Blogging Pachelbel #7 — 101 Strings

I’ve already discussed this performance in the post on the Paillard recording, where I was attempting to come up with a justification for the cuts seen in the Baumbartner and Muenchinger/Stuttgart recordings, and the apparent need in the Paillard to de-emphasize the same passages that got cut in the other two recordings. My surmise was that performance practice of the time led to unpleasant results when confronted with the notation of that passage.

This recording, like the previous one, seems to be your typical sight-reading session for session musicians brought in for the purpose of laying down some tracks that will be cheap to produce and engineer and, thus, profitable to sell.

101 Strings was certainly a fictional orchestra, not a resident musical group but a group of musicians who were hired for particular commercial recording jobs and engineered to have a certain sound. I’m not sure I hold this recording against these players as much as I do the awful Royal Philharmonic arrangement recording. But the same disregard for musicality found there and the grade-school-orchestra level of subtlety found in the London Philharmonic sight-reading sessions are evident here, though with an admirable variety of nonetheless inappropriate agression lacking in the previously-discussed recording.