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Many of André Previn’s RCA discs from early in his tenure with the London Symphony Orchestra are marked by a high level of freshness and spontaneity on the part of the conductor, and a bright, springy performance from the orchestra. This one is no exception. In a book he edited entitled “Orchestra”, Previn interviewed a number of musicians from the orchestras he regularly conducted, and a view emerged that orchestras often responded best to conductors who allowed them to express the music, and not try to force as much loudness as possible from them. This certainly seems to be the case here where the players and conductor appear to enjoy the music and respond naturally to its changing moods. Nothing is forced or hectored, but neither is there a sense of the music being reined in. The London Symphony Orchestra at the time was notable for its bright string tone, sometimes even aggressively so, but in the wonderful rich acoustic of Kingsway Hall, the brightness is more a platinum sheen and the warmth of the lower frequency emerges. Even after more than fifty years, the sound still sparkles. The high resolution digital transfer reveals this to have been recording that was well produced and engineered to begin with, and is up to the usual high standards that are associated with Kenneth Wilkinson. By co-incidence, I have also recently heard Previn’s 1982 remake with the Vienna Philharmonic. Fourteen years later, Previn’s enjoyment of the music was still evident. The Vienna orchestra had its own distinctive sound compared to the LSO. At the time, Philips also had a remarkable team of engineers, and I played it from a mint condition Dutch-pressed LP. The medium of vinyl tamed the exigencies of early digital recording. The condition of secondhand LPs can be rather chancy. I was lucky with the one I found. At least with hi-res digital releases, the listener is always assured of there being no unwanted scratches or other noises caused by damaged discs.
Title: Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov Scheherazade
Artist(s): André Previn - The London Symphony Orchestra
Violin [Solo] – John Georgiadis
Recording Info: Recorded by RCA April 1, 1968 (5 & 6), April 4 (1-4), Kingsway Hall, London
Producer – Peter Dellheim Engineer – K. E. Wilkinson
1. The Sea And Sindbad's Ship 11:10
2.The Story Of The Kalender Prince 11:49
3. The Young Prince And the Young Princess 11:01
4. Festival At Bagdad; The Sea; The Ship goes To Princes On A Rock Surmounted By A Bronze Warrior; Conclusion 12:31