Classical Corner Classical Music Corner

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

  1. George P

    George P Everybody's Lost Thread Starter

    Location:
    NYC
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    Now enjoying Mazurkas from the above set, recorded in the 1930s. It is Rubinstein's first of three recordings of the works. It also happens to be my favorite of the three. I listened to 17 of the Mazurkas from the third set, which is highly acclaimed, but to me this early mono set has more character and style. I also like that the sound of the room is captured in the 1938-39 recordings. The 4 Scherzos make a nice finale for the set.
     
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  2. George P

    George P Everybody's Lost Thread Starter

    Location:
    NYC
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    Now enjoying some more early Rubinstein recordings of Chopin. These come from 1928-1935 and represent the pianist's first of three recordings of the Polonaises. As is usually the case, the liner notes are wonderful, with large excerpts from the pianists own writings about his recordings of the works. In the notes, he reports that after hearing back his 1928 recording of the Barcarolle, he had tears in his eyes, as electrical recording was in its infancy and he had yet to hear his playing and "the sound reproduced faithfully the golden tone of the piano reproduced so beautifully." When they reissued the Rubinstein set, they omitted all of these wonderful liner notes and I think that was a big mistake.
     
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2019
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  3. George P

    George P Everybody's Lost Thread Starter

    Location:
    NYC
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    Now enjoying Rubinstein's first of three recordings of the Chopin Nocturnes. Tempo is faster than I am used to, but it is fitting for early evening listening. Ward Marston's open transfers allow a great deal of the pianist's tone to shine through.
     
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  4. drh

    drh Talking Machine

    All this listening to Rubinstein's Chopin reminds me that it's been far too long since I played his recording, with Heifetz and Feuermann, of the Beethoven Archduke Trio. To this day that remains my favorite account of the piece, although I need to go back and give Cortot & co. a listen with fresh ears.

    So many records, so little time!
     
  5. bruce2

    bruce2 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Connecticut, USA
    Lately I have been enjoying Herbert Von Karajans 1977 Beethoven symphonies. I also own his 1963 set on SACD as well as the 1955 Philharmonia set, but I have come to enjoy the performances and sound quality from 1977 best. For those that care about different masterings, I have compared a couple of the old 80s Galleria CD issues with Japanese SHM-CDs from 2014. For me the SHM discs are superior and I love the way they sound. They are detailed and maintain the hall ambience while not being too bright, and the sound has decent weight to it and good low bass when required. I own three of them, Symphonies 2 and 4, 7 and 8, and 9. I was somewhat surprised to strongly prefer the SHM discs to the older ones, because normally with classical music I prefer original issues to remasters which usually just sound too bright to me. Anyone else a fan of Karajans 77 Beethoven cycle?
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2019
  6. TonyACT

    TonyACT Boxed-in!

    I have the Pastoral on the Galleria CD you mention and it has always been one of my favourite versions.
     
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  7. TonyACT

    TonyACT Boxed-in!

    I bought the Toscanini Complete RCA box some years ago and haven't looked back. I knew next to nothing about him at the time except for a sampler CD and comments from the fine folk here. I've since explored lots of enjoyable older recordings from a variety of labels.
     
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  8. George P

    George P Everybody's Lost Thread Starter

    Location:
    NYC
    With the exception of his 6th, I've always been a fan of the performances in his 63 Beethoven cycle but I am not a fan of his 77 Beethoven cycle. Glad you are enjoying it, though.
     
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  9. violarules

    violarules Forum Resident

    Location:
    Baltimore, MD
    I ran across this in a google search: a supposedly true Stereo Toscanini/Saint-Saens Organ Symphony. I am very well familiar with the official release of this, but I am intrigued. I am currently at work and can't listen with headphones to decide whether this is true stereo. The source is supposedly an experimental Stereo broadcast. It seems at least one station simulcast one channel in FM and the other AM, and if you had two radio sets, it would create stereo. However, I have no idea how this would have been preserved for posterity.

    Any takers to listen on headphones and see if there is real separation, or if it's just a dodgey reprocess job? There are some minor performance differences from the official CD release, which makes me think it might at least be a true radio transcription.

     
  10. violarules

    violarules Forum Resident

    Location:
    Baltimore, MD
    Okay, sorry all. For some reason simply trying to cut and paste an archive.org link (not an mp3 link) is being weird for me. It is easily found on Google: Toscanini Saint-Saens Organ Symphony - Stereo. Thanks for trying!
     
  11. Daedalus

    Daedalus I haven't heard it all.....

    I am listening to Lutoslawski’s Concerto for Symphony Orchestra. Performed by USSR State Radio and Television Symphony Orchestra conducted by Rozhdestvensky. Also on the disc is Schonberg’s Pelleas and Melisande symphonic poem. These are 1971 recordings. This disc is part of the Legendary Soviet Recordings box set which I purchased from Amazon Japan. It contains a wealth of great performances in good sound. A must for fans of Russian artists.
     
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  12. drh

    drh Talking Machine

    I assume you mean this?

    I'm on my way out to work, so had time to listen to only a couple of minutes, but here's my quick impression: yes, a bit more spacious, but little if any in the way of stereo imaging. The source admits to diddling the files for more ambiance, so I'm not sure how much of the "spacious" is spurious. Absent that, sounded like a "diddled" equivalent to the mono from the big RCA box.

    I'll try to give it a less frantically rushed listen tonight for a more measured response, but I just couldn't wait. Thank you for calling attention to it!

    [edit] Ack! The link didn't post for *me*, either. No time to fix now. Sigh....

    [another edit] OK, one attempt at a quick fix. https:/archive .org/details/SaintSaensSymph301

    I put a space between "archive" and the succeeding period. If this shows up, delete that space to get the URL.
     
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  13. violarules

    violarules Forum Resident

    Location:
    Baltimore, MD
    Thanks, yes the link shows up... not sure why it's difficult to post a link to archive.org...

    But, after listening last night on headphones, I agree it's probably just a futzed-with mono version. It ain't half-bad, though. And the very end has almost no ritenuto, which sounds like maybe a different performance than the official release, but I may be wrong on that. There is a smidge of directionality, particularly in the cymbals, but that could just be digitally created (or re-created, that is).
     
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  14. Daedalus

    Daedalus I haven't heard it all.....

    This morning: I have dipped back into the Westminster box set. CD 13-Gliere-Symphony 3, “Ilya Muromets”. A mono recording done in 1952, featuring the Vienna State Opera Orchestra conducted by Herman Scherchen. The CD indicates that this is the first release on CD. In any event this work is new to me. I am surprised I never ran across an LP version when I was intensely collecting classical vinyl.
     
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  15. George P

    George P Everybody's Lost Thread Starter

    Location:
    NYC
    [​IMG]

    Now enjoying Wilhelm Kempff playing the Op. 126 Bagatelles from the above CD. Lovely, intimate stuff. Wish the sound wasn't so cold and hard, but I guess one can't have everything.
     
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  16. Daedalus

    Daedalus I haven't heard it all.....

    This morning: the complete Nutcracker Ballet of Tchaikovsky. Royal Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Artur Rodzinski. 1956 recording. Part of Westminster box. The conductor died two years later at the young age of 66 years. He had an interesting career conducting at the helm of some of the finest orchestras. This particular recording of the Nutcracker is renowned.
     
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2019 at 6:46 AM
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  17. drh

    drh Talking Machine

    Very fine conductor, but he was always notoriously--er--undiplomatic and didn't get along with orchestras or management very well. Not uncommon in those days, but as a result he didn't stay anywhere very long. NBC hired Rodzinski to form and "train" the NBCSO before Toscanini's arrival to take it over.

    For those of us who collect 78s, he was the anonymous conductor at the helm of the Tchaikowsky 4th Sym. on the "World's Greatest Music" label. It's one of the better performances in that (generally fine) series, which also had a few entries led by Ormandy (particularly fine accounts of Beethoven's 5th and Mozart's 40th Syms. and a surprisingly effective set containing, of all things, Bach's 2d and 3d B'burgs) and the first issued commercial recordings of Fritz Reiner (Debussy and Wagner tidbits).

    Rodzinski's Nutcracker made an earlier appearance on CD, which is the form in which I have it: it was one of the recordings that surfaced in the so-called "Double Decker" series issued by MCA in the early days of CD, each issue comprising two CDs from the old Westminster or Command catalogues, packed in a little CD flip rack and issued at a rock-bottom bargain price. Excellent performance, perhaps my favorite, but painfully bright sound. I have my suspicions (but, I hasten to add, no proof) MCA just copied an LP mastering tape, RIAA equalization and all, and dumped it on the market.

    Incidentally, MCA filled out the second disc of the Rodzinski issue with a collection of excerpts from Swan Lake performed by the Utah SO under Maurice Abravanel.
     
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  18. Casagrande

    Casagrande Forum Resident

    The '77 cycle has a terrific recording of symphony no. 7. Probably my favorite recording of the work.
     
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  19. ando here

    ando here Forum Resident

    Location:
    new york, ny
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    Samson et Dalila à l’église
    Camille Saint-Saens Vincent Genvrin (2012, Hortus)

    Samson and Dalilah in the Church has to be one of the more irreverent album titles I've come across in a while. What the music contained herein has to do with the composer's opera, Samson & Delilah, is up for grabs. They're motets for solo voice and organ written for the Church of the Madeleine. Meditative (in a spare but luminous treatment), the material has a hushed quality that will serve quiet moments well though the primary objective here is to give praise. Genvrin has a tastefully measured touch on organ. Sylvie De May and Catherine Raveene are the two fine soloists. Recommended. Streaming on most platforms.
     
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2019 at 10:38 AM
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  20. Daedalus

    Daedalus I haven't heard it all.....

    The CD in the Westminster box set does not seem particularly bright so perhaps it was remastered.
     
  21. George P

    George P Everybody's Lost Thread Starter

    Location:
    NYC
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    Anoyone know if the CDs in this 2012 GG Collection were mastered well?
     
  22. Daedalus

    Daedalus I haven't heard it all.....

    At work going through a few selections from the Henry Szeryng, Complete Philips, Mercury and DG recordings box. Up now is a Mercury-Treasures for the Violin CD with Charles Reiner, piano.
     
  23. Walter H

    Walter H Santa's Helper

    Location:
    New Hampshire, USA
    Yes. In my experience the DG remastered Westminster titles are superior to earlier versions. Count me as another whose favorite Nutcracker is Rodzinski's, although using a recording of Big Ben when the clock strikes midnight is still an odd production choice (if inevitable, given the label's logo!)
     
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  24. bruce2

    bruce2 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Connecticut, USA
    I agree. In particular the 2nd and 4th movements are incredible.
     
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  25. George P

    George P Everybody's Lost Thread Starter

    Location:
    NYC
    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Now enjoying this 3CD set. Picked it up dirt cheap today.
     
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