January RR News

Catch up on the latest in Reference Recording News!

New 33 1/3 rpm LP

RESPIGHI — Belkis, Queen of Sheba-Suite; The Pines of Rome

Eiji Oue / Minnesota Orchestrai


Grammy® Nominated: Best Engineered Album, Classical — Keith O. Johnson, Engineer

"Dazzling orchestral colors," is one one way to describe the music of Ottorino Respighi. "Belkis, Queen of Sheba" was conceived as an evening-long ballet with singing whose lavishness has kept it from view since its La Scala premiere. This is only the second recording of a suite prepared by the composer - for the first time with the tenor solo (sung by Chad Shelton), and with the movements in the correct order. "Prof." Johnson's stunning HDCD¬ sonics make Respighi's greatest hit "The Pines of Rome" (with extra brasses and organ!) a dazzling conclusion to this unusual, inventive program..

NOTE: The CD release garnered tremendous praise. This LP is the same fantastic recording, lovingly transferred and half-speed mastered for outstanding analogue sound (due to length constraints the LP does not contain "Dance of the Gnomes" which is on the CD and HRx versions).

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NEW REVIEWS: STRAUSS - Don Juan; Death and Transfiguration and Till Eulenspiegel's Merry Pranks

Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Manfred Honeck, Music Director

"This is quite a disc. Manfred Honeck's live performances from June 2012 bring so much to admire, not least a thrilling electricity, heaps of chutzpah, revelatory detail and sparky temperament...just sit back and marvel at the PSO's breathtaking sheen, swaggering virtuosity and remarkable composure (fabulous horns throughout)...In short, an exceptionally stimulating and hugely charismatic Strauss anthology. Do try and hear it for yourselves!" —Andrew Achenbach, ClassicalEar

"From the first note, one hears an immediate and direct sound, with instruments on a wide, deep soundstage that begins at the speaker plane and extends deeply. The ambience is envelopin....This is a thrilling disc." —Kalman Rubinson, Stereophile Records 2 Die 4

"This particular combination of three of the composer's greatest tone poems has not heretofore appeared together in surround sound, and it is a particular pleasure to enjoy this combination played with such dedication and verve by the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra under Manfred Honeck." —Barry Forshaw, CD Choice (UK)

"Manfred Honeck is one of the few conductors who may call themselves successors of the greatest, Karajan und Co. On this SACD, this outstanding musician conducts a Strauss program which one must count among the best having been published in the last years." —Pizzicato.lu (a music magazine from Luxemburg)

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There's a Time - Doug MacLeod - RR-130

Reference Recordings is proud to announce that Doug MacLeod has received 3 Blues Music Awards nominations!

We are thrilled! And we congratulate "There's A Time" drummer Jimi Bott, nominated for Instrumentalist - Drums. Check Doug MacLeod's website for more information about how YOU can vote!

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NEW HRx Title - available NOW!

HR-131 - Georges BIZET: Symphony in C; Jeux d'Enfants; Variations chromatiques

Martin West; San Francisco Ballet Orchestra

A superb new orchestral release in HRx ultra-high resolution (176.4/24) digital music format!

Reference Recordings is proud to present these works of Georges Bizet, beautifully performed by the San Francisco Ballet Orchestra, conducted by Martin West. The recording was made at Skywalker Sound in Marin County, California by Grammy-winning engineer Keith O. Johnson.

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