Exquisite and marvelous
Chris Honingh | Krommenie, NH Netherlands | 08/04/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"In 1997, during the initial stages of buying new Hi-fi-equipment, I listened to music I knew best from CD's I possessed. As a service to the buyer better Hi-fi-shops play CD's of excellent sound quality as to promote their equipment. One of those was Exotic Dances performed by the Minnesota Orchestra under Eije Oue. I was amazed. Better sound quality I had never experienced and maybe that was due to the better equipment on which it was played but also that the musical quality of this orchestra recorded by Reference Recordings was a revelation. Most pieces on this CD are very wellknown, but Mr. Oue possesses the power to unveil hidden treasures within the music. Listen to the astounding power in Richard Strauss' Dance of the Seven Veils from Salome, the explosions of beats on the bassdrum are breathtakingly realistic. The influence of oriental music on the composers of the first decades of the last century is evident. Stravinsky and Ravel, each in their own way, picked up the scent of mystic enchantment that surrounded the artforms of that area. In jazz-circles this influence was earlier apparent and many so-called classical composers gave that influence a place in their work. Rimsky-Korsakov, being Stravinsky's teacher, greatly contributed to this phenomenon."
Upbeat and Sparkling
grok_ | San Diego, CA United States | 06/11/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Sometimes you need something upbeat and sparkling. A beer? Champagne? Okay. But, these Exotic Dances are refreshing as well. Oue performs a collection of primarily Classical Period excerpts that bubble and lift your spirits. There is good continuity here. Unlike some samplers, this CD contains works that are nicely mated and seem to belong with each other. They are mated so well in fact that I do not feel cheated by not hearing the entire opera from which each piece was extracted. It certainly helps that they are all performed by the same orchestra and conductor, and performed exquisitely.This is another supurb digital recording from Reference. Truly dynamic, crystal clear, and well balanced. As another reviewer noted, recordings of this caliber are often used to audition high-end audio equipment. Fortunately, the quality of engineering goes hand-in-hand with the musicality of this collection. Five sparkling stars."