SACD

Beck – ‘Sea Change’ An SACD review by Mark Jordan

While ‘Sea Change’ is surely Beck’s most personal album to date, he characteristically pulls off the feat of being expressive without ever telling specific stories. Beck Hansen the person remains, as a true artist must, elusive. read more…

Kirov and Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestras (Gergiev) – ‘Shostakovich: Symphony No.7 ‘Leningrad’’ An SACD review by Mark Jordan

The nature of sound being what it is, combining two orchestras together does not make the music twice as loud, but what it does do is give an amazing depth and richness to the music. This recent Philips release brings us a live recording of Valery Gergiev conducting the two orchestras he is most associated with: The Kirov Orchestra of the Mariinsky Theatre in St. read more…

David Elias – ‘The Window’ An SACD review by Stuart M. Robinson

The first ‘indie’ SACD production, David Elias’ ‘The Window’ has quickly entered audiophile folklore as a “reference recording”, one of those discs you pull out to demonstrate your new, insanely expensive system to friends or take around to a dealer when auditioning new hardware. read more…

Minnesota Orchestra (Skrowaczewski) – ‘Ravel: Bolero and Assorted Orchestral Works’ An SACD review by Mark Jordan

Either you love it or you hate it: ‘Bolero’. For those who love it, it is a hypnotic buildup of almost unbearably sexy tension. For those who loathe it, it’s death by repetition. But before swearing it off, any listener should be aware of the speed issue. read more…

Rachel Podger – ‘Vivaldi: La Stravaganza, 12 Violin Concertos’ An SACD review by Mark Jordan

The next time someone asks me that preposterous question, “Is classical music dying?” my response will be simply two words: “Channel Classics”. This relatively young company has thrived in these last few difficult economic years because they are mindful of what a classical recording must be: A work of art in its own right. read more…

Netherlands Bach Society (van Veldhoven) – ‘Love and Lament’ An SACD review by Mark Jordan

When I was in college, I had the good fortune to sing in a performance of Giacomo Carissimi’s oratorio ‘Jephte’. I had never heard of this early Baroque composer at that time, and had no idea that such a powerhouse of expression came from that period, nor that many other lay in wait. read more…

Concertgebouw Chamber Orchestra (Boni) – ‘Mozart: Symphonies’ An SACD review by Mark Jordan

Collectively known as ‘The Symphones’ , the music on this disc, which brings together Symphonies No.5 ‘The Hague’ and No.29, along with ‘Serenata notturna’ and ‘Eine kleine Nachtmusik’, was performed by the Concertgebouw Chamber Orchestra (formerly known as the Amsterdam Chamber Orchestra), an ensemble comprised of members of the world-famous Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra of Amsterdam. read more…

The Kinks – ‘Low Budget’ An SACD review by Brett Rudolph

The Kinks are one of those bands that if you grew up during the 70s and 80s, are likely to be instantly recognizable. This work, ‘Low Budget’, to be released on May 6th by Mobile Fidelity, is one of their most popular recordings and home to many of their best-known songs. read more…

Pink Floyd – ‘Dark Side of the Moon’  An SACD review by Nicholas D. Satullo

Pink Floyd – ‘Dark Side of the Moon’ An SACD review by Nicholas D. Satullo

High Fidelity Review is going to let you in on a secret. When Capitol Records releases the long-awaited ‘Dark Side of the Moon’ SACD in New York next week, it will become a matter of public knowledge what our world exclusive advance review permits us to verify – it is a sparkling success, defying the gravity of expectations that invariably tug at such a staple of popular music. James Guthrie, the sound engineer responsible for the new 5.1 mix of the album, found a way to succeed where there were ten thousand ways to fail. read more…

Eleanor McEvoy – ‘Yola’ An SACD review by Nigel Pond

Last year when we posted news of the first SACD single – Eleanor McEvoy’s ‘Did I Hurt You?’ released by Market Square Records in the UK – I was sufficiently intrigued to contact the record company and ask for review copies of the single (reviewed here by Stuart Robinson), and of the SACD album from which the tracks in the single were taken. read more…

Symphony Orchestra of Norrlands Opera (Jarvi) – ‘Shifting Landscapes’  An SACD review by Mark Jordan

Symphony Orchestra of Norrlands Opera (Jarvi) – ‘Shifting Landscapes’ An SACD review by Mark Jordan

The idea of pairing minimalist-influenced works by the living American composer John Adams and the late Estonian composer Lepo Sumera is an intriguing one, if mainly as a study in contrasts. Adams comes across, in these works at least, as a composer who evokes the modern urban world, whereas Sumera uses a similar orchestral vocabulary to capture the feel of Nordic myths and desolate landscapes. Both composers use the repetitive gestures of minimalism as a departure point for adventures that would at times be better described as “maximalism”. In this recent hybrid SACD disc from Germany’s CCn’C Records, they both get passionate advocacy from Kristjan Jarvi, although his level of success in each piece varies. read more…

Sequentia – ‘The Rhinegold Curse’ An SACD review by Brett Rudolph

The Rhinegold Curse’ is definitely not the “usual” type of album that I find myself sitting down to review, so much so that this piece is as much about explaining a little about the rich history on which the music is based, as the album itself. read more…

Dana Winner – ‘Unforgettable Too’ An SACD review by Stuart M. Robinson

Unforgettable Too’ is Dana Winner’s third SACD release and follows closely on the heels of the first 2002 ‘Unforgettable’ album. This is also my third review of a Winner disc, because her previous offerings have rated so highly I snapped up the sample supplied by EMI Belgium. read more…

Philharmonia Orchestra (Zander) – ‘Mahler: Symphony No. 6 in A Minor, “Tragic”’ An SACD review by Mark Jordan

One of the most fascinating happenings in classical music in the last 50 years has been the gradual rise in popularity of the composer Gustav Mahler. As late as the mid-twentieth century, he was regularly dismissed by critics as an extreme eccentric. read more…

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