Speakers Corner / Decca - SXL 6691 - 180 Gram Virgin Vinyl - 4260019711670
Limited Edition - Pure Analogue Audiophile Mastering - Pressed at Pallas Germany
The Absolute Sound Super Disc List 2016 TAS Harry Pearson Super LP List
To be sure: no other 20th-century ballet music has ever created such a commotion as this ancient rite of spring: it began with a turmoil which developed into a full-scale brawl at the premiere performance in the concert hall, was sung hymns of praise and suffered devastating reviews by critics who tore the work apart, and led up to the musico-philosophical libel written in the Fifties by that self-acclaimed "chief enemy" of Stravinsky, W. A. Adorno.
This thrilling, epoch-making masterpiece remains fascinating to this very day thanks to its bloodcurdling rhythms, its secretive, intertwined melodies, and the boiling, seething, and lashing of the titanic instrumental forces.
And Sir Georg Solti and his phenomenal orchestra certainly ensure that all this is brought over to the listener. The notes of the lyrical passages simply fly out of the loudspeakers with the lightness and airyness to which one is accustomed with DECCA recordings from this era.
But one can still be astounded by this audiophile work of art: such a gentle, voluminous, lashing and pounding sound-storm is only normally heard live in the concert hall.
And precisely because this recording sounds so marvellous, it tops the vinyl charts in the American specialist magazine The Absolute Sound.
You’ll pardon if I don’t analyze the music on this one but get straight to the audio nitty-gritty. It appears that although many LPs pairing this famous work with another Stravinsky selection, Decca wanted back in l974 to give the heavy percussion grooves plenty of land to spread out in for best results, and that makes for a fine audiophile reissue. Speakers Corner follows the same policy as Classic Records in recreating every aspect of the original disc, including the actual record labels, exactly like the originals and with absolutely no notation anywhere that this is an audiophile reissue from Speakers Corner in Germany. I don’t believe I’ve ever enjoyed the work quite so much - not only is it a smashing performance - just the sort of thing Solti could sink his conductatorial teeth into - but the percussive score came across with more of a musical feeling and emotional involvement than any CD version I’ve heard. - - John Sunier Audiobeat
Chicago Symphony Orchestra
Sir Georg Solti, conductor
Igor Stravinsky (1882-1971)
Le Sacre Du Printemps (The Rite of Spring)
1. First Part; L'Adoration de la Terre
2. Second Part; Le Sacrifice