This time it is time for my personal reference recording. I was an early adopter of the Cd format, and this was one of my first ever CDs. So, I have had it for a very long time, and it was my only recording of The Rite of Spring for many years. Thus, I know the performance very well and is the version that I will measure all other against whether it be conscious or subconscious. Even if there are some small things that probably can be done better, I think Maazel really keeps it all together very well. It is a captivating interpretation full of rhythm and dynamics. The sound is typical for early TELARC, not as uber-transparent as some of the later ones, but extremely natural and realistic, especially the strings are something extra on the TELARCs from the 80s. The soundstage is wide, but not extremely so, but the depth is very good and there is areal 3D feeling to the sound. All instruments are well separated and it is easy to follow the individual instruments even in busy passages. The bass drum is very, very good. One I used for HiFi tests a lot in my youth. It is tempting to give maximum points in all categories, but the idea of this exercise is to see if there is something even better, so I will give 4s, setting the bar for 5 very high.
Bass drum: 4