Classical Corner Classical Music Corner

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

  1. drh

    drh Talking Machine

    Thanks for the encouraging words. That review is not unlike a number of others I'd seen, which caught my curiosity. That said, sometimes curiosity has adverse effects on the feline lifespan; for example, I bought a cycle, at non-negligible expense, not only of the stas. but also the cti. performed by one Gerard Willems, because I was curious how they would sound on a Stuart & Sons piano, the first concert grand designed and built in Australia. Alas, the performances turned out to be more "dutiful" than "inspired."

    You win some, you lose some.
     
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  2. hvbias

    hvbias Midrange magic

    Location:
    Northeast
    Impressive. I will continue to listen to Mr. Schnabel, there is much to like about it.

    Seems my Backhaus set is on the slow boat from Japan and I'm sick of hearing these medium bitrate MP3s (and even in this state they sound better than Pristine's FLAC!) so I will put Schnabel back in my heavy listening rotation. I'll be back in a few weeks :) well maybe more, the Szell box also arrived yesterday. Maybe compare the mono Backhaus to stereo to see why I was so deeply compelled to listen to the mono and never felt the same about the stereo.

    In doing a search for raw 78 Schnabel transfers I came across this:


    Not at home to hear the Naxos discs, but I believe this does sound very different from them. There is a soaring piano tone on that Youtube clip.

    Any suggestions for books about these sonatas, ie history, details about composition, etc? Technically oriented that requires reading music is fine. When I do a search on Amazon I am just seeing books for sheet music.
     
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  3. J.A.W.

    J.A.W. Music Addict

    Now listening to disc 6 of the box below, with Andrea Lucchesini's interpretations of Beethoven's Piano Sonatas 13, Op.27/1; 14, Op.27/2; 29, Op.106

    [​IMG]

    A wonderful but unfortunately OOP and hard-to-find set. Highly recommended!
     
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  4. George P

    George P Notable Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    NYC
    One correction to my post above, Schnabel is in Todd's second tier, not first, as I posted. I have had a Gort fix that.

    At any rate, Schnabel is in my top tier. His Beethoven is very different than Backhaus's, though.

    I hear Schnabel's Beethoven as being youthful, joyful, intense and spontaneous. Fast movements are taken quite fast and the slow movements are played slower than the norm. His slow movements are incredibly deep and moving. His fast movements are exciting. It's a young man's Beethoven.

    On the other hand, Backhaus's Beethoven comes across as much more serious and mature, his playing is more polished. He understands and presents the works as a whole, at times at the expense of some of the details along the way. For example, his slow movements are frequently faster than the norm, which loses some depth Schnabel finds. And his fast movements are on the slow side, which often results in a less exciting performance. This is an elder statesman's Beethoven.

    The stereo has much better sound than the mono set. Comparing the two, I find the playing to be similar, but with some decline in his playing. He was already pretty old when he recorded the mono set.

    I just compared the youtube clip to the Naxos on headphones and found the youtube sample to have more info on top, but less bottom end. The Naxos is the reverse, with some of the top end shaved off and a far warmer, fuller and more solid bass.

    The only book I have bought, which I recommend, is this one. It came out in 1971, so it only discusses recordings up to that point.
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2018
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  5. hvbias

    hvbias Midrange magic

    Location:
    Northeast
    I was looking up Youtube clips of 78s since I find much to agree with @drh that what we hear on disc might not be representative of a real 78. I think this is more due to processing employed by mastering engineers than any flaw with digital itself. There is a PBS documentary "American Epic" that is about early American music (jug band, blues, country, etc), they use this new technique of minimizing surface noise that sounds absolutely startling. It sounds like it removes none of the music as the music is still vibrant and punchy with minimal surface noise. I've often wanted to hear classical 78s using that technology.

    Really hesitant to write more about Schnabel without it being more fresh in my memory and I never wrote anything down, so I may withdraw what I say next :) From what I recall I seemed to place him in the modern German school (even if that technically was not his background), playing with clear defined lines with focus on the main melodies. As such pieces might not have the "density" to them. Contrast this to my favorites (Fischer, Serkin), they will often bring out the minor voices more and Backhaus really tends to do this.

    You could be correct on Backhaus' technique on the stereo, as this is one of those things that is an immediate turn off for me and it would be logical that he needed more time to record Hammerklavier in stereo (hence being left off) if his technique was deteriorating. I will do the comparisons as I strongly prefer good recording quality if the artistic merit is there to match it.

    Thank you for the suggestion on the book, does it focus more on recordings made from the 20th century? I was interesting in finding technical details of the sonatas, history of when Beethoven was writing them, details on inspirations from older works, etc. Sometimes these are in CD liner notes but no references to books. I've asked my friend's mom (a violin teacher) and my own piano teacher would just give me sheet music and scant detail such as "an early sonata", "a good introduction", and leave it at that.
     
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  6. George P

    George P Notable Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    NYC
    To me, the youtube 78 sounded a lot like the Pearl transfers of the Schnabel Beethoven sonatas. The Naxos has been cleaned up a bit, enough for me to enjoy them without discomfort. The Pearl, on the other hand, literally gave me headaches.

    Yes.
     
  7. Bachtoven

    Bachtoven Forum Resident

    Location:
    CA
    I finished listening to Book II today. Overall, this is my favorite recording of the WTC.

    [​IMG]
     
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  8. bruce2

    bruce2 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Connecticut, USA
    I don't have any recordings of these works in my collection. Went to look into ordering this set but Amazon said it is currently unavailable. Maybe the CD hasn't been released yet?
     
  9. Bachtoven

    Bachtoven Forum Resident

    Location:
    CA
  10. JuniorMaineGuide

    JuniorMaineGuide Forum Resident

    Location:
    Boulder, Colorado
    Keen to check this out based on your high recommendation! I only just learned of Dolce Volta recently.
     
  11. Bachtoven

    Bachtoven Forum Resident

    Location:
    CA
    Samples are available on the site I posted above.
     
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  12. JuniorMaineGuide

    JuniorMaineGuide Forum Resident

    Location:
    Boulder, Colorado
    Andras Schiff has a great lecture series on YouTube on the sonatas where he goes into detail about each one. Highly recommended.

    I haven’t read it so I can’t recommend it but I know Charles Rosen has written a book about the sonatas. I’ve liked everything else I’ve read by him and he is always very detailed.
     
  13. hvbias

    hvbias Midrange magic

    Location:
    Northeast
    Schiff's lectures are very good, I can't remember where but I was able to download them as MP3s from some site. Will look up Charles Rosen's book, thank you.
     
  14. hvbias

    hvbias Midrange magic

    Location:
    Northeast
    My favorite is Evgeni Koroliov, I seem to recall you value good recording/mastering quality. These are on Tacet and their recording quality is top notch.

    He does not add any ornamentation to them (cough Richter ;) ), which is pretty important to me.
     
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  15. cdgenarian

    cdgenarian Forum Resident

    Location:
    North Carolina
    Never heard of Maria Tipo. Fortunately, Spotify has 8 (or so) titles by her (5 of which are Muzio Clementi) . I listened to each one. To my very amateur ears, her recordings are very musical sounding in spite of a "ringing" background noise for several tracks. Good to learn about this artist, thanks.
     
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  16. George P

    George P Notable Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    NYC
    You're welcome!
     
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  17. bruce2

    bruce2 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Connecticut, USA
    Thanks, I think I will give this a shot. As someone new to these works, do you recommend I start with the Koroliov Vol. 1 or Vol. 2? I only want to purchase one set to start with.
     
  18. George P

    George P Notable Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    NYC
    Volume 1.
     
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  19. hvbias

    hvbias Midrange magic

    Location:
    Northeast
    Volume 1 is a fine start. He is maybe a bit too precious in the slow C Major (just lacking a bit of momentum) which might be why I'd suggest Vol 2, but that's up to you.

    Have you heard the WTC before? People interpret them in different ways, Koroliov leans more towards the non-virtuoso style, but the tempi still sound authentic and these are not romanticized, his counterpoints aren't perhaps quite as obvious as say Schiff (ECM) or Gould.
     
  20. Bachtoven

    Bachtoven Forum Resident

    Location:
    CA
    I'd say Prescia leans more toward the virtuosic style in the fast movements, but he also clearly brings out the counterpoint.
     
  21. hvbias

    hvbias Midrange magic

    Location:
    Northeast
    Do you post as Kontrapunctus on TC?
     
  22. Bachtoven

    Bachtoven Forum Resident

    Location:
    CA
    Yes, or I did. Some of the posts and threads are just too stupid for words, so I'm pretty much finished with that site!
     
  23. hvbias

    hvbias Midrange magic

    Location:
    Northeast
    Ok was just checking, I share many of your views on baroque performances.



    Sounds good, he has the "upward drive" of the music. I think the amount of counterpoint he brings out is fairly similar to Koroliov. He uses the pedals more as well. Good enough for me to check out the rest of his Youtube channel this evening.

    I hear you on TC, I haven't checked there in a while; moderation is too lax, members make personal attacks, and the ignore system is just not properly done on that software, ie the highly functional system here. Many of the regulars moved to /r/classicalmusic, though I can't get behind Reddit's system that discourages in depth discussion since you can't bump threads and what shows up on the front pages is by their upvote algorithm. A system that works for current topics, but not for something as far spanning as classical.
     
  24. Bachtoven

    Bachtoven Forum Resident

    Location:
    CA
    This forum and GMG (Good Music Group) are enough for me.
     
  25. George P

    George P Notable Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    NYC
    My favorite for the bach WTC is Samuel Fienberg. Incredibly poetic playing.

    I also like Tureck's mono set on DG and Richter's RCA set.
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2018

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