SACD & Other Hi-Res Reviews

RACHMANINOFF: The Rock; The Isle of the Dead; SCRIABIN: Symphony No. 5, “Prometheus, The Poem of Fire,” – Andreas Boyde, p./ Kay Johannsen, organ/ Philharmonia Choir Stuttgart/ Stuttgart Philharmonic/ Gabriel Feltz – Dreyer-Gaido

Very dramatic performances and great hi-res surround.

Published on July 5, 2012

RACHMANINOFF: The Rock Op. 7; The Isle of the Dead, Op. 29; SCRIABIN: Symphony No. 5 in F Sharp “Prometheus, The Poem of Fire,” Op. 60 – Andreas Boyde, piano/ Kay Johannsen, organ/ Philharmonia Choir Stuttgart/ Stuttgart Philharmonic/ Gabriel Feltz – Dreyer-Gaido multichannel SACD CD21035, 60:20 *****:

Conductor Gabriel Feltz—general music director of the Stuttgart Philharmonic—has led performances across Germany and is known especially for his work in the opera field. He won an award from The Rachmaninoff Foundation for his work in promoting that composer’s music thru his recordings and performances with the Stuttgart Philharmonic.

This SACD is obviously not intended for distribution in North America. The titles on the jewelbox of the three works are not as above, but entirely in German, although the note booklet is both in German and English. I first saw the Rachmaninoff Der Fels on the jewelbox, and first thought “Gee, an obscure Rachmaninoff work that hasn’t been recorded before.”

These are very dynamic and engaged performances of all three works, and altho the first two have heavy competition from SACDs from Exton and LSO Live, this is the only SACD of Scriabin’s important Prometheus, and the hi-res surround and playing on all three are first rate. There is a connecting feeling of mystery about all three pieces. I don’t believe the standard CD versions of Prometheus included the chorus, which adds a great deal of mystical feeling to the work. It doesn’t have the cojones of The Poem of Ecstasy, but it is still full-bore full orchestra Scriabin. The recordings were made in 2006, and although the makers said at one point the disc was sold out and wouldn’t be re-pressed, it is easily available at Amazon.

—John Sunier




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