Contributed By: Joseph Luk (陸强聲)
Majority of classical music fans would have at least one Tchaikovsky 1812 Overture album in their collection. This most well-known piece of Tchaikovsky is an explosively grand music celebration of Russia, features triumphant church bells and dramatic live cannon-fire.
With no exception for myself, in my classical music collection I have three CD albums of Tchaikovsky 1812 Overture performed by different world class famous symphony orchestras, recorded in different years at time of technology and published under different record company labels.
1) Tchaikovsky 1812 Overture, Weekend Classics,
DECCA 417 683-2, performed by Los Angeles
Philharmonic Orchestra and recorded in 1980.
* DECCA recording is fair, delivers original 1812 flavor.
2) 1812 Overture. Capriccio Italien . Wellington’s
Victory . Dorati
MERCURY Living Presence 434 360-2, performed by Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra and recorded in 1958.
* MERCURY recording used one 201 and two M56 Telefunken microphones for better musical and Hi Fi sound effects. Add to this, the explosive blasts of a bronze 1775 French cannon recorded atWest Pointand the sonorous bells of the Laura Spelman Rockefeller Memorial Carillon.
My first encounter of this album was back to almost 40 years ago in Hong Kong, at the time my elder brother often played it (LP record) on his Hi Fi system, which composes of Denon turntable, Marantz integrated amplifier and Pioneer speakers. Though it had been so long ago, I was so impressed with it. I have had owned a copy of this LP some years ago.
3) Tchaikovsky: 1812 Overture . Sleeping Beauty .
Voyevoda . Moscow
DELOS DE 3196, conducted by Andrew Litton and
performed by Dallas Symphony Orchestra & Chorus
and recorded in 1996.
* DELOS record features VR2 (Virtual Reality) technology. This process provides users of home theater systems and Dolby Surround an audio experience of realism and power.
Moreover, this is a rarely heard Russian Choral version of Tchaikovsky 1812 Overture. When playback the DELOS 1812 Overture (even without Dolby Surround), the glorious Russian chorale opening makes you realize the essence of VR2 recording. The rich, spacious and 3-D soundstage is so good that it brings your listening into a Concert Hall acoustic environment. An absolute Hi-Fi 1812 Overture!