ROSSINI. Instrumental Music. Budapest/Fischer (SACD) Hybrid SACD
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Rossini was a genius, especially as a melody composer. His instrumental music is like colorful opera arias or songs without words. To perform these melodies one needs to articulate and characterize like actors on stage. And of course one needs to have a brilliant, fast tongue and fast fingers. Italians talk fast with beautiful diction, especially in a heated discussion. This disc features works for both the full orchestra as well as for small ensembles of musicians taken from the larger group. Each has a solistic flavor, from the oboe solos in the Silken Ladder overture to the double-bass wizardry in the String Sonata in G major. All are played with just the right levels of verve and wit by the Budapest Festival Orchestra led by Ivan Fischer.
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Finally, the price! The American distributor for CC who also distributes other labels I like, has seen fit to charge far more than distributors in other countries. Don't blame Amazon or American retailers. You can save a huge amount by buying from online sources in The UK.
And a great big blunder: why did Channel not include Fischer's reading of the L'Italiana in Algeri Overture here, which was originally - and most inappropriately - saddled with his Beethoven 7th disc? It didn't belong there, and would have found a logical home with this collection. At just over 8 minutes, it would have fit nicely here. Oh well, it wouldn't have salvaged this disc, it just would have made sense. But we can't have that.
The musical program itself is largely trivial, and Fischer's interpretations are often inappropriate as well. Furthermore, the musicians seem uncomfortable and hardly together. And finally, their SACD recorded sound which has invariably set the standard for the best sonics available today is here: atrocious. - Were their usual engineers on vacation?
And to top it off, an outrageous purchase price is demanded from the public as well....
We suppose even the greatest of performers have nightmarish concerts. Let us hope that this is the last one we'll hear from this normally magnificent group of musicians.