Classical Corner Classical Music Corner (thread #49)

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by George P, Aug 7, 2013.

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  1. George P

    George P Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    NYC
    I have read that the best sung recording is Cellini's from 1953

    http://www.amazon.com/I-Pagliacci-L...=1380326812&sr=8-1&keywords=Pagliacci+cellini

    I have also read that the remaster of this sounds better, but I have yet to hear a single EMI remaster that actually sounded better than the original. I believe that the above release was the first one on CD.
     
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  3. coopmv

    coopmv Newton 1/30/2001 - 8/31/2011

    Location:
    CT, USA
    Actually, the notion of listening to classical music in surround sound mode sounds weird. After all, the sound you hear in a live concert is not quite surround unless you sit within the performing orchestra.
     
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  4. drh

    drh Talking Machine

    The phones on my "main" system are Stax electrets. Unfortunately, the plastic fork holding one of the earpieces is about to snap, and the elements seem to be loose inside the earcups. In other words, a sadly decayed set of Stax electrets. I stay with them because they are notably revealing, balanced, airy, and neutral. They are also about the most uncomfortable things I've ever tried putting on my head--my ears are sore within maybe 15 minutes every time I use them.

    I would add that they are inconvenient in being a second set of "speakers" instead of feeding from the headphone jack, but at the moment I'm relying on a T-Amp that doesn't have a headphone jack, so here the Stax, connected via an external speaker selector box, are actually an ideal choice.
     
  5. drh

    drh Talking Machine


    From that time, and for one of his generation, there's a good chance it would have been this one:

    Leoncavallo: I Pagliacci. Gigli, Pacetti, Basiola, Nessi, Paci; La Scala Or. and Cho./Ghione. RVicO set AM 249, 9 12". Exc.

    That's as entered in my personal catalogue. To decipher, it features the celebrated Beniamino Gigli, probably the most popular operatic tenor of his day, as recorded in 1934 and originally issued on Victor 78s as set AM 249. (In my coding, "RVicO" means it's an RCA Victor orthophonic scroll label set.) The other cast members are Iva Pacetti, Mario Basiola, Giuseppi Nessi, and Leone Paci with the La Scala Orchestra and Chorus under Franco Ghione. It would have been available as a reissue on LP as soon as Victor threw in the towel and adopted that format. Today it is available as Naxos 8.110155.

    And, yes, I know that the argument rages over "I Pagliacci" vs. just "Pagliacci," with the latter generally having the better of it. I didn't know that when I started setting up the catalogue, and it just isn't worth the effort to go back and change all those entries now....

    [edit] Oh, by the way, there is a recording made under the composer's direction dating back to the acoustic era. It probably wasn't that one, which, curiously, was released as a series of singles, not a set.
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2013
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  6. drh

    drh Talking Machine

    For whatever it's worth, the usual practice is to put the performers up front and "ambiance" (read: hall echo) in the rear channels. For my money, surround is valuable in classical music primarily when one is playing things like Venetian Renaissance antiphonal music or the Berlioz Requiem, where the composer directed that some of the musicians should be spotted all around the hall surrounding the audience. It's also interesting with some of the RCA Living Stereo issues, which were recorded in three-channel tape (front-center-right) and then mixed down to two for stereo release on LP. These have no information in the rear channels. That "hall echo" can be impressive in big choral works, but to be honest most of the time I don't find it worth the bother.

    Of course, much of the time I listen to 78s, so.... :angel:
     
  7. drh

    drh Talking Machine

  8. autodidact

    autodidact Forum Resident

    that's cool. I also had the Stax electrets. I believe the designation was the SR40 and later i got the SR44. I think they still would work except the cables went to pot, and now the earpads have crumbled too. I thought they were wonderful headphones. When I got into CDs, I bought a cheap Magnavox player, but I modified the daylights out of it, until it was finally quite musical. Those Stax headphones were a great tool in evaluating the effects of various mods -- capacitor upgrades, IC upgrades, damping, power supply regulation, etc. etc.

    I have been away from classical music for awhile. I'm getting a bit bored with jazz lately, but I have amassed a big stack of classical that I've purchased over the past few years, including the Mercury Living Presence and Living Stereo box sets, plus my old favorites. I'm going to have to needledrop some of my old Nonesuch and Odyssey classical recordings, and enjoy them again on my new Grado headphones. I have a fair number of other Rampal discs that weren't recorded digitally.
     
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  9. coopmv

    coopmv Newton 1/30/2001 - 8/31/2011

    Location:
    CT, USA
    I have heard the center channel can in fact bring out the voice of choral works better than only the L & R channel.
     
  10. Scott Wheeler

    Scott Wheeler Forum Resident

    Location:
    ---------------
    I think the idea of surround sound for classical is to capture the sound of the hall and envelop you in that. Reverb and all
     
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  11. Mr Bass

    Mr Bass Forum Resident

    Location:
    Mid Atlantic
    The only exception to that in my experience was in a concert with some of Henry Brant's spatial music. Of course that kind of distributed arrangement does radically affect harmonic perception among other things.

    That should be the goal. However the listener can accomplish that without extra speakers to a fairly great extent just by positioning themselves within the nearfield of the front stereo speakers.
     
  12. Scott Wheeler

    Scott Wheeler Forum Resident

    Location:
    ---------------
    Hey, I'm a two channel guy all the way. And I do listen near field.
     
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  13. drh

    drh Talking Machine

    I think mine are SR30s, and with the adapter the system is called SR34. Leastways, that's what I'm remembering (not at home right now). I bought a pair of Grado SR60i phones from the forum's very own KT88 a while back; I love the sound, and unlike the Stax they are hands down the most comfortable headphones I've ever worn.
     
  14. scompton

    scompton Forum Resident

    Location:
    Arlington, VA
    They're great headphones. At work I listen to Sony ECR-500 electret headphones which are great. At home, I typically listen to Stax normal bias Lambdas or Fostex orthodynamics. 99% of the time, I listen to headphones. I don't own a good speaker setup. My wife wouldn't put up with it and wouldn't put up with me playing music out loud even if I had the speakers. I do have very nice receivers to drive the headphones.
     
  15. Robin L

    Robin L Musical Omnivore

    Location:
    Fresno, California
    Later. But in any case, originally they were independent holdings and the companies retained engineering staff and recording techniques.
     
  16. Robin L

    Robin L Musical Omnivore

    Location:
    Fresno, California
    . . . and the occasional Polychoral spree, like the Tallis Spem in Alium or Pretorius' Polychoral Christmas Music.
     
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  17. Hawkman

    Hawkman Supercar Gort Staff

    Location:
    New Jersey
    Thank you both for your recommendations!!!
     
  18. George P

    George P Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    NYC
    No problem! :wave:
     
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  19. RiRiIII

    RiRiIII Forum Resident

    Location:
    Athens, Greece
    Great recommendations you got by our esteemed members of course! Gigli, Bjoerling: the Golden Ages of Singing!

    However, it could be quite possible that what you are looking for may not be a complete recording of the opera but just the famous aria that was recorded of course by numerous tenors and above all Caruso, the most popular singer of the 20th century. Everybody had a record by him at home. Listen to him once, and then you never forget; everybody pales in comparison (imagine what would happened if he had the time to record electrically); his 290 recordings were constantly reprinted in the 78 and LP era:

    [​IMG]

    fron wikipedia:

    "Caruso's 1904 recording of "Vesti la giubba" from Leoncavallo's opera Pagliacci was the first sound recording to sell a million copies."

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Enrico_Caruso
     
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2013
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  20. RiRiIII

    RiRiIII Forum Resident

    Location:
    Athens, Greece
    Unbelievable! The Complete Caruso recordings on Naxos (12 cds - Marston transfers; I had only one of the 4 volumes by Pearl) for 14,50 GBP; God save the digital era!:

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2013
  21. George P

    George P Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    NYC
    Where are you seeing it for that price?
     
  22. RiRiIII

    RiRiIII Forum Resident

    Location:
    Athens, Greece
    At amazon.co.uk. Unebelievable! They are all gone by now, or the algorithm changed the prices after my order. I managed to order one from dodax-online-uk after posting this message and it is now on shipping status. George, you should have waked up earlier! Or change your time zone.

    Order confirmation:
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Dodax Order ID:
    Order Date: 2013-09-28 07:50

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    1 x Enrico Caruso - The Complete Recordings [0636943312124] - Price per unit: GBP 14.50 - Total: GBP 14.50
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Product Costs: GBP 14.50
    Shipping Costs: GBP 1.82
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
     
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2013
  23. john greenwood

    john greenwood Forum Resident

    Location:
    NYC
    Listening to Jean Martinon conducting the complete orchestral works of Debussy. HDTracks has a 96/24 download for $27 ($30 less 10% due to a storewide sale). This was part of the Japanese EMI SACD remastering project. Third party resellers at Amazon have the discs for about $90.

    I've never owned any other version of this music, but I like the sound of this download.
     
  24. john greenwood

    john greenwood Forum Resident

    Location:
    NYC
    A practical, non-musical question for Stuart. How have you been getting to work?

    I do a reverse commute from NYC to Norwalk, CT, but because of a major problem on the rails, service has been cut by two thirds and will continue to be for several weeks. I telecommuted Wed - Fri, but have to go in on Monday.
     
  25. mkolesa

    mkolesa Well-Known Member

    There's lots to discover in Schubert! The two symphonies you have there represent the peak of his symphonic output... But for me, the real treasures are in his solo piano and chamber music. Not to mention his output of vocal music (lieder), if you're so inclined! For me, the last piano sonata in B-flat (D. 960) and the string quintet are two of the most profound pieces of music ever written...
     
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