Classical Corner Classical Music Corner

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by George P, May 29, 2015.

  1. hvbias

    hvbias Forum Resident

    Location:
    Northeast
    Agreeing with many of your points, I did enjoy his phrasing and lyricism without being too romantic. I was playing nothing but these discs over a few days so re-visiting individual works is probably the way to go. I also don't think these are individualist in the sense that Kempff is letting his ego get in the way of the music ala Kissin playing Beethoven.

    I do have some issues with the piano sound, it doesn't sound like a high caliber piano.

    I will listen to them more throughout the year before I elevate them to reference level. I have greatly enjoyed them.

    Also looking forward to the upcoming big Arrau set, I will have to sell my Beethoven and Mozart smaller boxes before that. I hope this box gets a more deluxe treatment with a hardbound book.
     
  2. J.A.W.

    J.A.W. Music Addict

    I contacted critic Jed Distler, who is an expert on piano recordings, about the upcoming Claudio Arrau set; he proofread the big Universal Sviatoslav Richter box before it was released to make sure it was indeed complete and I hope he'll be able to do the same with the Arrau box.
     
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  3. George P

    George P Must Be The Music Thread Starter

    Location:
    NYC
    By all accounts, it seems that Kempff was trying to play a grand piano more in the style/sound of a piano from the days of Beethoven. Unfortunately, as a result, the grander, more aggressive moments in the music are greatly underpowered. To me, Kempff is a lot like Rubinstein. Both are incredibly reliable, play a variety of composers well, but fail to really stand out against the competition. An exception would be Rubinstein's earliest recordings, which show a great deal more imagination and spontaneity than his later, stereo recordings. Hank Drake wrote that if you have only heard Rubinstein's stereo recordings, you really haven't heard Rubinstein. I fully agree.

    I just pulled mine of the shelf and plan to check them out once my new speakers are broken in.

    It certainly deserves it. Myself, I will be passing on the set, having a significant amount of it already - and having run out of space on my shelves. :disgust:
     
  4. George P

    George P Must Be The Music Thread Starter

    Location:
    NYC
    [​IMG]

    Now enjoying the above (the CD I have includes the Schumann Quintet as well), via the big Serkin box.
     
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  5. hvbias

    hvbias Forum Resident

    Location:
    Northeast
    For me that would be Ashkenazy :) Besides his Scriabin there is very little else I feel that makes me want to reach for his playing even though he was so prolific with his recording.
     
  6. George P

    George P Must Be The Music Thread Starter

    Location:
    NYC
    It's funny, I almost included him with the other two, but then I thought of his solo Rachmaninoff, his Scriabin and his Chopin etudes.
     
  7. bruce2

    bruce2 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Connecticut, USA
    Nice I just listened to this symphony a couple nights ago. My version is Jansons and the Oslo Philharmonic on Chandos CD.
     
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  8. hvbias

    hvbias Forum Resident

    Location:
    Northeast
    IMHO I found his Rachmaninov a bit flat

    Now listening to Brigitte Engerer playing the early Chopin Nocturnes

    [​IMG]

    Absolutely fabulous performances.
     
  9. Rose River Bear

    Rose River Bear Forum Resident

    The entire set of Tchaikovsky symphonies by the Oslo is great. The Manfred is fantastic.
     
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  10. George P

    George P Must Be The Music Thread Starter

    Location:
    NYC
    I didn't care for her Schumann, so I haven't tried more. I do love the Nocturnes, though.

    And Ashkenazy isn't flashy, but I like his depth and poetic beauty in Rachmaninoff.
     
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  11. bruce2

    bruce2 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Connecticut, USA
    I agree. I like both the performances and the recording quality of the Jansons/ Oslo set. I own them all except the 6th in their original CD releases. Now that I think of it I may try to track down a copy of Symphony No. 6 to complete my set!
     
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  12. Rose River Bear

    Rose River Bear Forum Resident

    I owned most of the original releases and then bought the box set for three of CDs I did not have thinking the remasters would sound better. Waste of money. I should have kept the original CDs since they sounded better than the remasters.

    Plus the original covers had some neat artwork. :(
     
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  13. Rose River Bear

    Rose River Bear Forum Resident

    Get the 6th. It is darn near perfect IMO. Not too overly romantic and just the right tempos.
     
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  14. bruce2

    bruce2 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Connecticut, USA
    Have you ever heard the 6th by Karajan on EMI from 1971? I am thinking about giving that one a try.
     
  15. bruce2

    bruce2 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Connecticut, USA
    I feel your pain. I have been burned so many times by inferior remasters that I now seek out the earliest CD pressings whenever possible, even for classical recordings!
     
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  16. Hedin

    Hedin Active Member

    Location:
    Norway
    Listening to the new album by Otto A Totland - The Lost. Composer or piano music. And I think it it is worth mentioning him in this thread.
     
  17. Dan C

    Dan C Forum Fotographer

    Location:
    The West
    I watched all three. Fascinating. Amazing how much high end information is still on those 40-year-old tapes!! I'm also surprised that the masters had very little natural reverb and a lot of artificial echo was added on the original mixes. Modern echo sampling is so much better, so there's a benefit of remixing right there.

    Great stuff, though I'm not a huge fan of Bernstein's later post-CBS Masterworks recordings. He seemed to lose some of that electricity as he matured.

    dan c
     
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  18. George P

    George P Must Be The Music Thread Starter

    Location:
    NYC
    Smart move!
     
  19. George P

    George P Must Be The Music Thread Starter

    Location:
    NYC
    I have his DG recording from the 70s, but my go to is the Bernstein on DG, which many may find indulgent. I find it a powerful, devastating emotional ride.

    [​IMG]
     
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  20. hvbias

    hvbias Forum Resident

    Location:
    Northeast
    My experience has been the opposite specifically speaking for classical, I do look for earlier CDs with jazz and rock. I usually find when I replace 80s/90s classical CDs with remasters there is either no difference or it's a slight upgrade.

    I find mastering more miss with historical pre-tape recordings where some labels are too aggressive with noise reduction. If they are recordings to tape or digital I find the majors don't do much futzing.
     
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  21. crispi

    crispi Forum Resident

    Location:
    Berlin
    I agree with you. I can hardly think of any instance where I preferred an older mastering/transfer to a newer one. The majors are indeed very reliable most of the time, especially compared to the teams handling rock releases.
     
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  22. George P

    George P Must Be The Music Thread Starter

    Location:
    NYC
    I have compared quite a few EMI, DG and Decca remasters to their original CD masterings and have yet to find one that I preferred to the original. Sometimes the difference is small, but in other cases I have found things like compression and noise reduction. While the compression is not nearly as bad as we see in rock/pop masterings, it is nevertheless still there. And to me, when compression is used in mastering classical recordings, it is particularly egregious. And the noise reduction, while making the recording sound more "modern," also makes it sound dull.
     
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  23. hvbias

    hvbias Forum Resident

    Location:
    Northeast
    I find noise reduction heinous if we're talking about tape or digital recordings and I will not defend that.

    I have not noticed compression to be very common at all, what I have seen is raising the levels so the highest peaks are closer to 0 dbfs which means more of redbook's resolution is used. This will make the disc louder than an earlier CD, but it's not compressed.

    If you do computer audio ReplayGain makes it much easier to compare dynamic range since the levels will be matched closer than what most volume controls on hifi are capable of.
     
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  24. crispi

    crispi Forum Resident

    Location:
    Berlin
    Interesting how differently people perceive things. I did just the same and in most cases I preferred the newer release. However, a few years back I might have felt the same way you do, but my preferences have changed. I came to prefer the more solid midrange most remasters brought (thinking specifically of DG and EMI, in the case of Decca I find the transfers were pretty good from the start). Also, in the past I might have mistaken a louder volume for more compression. I’m not saying that you do, but many older CDs did not use all of the volume available to them, plus difference in EQ will alter the dynamics, so those are factors as well.

    And I can’t think of any classical recordings where I thought too much compression had been used (not even those where compression was already part of the recording, done for thechnical reasons, like early Mercury, RCA Living Stereo and mono-era DG). On the contrary, I find that most classical CDs are a bit too dynamic for comfortable listening. By the way, I’m not one of those that like to have “original” dynamics on a recording, I prefer recordings to be their own product and art form. All within reason of course, and no classical recording should use a big amount of compression — but then again, I can only think of one example, and 99,9% of classical CDs are fine when it comes to dynamics.

    Anyway, I’m not trying to convince anyone here, the least you. But I do find it interesting that people can have such diametrically opposed views. Fact is, classical listeners are the most spoiled with good quality, ever since the dawn of CD, probably due to the fact that people working in the classical industry are more musically inclined and the technical know-how is more widespread.
     
  25. George P

    George P Must Be The Music Thread Starter

    Location:
    NYC
    To be clear guys, I am not talking about brickwalling, but I have seen clear evidence of compression on a number of classical remasters. And I am not OK with that (nor I am OK with the NR I mentioned earlier), so I avoid classical remasters. If others enjoy them, I am not not only OK with that, I am happy they enjoy/prefer them. Plus, it's good to know the preferences of others, so that one can take that into account when they make a recommendation.

    As long as we are all finding masterings that we enjoy, it's all good, right? :wave:
     
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