John Quinn of MusicWeb International reflects on his introduction to the Kansas City Symphony in our Elgar & Vaughan Williams recording:
“This is my first encounter with the Kansas City Symphony…it is clear that under Stern’s leadership they have been presenting very enticing seasons for several years now. … These seem to be exciting days for the music lovers of Kansas City
“…engineer Keith O. Johnson has presented these performances in exceptionally fine sound. In a word, the sound is superb. It has depth, body, clarity and real presence and you will hear an abundance of detail without the slightest suggestion of artificial ‘spotlighting’. At the very end of Enigma the orchestral sound is positively enriched by the organ and in the last few bars the organ sound is more telling than I can ever remember in this work; I thought it was thrilling. So, if you buy this disc you’re in for a very fine sonic experience…
“In all honesty, the performances and recorded sound complement each other very well. I have no idea in what shape the Kansas City Symphony was when Michael Stern inherited it but this disc suggests that he has honed it into a fine and responsive orchestra and he conducts it expertly. In The Wasps the overture has real zest in the fast music, the playing clean and crisp. … All in all this is a winning performance, which I enjoyed very much.
“Stern judges the music very well and it’s a colourful and exciting performance of this movement. Indeed, overall I enjoyed this extremely well played and sympathetic account of Enigma very much and I’m sure I shall return to it with pleasure in the future.…
“This is a most enjoyable disc. I don’t think anyone buying it will be disappointed by the performances and they certainly won’t be disappointed by the engineering. These recordings evidence a fine partnership between Michael Stern and his orchestra. I said at the start that this is my first encounter with the Kansas City Symphony – as, indeed, it was with Michael Stern; I hope it won’t be the last.” —John Quinn, MusicWeb International
Read the full review on www.MusicWeb-International.com!