The conductor, baritone and SACD/Blu-ray make this oratorio sing
With a world class cast, Sir Simon Rattle’s direction and the latest recording technology this is a masterclass in operatic sound.
To tackle Schumann’s Opus 50 the LSO employed a formidable team of principal vocalists backed up by the Guildhall School Quartet. Recorded live in DSD128 sound engineers Neil Hutchinson and Jonathan Stokes captured what can only be described as shining example of modern classical recording.
A word first about formats: while this release will play on any disc spinner, each SACD has two layers that with appropriate hardware will play in high resolution stereo or 5.1 channel surround sound. What’s not in dispute is the quality of sound available either way.
As Act I progresses – there are passages where the sound of the string section is so delicate – you can sense the air around the bows. The voices are the same – the transparency of the recording reveals the full tonal colour of each in uncanny depth. The LSO Chorus fills Doch Seine Ströme Sind Jetzt Rot with a sense of dread as Peri exits Paradise but then soothes just as quickly on Weh, Weh, Er Fehlte Das Ziel. Both The Maiden on O Lass Mich Von Der Luft Durchdringen and the lost lady Peri sound phenomenal on the Act 2 finisher Schlaf Nun Und Ruhe In Träumen Voll Duft. The Narrator handles the dense language with ease and both Schmücket Die Stufen Zu Allahs Thron and Und Wie Sie Niederwärts Sich Schwingt benefit from the presence of the Guildhall School Quartet.