Tuesday, March 05, 2013

Maazel, Cleveland Orchestra
"Stravinsky: The Rite of Spring" (Vinyl)

In honor of the 100th anniversary of 'Rite' I thought it'd be fun to hear this recording - it was found within the last year but I've still yet to hear it.  To be fair, I've collected about ten recordings of this work.  It was exceedingly popular to record during the 60's and 70's.  Any major orchestra had its own recording of it.

This recording was made on May 14, 1980.  There are uniquely detailed notes about the recording process on this LP jacket; testament to Telarc's uncommon recording practices.  Amongst their philosophies: once appropriate microphone placement is achieved, no further adjustments are made during the session.  All dynamic and balance choices are in the hands of the maestro.

As a result, this recording has an uncommon warmth and blending to it. While many of the Cleveland Orchestra's recordings were done in the Masonic Temple during this era, this recording was made on stage in Severance Hall.  There's something that feels very comfortable about how the musicians play, as though they know exactly how they sound when at home on their own stage.

Perhaps it's just my own ears wanting it to be true, but I feel some of the magic that makes the Cleveland Orchestra what it is was captured on this album.

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