Saint-Saëns Carnival of the Animals, Septet

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Saint-Saëns Carnival of the Animals, Septet

  • (Le) Carnaval des animaux, 'Carnival of the Animals'
  • Septet

How, I wonder, do the record companies select which items from their back catalogue are ripe for tranfer to CD? Previn's Pittsburgh version of this zoological fantasy was an early CD success for Philips, but one rejects the first bars of this EMI recording as a falsely contrived sound. Whatever went on to the mastertape has certainly produced some oddities here—not least a hyperactive xylophonist who dashes about between one's loudspeakers. The recording date (March 1977) perhaps provides the clue for at that time EMI were much concerned with SQ surround sound.
Philips coupled Ravel's Ma mere l'oye but the Septet chosen here makes for a short CD. Adding trumpet and piano to a string quintet, in this case a rather scrawny sounding one, seems an unlikely recipe for success, for the problems of balance are considerable. I found this result to be more interesting than entertaining.'

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