Mobile Fidelity Releases Gershwin Performances in Surround Sound SACD

Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab continues its mining of the 4 Channel Surround Sound catalog of the Vox/Turnabout label with their new release of An American In Paris. The new Surround Sound Super Audio CD features Leonard Slatkin conducting the Saint Louis Symphony with pianist Jeffrey Siegel in performances of a number of George Gershwin classics including the title composition. It follows a Stereo SACD release of Bela Fleck’s Drive album (Mobile Fidelity UDSACD 7003) on the label’s lower priced SACD Discovery Series in March.

An American In Paris
Leonard Slatkin, St. Louis Symphony Orchestra
SACD Surround Sound/SACD Stereo/CD Stereo

(Mobile Fidelity UDSACD 4007)

As with earlier releases in Mobile Fidelity’s Surround Series, the performances on the new An American In Paris SACD are taken from the original discrete 4 Channel analog master tapes recorded in the mid 1970’s by Joanna Nickrenz and Marc Aubort.

Mobile Fidelity describes the new SACD release by saying that “From his origins as a Tin Pan Alley song plugger to his hard earned acknowledgment as a preeminent American composer, George Gershwin’s contributions to America’s musical legacy are immeasurable. Finally, discerning listeners can experience the full, spectacular glory of Gershwin with spacious multichannel sound on Ultradisc UHR SACD!

This outstanding collection by Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab features GAIN 2 System mastering and inspired performances by the Saint Louis Symphony as conducted by maestro conductor Leonard Slatkin. Track highlights include “Rhapsody in Blue” featuring pianist Jeffrey Siegel, “Promenade” with George Silfies on solo clarinet, and “Cuban Overture” highlighting violinist John Korman and cellist Yuan Tung”.

Leonard Slatkin, Conductor
Jeffrey Siegel – Piano
St. Louis Symphony Orchestra
Barbara Liberman – Solo Piano (on Catfish Row)
David Mortland – Solo Banjo (on Catfish Row)
George Silfies – Solo Clarinet (on Promenade)
John Korman – Solo Piano (on Cuban Overture)
Yuan Tung – Solo Cello (on Cuban Overture)

Album Selections
Catfish Row (Suite from Porgy and Bess)
1. Introduction – Act I, Scene I
2. Porgy Sings
3. Fugue
4. Hurricane – Act II, Scene 3
5. Good Morning’ Brother – Act III, Scene 3

6. An American In Paris
7. Promenade
8. Rhapsody In Blue (Bonus Track)
9. Cuban Overture (Bonus Track)

SACD Credits and Surround Sound Sonics
The new Surround Sound SACD of An American In Paris was Mastered by Paul Stubblebine at the Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab in Sebastopol, California. Digital editing and quality control was handled by Mobile Fidelity Chief Engineer Shawn Britton with additional assistance from Dawn Frank at the Super Audio Center in Boulder, Colorado.

I agree with the comments from Mobile Fidelity about the inspired performances of the orchestra. This is particularly true on the last two selections – Rhapsody In Blue and Cuban Overture. Both benefit from the 4 Channel Surround Sound mix being delivered in SACD Surround. And the mix on Cuban Overture is a bit more adventurous than the balance of the album – with percussion and bongos appearing in the Surround Channels.

Upcoming Super Audio CDs from Mobile Fidelity
Coming next from Mobile Fidelity will be 2 more Surround Sound Super Audio CDs from the Vox Turnabout Classical Music catalog and a new Stereo SACD.

Next Tuesday, June 7th will see the in store release of a Surround Sound SACD of Ravel’s Daphnis Et Chloe performed by Stanislaw Skrowaczewski conducting the Minnesota Orchestra. This will be a follow up to that orchestra’s Surround Sound SACD of Ravel’s Bolero & Orchestral Works (Mobile Fidelity UDSACD 4002) which launched the label’s Surround Sound SACD series.

This will be followed 2 weeks later on June 21st with the release of a Mobile Fidelity Stereo SACD edition of Patricia Barber’s Verse album. Verse will be one of the label’s regularly priced Super Audio CDs carrying a list price of $24.99 as do the Surround Sound Series SACDs. (The Discovery Series SACDs go for a more affordable list price of $19.99 each).

Finishing off the planned SACD releases on August 23rd will be a performance of Smetana’s Ma Vlast by Walter Susskind conducting the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra. This Surround Sound SACD has been delayed from its previous release dates in January and May but appears to be heading towards the finish line according to the folks at Mobile Fidelity.

Upcoming Surround Sound SACD Series Releases

  • Stanislaw Skrowaczewski, Minnesota Orchestra – Ravel: Daphnis Et Chloe (Mobile Fidelity UDSACD 4008) [Coming on June 7th]
  • Walter Susskind, St. Louis Symphony Orchestra – Smetana: Ma Vlast (Mobile Fidelity UDSACD 4006) [Coming on August 23rd]

    Upcoming Stereo SACD Series Releases

  • Patricia Barber – Verse (Mobile Fidelity UDSACD 4007) [Coming on June 21st]

    An American In Paris in Surround Sound SACD is now available at music stores that carry Super Audio CDs including Tower Records. It is also available from web sites that sell SACDs including Acoustic Sounds, Elusive Disc, Music Direct, Amazon.Com and CD Universe.

    Also worth noting is that while the Minnesota Orchestra’s performance of Ravel’s Daphnis Et Chloe in Surround Sound SACD is due in music stores next week, you will already find it in stock at the web stores noted above.