Collection: Portraits in Sound

Our rating 
2.0 out of 5 star rating 2.0

COMPOSERS: Chabrier,Rimsky-Korsakov,Saint-Saens
LABELS: EMI
WORKS: Music by Rimsky-Korsakov, Chabrier, Saint-Saëns
PERFORMER: Concert Arts SO/Erich Leinsdorf; Capitol SO/Carmen Dragon
CATALOGUE NO: CDM 5 65205 2 ADD (1958)

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A motley collection of orchestral showpieces/encores drawn from Capitol’s Full Dimensional Sound catalogue. ‘Full Dimensional Sound’, the liner notes claim, ‘had one aim: to convey the depth and richness of the concert hall with all the impact and immediacy of a front-row seat.’

Well, I don’t know of any front-row seat that would do that, and, given the unpleasantly close, dry, boxed-in, spot-miked image of these performances, recorded on Stage 7 of the Samuel Goldwyn Studios, Hollywood, I wouldn’t want to. Brash, inflated approach from Leinsdorf; crude, ‘B’-movie ‘orientalism’ from Dragon.

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As an example of American stereo technology in the Fifties this is nowhere near either RCA’s ‘Living Stereo’ or Mercury’s ‘Living Presence’. Ates Orga