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Requiem; Symphony Number 9.

Surround Sound Recordings on CD and DVD Dvorak, Antonin: Requiem; Symphony Number 9. New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Zdnek Macal, and Westminster Choir, directed by Joseph Flummerfelt. Recorded in 1999, at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center, Newark. Engineers: John Eargle and Jeff Mee. 134+ minutes; two-disc set. Delos DE 3260.

What can be said about this compact disc that the Grammy win for engineering did not already imply? The sound is demo-grade, with the blend between the two ensembles and the soloists very realistically matched. This is the kind of soundstaging one expects from a classical-category Grammy winner.

This is a Delos VR2, matrix-encoded recording, which is actually a two-channel presentation that is decodable by Dolby Pro Logic (DPL) or similar circuitry. It worked extremely well that way, although as with conventional recordings that are given that sort of playback processing, backing off the center level by -3 dB helped to prevent lateral compression of the soundstage. The Dolby coding notwithstanding, I felt that my Yamaha processor's Classical/Opera mode did a better job of simulating hall acoustics than DPL could, mainly because DPL simply cannot adequately simulate the enveloping spaciousness of a real hall. Both modes highlighted the advantages of center steering over straight-stereo playback.) I should note here that John Eargle is archiving all of his VR2 tapes for later release on five-discrete-channel, surround formats like DVD-A, DD, and SACD.)
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Publication:Sensible Sound
Article Type:Sound Recording Review
Date:Aug 1, 2001
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