hear this music without the rear channel effect? There is a minor defect in the original recording, about 15 seconds into the first track where there is a slight slip, also heard in the Silverline label's SACD issue of a few years ago.
Production values disappoint. The CD of the two Respighi symphonic poems label lists "The Pines of Rome"and under it, "Concerto for Violin and Orchestra." Below "The Fountains of Rome" ID, it reads "Concerto for Violin and Orchestra No. 3 in G." Didn't anyone proof-read? And there are insufficient tracks on all of the DVDs. The Rite of Spring has but two tracks on both the CD and DVD versions. There are eleven tracks on the CD of The Three-Cornered Hat, but only one on the DVD versions, with a note, "due to format constraints inherent to the DVD Video format, individual access points for this piece are not applicable to the DVD video side of this disc." It seems odd that with today's technology it wasn't possible to put additional tracks on the DVDs. In spite of their production shortcomings, these are of enormous interest for audio buffs.They are premium priced, but for audiophiles this might not matter.
Apparently Classic Records is now owned by Acoustic Sounds, a company with a vast catalog of high-quality recordings in all formats. To check them out, visit their website: ACOUSTIC SOUNDS
R.E.B. (July 2010)