BARTÓK:  Concerto for Orchestra.  The Miraculous Mandarin.  Schola Cantorum; New York Philharmonic /Pierre Boulez, cond.
(5 channel) 

Concerto for Orchestra was recorded Dec. 18, 1972 in Manhattan Center, Mandarin May 11, 1971 - but in Avery Fisher Hall.  Both recordings (like the adjoining Prokofiev - Mussorgsky) were done in quadraphonic sound - and it is surprising that CD notes make no mention of this important fact. For the Concerto,  "remix engineer" was Raymond Moore, for Mandarin, "original quad remix" was by Raymond L. Moore (presumably the same person), and "sound mix engineer" for the entire CD is Richard King.  Recorded sound from Manhattan Center is more appealing than what is heard from Avery Fisher where doubtless a touch of added reverberation was added.  Specific instruments can be heard coming from the four main speakers.  You are right in the middle of the orchestra, and it is quite grand. Purists will be offended perhaps, but I think it is absolutely stunning.  The DSD processing shows what wonders were on those original tapes, including some remarkably solid  bass.  Boulez' Bartók isn't as exciting as Reiner's, to name only one other conductor, but this fine performance is worth hearing if just for the sonic quality.  A word of caution:  this SACD can be played only on an SACD player; unfortunately, Sony did not provide regular high-quality stereo tracks for those who do not have multi-channel equipment and wish to play it regular two-track stereo.  

PROKOFIEV:  Alexander Nevsky, Op. 78  MUSSORGSKY-RAVEL:  Pictures at an Exhibition
Lili Chookasian, contralto; Westminster Choir; New York Philharmonic/Thomas Schippers, cond.
SONY CLASSICAL SS 87711 TT:  74:07
(5 channel) 

Here's another winner from Sony, Prokofiev's cantata recorded Feb. 18, 1961, and Pictures recorded Jan. 11, 1965, all analog recordings made, fortunately, in the warmth of Manhattan Center. As with the Boulez Bartók, these were recorded in quad, with spectacular results. Richard King is listed as "sound mix engineer," Woody Pornpitaksuk as "DSD Authoring Engineer," a job I've never heard of before. Sound is splendid, with solid bass not suggested by LP issues of either of these performances. Schippers, then at the peak of his short-lived career, leads a magnificent performance of the Prokofiev and a virtuoso reading of Mussorgsky's colorful trip through the gallery. Highly recommended - HOWEVER, this is a super audio multi-channel recording and can be played only on an SACD player.  I don't understand why Sony didn't make this a hybrid SACD disk with high-quality stereo channels as well as multi-channel information.