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Classical Corner Classical Music Corner (thread #49)

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

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  1. jukes

    jukes Forum Resident

    Location:
    Southern Finland
    I have only three Complete sets, and four Late Quartets sets:

    Complete sets
    - Alban Berg Quartet
    - Gewandhaus-Quartett
    - Quartetto Italiano

    Late Quartets
    - Aeolian String Quartet (vinyl-box)
    - Amadeus-Quartett (4-LP)
    - LaSalle Quartett
    - Takacs Quartet (flacs/Universal)

    I could live with the Gewandhaus & LaSalle sets. And pretty much I'm doing so, too. Except that there are few individual LP's/CD's from Amadeus, Budapest & Hagen Quartets that I also love very much to listen to (3-LP set of op. 18 by Amadeus Q is fine, I think). The Busch Q set of the Late Quartets could be interesting, though... ;)
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2013
  2. john greenwood

    john greenwood Senior Member

    Location:
    NYC
    I have complete cycles by the Emersons and Vegh (stereo). Middle and late quartets by the Alban Berg Quartet and the Tokyo String Quartet (hi-rez). Early Quartets by the Smithson String Quartet. I really listen to all of them (although the Tokyo recordings are the most recent and have probably only been played once). The Smithson (on Deutsche Harmonia Mundi - OOP I believe) has outstanding sound. I keep toying with purchasing the Italiano set. I owned part of the cycle on LP (those lovely 1970's Philips platters).
     
  3. RiRiIII

    RiRiIII Forum Resident

    Location:
    Athens, Greece
    I happen to have the Alban Berg live EMI and Takacs Decca cycles.
     
  4. George P

    George P Notable Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    NYC
    Love them equally?
     
  5. john greenwood

    john greenwood Senior Member

    Location:
    NYC
    If you don't actually need a new amp, you might try my approach and use an Oppo 105 universal player as your front end. In addition to spinning all types of audio and video discs, the Oppo has every type of digital input you can imagine - USB, HDMI, Ethernet, WiFi, optical and coax. It's DAC is considered very good at its price point ($1200). From there you can pass the analog signal to any amp (including one with balance inputs). In May Oppo added the ability to convert DSD files to analog. Those are the files you get from a ripped SACD. Additionally, a few high end companies (Channel Classics for one and maybe Linn) offer downloadable DSD files. I have my Logitech Squeezebox connected through a coax cable and will be attaching a dedicated hard drive with my DSD files to a USB connection.

    Oppo is reputed to have outstanding technical support (which I have yet to need). There are several threads in the Hardware section about the Oppo and the "Official Oppo BDP-105 Owner's Thread at AVSForum (which is on page 224) is manned by Oppo experts.
     
  6. john greenwood

    john greenwood Senior Member

    Location:
    NYC
    Enjoying 59/3 (a lot) right now. I listened to a bit of 59/1 and was less enthusiastic. I won't listen to the late quartets while working - they demand full attention.
     
    George P likes this.
  7. sgb

    sgb Senior Member

    Location:
    Baton Rouge
    The SA8004 will do USB as well, but it's $200 cheaper.
     
  8. George P

    George P Notable Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    NYC
    I have read some good things about them. Can you say a bit about their approach?
     
  9. alankin1

    alankin1 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Philly
    Ludwig Van Beethoven – Piano Sonata No.8 in C minor, Op.13 "Pathétique"
    Robert Schumann – 8 Fantasiestücke, Op.12
    Arthur Rubinstein (RCA Victor Red Seal)


    [​IMG]
     
  10. drh

    drh Talking Machine

    Are those the same recordings that the Smithsonian issued on its own label during the LP era? I have the Smithsons' traversal of op. 18 in that form, set N 032, six records that also included the first three syms. played by the Smithsonian Chamber Orch. under Jaap Schroder. At the time, recordings of Beethoven on period instruments were still quite a novelty.
     
  11. drh

    drh Talking Machine

    As long as I'm pestering you, John, I have a question for you as our resident balletomane. Do you know of any DVD of Copland's Rodeo? I've been looking, in a desultory fashion, for some time, and I've been surprised that one hasn't turned up. Given how popular the suite is, I wouldn't have expected this item to be hard to find.
     
  12. john greenwood

    john greenwood Senior Member

    Location:
    NYC
    Slightly off-topic

    As a Harold Pinter-ophile, I have been looking forward to seeing Ian McKellan and Patrick Stewart performing in "No Man's Land" on Broadway. Thus I made a point of checking out the reviews of their pre-Broadway "try-out" in Berkeley. Here is the first sentence of the San Francisco Chronicle review:

    "Listening to Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart state, bandy and insinuate the language of Harold Pinter's "No Man's Land" is like hearing master cellists perform a Bach cantata."

    I guess that means they're in the wrong play. :winkgrin:

    BTW - for those who would like to see Patrick Stewart "perform" a classical work, he will be sharing the stage with Emanuel Ax in a performance of Richard Strauss' "Enoch Arden" this fall.
     
    Robin L likes this.
  13. john greenwood

    john greenwood Senior Member

    Location:
    NYC
    No - mine are clearly from the digital era. They are on period instruments.
     
  14. john greenwood

    john greenwood Senior Member

    Location:
    NYC
    Offhand, no. On the whole, it seems to me ballet is under-represented on video (certainly in comparison with opera). Once you get past the three Tchaikovsky masterpieces the pickings get slim. Also, I wonder if the legal issues regarding Martha Graham's works may have been a problem.
     
  15. drh

    drh Talking Machine

    Another classical music resource bites the dust: I just found that the Classics Today site is giving access to its full content only if you pay $49 annually for an "insider" membership. That is a LOT more than I'm willing to pay just for the privilege of reading David Hurwitz, whom I've been finding irritating for decades now. So, anent that pricey notion, I quote the French aquaticist: "au reservoire." Or, to turn to English idiom, "Go jump in the lake!"
     
    RiRiIII likes this.
  16. john greenwood

    john greenwood Senior Member

    Location:
    NYC
    Oops - my bad. "Rodeo" was Agnes de Mille.
     
  17. drh

    drh Talking Machine

    Possibly, but I have a DVD of Appalachian Spring in her very production, so such issues can't be insurmountable, I would think. Oh, well, thanks for both replies; I guess I won't be able to show Rodeo to my 8-yr-old budding ballerina. Interesting that the Smithsons would have redone the quartets. I'd have expected an extension into later ones instead.


    [a few minutes later] I just got curious enough to retrieve my LPs. They carry a 1988 copyright date and claim to be digitally recorded. According to the booklet, the quartet's personnel at the time were Jaap Schroder (Gioffredo Cappa vln. 1684), Marilyn McDonald (Jacobus Stainer vln. 1665), Judson Griffin (J. Michael Alban vla. ca. 1710), and Kenneth Slowik (Paul Francois Grosset vlc. 1748). These recordings were made in 1987 at the American Academy of Arts and Letters, New York City, on the following eqpt:

    Sennheiser MKH 20 or Bruel & Kjaer 4003 microphones
    NEOTEK console
    Sony PCM 1630 or Nakamichi DMP 100 digital recorder
    Sony DAE 1100 digital editor

    Monitor speakers in use were Thiel CS 3.5, B&W 801Fs, and ADS 1290

    The ambiguities presumably can be chalked up to the collection of symphonies, quartets, and the op. 5 cello stas. (forgot to mention those earlier) in the same box.
     
  18. drh

    drh Talking Machine

    Interesting--I thought it was Martha Graham, too. You learn something new every day. Thanks!
     
  19. Robin L

    Robin L Musical Omnivore

    Location:
    Fresno, California
    Smetana Quartet in their earlier, analog set for Supraphon, probably overall my favorite, but in my case it works out to loving the music so much that all angles on the music are valuable. I'll never be without a copy of the Busch Quartet set, they are to the quartets as Schnabel is to the sonatas. The Guarneri Quartet's second cycle for Philips improves on the RCA set in all regards and is recommended to those seeking a late romantic overlay on this often experimental music. The Guarneri Quartet is particularly strong in the Middle Quartets as are the Quartet Italiano. I recall the Berg Quartet being notably strong in the early quartets on their studio recording for EMI. The Takacs Quartet, for Decca, makes an amazing sound, a symphonic realization of the scores. Those of a historical bent will seek out the Capet Quartet's recordings of the 14th and 15th quartets, inscribed at the dawn of electrical recording. They sound curiously like an "Original Instruments/HIPP" recordings, with brisk tempos and minimal vibrato. Proust liked the Capet Quartet enough as to have them perform in his studio.
     
    RiRiIII likes this.
  20. George P

    George P Notable Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    NYC
    Their set of the late works gets recommended a lot, but I wasn't aware that they had a whole set. Do you have more info on the set? Label? Dates? Thanks!
     
  21. john greenwood

    john greenwood Senior Member

    Location:
    NYC
    Then they are the same recordings. I think of LPs on the Smithsonian label as being historical (like their Budapest String Quartet recordings). And as mentioned the CDs are on Deutsche Harmonia Mundi.
     
  22. Robin L

    Robin L Musical Omnivore

    Location:
    Fresno, California
    As I recall there were three boxes of the Supraphon set, pre-CD era. The group re-recorded all the quartets for Denon Japan, a joint project with Supraphon. Those later recordings are in awful early experimental digital sound and finds the group less focused. I could be confused as regards the middle and early quartet recordings. The early digital recordings were from the late seventies, 14 bit. In any case, get the re-release of the analog recordings of the late quartets:

    [​IMG]
     
  23. jukes

    jukes Forum Resident

    Location:
    Southern Finland
    I'd like to. But later. Sorry, but the next couple of weeks are going to be slightly hectic.
     
  24. George P

    George P Notable Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    NYC
    Thanks, I have a Supraphon two-fer that has Smetana's 1961-70 recordings of Op. 127, 131, 132 and 133. Interestingly, the 133 is not in the above set. Was that set recorded from 1961-70?
     
  25. George P

    George P Notable Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    NYC
    I'd assumed you knew them well enough to say a bit more about them. My bad.
     
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