This disc was among those on my list for when I finally got my hands on an SACD player. I was very excited when I finally put it in and pressed play.
Then I was a little disappointed. The orchestra seemed dull....almost far away in the mix. The volume on the recording is very low, and I found myself turning up the volume just to hear the detail in the strings.
What's more, I found the perfomance a wee bit uninspired. Maybe a little too slow for my tastes. (My favorite recording of the 1812 is Claudio Abbado and the Cleveland Orchestra....now that would make a truly great SACD)
Then came the cannons....wow! But, far far too loud when compared to the rest of the mix. The orchestra and chorus are practically drowned out by them, and I also found myself having to turn down the volume at that point just to avoid speaker damage.
The cover does warn you to be aware of the volume when the cannons blast, but had the orchestra been mixed a little louder, i would not have had my volume up past the usual point where all music has depth and power, thus necessitating me to turn it drastically down just for the cannons.
I determined that a safe level for my system was around 66....but when i listened from the beginning at that volume setting the orchestra and chorus were far too soft to be heard clearly.
All in all, I just felt that the balance between the sounds was poorly engineered. It seems as though Telarc was more interested in the exploding cannons than in the quality of the music.
This disc is great to show off your system and have some fun blowing things up, but it is hardly a great recording of great music.
Let's just hope someone else gets it right next time around.