Are classical CDs suffering the same brickwall issues; old versions collectable?

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by kwadguy, Oct 3, 2007.

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  1. Blencathra

    Blencathra New Member

    Location:
    UK
    I know - there never has been a better time to buy classical music - with the wonderful, classic interpretations from the last 30 to 40 years being widely available at anything from super bargain to mid price.
     
  2. adhoc

    adhoc Gentlemen Prefer Stereo

    To answer the OP's question, no, classical CDs are not typically subject to the "first is best" madness. Exceptions are made, however, for OOP CDs - for example, Haskil/Grumiaux's Complete Beethoven Violin Sonatas were riding high at the $150 mark... until the recent re-release. :D

    Another prominent example would be Mullova's Bach Partitas - that Philips set fetches quite a bit on eBay. If you can find it.

    Actually, if you're talking about redbook releases, Philips, DGG and Decca releases now all go through the same company (Universal Music), which means that more often than not, the same engineers work on the releases. Or they are subjected to the same "sort" of "processing" - for example, DGG and Philips have "Original Masters" series which both feature "Super Bit Mapping".

    If you're talking about vinyl releases though, then all bets are off. The following is all IMO, of course - but I'm not alone in feeling this.

    DGG was awful (soundwise) for orchestral works and superb for chamber/solo, but IMO they have (had) some of the greatest artists around.

    Philips was generally above-average to good all round for sound and artistes.

    Decca is legendary for some releases but their repertoire of artistes all-around kinda sucked; just a few good ones here and there.

    Ditto for Mercury, god-like sound, awful playing in general. Mercury in particular was a particularly egregious "2-trick pony" - Szeryng or Dorati were their (only) 2 trump cards.

    A good "new" label for classical music on redbook would IMO be Hyperion. Excellent performances, wide repertoire, some "stars" in their catalog, superbly written liner notes (you'll be hard pressed to find better) and the cherry: awesome sound. I refer you in particular to their recent release of Schubert's "Death & The Maiden" string quartet with the Takacs Quartet.
     
  3. Mal

    Mal Phorum Physicist

    I'm guessing these are all on Decca - I've never heard an Ashkenazy Decca CD of 70s/80s recordings I didn't like :righton:
     
  4. Blencathra

    Blencathra New Member

    Location:
    UK
    All my Ashkenazy recordings are on Decca and they all sound excellent.
     
  5. innercircle

    innercircle Forum Resident

    Location:
    Monterrey, Mexico
    To me all the early Japanese CD's are highly collectible, including the few titles issued in Japan under the 35 DC series.

    The main of the vast catalogue still available on stores, I've just coming from Barnes & Noble and I found several Telarc CD's, early presses, brand new.

    Off topic: I had the luck to find the Pictures At An Exhibition on SACD, Living In Stereo edition! I was looking for that one and was nice to pick it up at $12.00
     
  6. yasujiro

    yasujiro Forum Resident

    Location:
    tokyo
    Sorry but I can't agree with you. Many of their interpretaions are superb and some are really Great under the direction of the Wilma Cozart's producing skill.
    Even without mentioning the glorious sonic, Starker's Dvorak (concerto) and Bach (suites) are two of the greatest achievments with the instrument in the history of classical music recording. Also I know none of a performance of Fire Bird in the original big orchestra version that is as entertaining as the Dorati with his London band. Perhaps only Ansermet in London in his very late days could come mighty close, but not in the same league. These are a few examples. I could go further and further....
     
  7. adhoc

    adhoc Gentlemen Prefer Stereo

    Ugh - forgot about Starker. Make that a "3-trick pony" then. :p

    Anyway, it's all personal preference, and none of the conductors/ensembles/soloists I like are on Mercury. Starker's Dvorak is soundly beaten by Rostropovich (DGG) for me. Starker's Bach, by Bylsma (SEON) or Fournier (Archiv/DGG).

    I guess we'll just have to agree to disagree. ;)
     
  8. yasujiro

    yasujiro Forum Resident

    Location:
    tokyo
    Thank you for the reply, Aaron.

    :agree:

    And please remember Byron Janis.
     
  9. yasujiro

    yasujiro Forum Resident

    Location:
    tokyo
    Have you gotta a copy of Glenn Gould's Goldberg Variations? AFAIK, it is available in its re-mix version only these days. Compared with the after-SBM CDs, 38DC35 sounds like night and day.
     
  10. innercircle

    innercircle Forum Resident

    Location:
    Monterrey, Mexico
    And who's the winner?
     
  11. J.A.W.

    J.A.W. Music Addict

    I think he meant that the 38DC was the winner by a large margin.
     
  12. innercircle

    innercircle Forum Resident

    Location:
    Monterrey, Mexico
    That's what I thought, thanks!
     
  13. coopmv

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

    Location:
    CT, USA
    Chandos has been coming out with a good number of 24/96 recordings over the past few years.
     
  14. coopmv

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

    Location:
    CT, USA
    You are absolutely correct. I am listening to and enjoying this 12-CD set of the Collected Works of John Dowland on the L'Oiseau-Lyre label. The cost with shipping from Amazon was under $55. This collection was probably released individually on vinyl through the mid 70's to early 80's and would have cost over $100 in 1985 dollars.
     
  15. yasujiro

    yasujiro Forum Resident

    Location:
    tokyo
    Ah yes, sorry for my bad expression, Otoniel. And thank you for the support, Hans.
    The later versions are compressed and, to be worse, try to eliminate Gould's singing and the noises he made during the performance. Too bad.
    Grab 38DC35 by any means if you want the best sonic available.
     
  16. coopmv

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

    Location:
    CT, USA
    I just ordered this SACD. Are you referring to this recording?

    http://www.amazon.com/Bach-Goldberg...6340641?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1191870127&sr=1-1
     
  17. yasujiro

    yasujiro Forum Resident

    Location:
    tokyo
    No, what I meant was the very first Japanese CD, which was issued in the dawn of the CD era. The SACD is a kind of very sophisticated 'player piano' of his 1955 performance, not the 1981 version I referred, but IMO it is worth listening as well.

    The problem is that it is virtually impossible to get 38DC35 in NM condition. The alternative can be 30DC717, which seems to be digitally identical and it is not that difficult to track down.
     
  18. coopmv

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

    Location:
    CT, USA
    I have the 1981 version, which I bought almost 20 years ago. It still sounds very good to my ears after all these years.
     
  19. yasujiro

    yasujiro Forum Resident

    Location:
    tokyo
    AFAIK, it is the first master if the CD has only ONE track.
     
  20. coopmv

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

    Location:
    CT, USA
  21. yasujiro

    yasujiro Forum Resident

    Location:
    tokyo
    The DVDs are available. But it has nothing to do with Glenn Gould???? :(
     
  22. coopmv

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

    Location:
    CT, USA
    I am aware of that. But I have never seen this DVD before and decided to ask about it.
     
  23. adhoc

    adhoc Gentlemen Prefer Stereo

    Have any of you guys tried the new "State of Wonder" boxset? It's the 1955 and 1981 Goldberg Variations packed together in a massive "deluxe" digipak.

    The 1981 version on this particular set was mastered from analog tapes - the first time that this has been done. All previous releases were from a digital tape. They had both digital and analog tapes running at the same time during the recording of the 1981 GV, with the analog running as a backup. They later realised that the analog tape sounded a lot better. Analog vs early digital... ya think? ;)

    Not surprisingly it sounds a lot better than my original issue of the 1981, which I later got rid of.
     
  24. coopmv

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

    Location:
    CT, USA
    I actually do not have any real problems with the 1981 CD, though the hum-along does bother me somewhat. I don't know if the boxset is even available in the US.
     
  25. adhoc

    adhoc Gentlemen Prefer Stereo

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