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I have three or four CD transfers of this recording, but this copy sounds far better than them. Now I can enjoy the Ansermet's performance fully for the first time.
There are better Stravinskys
Despite the sound quality, wich is as good as the technology of its time gets (truthful mastering from HDTT, as always), I think, to my surprise, that Ansermet and his Suisse Romande orchestra don't extract all the subleties hidden in this extraordinary work (it's my favourite from the three famous ballets). I take, as a reference, the performance registered by Bernard Haitink for Philips. To be true, this one is hard to beat. But Ansermet seems a bit lost in the "atmosphere" this score deserves, specifically in capturing the all-present background "noises" from the circus, too obscured by the main action, for my taste. Being an Ansermet's fan, as I am, this recording has been a little delusional. For those who loves true tape sound, recommended.
Wonderful performance and remastering.
ANSERMET'S STRAVINSKY: THE SECRET OF THE MATHEMATICIAN AS MAGICIAN!
Another legendary Ansermet/Stravinsky disc in a superb transfer that lets you hear this effervescent score in all its multi-colored tonal splendor and incisive rhythmic forcefulness! And, as with Ansermet’s Rite of Spring and Firebird (on equally superb HDTT transfers), you can’t help but marvel at the level of expert skills Decca’s sound team displayed in these early “golden” years of stereo: as far as I’m concerned no recording of Petrushka has ever sounded better. That none (few) have sounded more authentic is all again because of Ansermet and his Suisse Romande Orchestra. What’s his secret Talking to Robery Chesterman (Conversations with Conductors, 1976), Ansermet mentions how for him Stravinsky’s “music is not the same thing as the music of other composers (for whom) it is always an expression of their own feelings. (…) But with Stravinsky, no. It is a representative, a figurative music. It is an application.” He then adds: “But this application of the music to such pictorial effects or representative intention is wonderfully realized.” Is that why this is such great music just to listen to and let the sounds wash through your brain Or is it because the magician here is a mathematician! More Ansermet any time, HDTT: pure joy!
This recording has always been noted for its legendary sonics, and this magnificent transfer demonstrates why, in no uncertain terms. Imagine air, stage, transparency, resolution and sheer vivid presence all turned up to 11 (on a scale of 1-10), and you get some impression of what's going on here. Sometimes, you can even here the individual molecules waft around the stage... OK, I'm kidding, now. But if you hear this recording on a good high-end system, you will inevitably conclude that the SQ of most recordings has been in decline for the past 60 years. And, in many ways, you'd be right. OK, the string sound can be a bit fierce in tutti, and Ansermet/OSR was never a 'perfektion orkester', but you can forgive all for this for the stunning sound. To my knowledge, Roy Wallace never made a better sounding recording than this. And, as a legendary pioneer of early Decca stereophonic sound, that's really saying something. You owe it to yourself to hear this one. Go on, why are you waiting
Title: Stravinsky Petrushka Complete Ballet “Original Edition”
Artist(s): Ernest Ansermet & L'Orchestre de la Suisse Romande
Recording Info: Transferred from a 15ips 2-track tape
Recorded by Decca Producer: James Walker Engineer: Roy Wallace
Recorded 23 October - 9 November 1957 in Victoria Hall, Geneva
1st Tableau: The Shrovetide Fair 9:49
2nd Tableau: In Petrushka's Room 4:17
3rd Tableau: In The Moor's Room 7:22
4th Tableau: The Shrovetide Fair (Evening) 13:17
Total Time 35:00
Digital re-mastering in DSD256 :
Merging Technology Pyramix software with the
Hapi Analog to Digital converter