© 2004 Sony Music Entertainment
℗ Originally Recorded 1954. All rights reserved by BMG Music
Richard Strauss (1864-1949)
Also Sprach Zarathustra (Recorded March 8, 1954)
Ein Heldenleben (Recorded March 6, 1954)
Chicago Symphony Orchestra
Fritz Reiner, conductor
John Weicher, violin soloist on Ein Heldenleben
Recorded in Orchestra Hall, Chicago
Producer: John Pfeiffer
Recording Engineer: Leslie Chase
Mastering Engineer: Mark Donahue
Remastered from first-generation session tapes at Soundmirror Inc., Boston MA
"Sunrise," the opening section of Richard Strauss's tone poem Also sprach Zarathustra marks the dawn of RCA's famed Living Stereo series. Although Strauss's "Ein Heldenleben," the other half of this album, was the first for-release stereo recording by RCA's classical team, Zarathustra was released to the public first. Both works were present in the LP collections of many early stereo fans, and also fans of Fritz Reiner and the legendary Chicago Symphony.
These stereo recordings were produced by a separate team, with the usual RCA engineers and producer concentrating on the commercially-important mono product. John Pfeiffer and Leslie Chase carefully placed two microphones in front and above the orchestra, and fed the signals to an RCA RT-21 quarter-inch 2-track tape recorder running at 30 inches per second. Remastering engineer Mark Donahue used as his source those original first-generation session tapes.
The recording is exquisite, both in terms of technique and musicality. These performances are widely acclaimed as definitive interpretations. Absolutely vital, and a heck of a way to launch stereophonic classical recording at RCA.
ReviewsThis is one of those recordings where everything just went right.
-- David Hurwitz, Classics Today