David Patrick Stearns on RCO Live’s SACDs

One of the best music critics in America weighs in on the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra’s outstanding SACD series. DPS cites the Debussy/Dutilleux disc conducted by music director Mariss Jansons an all-Berg program conducted by Daniele Gatti, and I’m also mighty impressed…

… by the Poulenc/Honegger program conducted by Jansons. Insofar as sound quality is concerned, the RCO Live CDs are the equal of the finest recent PentaTone and Telarc SACD releases.

And I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the eight massive multi-disc releases in the Anthology of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra series. Each chronological or music-director-centric collection brings together airchecks (and, in the case of the Mengelberg box, a smattering of commercial 78s), in generally excellent transfer quality and annotation. Upon its initial release I had strong praise for the Mengelberg anthology, and the Eduard van Beinum box is also particularly excellent, not only shedding light on his early career (and somewhat Mengelbergian tendencies at the time) but also containing a particularly revelatory and riveting (and then-rare) performance of Mahler’s Symphony No.3. The full list of available products is here (click on the “RCO Live Shop” link).

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