- Audio CD (April 28 1995)
- Number of Discs: 1
- Label: Sme
- ASIN: B000003FUG
- Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #8,527 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
|1. La Mer: From Dawn Till Noon On The Sea|
|2. La Mer: Play Of The Waves|
|3. La Mer: Dialogue Of The Wind And The Sea|
|4. Fountains Of Rome: The Fountain Of Valle Giulia At Dawn|
|5. Fountains Of Rome: The Triton Fountain At Morning|
|6. Fountains Of Rome: The Fountain Of Trevi At Midday|
|7. Fountains Of Rome: The Villa Medici Fountain At Sunset|
|8. Pines Of Rome: The Pines Of The Villa Borghese|
|9. Pines Of Rome: Pines Near A Catacomb|
|10. Pines Of Rome: The Pines Of The Janiculum|
|11. Pines Of Rome: The Pines Of The Appian Way|
And of course, the Chicago Symphony, whom you can just argue is the greatest American orchestra ever, puts in another terrific performance, as you would definately expect them to. The legendary Fritz Reiner was conductor of the CSO from 1951 to 1962, a golden period in the orchestra's history. Heiner was certainly a demanding leader, and it showed whenever recording sessions took place. A perfectionalist, he wanted control over all aspects and made sure himself that he received satisfactory results.
In the program booklet that comes with this CD, an excellent account is included of downtown Chicago's Orchestra Hall on October 24, 1959, when Reiner led his ensemble to a tremendous performance of Respighi's Pines and Fountains of Rome. The article is a very interesting read on the details of the recording session.
Now, as for the CD itself, the aged recording would of course raise the attention of the listening. While technology has definately surpassed what had been available back then, the sound is however very acceptable. This album indeed still remains one for the ages.
Another moment is at 3:34. There is an A in the second trumpet that is never heard for whatever reason, but on this version it is so intense that it will part your hair. There is no subtleness to the finale in this one. It is pure, raw power.Read more ›
As far as I know, Fritz Reiner, similar to leopold stokowski and herbert von karajan, was quite concerned that how his recordings sounded should be how he felt the music should sound, which is not always easy to do. There is incredible dynamic range in this la mer that makes it an overwhelming experience. the beginning does really sound like dawn rising on the sea's horizon. this may be debussy's finest orchestral work as well. reiner also is the master of what i'd like to call rhythmic coloration, for he uses rhythm, however slow, lazy, precise, sumptuous, or unclear to get his musical ideas across and it works to stunning effect here. the "play of the waves" is simply amazing in its flexibility, same with the last part which at one point does sound like a huge tidal wave.
Like many of reiner's other discs with the CSO, this is orchestral playing at its best, capturing incredible control, but flexibility and excitement within that.