Priced 2-CD Sets
RR Track Listing by Catalogue Number
Hindemith / Symphonic Metamorphosis
by Carl Maria von Weber
Prokofiev / The Love for Three Oranges—Suite
Bartók / The Miraculous Mandarin—Suite.
Michael Stern / Kansas City Symphony
RR-132 - $16.98 - Order Now!
Clicking on CD cover opens a winddow with more information
Also Available AS RR-132SACD
Elgar - Enigma Variations
Vaughan Williams - Greensleeves/The Wasps
Kansas City Symphony
A Magnificent New Symphonic Recording!
SAN FRANCISCO -A new symphonic tour-de-force from the Kansas City Symphony! This colorful, beloved English music has been captured in brilliant HDCD sound by GRAMMY®-winning engineer Keith O. Johnson.
The Kansas City Symphony garnered tremendous critical acclaim for their first project on Reference Recordings, incidental music for The Tempest by Sullivan and Sibelius (Shakespeare's Tempest, RR-115). Their second release on RR, Britten's Orchestra, received a GRAMMY for Best Surround Sound for both the engineer and producer, as well as rave reviews everywhere! (Britten's Orchestra, RR-120 is now unfortunately out of print).
We are thrilled to work again with Conductor Michael Stern, the son of famed violinist Isaac Stern. Now in his eighth season as music director, the Kansas City Symphony has been much praised for its remarkable artistic growth and development since his tenure began. He is also the founder of the Iris Chamber Orchestra in Memphis, Tennessee, and in addition to RR, has recorded for Sony, Hyperion, Denon, Arabesque and Naxos.
Producer David Frost has won Grammy awards in 2005,2009 and 2011 for Classical Producer of the Year.
He has produced a large roster of stars and Grammy-winning titles. We are most honored to work with him again on this project.
NOTE: This album will be released, at a later date, in the following formats: 200-gram half-speed mastered LP;
HRx high-resolution DVD Data Disc containing 176.4 kHz/24 bit WAV files and surround-sound hybrid SACD. Downloads will not be available.
""Stern characterises each variation with great skill...the eloquent cello playing in Variation XII and the superb room-shaking organ in the Finale makes this a performance and recording to relish... A most desirable release."" —Graham Williams , Classical CD Choice - complete review
"Stern characterizes [the Enigma Variations] unerringly...The finale is extremely impressive, aided by state-of-the-art sonics that offer the finest integration of organ and orchestra yet captured in this work on disc...The disc is worth hearing for the final minute alone." --David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday
"Do not, I mean this absolutely, let this one pass you by. It is a treat at all levels, and just you wait till you hear the string section’s technical finesse and execution throughout." --Harry Pearson, HPSoundings
"These [are] splendid American performances of Elgar and Vaughan Williams, with Michael Stern adopting an utterly persuasive approach to this music, stressing (if anything) its internationalism. What makes the disc particularly cherishable is the typically luxurious 24-bit sound quality afforded by Prof Johnson."
—Barry Forshaw, Classical CD Choice
Enigma Variations: "This new recording engineered by Keith Johnson is typical of the Professor's natural sound, accorded transparency and depth. He records the Kansas City Symphony beautifully —Elgar's very particular orchestration and dynamic markings have not been captured better on record. The Wasps, especially the fantastic overture, is underrated Vaughan Williams. That this new Reference CD has such a wonderful 'filler' is a very musical bonus...The pairing of these two works on one CD in the most modern sound is cause for celebration. Recommended." —Anthony Kershaw, Audiophilia.com - complete review
Track Listing: RALPH VAUGHAN WILLIAMS - The Wasps—Aristophanic Suite: 1 Overture, 2 Entr'acte, molto moderato, 3 March Past of the Kitchen Utensils, 4 Entr'acte, andante, 5 Ballet and Final Tableau; 6 Fantasia on "Greensleeves" (pub. Oxford University Press, U.K.)
SIR EDWARD ELGAR- 7-20 Variations on an Original Theme: "Enigma," op. 36
RR-129HDCD - Elgar / Vaughan Williams
Michael Stern / Kansas City Symphony- $16.98 Order NOW!
Also available as a Hybrid Stereo SACD!
THE KANSAS CITY SYMPHONY’S DEBUT ON RR!
Sullivan • Sibelius
“ I doubt there’s an orchestra in America that has grown this much this fast. They sounded terrific.”
Kansas City Symphony
–Paul Horsley, Kansas City Star
Under the dynamic direction of Music Director Michael Stern, The Kansas City Symphony covers itself in glory with incidental music for The Tempest by Sir Arthur Sullivan and Jean Sibelius. This is the first high-resolution digital recording of the Sullivan (of Gilbert & Sullivan fame), and a masterful performance of the colorful Sibelius suites, including the seldom-heard Prelude, which depicts the Shakespearean tempest in all its fury.
“The Sullivan is solid music, strongly in the Mendelssohn vein but with moods all its own—from tender melancholy to mild turmoil. The Sibelius is at turns rich, moody, exotic and humorous…its crunchy dissonances and distinctive coloristic textures are effective.” –Kansas City Star
The Kansas City Symphony has previously recorded for Naxos, and Michael Stern, son of famed violinist Isaac Stern, has recorded for Sony, Arabesque, Denon, Hyperion and Naxos. RR is hopeful that this successful new release is the first in a long and fruitful association with Michael Stern and the Kansas City Symphony.
The highly-varied, colorful orchestration of the Sullivan and Sibelius scores gave RR’s legendary recording engineer “Prof.” Keith Johnson a challenge, which he met brilliantly. The master tapes were recorded at 176.4 kHz, 24 bits and prepared for CD release with HDCD technology.
"Coupling these two works... was a brilliant idea--a "concept" album that really makes good musical sense. Happily...the performances are as smart, atmospheric, and vibrant as the music itself...and they're stunningly recorded..." --David Hurwitz, Classics Today - Complete Review
"This is a very good idea... (the Sullivan) is full of memorable and ingenious touches, always tuneful, light of style and sometimes anticipating the Savoy Operas... (the Sibelius) is among his greatest achievements, superbly characterful, wonderfully inventive and brilliantly orchestrated... Michael Stern and the Kansas City Symphony do the music proud... the reproduction has terrific impact, space and glow." --Colin Anderson, classicalsource.com
"The orchestra sounds wonderful throughout... with marvelous blend and balance... Most noteworthy is the sense of excitement and drama in the recording, with beautifully managed crescendos and marvelous shaping of large sections and movements." --Tim McDonald, Sun Newspapers
"The Sibelius music for the shipwreck and storm is almost Wagnerian. The Kansas City players sound the equal of one of the Top Five U.S. orchestras, and RR has presented them in the best possible two-channel sonics. The packaging is also very classy. Nice to see a rare new recording of a U.S. orchestra made in the U.S. by a U.S. record label!" --John Sunier, Audiophile Audition - complete review
Track Listing - SIR ARTHUR SULLIVAN - 1 Introduction; 2 Act III Prelude; 3 Banquet Dance; 4 Act IV Overture; 5 Dance of Nymphs and Reapers; 6 Act V Prelude; 7 Postlude.
RR-115 HDCD - Shakespeare's Tempest - $16.98
JEAN SIBELIUS - 8 Prelude, Op. 109 #1; SUITE #2, Op. 109 #3; 9 Chorus of the Winds; 10 Intermezzo; 11 Dance of the Nymphs; 12 Prospero; 13 Song I; 14 Song II; 15 Miranda; 16 The Naiads; 17 Dance Episode SUITE #1, Op. 109 #2; 18 The Oak Tree; 19 Humoresque; 20 Caliban’s Song; 21 The Harvesters; 22 Canon; 23 Scene; 24 Intrada; 25 Berceuse; 26 Ariel’s Song; 27 The Storm.
San Francisco Ballet Orchestra
BIZET- Symphony in C;
- A superb new orchestral release of the works of Georges Bizet beautifully performed by the S.F. Ballet Orchestra conducted
by Martin West. More Information - & New Review
Martin West / SF Ballet Orchestra
RR-131 - $16.98
San Francisco Ballet Orchestra
Extended Suites From the Ballets
“... what charm, what wealth of melody!” –Tchaikovsky on Delibes
Leo Delibes' COPPÉLIA is pure delight, a feast of musicality and humor for all ages. Probably the greatest ballet comedy ever written! On this disc we also present Delibes' SYLVIA, a romance filled with sighs of longing and the thrill of infatuation.
Set in antiquity, the ballet literally places love on a pedestal in the person of the Greek god Eros.
Like many popular compositions, Delibes' works, including pieces of these ballets, have repeatedly been used in films dating back to the earliest talkies. His music is also a favorite of cartoon series "Ren and Stimpy" and "The Simpsons."
The San Francisco Ballet, the oldest professional ballet company in America, was also one of the first dance companies to have its own permanent body of musicians. By the 1990s the San Francisco Ballet Orchestra was generally regarded as one of the finest ballet orchestras in the world. Notably, in 1995, the Orchestra accompanied 12 international dance companies, as well as San Francisco Ballet, during the ambitious, weeklong United We Dance Festival, which promoted international communication and understanding.
The San Francisco Ballet Orchestra performs a vast repertory including hundreds of works spanning four centuries of music history, from
Monteverdi and Mozart to film scores. The San Francisco Ballet Orchestra has made critically acclaimed recordings of composers from Handel to Goldenthal, as well as five televised recordings for the PBS series "Dance in America" (Helgi Tomasson's Nutcracker;
Lar Lubovitch's Othello; Michael Smuin's The Tempest, Cinderella, and Romeo & Juliet)
CONDUCTOR MARTIN WEST is acknowledged as one of the foremost conductors of ballet, garnering critical acclaim throughout the world. West conducted the English National Ballet starting in fall 1997 until 2007. He has worked with many of the top companies in North America, such as New York City Ballet, Houston Ballet and the National Ballet of Canada. In fall 2005, West was appointed music director & principal conductor for the San Francisco Ballet Orchestra.
Founded in San Francisco in 1976, Reference Recordings believes that how a recording sounds is as important as the music itself. RR thanks everyone who was instrumental in bringing this outstanding album to life including Conductor: Martin West; Producers: Victor and Marina Ledin (Multi-Grammy Nominations for Producer of the Year, Classical); Engineer: "Prof." Keith O. Johnson (Grammy award-winning engineer, inventor and entertainment technologist) and very special thanks to all the Sponsors of the San Francisco Ballet Orchestra without whom this recording could not have been made.
"Both scores receive first-rate performances... [Martin West] obviously knows the scores like the back of his hand... As such, both Coppélia and Sylvia are performances of grace and elegance... [Keith] Johnson captures his usual glorious sound." —Anthony Kershaw, Audiophilia.com
"The beautifully full and rich Keith Johnson recording will please most music lovers with not even a hint of harshness or distortion to be heard." —Karl Lozier, PositiveFeedback.com
Track Listing: Sylvia - Suite 40:22; 1 Prélude :56; 2 Les Chasseresses 4:21; 3 Intermezzo 1:05; 4 Valse Lente 4:22; 5 Cortège Rustique 3:10; 6 Danse des Ethiopiens 2:28; 7 Chant bachique 2:50; 8 Marche et Cortège de Bacchus 7:03; 9 Scène :56; 10 Barcarole 3:19; 11 Pizzicato 2:02; 12 Pas des Esclaves 2:10; 13 Strette - Galop 2:53; 14 Apothéose 2:45;
Coppélia - Suite 32:42; 15 Prélude 1:41; 16 Mazurka 4:48; 17 Valse Swanhilde 2:26 ; 18 Czárdás (Danse hongroise) 3:36; 19 Scène 2:01; 20 Valse de la poupée 2:08; 21 Valse des Heures 3:57; 22 L'Aurore (Les Fleurs) 2:33; 23 L Prière (La Nuit) 3:01; 24 Le Travail (La Fileuse) 1:32; 25 L'Hymen (Noce villageoise) 1:44; 26 Galop Final 3:14
RR-125HDCD - Delibes - Sylvia/Coppélia - West/SF Ballet Orchestra- $16.98 - Order NOW!
/ Pacific Symphony Orchestra / Pacific Chorale
RICHARD DANIELPOUR: AN AMERICAN REQUIEM
Stephanie Blythe (mezzo-soprano), Hugh Smith (tenor), Mark Oswald (baritone)
"The Absolute Sound Golden Ear Award 2002"
"Best Audiophile Recordings of 2002" -
We were recently honored to be chosen to record and produce the premiere
recording of an exciting new work by American composer Richard Danielpour,
AN AMERICAN REQUIEM, which is dedicated to the lives lost on September
11. It was commissioned and premiered by the Pacific Symphony Orchestra
and the 150-voice Pacific Chorale. The Prof. Johnson
HDCD recording was made with the original cast in Segerstrom Hall
in Costa Mesa, California, home of the Pacific Symphony. Be among
the first to experience this compelling new work!
“This religious opus is both magnificent and eloquent. I consider
it a gift to have been asked to review it. . . This Requiem can be
classed among the great ones.” –Lessard, UHF Review !
"At the summit of his art, Richard Danielpour is one of the cream
of contemporary composers...This religious opus is both magnificent
and eloquent. I consider it a gift to have been asked to review it." --
Lessard, UHF Magazine 5/06
RR-97 HDCD - $16.98
and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
CAPT. HORATIO HORNBLOWER SUITE
Widely known as "Arranger to the Stars," Robert Farnon
has also written an impressive array of film scores and concert
works. "....Definitively performed and lovingly
recorded...demonstrates how recordings ought to be and ought to
sound. Highly recommended." --Stevenson
RR-47 CD - $16.98
KEITH CLARK and the Pacific Symphony Orchestra
COPLAND Appalachian Spring, etc.
with Marni Nixon, soprano
The premiere recording of Copland's orchestration of his eight Emily Dickinson
songs, exquisitely sung by renowned vocalist Marni Nixon, with the
original chamber version of Appalachian Spring Suite. CD also
includes An Outdoor Overture. 1987 GRAMMY® Award nominee
for Best Classical Vocal Soloist. "The Hi-Fi buff's dream."
RR-22 CD $16.98
MENOTTI/ BARBER Violin Concertos
Soloist: Ruggiero Ricci
The only available recording of the delightful Menotti concerto, plus
Barber's beloved masterwork, with renowned violinist Ruggiero Ricci. "Classical
Hall of Fame" --Fanfare.
RR-45 CD $16.98
Soloist: RUGGIERO RICCI
This grandiose work, scored for full symphony orchestra, pipe organ and
tam-tam, has at last been given its due in this celebrated recording.
Features violinist Ruggiero Ricci in Poema Autunnale . "The
best symphonic recording I have heard, bar none...a stupendous recording
of a probably-definitive performance." --J. Gordon Holt, Stereophile
RR-15 CD $16.98
Reference Recordings is proud to present
Lockhart conducting the Utah Symphony
in Symphonic Dances. (RR-105)
This exciting new album contains Leonard Bernstein’s Symphonic
Dances from West Side Story, Sergei Rachmaninov’s Symphonic
Dances, and the
world premiere recording of Gabriela Lena Frank’s Three Latin American
Music and dance are as old as mankind itself. This recording presents dance
modes from three cultures: music by an American of Peruvian-Jewish
descent (Frank, b.1972 Berkeley CA) living in California, an American
the culture of New York City (Bernstein), and a Russian (Rachmaninov)
living in America.
"I heartily recommend this CD to you, for the performances,
the vitality of it, and for the wonderful sound that Reference has
captured . . ." --John
Clare, WITF Radio
"All three of the Latin American Dances are independently unique and
I found them to be almost instantly appealing and melodic. . . All
is aided greatly with RR's usual outstanding audio quality." --Karl Lozier, Positive
"Brilliant music in brilliant sonics, plus a new composition
you'll want to actually hear again..." - John Sunier - Audiophile
Audition, May 3, 2006
RR-105 HDCD - $16.98
TRACK LISTING: LEONARD BERNSTEIN - Symphonic
Dances from “West
GABRIELA LENA FRANK - Three Latin American Dances (Introduction:
Jungle Jaunt; Highland Harawi; The Mestizo Waltz); SERGEI RACHMANINOV
- Symphonic Dances, op. 45
(TT: 73.16) (Released 4/2006)
VARUJAN KOJIAN and the UTAH SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA
Widely considered to be THE recording of this magical work.
The CD contains two versions of the explosive finale, one with
real church bells!
"Musically and sonically, this is one of the very best recordings
you can buy." --Stereo Review
RR-11 CD $16.98
EUGENE ISTOMIN, piano
A legendary pianist! Two recordings by one of America's
with Gerard Schwarz and the SEATTLE SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA
MOZARTConcertos Nos. 21 and 24
"The Absolute Sound Super Disc List"
Istominand Schwarz have performed these immortal concertos many times, and
insisted on recording them in long, complete takes in order to capture
the live experience. "Prof." Johnson's HDCD wizardry pays
large dividends in natural, high-resolution string textures and huge,
three-dimensional soundstage. "RECORDING OF THE MONTH" --Stereophile,
RR-68 HDCD $16.98
RR-10 - "The Tempest,"
"The Tempest," a
ballet in two acts by Paul Chihara (after Purcell), was featured
on public radio and television. The music is a delight! RR-10 contains
the world-premiere recording of the score, performed by The Performing
Arts Orchestra, Jean-Louis LeRoux conducting.
MALCOLM ARNOLD and the LONDON PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA
1993 Grammy® Nominee
"BEST ENGINEERED, CLASSICAL"
Authoritative first recordings of important works by England's greatest living composer.
1993 GRAMMY® Nominee for Best Engineered Classical Recording. A
hi-fi favorite! "A stunning release, by any standard, and definitely
Want List material." --Fanfare
RR-48 CD $16.98
with the LONDON PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA
Serebrier's two great talents, conducting and composing, come together in this significant
pair of new releases:
Scheherazade and Russian Easter Overture
A protege of Dorati and Stokowski, Serebrier is famous for his mastery of the
colorful, virtuoso scores of the Russian Romantics. This is his first
recording of the ultimate orchestral showpiece, Scheherazade. "...much of the playing here is possessed. The performances flow
with life and dramatic poetry. The big moments are spectacularly caught." --Rob
Barnett, Classical Music on the Web
RR-89 HDCD $16.98
with the CZECH STATE PHILHARMONIC, BRNO
conductor discovers the beauty and excitement of neglected turn-of-the-century
American scores, and gives blazingly authentic performances with Leos
Janacek's home-town orchestra!
Czech State Philharmonic, Brno
home-town orchestra gives brilliant, authentic performances of Janácek's
best-known orchestral works, including the Sinfonietta. Also,
the world premiere of a new suite from his opera The Makropulos Case,
prepared by Maestro Serebrier especially for this recording!
RR-2103 HDCD -- $16.98
Two CDs for the price of one!
Czech State Philharmonic, Brno
celebrated HDCD recordings were greeted with critical raves when first
released. American Romantic George Chadwick wrote music full of orchestral
color and wide dynamic range. The Symphonic Sketches have long been
an audiophile favorite, but have been sorely in need of a new, top-quality
recording. Aphrodite, Tam OShanter, Melpomene and the other works
have equally appealing qualities.
HDCD -- $16.98
Two CDs for the price of one!
1999 Grammy Nomination -- "BEST ENGINEERED, CLASSICAL"
1998 Golden Note Award -- "BEST ORIGINAL RECORDING"
JAMES PAUL and the ROYAL SCOTTISH NATIONAL ORCHESTRA & CHORUS
PARAY: Joan of Arc Mass / Symphony No. 1 (CD Premiere)
Lorna Haywood, soprano, Terry Patrick-Harris, alto, Joseph Harris, tenor,
Jozik Koc, bass.
Paul Paray was best-known as the long-time Music Director of the Detroit
Symphony, but he was also a multiple-prize-winning composer. Conductor
James Paul and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra and Chorus, with
an international roster of star soloists, have brought a renewed vigor
to these neglected masterpieces.
"An imaginative and inspired work." --Chicago Sun-Times
RR-78 HDCD $16.98