After getting both the 100th anniversary boxes of the Rite of Spring I have amassed 51 different versions:
- 35 in the Decca box (I will not review the piano versions),
- 10 in the SONY box,
- three TELARCs,
- a BIS and finally
- two high-resolution files, one from Channel and one from High-Definition Tape Transfer (scanned from a Columbia tape).
Which version is best? I am no trained critic, cannot read notes nor play any instrument, so I will just comment on what I like or don’t like. Every recording will be commented on for artistic value, sound quality and last but not least ‘King of the bass drum’. Once and for all I will find out what label can produce the most powerful bass drum 😊 This blog is called ‘lagom är sämst’, which is the opposed to ‘lagom är bäst’ which is a Swedish expression meaning that just enough (or some restraint) is the best. So the blog means that to max out or not do at all is the best. That is fitting for the Rite of Spring, there is no measured version that can be good. It needs max of savagery, expression and bass drum!
After having heard all, I will pick my favorite in each category.
If you have the patience to read 50+ blog post under the coming months, you are welcome to follow.
Below is a list of links to the individual reviews, that I will update as I go.