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Classical Corner Classical Music Corner (thread #6)

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by coopmv, Jan 30, 2009.

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  1. OE3

    OE3 Forum Resident

    Disc rot

    I have 6-10 such discs on the Pearl label, manufactured in UK between 1989 and 1993. I have also purchased a bronzed disc that was unplayable (and returned it). Just as described in the Wikipedia entry for CD bronzing:
     
  2. Robin L

    Robin L Musical Omnivore

    Location:
    Fresno, California
    I was a recording engineer a decade or two ago and did a lot of work in the HIPP community. The Fortepiano is a cantankerous instrument but the sonic personality of the wood-framed piano is an inescapable element of Beethoven's keyboard music—that whole Sforzando element of Beethoven's sound-world comes out of the barking articulation of the instruments Beethoven played on. It's a primary reason why I like Kempff's Beethoven so much, the way his dynamic contrasts and the clarity of his bass-lines resemble the action of the fortepiano.


    Comme ci comme ça—there's more intensity at times, not that the music required any more throttling, and the the sound is, if anything, even worse than the generally miserable sound of the 50's cycle.
     
  3. OE3

    OE3 Forum Resident

    I concur. Not a big fan of Walter's Beethoven, actually. And I heard his Mahler 1 'Titan' on the radio today (w/ Colubmia SO). What happened to the guts in the fourth movement (Stürmisch bewegt - Energisch)? Stormily agitated? Energetic? I don't think so. The good post-stroke Indian Summer recordings are outweighted by the mediocre, IMHO. Stay away from his Schubert 9 'The Great', for starters. Dvorak 9 'New World' is worthy. But there are so many better modern recordings of those works, with better sound. If you want GREAT Walter, start with his 1938 Mahler 9 w/ VPO.

    I recommend getting some Weingartner on Naxos Historical.
     
  4. Robin L

    Robin L Musical Omnivore

    Location:
    Fresno, California
    Walter made an earlier NYPO recording of Mahler's First with a more energetic performance and half-way decent mono sound. A few days ago I listened to his old NYPO performance of Mahler's Fourth—I still love it as much as any and the sound was much better than I remembered. His monumental, slo-mo Schubert Ninth is a taste I've aquired, but just yesterday I picked up the Essential Classics reissue of Szell's first recording with Cleveland in the hope of hearing the piece somewhat closer to in-tempo. Amazing what you can find for two dollars these days.
     
  5. coopmv

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

    Location:
    CT, USA
    The set I have is on RCA and I assume it is the 1950 version you referred to. I guess it is OK. I actually find the Klemperer's set much more enjoyable.
     

    Attached Files:

  6. coopmv

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

    Location:
    CT, USA
    I have this Mass in B by Karajan, Schwarzkopf and Ferrier with the Vienna Symphony. The duet "Et in unum Dominum" between Elisabeth Schwarzkopf and Kathleen Ferrier was just hauntingly beautiful and Karajan (without that excessive legato) also did a wonderful job with the orchestra ...
     

    Attached Files:

  7. coopmv

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

    Location:
    CT, USA

    Attached Files:

  8. After your thoughts I went back and looked at the stereo I tried it out on -
    a vintage Marantz hooked up for customer use in my store - and confirmed
    (laughing) that some fool had engaged the mono switch and the hi-filter,
    and then left it set that way (maybe they were checking out one of my rougher 45s,
    who knows). And I somehow didn't notice this. So, now with egg on my face,
    I concur that the Odyssey Walter Beethovens are quite slowly/laboriously played
    and they are trebly for sure (at least the instruments are, the vocals not so much).

    Nicely pressed though. Surfaces like glass.
     
  9. coopmv

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

    Location:
    CT, USA
    With strong recommendations from George, I bought the entire Beethoven PS's by Schnabel and Cortot's Chopin on Naxos Historical early this year. They were mostly reconstructed from the original 78's. The resulting CD's have surprisingly good SQ. So there is a way to appreciate the virtuosity of these past masters without listening to 78's.

    The HIP movements might have been overdone. I have my misgivings about HIP Beethoven Symphonies. I found the cycles by Jochum and Klemperer quite good even if they are not HIP ...
     
  10. I have the Barenboim DVD-A of the 9th and can't get over how insanely loud
    the choral is on it, they're four times the volume of the orchestra behind them (laughing).

    I see on Amazon that this heifer is very expensive. God only knows why!
     

    Attached Files:

  11. coopmv

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

    Location:
    CT, USA
    I am much more used to Barenboim as a solo pianist than as a conductor. I thought his Beethoven Piano Sonatas on DG was quite good. I just never thought his conducting was that outstanding. Maybe it is just me?
     
  12. drh

    drh Talking Machine

    Ironically, just tonight I was listening to this work, copying a tape that I'd done 15 years ago of the account sung by Elisabeth Schumann, Margaret Balfour, Walter Widdop, and Friedrich Schorr with the LSO and Philharmonic Choir under Albert Coates, recorded in 1929 and spread across 17(!) 12" 78 RPM records--i.e., 34 sides. You can see a photo of my OR deck chugging away at it in the "Pictures of your Open Reel Decks" thread in the hardware forum.
     
  13. drh

    drh Talking Machine

    Nope, not just you--I think we've finally found somebody, at least as a conductor, on whom we see eye to eye!
     
  14. coopmv

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

    Location:
    CT, USA
    You probably have noticed that recent rash of releases of Bach keyboard works by pianists of all stripes. I was skeptical of the quality of the Bach WTC by Barenboim and the reviews proved my point. I was not particularly impressed with Helene Grimaud's latest recording of Bach keyboard works either (it actually contains works by other composers as well). I think her forte is still Brahms, Chopin and Rachmaninov. OTOH, I think Ashkenazy did a decent job on his WTC - faster tempos as both books were crammed into 3 CD's instead of the customary 4-CD set.
     
  15. George P

    George P Notable Member

    Location:
    NYC
    I have only had one, luckily and I caught it before it got bad enough to affect the sound. It was the Backhaus Chopin Etudes, the first complete recording of the etudes ever made. Issued on Pearl, OOP and perhaps gone forever. A damn shame.

    There should be a online support group, in every sense of the word, for people who have been affected by disc rot. No reason in the world that anyone should have to do without those recordings.
     
  16. john greenwood

    john greenwood Well-Known Member

    Location:
    NYC
    Somewhere, in the back of my mind, I recall reading that the 9th was actually with a NY based ad-hoc ensemble. The sound is certainly distinct from the rest.

    And I'm almost certain I've read he did a complete mono cycle with the NYPO.
     
  17. john greenwood

    john greenwood Well-Known Member

    Location:
    NYC
    My experience with the Lassus exactly.
     
  18. coopmv

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

    Location:
    CT, USA
    Well, as much as I am starting to enjoy historical performance, I don't think I will be interested to hear a bunch of amateurs performing Beethoven 9th.
     
  19. Kal Rubinson

    Kal Rubinson Forum Resident

    Most of the Columbia Symphony ad hoc performances were done with performers drawn from the NYPO or the LAPO depending on geography. No amateurs.
     
  20. Robin L

    Robin L Musical Omnivore

    Location:
    Fresno, California
    What's Old Is Old Again

    Nope. I've heard it called Imitation Furtwangler by critics who know what the real thing is. I'm really not crazy about his piano playing as well, got rid of his Angel set of the Beethoven sonatas earlier this year. You just can't fake profundity.

    Barenboim's situation is so very similar to what I'm reading in all the pop/rock threads on this forum. Once upon a time, Barenboim was representative of the Youth Movement of the sixties, a prodigy with a photogenic musical partner in Jacqueline du Pré. And now that's all over, with an ocean's worth of water having run under the bridges. Not only is youth lost on the young—after thirty years or so you start to have a hard time marketing it as such.

    I've heard that Barenboim's recent Beethoven cycle is some kind of wonderful but promos didn't pass my way when that might have happened and I've never heard anything from the maestro in the past that makes me want to rush out and find what all the fuss is about.
     
  21. Jay F

    Jay F New Member

    Location:
    Pittsburgh, PA
    They're probably my two favorites in Mahler. I like some of HvK's Mahler, too, especially his M4.
     
  22. Robin L

    Robin L Musical Omnivore

    Location:
    Fresno, California
    It's similar to myriad musical groups in London—there's a large pool of professional players in a variety of different Orchestras.

    This is particularly true of the various Early Musicke ensembles.
     
  23. George P

    George P Notable Member

    Location:
    NYC
    I am glad to own his set of the Beethoven Symphonies and though he certainly owes more than a little bit to Furtwangler for his interpretations, he gets some great playing out of his orchestra and the sound is thick and lush.
     
  24. drh

    drh Talking Machine

    The one that really surprised me was the Murray Parahia Bach that I've heard on the radio. I'm not usually one of his biggest fans (he gets held up as one of the great "poets of the piano," but I haven't found him to challenge some older pretenders to the title), but I think he may well prove to be one of the better Bach pianists going.
     
  25. coopmv

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

    Location:
    CT, USA
    Speaking of promos and marketing, look no further than how hard DG has been pushing Lang Lang, aka Bang Bang according to George. Some felt that Lang has made a conscious attempt to perhaps imitate the young Vladimir Horowitz (but he is no Horowitz). I think DG's real target market is China, given its population and the penchant for the Chinese to see one of their own hitting the big league. Personally, I do not care for him and do not own even one recording by him.
     
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