Farao Classics SACD: Schoenberg's Verklarte Nacht
Schoenberg’s Verklarte Nacht op.4 (Transfigured Night) & Kammersymphonie op.9, Das Bayerische Staatsorchester, Zubin Mehta Cond.
First of all, this is a biased appreciation of this music. I love it so much it’s in my bone. This is Schoenberg before he goes postally atonal! Not that I can’t appreciate atonal music, but this is good stuff. This is the version for string orchestra that Schoenberg revised in 1943.
I listened to this late last night. It gave me goose bumps so I had to share my view.
I’m not really a fan of Zubin Mehta but occasionally get surprised by his music making. This is one of those occasions. The performance is both tense and tender at the same time without the saccharine sentimentality which he can sometime exude. The playing of the Bavarian State Orchestra is excellent (lovingly caressed).
For me, this is an example of a successful Multi-Channel production that makes me not regret having invested in a multi-channel system.
The soundstage is wide and deep with noteworthy dynamic range. The perspective is of a 20th row, orchestra level. The sound is transparent but not analytical. Channel Classics offers similar sound quality but their perspective is closer, more like the 10th row and therefore can sometime sound a bit analytical, depending on the repertoire.
Now back to the Transfigured Night. The recording offers stunning bass (not boomy), just rich and solid foundation on which the tapestry of sound emanates and envelops you. I felt like I was in the hall. My walls (in a moderately small room) simply disappear.
Max Dudious phrases this nicely when reviewing the recent Telarc release of Berlioz Requiem in Audiophile Audition: “It has been my experience that a good stereo rig can create a plausible facsimile of the gigantic (music) in a moderately large listening space, and a good multi-channel rig can come surprisingly close in a small room”.
Do I think this is the best SACD I’ve heard? Not. Didn’t I say I was biased? Music does get better than this but at live performances! :)
Happy listening to all…and don’t forget to pour yourself a nice glass of rich Amarone before putting this on if you do get it. I got a good deal at Amoeba.
PS: Farao Classics also produces nice versions of Wagner’s Die Walkure (DVD-A, Zubin Mehta, Bavarian State Orchestra) and Barber’s First Symphony & Schumann’s Symphony No.4 (SACD, Sawallisch, Bavarian State Orchestra).
What also surprises me is that Farao Classics who has been the champion of DVD-A now starts to issue SACD’s. Go figure.