SACD & Other Hi-Res Reviews
“Circo della vita” – Best of Omnibus Wind Ensemble [TrackList below] – Opus 3
Published on January 19, 2009
The Omnibus Wind Ensemble is a 12-piece Swedish group founded in 1981 and dedicated to their own arrangements of works and commissioned works, as well as collaborations with a variety of other performers. They have made three previous standard CDs with the Opus 3 label as well as one SACD of the music of Frank Zappa. This SACD is taken from the three CDs, which were recorded on analog tape using the Blumlein single-point source stereo mike technique. As Opus 3 has done with several of their earlier CDs, they have processed the stereo-difference acoustic information preserved in the two-channel signals to create the surround channels for this 4.1 channel SACD. At the same time they have ported all the frequencies below 60Hz to the LFE channel. The effect is very convincing and as good as the 4-channel RQR PentaTone series, which are sourced from quadraphonic tapes. The only caveat is that you may wish to raise the level on the surround channels just a bit to achieve a good surround field.
The SACD’s title comes from a contemporary wind work by a composer who lived until 1990, Eje Thelin. While not terribly melodic, the work has interesting rhythmic vitality and is not serialized. There are arrangements from such well-known composers as Bizet, Mozart and Rossini, and the Allegro from Roman’s Drottningholm Music is super-familiar to me because I have been using that track on one of my test CDs for years. The three Mozart arrangements are a delight: The Marriage of Figaro Overture, and two selections from Don Giovanni. The closing track of the 19 provided is an absolutely rousing rendition of the overture to Rossini’s Italian in Algiers.
TrackList: MOZART: Marriage of Figaro Overture, ROMAN: Drottningholm Music; SEYMER: Sologa; ROSSINI: Figaro/Rosina Duet from The Barber of Seville, Barber of Seville Overture; THELIN: Circo della vita; AULIN: From Four Watercolors; KRAUS: Incidental music to Amphitryon (Moliere); AGRELL: Suite in A Major; PETERSON-BERGER: By Froso Church, Summer Song; BIZET: Carmen Overture; MOZART: Don Giovanni Overture, Canzonetta from Don Giovanni; March of the Priests from The Magic Flute; ROSSINI: The Italian in Algiers Overture.
- John Sunier