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Boléro: Music of Ravel, Borodin and Bizet

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Customer Reviews

A disappointment!

This is the worst engineered disc I ever heard. I was expecting the usual Kunzel magic but got almost complete silence instead. The audio on this disc is so low (and I have a powerful amp) that even at full-volume it's barely audible. At first I thought I lost my hearing or perhaps I got a blank disc by mistake. I was hoping the music would built, as Kunzel's recordings usually do, but it barely does (expect for one selection). And what you do hear sounds dull and mutted. Save your money. I'm really surprised this came from Telarc...who I always considered the digital kings!

Ravel on caffeine

Kunzel seems to have one speed -- fast. I'm not sure if he was late for an appointment during his recording session, but he barrels through most of the pieces in this collection as if he had too much coffee. Outside of that, he chose an interesting set of pieces. I wouldn't have thought of putting Ravel and Borodin together, but he does, although for some reason he uses Broadway excerpts from Kismet instead of Borodin's classic Prince Igor suite. The excerpts from Carmen are also not the usual suite. And he finishes off with Iberia.

Other than the relentless speed, I found the recording to be clean. It seems to favor the low brass section, which blasts through on most every selection and in some cases drowns out other parts of the orchestra. (Maybe that's what keeps it so clean.)

Overall I was a bit disappointed with the whole package. I listened to excerpts on iTunes before buying, and the excerpts seemed fine. The entire production doesn't hold together as well as it could, though.


Formed: 1977 in Cincinnati, OH

Genre: Classical

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s

The Cincinnati Pops Orchestra has roots going all the way back to the 1870s, but was not officially distinguished from its parent organization, the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, until 1977. The early Cincinnati orchestra society programmed popular music concerts and that continued with the Cincinnati Symphony, particularly under conductor Max Rudolf, who became its director in 1958. In 1965, Rudolf hired Erich Kunzel as assistant conductor and asked him to conduct the first "8 O'Clock Pops" concert....
Full Bio

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Boléro: Music of Ravel, Borodin and Bizet, Cincinnati Pops Orchestra
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  • $9.99
  • Genres: Classical, Music
  • Released: Apr 22, 2008

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