I referred to the new 24/96 5.1 double album of Debussy's Orchestral Music with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra conducted by Stéphane Denève in a earlier post (and the extended exchange between srl1 and me on the DVD-Audiobahn forum of AA). Subsequently, I downloaded another new 24/96 5.1 album of Saint-Saëns orchestral music (symphonic poems, etc.) with the RSNO and Neeme Järvi. I just can't get over how superb both of these recordings are! I don't think Chandos has ever been thought of as a real audiophile label, and yet, I'd classify both the Debussy and the Saint-Saëns albums as such. The dynamic range, the frequency range, the timbre of the instruments, the realistic spread of the orchestra - it's all there. And it's all the more amazing because I believe that Chandos is pretty heavily into multi-microphoning these days, based on a BBC documentary which had a brief segment showing one of their engineers setting up for a recording session.
As for the performances, I'll just repeat what I said over at DVD-Audiobahn: my wife and I both agree that we have never heard the RSNO play better than on these two albums, with the possible exception of "Le Rouet d'Omphale" on the Järvi recording - not everything sounds rhythmically settled in this performance because Järvi's tempos are so fast. However, in the other works on the Saint-Saëns album, the conductor's predilection for moving things along pays big dividends. For decades, I've cherished the old Paray/Detroit performance of the "Marche militaire francaise", which has an excitement which puts other performances to shame. (The slow tempos of these other performances make the French soldiers seem awfully corpulent!) Järvi's is the first performance of this work in a long, long time that gives us the same spine tingling excitement in this music that Paray did!
Alas, there's a glitch in the way the VLC media player software I'm using plays "Jeux" on the Denève album which is discussed over on DVD-Audiobahn. The problem I'm having might not show up with other "media player" software however. (BTW, these uncompressed multi-channel files do not play on iTunes, even if you convert them from FLAC to AIFF, as I did.) And the final bit of info I want to share is that these downloads took a LONG time: 14 hours for the Deneve/Debussy and 5 hours for the Järvi/Saint-Saëns. There's of course a HUGE amount of data in a 24/96 5.1 file - even if it's in FLAC format, but, for reasons unknown to me, I could never get much more than 250 kbps - maybe it's being throttled at The Classical Shop end. And as far as the Chandos 24/96 multi-channel downloads are concerned, these two seem to be the only ones available so far originally recorded in 24/96 PCM. The other multi-channel hi-rez recordings they have available for download seem to have been recorded in DSD - so if you want those, I'd think it's better just to buy the SACD.
All in all though, these recording are just great and I have the highest enthusiasm for them!
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Topic - Two outstanding hi-rez multi-channel Chandos downloads - Chris from Lafayette 12:24:27 05/21/12 (3)
- Might have to try the Jarvi (not one of my favorite conductors) - srl1 19:46:04 05/21/12 (0)
- RE: Two outstanding hi-rez multi-channel Chandos downloads - John C. - Aussie 17:37:57 05/21/12 (0)
- Thanks for the info, Chris! - Russell 16:25:25 05/21/12 (0)