Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by George P, Sep 29, 2013.
True, that's a great cover!
I've been an avid classical music collector, concert-goer, and "audiophile" for over 30 years but I have never sat transfixed before a record before, sitting in wonderment listening to the sound of an acoustic instrument and voice with "nothing between me and the performance". However, this evening, I decided for a change to listen to the EMI 4 disc SACD set of Schubert Lieder sung by Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau with Gerald Moore accompaning (here's a link to it....)
Now, while I'm a fan of Schubert's symphonies, I have really never sat down and listened to his songs except when WFMT happened to be playing them. I'm still not an expert on his lieder and I don't know whether the music on these 4 SACD's are the definitive performances of these songs or not. What transfixed me was the sound of these mono SACD's. I have never heard recorded piano/voice sound as REAL as what I heard tonight. The late singer and his piano accompaniest were LITERALLY in-the-room performing in front of me. There was no perceptible processing or echoing added, nor did the engineers try to add any "richness" to the sound. It was just the sound of Fischer-Dieskau's voice, perfectly "imaged" between my speakers intimately performing in EMI Studio 3. I could actually picture him and the piano -- they were not "too physically big" or "too far away", just perfect. The tonal qualities of the mono vacuum tube recording was amazing, reproducing the piano in a way that I've never heard before the hammer hitting the strings was perfectly reproduced without any attempt to showcase anything.
If you want a TRUE audiophile recording with which to demo your audiophile system, this is it. It is absolute perfection like I've never heard before. Congratulations to the SACD remastering team at EMI for not screwing this one up. It is the best sound that I've ever heard from ANY recorded source in my life. I cannot urge you enough to invest the $25.00 or so in this particular set. You will not believe your ears.....
My system: Oppo 93, Marantz 7C, Marantz 9's, FMI "J" loudspeakers.
Again the point was to inform, not to discourage if you like what they do. You can check the sound of their Ring versions at the Pristine site. Part of the issue is that they manipulate the sound to produce what people found missing in the originals so there is an initial Wow factor. I'm just rather sensitive to electronic stereo artifacts and could hear what was being lost as well as what was gained in their manipulations. Thus I found the straight mono transfers the least bad though obviously worse than the LPs themselves. Unfortunately the only superior transfer of the Furtwangler RAI Ring is the insanely expensive set of Japanese EMI SACDs (~$400). The Gieseking is also offered on SACD at more reasonable prices. If you have an SACD player you might consider that.
Yes the CDS were usually worse. Sometimes Sony remastered them through DSD but I don't think they did it for this LP. It helps that the Walter recording was already in stereo so Pristine only needs to manipulate bass treble balance. I would compare against a UK LP pressing though, because generally they have less shrill treble than the US pressings and a bit more bass. I assume that's what Pristine would have used as its source. Most of my CBS LPs are UK pressings for the reasons you noted.
I can add my recommedation to Mr. Bass that the RAI Ring on EMI Japan SACD is superb. I have bought most every issue of this RAI Ring Cycle since it came out on EMI's cheap label (Seraphim) back in the mid-1970's. The Japanese SACD's actually bring this performance into the realm of listenable for the very first time. The cast is superb, the orchestra, which has been lambasted by critics (Italians playing Wagner??? They must suck at it!!!) for 60 years is actually pretty good. The performance can really be appreciated for the first time on the EMI Japanese SACD's. For example, Furtwangler's kind of humorous nuances during Fricka's bitching at Wotan during Act II of Walkure were noticable for the first time to me since I've been listening to this performance.
They need to reissue this outside of Japan at a "popular price" since it's better than anything that's currently commonly available. Gibson and his group at EMI have already spent the time and money mastering the tapes (from the original RAI transcription tapes, not copies for the very first time), why don't they put this out as a US/European release with English/French/German liner notes already???
Now playing the following CD, a recent arrival from BRO for a first listen ...
Great in SACD.
Well, in honor of all those Halloween kitties out there, I decided to treat myself to a mini-recital of "cat" music tonight. Not exhaustive, just some things that came to mind and that I could easily pull up from my server in the half hour or so that I had for the exercise (I'm playing slight hooky to post this) before time to turn in. To wit:
Biber: Sonata Representiva. Musica Antiqua Koln (one mvt. depicts a cat)
Copland: Old American Songs, Book I--I Bought Me a Cat. William Warfield; Columbia SO, composer conducting
Barber: Hermit Songs, op. 29--The Monk and His Cat. Sanford Sylvan; William Brightman, pno.
Copland: The Cat and the Mouse. A friend recorded in the Coolidge Auditorium; private tape.
Noise of Minstrels, final track from album "Pass the Hat" (medley of 4 old dance tunes, one being a "Katten polka")
Hovhaness: Sonata op. 301, "Fred the Cat." Marvin Rosen.
I'm not thrilled with the sound of Rosen's piano, but I do particularly like the movement titles of the last work, which Hovhaness wrote as a memorial to a friend's beloved pet:
1) Give a Cat a Twig and He'll Take a Tree
2) Purr Dance
3) Fred the Cat and Distant Mountain
4) Fred the Cat Flies to Heaven
OK, I'm now way beyond time to hit the hay. Hope the ghoulies and ghosties were ghood to you all!
Hi. In a recent conversation with the director of the symphony orchestra I work with, I told him about the "reloading" of my lifelong vinyl records fever. He told me something along the lines of "¿really? I have a lot of records that I don't play anymore. If you want them, I put my entire record collection at your disposal". *eek*
I went to his apartment in the afternoon, and he has, in fact, a great collection of classical LPs in excellent condition. I couldn't stay there the whole afternoon (and I think more than an afternoon is needed to check that collection), so I'm supposed to return one of these days. But here's what I managed to pick in my first visit:
- Beethoven's 9 symphonies conducted by Herbert Von Karajan. 8-LP set from Deutsche Grammophon.
- Bach's Well-Tempered Clavier by Glenn Gould. 4-LP set from CBS Masterworks.
- Beethoven's late quartets by The Juilliard Quartet. 4-LP set from Columbia Masterworks.
- Bizet's "Carmen" with Karajan conducting the Berlin Philharmonic. 3-LP set from Deutsche Grammophon.
- Leonard Bernstein conducts West Side Story. 2-LP set from Deutsche Grammophon.
- Bach's cello suites by Pablo Casals. 3-LP set from EMI.
- Verdi's "Aida". Lorin Maazel conducting orchestra and choir of La Scala. 3-LP set from Decca.
- Brahms' piano concerto #2. Sviatoslav Richter with Chicago Symphony Orchestra. RCA Red Seal.
- Copland's Greatest Hits. Philadelphia Orchestra / Boston Pops Orchestra. Eugene Ormandy / Arthur Fiedler. RCA Maestro.
- Bach's violin concerto and double concerto by I Musici / Felix Ayo / Roberto Michelucci. Philips.
- Beethoven's sonatas for piano and cello. Mstislav Rostropovich / Sviatoslav Richter. 2-LP set from Philips Classics.
...is the perfect companion for this, which I recently bought:
Always good advice!
Enjoying some Beethoven from the big Rubinstein box to wake me up this morning!
I have that on SACD. I must admit I haven't given it a spin since my first listening. I can't even recall my response to it.
Like most of Rubinstein's recordings that I have heard, it is very good but not among the best recordings for the work.
My favorite Brahms 1 (and 2) are probably Barenboim/Barbirolli and Serkin/Szell.
No worries, I really appreciate your suggestions.
Yeah, I know about the Japanese EMI SACDs, but they are too expensive for me. I have Gieseking's Debussy on the EMI signature SACDs but I cannot say that I liked the sound that much. I am really a vinylphile and I am trying to find good vinyl copies in a playable condition but no luck there either.
That's a good suggestion, I never thought of Columbia UK pressings. I 'll keep this in mind.
Thanks for the recommendation. I have quite a few of the EMI Signature Collection and while they are all excellent, I chose to buy the ones I have for their historical significance. Another poster here recommended the Debussy mono recordings in this series, too, but as of now I have not tried any of the mono recordings in the series.
Interesting system; my vintage amp sounds quite similar to Model 9s, but I hadn't even thought about the J speaker since Gordon Holt wrote about them some time in the Eighties. There's a level of transparency and palpability in those old amps that modern multi-channel receivers can't quite manage.
Interesting what the publisher has done here, I bought the Van Cliburn box, and found this among the CDs. Apparently the decision was made to uncouple many/most of the reissues — such as yours — in order to increase the number of CDs in the box.
Not just you. The price does fluctuate and has been as low as $200. Until EMI takes feinstei's advice on the SACDs, the "best" LP issue is the UK Seraphim. However, it is rather expensive too. There is no good non SACD digital version at this time IMO so pick your poison or write to EMI.[/quote]
There is no good sounding recording, LP or digital IMO, of the Gieseking Preludes. That is why I reluctantly gave up and moved to other LP issues (Arrau, Egorov and Beroff). There may be some newer digital recordings that are acceptable as well (many are not to me, from what I've listened to in passing) but others may find some that please.
Arrau's Debussy is da bomb!
I have two of these on LP, "A Schubert Lieder Recital" and "Schubert Lieder Vol. 4" and I agree that they sound excellent. Dieskau is legendary for his Schubert and if you liked the EMI collection you have to listen to his Winterreise, which he recorded no less than seven times during his career. It's hard to give many details for all these different versions here at the forum, but if you 're interested, have a look at this link:
It's even more impressive when you think that Arrau was in his seventies when he recorded his Debussy.
"Dieskau is legendary for his Schubert and if you liked the EMI collection you have to listen to his Winterreise, which he recorded no less than seven times during his career."
Thanks for the link! I am learning, almost as a crash course, about Fischer-Dieskau and his brilliance. Unfortunately, I am not an educated afficianado of vocal performances (other than opera).
My amazement on this EMI SACD reissue was just pointing out the amazing sound quality such as I've never experienced in all my years of record listening. I listened all night to these SACD's over-and-over-again. I guess that I'll expand my library of Fischer-Dieskau now, but I don't believe that ANYTHING will overshadow my experiences last night with these EMI SACD's! What's amazing is that unlike lots of the "pressings" that people talk about here, this SACD set is a cheap, commonly available item!
Was Playing for the first time:
Need to spend more time with it, for some reason I enjoy Pogo and Yuga Wang's versions of Scarlatti more.
Now Listening To
Haydn: The Seasons, Beecham, UK EMI.
That cover is cool.
WOW! Must be some great things there.
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