Tracking Surround: Beethoven SACD

Symphonies Nos. 3 and 8 Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen, Paavo Järvi RCA Red Seal
Performance ••••½ SACD Mix ••••½

What a treat to have on SACD such buoyant, bright recordings of these great symphonies. Better still to learn that they're the beginning of a full cycle of the complete nine - the first Beethoven cycle, it's claimed, to be recorded explicitly for this surround format.

In the hands of the chamber-sized Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen, the textures are clear, the pulse energetic, and the scale appropriate to early 19th-century style. Paavo Järvi leads these musically informed yet fresh-sounding performances, and his years of experience in Cincinnati with Telarc's multichannel recordings may explain his affinity for the format. Producer Philip Traugott and engineer Everett Porter have given us the best evidence to date that there is reason to rehear the mainstream early Romantic classics in a modern surround mix.

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