Telarc's Tchaikovsky: "1812" Overture is a landmark in American classical music recordings -- if it was not the first digitally recorded classical album in American history, it would place in perhaps the first five such albums. It was originally issued on LP, and the grooves on the record were so violently waggy and far apart that it was as much fun to look at the grooves spin around on the vinyl as it was to listen to it. In the compact disc edition of Tchaikovsky: "1812" Overture, the LP, as interesting as it was, is nowhere to be found in the production chain -- this is straight from the digital master tapes to the digital disc with no analog steps along the way.
Erich Kunzel is not the kind of conductor who gets all hot under the collar if he has to play The Stars and Stripes Forever at an upcoming Fourth of July concert and is hating life because it's his two-thousandth go 'round with the piece. Kunzel is sympathetic to the reality that such pieces are popular because they are meaningful to all kinds of listeners; these works are popular because they are loved, and you just don't go around trampling on things that people love, because it's like you're trampling on their hearts. By the time this 1812 Overture was recorded in 1978, Kunzel had already conducted this piece plenty of times. When Kunzel takes on the "1812," it always sounds fresh and new, as though it was his first time through it, except that it is assured and polished.
Tchaikovsky: "1812" Overture effectively put Telarc on the map, and it's damn right that it should have -- it's a boisterous, exciting, fun, and a still somehow artistically transparent performance, right down to the final digital cannon shot. The Capriccio Italien is a common disc mate for the "1812," but the "Cossack Dance" from Mazeppa is not. The two pieces are certainly a better choice than Beethoven's sprawling Wellington's Victory or some such, and these appetizers are played with a gusto equal to that of the main course. While some experts prefer the famous 1963 Antal Dorati recording of the "1812" and insist that none better has been, or could ever be, made, Kunzel and the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra seem to have done the impossible here and superseded it. In any event, this really should be the first choice for people who want to add the "1812" to their collection; just make sure you keep an eye glued to your speakers so when those digital cannons go "BOOM" your audio equipment doesn't become "cannon fodder." You've been warned
记得80年代初CD刚面世的时候﹐有一个古典音乐新兴的Telarc 厂牌非常受欢迎﹐它是一个美国 Label。
对Telarc留下深刻印象是因为他们发行了几张发烧录音盘﹐甚么 Digital Recording﹑20 Bit 等等﹐都是那个时代“好声”的标记﹐而且他们的产品﹐每张都保持著爆棚录音质素。记得有一张非常热门的名盘﹐就是由 Erich Kunzel 指挥Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra 演奏的 1812 Overture﹐不少 Hi Fi 杂誌都警告乐迷﹐播放这张CD时务需小心﹐不然便会销毁扬声器﹐不过这警告却越发加增了 Hi Fi迷的好奇心﹐造成CD的热卖潮。
那时笔者大部份 Collection 仍是处於 LP 阶段﹐虽有 CD唱盘﹐但是 CD 数量不多﹐当哥哥问朋友商借这张CD回来时﹐我还小心翼翼﹐把音量略为调低播唱﹐惟恐防把 Hi Fi弄坏了。当然﹐20多年前要笔者评定该首乐曲的演绎﹐是没可能的﹐就算现今也不成﹐所以也只著眼那录音音色﹐不过当时把CD录到卡带时﹐就发现了一个秘密。其实整首乐曲都把录音水準调得很低﹐直到结尾时﹐混音师把砲声的音量突然调高了﹐造成一个突然爆破的效果。
相隔多年﹐也不知道是甚么原因﹐就是没有购买这张CD﹐直到进入21世纪﹐唱片界一窝蜂重发了一批DSD Remastering CD﹐刚巧市面上也出现了一张 Telarc 的 1812 Overture DSD CD﹐於是便买了一张作为收藏﹐倒是后来才发现这张 DSD CD 原来是全新录音﹐而乐团也已经易名为 Cincinnati Pops Orchestra。。。。
至今听这张 Telarc 的录音已经没有太大惊喜﹐因为经过那么多年﹐各大唱片公司的录音都已经进步了许多﹐而且这张 1812 ﹐仍然套用当年刻意拉远音乐与砲声音量的距离﹐这种做法已不新鲜﹐儘管唱片公司刻意为这首乐章加入先进的录音技术如 24 Bit﹑DSD (Direct Stream Digital) 及 Direct SBM (Super Bit Mapping Direct) 等﹐可是感觉并没有突出许多﹐而且似乎 1812 的录音比其他版本朦朧了
01. 1812 Overture, Op. 49
Carillon – Richard Gegner
Carillon [Assistant] – Jules Bloomenthal, Robert Woods (2), Stan Ricker
Composed By – Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky* 15:34
02. Capriccio Italien, Op. 45
Composed By – Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky* 15:20
03. Cossack Dance From Mazeppa
Composed By – Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky* 4:17