These are glorious performances of these Sonatas (for Violin; for Cello; and for Flute, Viola & Harp). They are warmly recorded in Boston Symphony Hall. Dating from 1970, these are played by an earlier generation of principal players from the Boston Symphony, known as the Boston Symphony Chamber Players. And I am thrilled to report that Pentatone's remastering for SACD is wholly successful.
I have experienced mixed results from this Pentatone series of reissued DG quadraphonic recordings from the 70s. DG had the misinformed theory that placing the microphones far away from the orchestra would be a good idea for their short-lived series of quadraphonic recordings. In reality, that proved disastrous for many of them. However, for this Debussy recording, comprised of a very small group of soloists, they placed the microphones closer to the players, thus enhancing the realistic presence of the performance, and better controlling the reverberation. The result is gorgeous. It is one of the very best in the entire Pentatone series. The acoustic remains warm and rich, but now has better clarity than before, with the instrumentalists more precisely and realistically defined within the hall.
This Debussy disc is an absolute delight from beginning to end - filled with musical and inspired playing of the very highest quality. The improved SACD sound is icing on the cake. It, along with both of Ozawa's Berlioz recordings, spectacularly transferred to SACD in this Pentatone series, is highly recommended not only from a sonic perspective, but for the fantastic performances as well.
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