MAHLER:  Symphony No. 4 in G  Lisa Della Casa, soprano; Chicago Symphony Orch/Fritz Reiner, cond.
JMCXR 0017 (F) (ADD) TT:  53:41
 

BEETHOVEN:  Symphony No. 6 in F, Op. 68 "Pastorale."
Chicago Symphony Orch/Fritz Reiner, cond.
JMCXR 0020 (F) (ADD) TT:  40:46

BEETHOVEN:  Symphony No. 3 in E Flat, Op. 55 "Eroica."
Boston Symphony Orch/Charles Munch, cond.
JMCXR 0019 (F) (ADD) TT:  45:00

Here are three more enticing entries in JVC's RCA reissue series.  These are not the sonic spectaculars of some other issues (Pictures at an Exhibition, Scheherazade, Bartók Concerto for Orchestra) simply because the music itself doesn't lend itself to exhibitionist aural display.  The grandeur of RCA's original recordings has never been displayed as vividly as on these superb new issues.  Reiner's Pastorale, recorded April 8 & 10, 1961, finds the conductor in an appropriately bucolic  mood with impressive dynamics in the fourth movement storm sequence vividly captured by engineer Lewis Layton.  JVC's transfer of Mahler's Fourth, recorded December 6 /8, 1958, is a revelation.  I've owned the original LP as well as RCA's CD reissue (63533) and never before as as much detail been revealed, the dynamic range so expanded. Soprano Lisa Della Casa is the enchanting soloist in the last movement's childlike heavenly song taken from Des Knaben Wunderhorn.  R.D. reviewed the Living Stereo release of this performance (REVIEW).  I look forward to JVC's transfer of  Reiner's recording of the same composer's Song of the Earth, another famed performance that doubtless will benefit from the new processing technique.  Munch's Beethoven has always been an exciting experience.  One of his first RCA recordings, recorded in 1949, was Symphony No. 7, as dynamic a performance as they come (it's available from Sound Dynamics).  His Eroica, recorded December 2, 1957, is equally volatile, with Symphony Hall's resonance well represented, and it's in splendid stereo.  All three of the new JVC CDs are first-class in every way. 

R.E.B. (November 2002)