- 1812 -- Festival Overture, for orchestra in E flat major, Op. 49
- Commentary to the 1812 Overture / sound effects / bells
- Capriccio Italien, for orchestra (or piano, 4 hands), Op. 45
- Wellington's Victory, for orchestra, Op. 91
- Commentary to Wellington's Victory / sound effects
How can analog recordings from the mid- to late '50s and early '60s stand up to scrutiny in the digital age, or compare favorably with state-of-the-art multi-channel hybrid SACDs and DSD technology? If they happen to be vintage Mercury Living Presence half-inch three-track recordings, made with three Telefunken microphones and digitally remastered for stereo playback on CD, then they can stand up quite brilliantly, as evidenced by this fiery reissue in Decca's The Originals series. Naturally, an album of popular showstoppers such as Pyotr Il'yich Tchaikovsky's "1812 -- Festival Overture, Op. 49," his "Capriccio Italien, Op. 45," and Ludwig van Beethoven's "Wellington's Victory, Op. 91," needs to sound stupendous, and audiophiles will demand to hear every detail and every effect with vivid clarity and fidelity. Fortunately, this CD provides such strikingly realistic performances that listeners will be hard-pressed to find contemporary digital recordings to surpass it for credible presence and power. Antal Dorati conducts the Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra with the University of Minnesota Brass Band in "1812," and the London Symphony Orchestra in "Wellington's Victory," and the playing in all the works is energetic and colorful, with barely a flaw worth mentioning. Add to this the explosive blasts of a bronze 1775 French cannon recorded at West Point and the sonorous bells of the Laura Spelman Rockefeller Memorial Carillon, and this recording of "1812" stands out as one of the most shattering versions ever put to disc. "Wellington's Victory" also sounds remarkable for its carefully timed cannonade and musket volleys, all corresponding to Beethoven's indications in the score. This classic recording is highly recommended.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Tchaikovsky: 1812 Overture, Capriccio Italien / Beethoven: Wellington's Victory based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.