Discussion:
RCA Living Stereo recommendations
(too old to reply)
tilltheend
2004-12-24 03:42:32 UTC
Permalink
Some years ago I purchased a couple of Toscannini recordings whose
recorded quality sounded so bad, I vowed to never again purchase
anything recorded prior to the early sixties years. Well, I recently,
and somewhat skeptically, decided to purchase a couple of the latest
Living Stereo SACD releases (Reiner's Zarathustra and Mussorgsky), and
I'm wondering if all of the recordings in the Living Stereo series
sound this good--that is, not only the sacd releases, but all Living
Stereo recordings? I've since purchased another, this one non-sacd,
Reiner's "Vienna" recording. The quality of even this recording is
excellent: The brass (especially trumpets) actually sound real. Perhaps
the strings are a bit muted, but overall, everything sounds quite
realistic. All the instruments are really transparent. I wish I
discovered these long ago.

Were all these RCA recordings this excellently and equally balanced
throughout the fifties and sixties?

Tonight, for example, I was just listening to Bernstein's DG recording
of Mathis Der Maler, and though this was recorded some 30 years after
Reiner's Strauss, I actually prefer the older recording's sound!

Dean
Matthew B. Tepper
2004-12-24 07:56:11 UTC
Permalink
"tilltheend" <***@cox.net> appears to have caused the following
letters to be typed in news:1103859752.009312.176800
Post by tilltheend
Some years ago I purchased a couple of Toscannini recordings whose
recorded quality sounded so bad, I vowed to never again purchase anything
recorded prior to the early sixties years.
I pity you.
--
Matthew B. Tepper: WWW, science fiction, classical music, ducks!
My personal home page -- http://home.earthlink.net/~oy/index.html
My main music page --- http://home.earthlink.net/~oy/berlioz.html
To write to me, do for my address what Androcles did for the lion
Take THAT, Daniel Lin, Mark Sadek, James Lin & Christopher Chung!
William Sommerwerck
2004-12-24 12:48:10 UTC
Permalink
Post by tilltheend
Some years ago I purchased a couple of Toscannini recordings whose
recorded quality sounded so bad, I vowed to never again purchase
anything recorded prior to the early sixties years. Well, I recently,
and somewhat skeptically, decided to purchase a couple of the latest
Living Stereo SACD releases (Reiner's Zarathustra and Mussorgsky),
and I'm wondering if all of the recordings in the Living Stereo series
sound this good--that is, not only the sacd releases, but all Living
Stereo recordings? I've since purchased another, this one non-SACD,
Reiner's "Vienna" recording. The quality of even this recording is
excellent: The brass (especially trumpets) actually sound real.
Perhaps the strings are a bit muted, but overall, everything sounds
quite realistic. All the instruments are really transparent. I wish
I discovered these long ago.
Were all these RCA recordings this excellently and equally balanced
throughout the fifties and sixties?
Tonight, for example, I was just listening to Bernstein's DG recording
of Mathis der Maler, and though this was recorded some 30 years after
Reiner's Strauss, I actually prefer the older recording's sound!
Not all Living Stereo recordings sound that good (eg, Reiner's B5, a fine
performance with coarse sound), but in general, they were made with only a few
mics that fed directly into the tape deck with little or no further processing.
This sort of recording -- regardless of the equipment -- generally produces
more-natural sound.

For reasons I don't understand, modern "live" recordings are often made this
way, and generally have much better (more-natural, less colored) sound than most
"studio" recordings.

I have a high-end system that I often wish I'd never bought, because most
recordings sound atrociously unnatural. I occasionally have to play a classic
Living Stereo or Living Presence recording, or a recent live or concert
recording, to remind myself that there's nothing wrong with my system, other
than the fact that it's "too accurate" to produce pleasing or plausible sound
with 99+% of recordings.

Don't give up on old mono recordings. There are many outstanding performances
there.
tilltheend
2004-12-24 15:24:30 UTC
Permalink
Post by William Sommerwerck
Not all Living Stereo recordings sound that good (eg, Reiner's B5, a fine
performance with coarse sound), but in general, they were made with only a few
mics that fed directly into the tape deck with little or no further processing.
This sort of recording -- regardless of the equipment -- generally produces
more-natural sound.
I don't mean this as a rhetorical question--If RCA could produce such
astonishing results back in the fifties, why would record companies,
now, with more knowledge in recording techniques, and better
microphones and recording equipment, change that methodology, and
produce recordings that can't even compare in quality. What reason
would motivate that change? In all fairness, I have heard a good number
of excellent recently recorded discs (Tilson Thomas' Mahler, Kocsis'
Bartok, Chailly's Mahler), but by and large, to my recent dismay, the
bulk of my cd collection is from eighties, many of which I now find
hard to listen to after hearing some of these RCAs, and also some very
recently produced SACDs.
<The bass drum, for instance, on Reiner's Thunder and Ligthning Waltz
recording is so realistically cannon-like, and reverberant--on many
present day recordings, the drum sounds like a dull, cardboard-like
thud. Such a thud actually mars the conductor's intention (well,
assuming the conductor wants the thunder prominent)Much of the brass on
the 1980'8 DDD recordings sound not like trumpets, horns, or trombones,
but like a cheap Casio keyboard's simulacrum. Ideally, when an
orchestra is holding a chord, the listener should be able to
distinguish not only one instrument from the another, the tonal
qualities making each instrument unique, but also should be able to
clearly hear the actual notes each instrument plays.
Guus
2004-12-24 15:52:12 UTC
Permalink
Post by tilltheend
but like a cheap Casio keyboard's simulacrum. Ideally, when an
orchestra is holding a chord, the listener should be able to
distinguish not only one instrument from the another, the tonal
qualities making each instrument unique, but also should be able to
clearly hear the actual notes each instrument plays.
Is that realistic? Does one hear clearly each note in the orchestra when one
is present at a performance?
Norman M. Schwartz
2004-12-24 17:02:12 UTC
Permalink
Post by Guus
Is that realistic? Does one hear clearly each note in the orchestra when one
is present at a performance?
Yes and no, depends upon where you are sitting. (Splurge on some tickets...,
lower tier front boxes sometimes kept for the house.)
notrump15-17
2004-12-24 15:50:24 UTC
Permalink
Re "Reiner's Thunder and Lightning Waltz" didn't you really intend
Fiedler-BPO performing J. Strauss fils' "Thunder and Lightning Polka?"
Post by William Sommerwerck
Post by William Sommerwerck
Not all Living Stereo recordings sound that good (eg, Reiner's B5, a
fine
Post by William Sommerwerck
performance with coarse sound), but in general, they were made with
only a few
Post by William Sommerwerck
mics that fed directly into the tape deck with little or no further
processing.
Post by William Sommerwerck
This sort of recording -- regardless of the equipment -- generally
produces
Post by William Sommerwerck
more-natural sound.
I don't mean this as a rhetorical question--If RCA could produce such
astonishing results back in the fifties, why would record companies,
now, with more knowledge in recording techniques, and better
microphones and recording equipment, change that methodology, and
produce recordings that can't even compare in quality. What reason
would motivate that change? In all fairness, I have heard a good number
of excellent recently recorded discs (Tilson Thomas' Mahler, Kocsis'
Bartok, Chailly's Mahler), but by and large, to my recent dismay, the
bulk of my cd collection is from eighties, many of which I now find
hard to listen to after hearing some of these RCAs, and also some very
recently produced SACDs.
<The bass drum, for instance, on Reiner's Thunder and Ligthning Waltz
recording is so realistically cannon-like, and reverberant--on many
present day recordings, the drum sounds like a dull, cardboard-like
thud. Such a thud actually mars the conductor's intention (well,
assuming the conductor wants the thunder prominent)Much of the brass on
the 1980'8 DDD recordings sound not like trumpets, horns, or trombones,
but like a cheap Casio keyboard's simulacrum. Ideally, when an
orchestra is holding a chord, the listener should be able to
distinguish not only one instrument from the another, the tonal
qualities making each instrument unique, but also should be able to
clearly hear the actual notes each instrument plays.
tilltheend
2004-12-24 17:08:24 UTC
Permalink
Post by notrump15-17
Re "Reiner's Thunder and Lightning Waltz" didn't you really intend
Fiedler-BPO performing J. Strauss fils' "Thunder and Lightning
Polka?"
Post by notrump15-17
Oops--Indeed, The Thunder and Lightning Polka could never be
mistaken for 3/4 time--but actually it was Reiner's recording I was
listening to--I tried to find Fiedler's, but it appears to be out of
print.

Dean
notrump15-17
2004-12-24 23:41:19 UTC
Permalink
I own the Fiedler on RCA Shaded Dog LSC-2548. Excellent performance &
sonics.
Post by notrump15-17
Post by notrump15-17
Re "Reiner's Thunder and Lightning Waltz" didn't you really intend
Fiedler-BPO performing J. Strauss fils' "Thunder and Lightning
Polka?"
Post by notrump15-17
Oops--Indeed, The Thunder and Lightning Polka could never be
mistaken for 3/4 time--but actually it was Reiner's recording I was
listening to--I tried to find Fiedler's, but it appears to be out of
print.
Dean
William Sommerwerck
2004-12-24 18:27:46 UTC
Permalink
Post by William Sommerwerck
Not all Living Stereo recordings sound that good (eg, Reiner's B5,
a fine performance with coarse sound), but in general, they were
made with only a few mics that fed directly into the tape deck
with little or no further processing. This sort of recording --
regardless of the equipment -- generally produces more-natural
sound.
I don't mean this as a rhetorical question -- if RCA could produce such
astonishing results back in the fifties, why would record companies,
now, with more knowledge in recording techniques, and better
microphones and recording equipment, change that methodology,
and produce recordings that can't even compare in quality?
Because -- as RCA so aptly demonstrated with Dynagroove -- the producers are
more interested in recordings that "sound good" on cheap equipment, or they're
trying to produce "musical" effects that have nothing to do with live sound, or
they figure they have to make "good" use of huge, expensive recording consoles
that add little and take away a lot.

I might add that a _properly_ engineered recording made with _modern_ equipment,
will, in terms of sheer realism, blow away those classic recordings from the
early days of stereo. But few recording companies seem to be interesting in
creating such recordings.
J. Teske
2004-12-24 19:35:42 UTC
Permalink
On Fri, 24 Dec 2004 10:27:46 -0800, "William Sommerwerck"
Post by William Sommerwerck
Post by William Sommerwerck
Not all Living Stereo recordings sound that good (eg, Reiner's B5,
a fine performance with coarse sound), but in general, they were
made with only a few mics that fed directly into the tape deck
with little or no further processing. This sort of recording --
regardless of the equipment -- generally produces more-natural
sound.
I don't mean this as a rhetorical question -- if RCA could produce such
astonishing results back in the fifties, why would record companies,
now, with more knowledge in recording techniques, and better
microphones and recording equipment, change that methodology,
and produce recordings that can't even compare in quality?
Because -- as RCA so aptly demonstrated with Dynagroove -- the producers are
more interested in recordings that "sound good" on cheap equipment, or they're
trying to produce "musical" effects that have nothing to do with live sound, or
they figure they have to make "good" use of huge, expensive recording consoles
that add little and take away a lot.
I might add that a _properly_ engineered recording made with _modern_ equipment,
will, in terms of sheer realism, blow away those classic recordings from the
early days of stereo. But few recording companies seem to be interesting in
creating such recordings.
I have purchased a fair number of "Living Stereo" reissues and
likewise EMI CDs first issued on Angel. For one thing I was a college
student during the initial LP releases and couldn't afford all that
much, but a bigger reason was that in the early stereo era (which
started in 1958 as far as consumer LP availability is concerned...some
recordings were actually made earlier) was that RCA and Angel had
really cruddy pressings. You could return to the record store
three-four times just to try to get a decent pressing. RCA was pretty
bad, but the worst were the Angel's made in their Scranton, PA plant
which was also where the bulk of US Beatles pressings came from.
Quality control at that place had to be near non existant. DGG's as
DG's were then known were among the few large purveyors where quality
was reliable. CBS pressings were also good for the most part. As I
recall CBS in the earliest days also pressed EPIC and some of the
Phillips recordings. Londons also were not bad. I don't know if
London/Decca had a North American pressing facility. DGG advertised
that they were imported from Germany. Mercury recordings and pressings
were also good although they did have quite the star quality line up
in the early sixties.

Younger collectors would have no idea how welcome the noiseless CD's
are to us older collectors whether new recordings or reissues of older
ones. At least you can be pretty certain that the technical aspect of
a pressing will be acceptable regardless what you might otherwise
think of a performance or the acoustic aspects of the recorded sound.

Jon Teske, violinist
Matthew B. Tepper
2004-12-24 19:53:35 UTC
Permalink
Post by William Sommerwerck
Post by William Sommerwerck
Not all Living Stereo recordings sound that good (eg, Reiner's B5, a
fine performance with coarse sound), but in general, they were made
with only a few mics that fed directly into the tape deck with little
or no further processing. This sort of recording -- regardless of the
equipment -- generally produces more-natural sound.
I don't mean this as a rhetorical question -- if RCA could produce such
astonishing results back in the fifties, why would record companies,
now, with more knowledge in recording techniques, and better microphones
and recording equipment, change that methodology, and produce recordings
that can't even compare in quality?
Because -- as RCA so aptly demonstrated with Dynagroove -- the producers
are more interested in recordings that "sound good" on cheap equipment,
or they're trying to produce "musical" effects that have nothing to do
with live sound, or they figure they have to make "good" use of huge,
expensive recording consoles that add little and take away a lot.
I might add that a _properly_ engineered recording made with _modern_
equipment, will, in terms of sheer realism, blow away those classic
recordings from the early days of stereo. But few recording companies
seem to be interesting in creating such recordings.
And then you're left with the Vroonish conceit that who needs Fritz Reiner
anyway, when we've got the far superior Jesus Lopez-Cobos?
--
Matthew B. Tepper: WWW, science fiction, classical music, ducks!
My personal home page -- http://home.earthlink.net/~oy/index.html
My main music page --- http://home.earthlink.net/~oy/berlioz.html
To write to me, do for my address what Androcles did for the lion
Take THAT, Daniel Lin, Mark Sadek, James Lin & Christopher Chung!
William Sommerwerck
2004-12-24 23:42:47 UTC
Permalink
Post by Matthew B. Tepper
Post by William Sommerwerck
I might add that a _properly_ engineered recording made with _modern_
equipment, will, in terms of sheer realism, blow away those classic
recordings from the early days of stereo. But few recording companies
seem to be interesting in creating such recordings.
And then you're left with the Vroonish conceit that who needs Fritz Reiner
anyway, when we've got the far superior Jesus Lopez-Cobos?
I'm not so sure about that. I think the general availability of performers
(especially conductors) on CD fairly well reflects perceived opinion about their
talent. For example, Ormandy's recordings are virtually non-existent.

As much as I enjoy the performances of so many artists who were at their peaks
in the late '50s and early '60s, the fact is that these performers were more
likely to make recordings of works they were familiar and comfortable with. If
Fritz Reiner were obliged to perform Baroque works, or even early Classical, I
doubt he would be perceived as such a great conductor. Today, conductors are
expected to conduct everything, which makes them look worse than they are.

I will agree to this extent... The perception of _how_ music should be performed
has change a great deal in the last 40 years. As I have said ad nauseum, too
many conductors seem to think that any attempt to "interpret" the music is an
offense to the composer's intentions. Not to mention picking "smash the
toothpaste tube with a sledge hammer" tempos.
Dontaitchicago
2004-12-25 20:44:20 UTC
Permalink
Post by William Sommerwerck
As much as I enjoy the performances of so many artists who were at their peaks
in the late '50s and early '60s, the fact is that these performers were more
likely to make recordings of works they were familiar and comfortable with.
Or that their recording companies felt the public would buy under their
direction (i.e. a French conductor for French music) or the companies wanted
them to do. In those days, prominent artists were almost always signed to
exclusive contracts with companies and did not have the flexibility that those
conductors who are able to record for more than one company have now. With
reference to Fritz Reiner and RCA, I was told a story about that by a good and
reliable friend.

In 1959, Reiner and the CSO recorded approximately 40 minutes of excerpts
from Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker. It remains available on CD. In early 1960, RCA
Victor staged a reception in Chicago about CSO recordings. Reiner was there,
and my friend had a chance to talk to him briefly about recordings. He said
that Reiner said "I want to record Elektra. I want to do Salome. Victor wants
Nutcracker!" Reiner then said with a cynical shrug, "So I do Nutcracker."

The point of this, I think, is not that Reiner might have disliked
Tchaikovsky's music; on the contrary, he admired it and conducted it regularly.
It is that he would rather have recorded other things than the Nutcracker but
that he and the CSO felt obliged to do it to fulfill their RCA contract. It
worked that way for other conductors for years before the '50s and '60s, too.

Don Tait
Tom Deacon
2004-12-25 21:29:45 UTC
Permalink
On 12/25/04 3:44 PM, in article
Post by Dontaitchicago
The point of this, I think, is not that Reiner might have disliked
Tchaikovsky's music; on the contrary, he admired it and conducted it regularly.
It is that he would rather have recorded other things than the Nutcracker but
that he and the CSO felt obliged to do it to fulfill their RCA contract. It
worked that way for other conductors for years before the '50s and '60s, too.
The other side of that coin is that today conductors record what they want
to record, the records don't sell, and guess who's fault it is?

Reiner wouldn't have sold enough Salomes or Elektras for RCA Victor to
recoup the costs. End of discussion.

The rest is just Monday quarterback whining.

We should be happy that Reiner recorded a whole pisspot full of Richard
Strauss. And there was nary a shrieking soprano in sight. Well, only one, in
fact, and in the Elektra and Salome he wanted to record, if my memory serves
me correctly. The exception that proves the rule. And the orchestral
recordings - including The Nutcracker - are still making money for BMG.

TD
Brendan R. Wehrung
2004-12-26 04:28:25 UTC
Permalink
Post by Tom Deacon
On 12/25/04 3:44 PM, in article
Post by Dontaitchicago
The point of this, I think, is not that Reiner might have disliked
Tchaikovsky's music; on the contrary, he admired it and conducted it regularly.
It is that he would rather have recorded other things than the Nutcracker but
that he and the CSO felt obliged to do it to fulfill their RCA contract. It
worked that way for other conductors for years before the '50s and '60s, too.
The other side of that coin is that today conductors record what they want
to record, the records don't sell, and guess who's fault it is?
Reiner wouldn't have sold enough Salomes or Elektras for RCA Victor to
recoup the costs. End of discussion.
The rest is just Monday quarterback whining.
We should be happy that Reiner recorded a whole pisspot full of Richard
Strauss. And there was nary a shrieking soprano in sight. Well, only one, in
fact, and in the Elektra and Salome he wanted to record, if my memory serves
me correctly. The exception that proves the rule. And the orchestral
recordings - including The Nutcracker - are still making money for BMG.
TD
Did RCA have a hot soprano capable of the title role in 1959? Betcha if
Price had had a mad desire to take on Salome or Elektra Reiner might have
gotten his wish, but then, RCA would have farmed it off to a cheaper house
conductor in some European venue.

Brendan
--
Dave Cook
2004-12-26 04:38:45 UTC
Permalink
Post by Brendan R. Wehrung
Did RCA have a hot soprano capable of the title role in 1959?
Inge Borkh?

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/B000007RSZ

Dave Cook
David7Gable
2004-12-26 19:02:37 UTC
Permalink
Post by Brendan R. Wehrung
Did RCA have a hot soprano capable of the title role in 1959? Betcha if
Price had had a mad desire to take on Salome or Elektra Reiner might have
gotten his wish,
I hope nobody wants to hold Leontyne Price up to me as an example of pure and
flawless vocalism over the Inge Borkh of the Reiner/CSO final scene. (I'm not
suggesting that Brendan is such a person.) Price sang far from effortlessly
back in the throat (that is, without the forward placement that would have
prolonged her career), had a variable rapid vibrato, a weak lower register, and
merely passable agility.

-david gable
Tom Deacon
2004-12-26 19:53:00 UTC
Permalink
On 12/26/04 2:02 PM, in article
Post by David7Gable
Post by Brendan R. Wehrung
Did RCA have a hot soprano capable of the title role in 1959? Betcha if
Price had had a mad desire to take on Salome or Elektra Reiner might have
gotten his wish,
I hope nobody wants to hold Leontyne Price up to me as an example of pure and
flawless vocalism over the Inge Borkh of the Reiner/CSO final scene. (I'm not
suggesting that Brendan is such a person.) Price sang far from effortlessly
back in the throat (that is, without the forward placement that would have
prolonged her career), had a variable rapid vibrato, a weak lower register,
and merely passable agility.
Fortunately she and her admirers have successfully ignored these faults and
she remains arguably the greatest American voice of the second half of the
20th Century.

TD
David7Gable
2004-12-26 05:21:04 UTC
Permalink
Post by Tom Deacon
Reiner wouldn't have sold enough Salomes or Elektras for RCA
Victor to recoup the costs. End of discussion.
The discussion is, as they say, "academic," what with Reiner being dead and RCA
no longer in existence. But nobody will ever know whether recordings of Salome
and Elektra with Reiner would have sold enough to recoup the costs.
Post by Tom Deacon
nary a shrieking soprano in sight
Your contempt for the genre, opera, is showing again. You go on to describe
Post by Tom Deacon
The exception that proves the rule.
What rule does the existence of this recording prove? That complete
performances wouldn't have sold? How so?

-david gable
Tom Deacon
2004-12-26 15:19:20 UTC
Permalink
On 12/26/04 12:21 AM, in article
Post by David7Gable
Post by Tom Deacon
Reiner wouldn't have sold enough Salomes or Elektras for RCA
Victor to recoup the costs. End of discussion.
The discussion is, as they say, "academic," what with Reiner being dead and RCA
no longer in existence. But nobody will ever know whether recordings of Salome
and Elektra with Reiner would have sold enough to recoup the costs.
Fair guess, however, in view of the fact that even the Solti/Nilsson sets
took a long time to recoup. And she was one of the greatest Salomes and
Elektras of the 20th Century.
Post by David7Gable
Post by Tom Deacon
nary a shrieking soprano in sight
Your contempt for the genre, opera, is showing again.
Not at all. Would you describe Elektra's vocal line in other terms.
Melifluous? Charmingly feminine? Sultry and seductive?

Hmmmmmm.
Post by David7Gable
Post by Tom Deacon
The exception that proves the rule.
What rule does the existence of this recording prove? That complete
performances wouldn't have sold? How so?
That RCA never allowed Reiner to record those operas. Remember! The
conductor was being "quoted" by someone who recounted a story told by
another party relating a conversation with the maestro some 40 years ago.
We hardly need much in the way of "defense" against such remote statements,
David.

TD
David7Gable
2004-12-26 19:08:39 UTC
Permalink
Post by Tom Deacon
Post by David7Gable
What rule does the existence of this recording prove? That complete
performances wouldn't have sold? How so?
That RCA never allowed Reiner to record those operas.
Ah. Just the clarification I needed. But what an odd use to make of the old
"exception that proves the rule" cliche.

-david gable
Mitchell Kaufman
2004-12-26 17:44:10 UTC
Permalink
Post by David7Gable
Post by Tom Deacon
Reiner wouldn't have sold enough Salomes or Elektras for RCA
Victor to recoup the costs. End of discussion.
The discussion is, as they say, "academic," what with Reiner being dead
and RCA no longer in existence. But nobody will ever know whether
recordings of Salome and Elektra with Reiner would have sold enough to
recoup the costs.
There were recordings of Salome, at least, made during Reiner's stint at
RCA: Christel Goltz with Krauss for Decca, Nilsson w/Solti (Decca),
Borkh w/Böhm (DGG). As for RCA, see below.
Post by David7Gable
Post by Tom Deacon
nary a shrieking soprano in sight
Borkh was the Salome/Elektra of her era. That said, I can't stand her.
The characterization may have been wonderful, but the vocal defects are
too pronounced for me to ignore.

For that reason, I find the Salome and Elektra excerpts the least
satisfactory of Reiner's Strauss recordings for RCA. (OTOH, his
recording of the final scene w/Welitsch for Columbia is something else
again.) Furthermore, I'd suppose that with those extended excerpts
already in the can, they felt no need to do the whole shebang again
complete.

Anyway, there's plenty of live Reiner Strauss to be heard from the Met
in good sound w/Welitsch and Varnay, et al., where the conducting is IMO
more exciting than any of the Reiner studio recordings.
Post by David7Gable
What rule does the existence of this recording prove? That complete
performances wouldn't have sold? How so?
I don't go along with that necessarily either, but RCA was essentially
doing no German opera at the time. All its contract vocal artists were
primarily Italian specialists (Milanov, Björling, Warren, Merrill,
Price, et al.), and those German operas they did record were done so as
part of the cooperative agreement with Decca, and later ceded to them.

I suppose it was a question of what they felt would make them *more*
money: a recording of Aida, or one of Elektra. I think we know the
answer to that question.

MK
David7Gable
2004-12-26 18:57:56 UTC
Permalink
Post by Mitchell Kaufman
Borkh was the Salome/Elektra of her era. That said, I can't stand her.
The characterization may have been wonderful, but the vocal defects are
too pronounced for me to ignore.
For that reason, I find the Salome and Elektra excerpts the least
satisfactory of Reiner's Strauss recordings for RCA.
I don't hear anything remotely approximating what I could even begin to
describe as vocal defects in Borkh's Salome final scene under Reiner. I hear a
clear and gorgeous voice well produced with a far greater purity of tone than,
say, Rysanek ever mustered. Nor is this a case of my liking a singer despite
vocal defects. I'm well aware of the insufficiencies I overlook. (I don't do
Elektra, and haven't heard the Elektra bits in years.) (Also love the
Welistsch/Reiner final scene.)

I agree with everything in your elaborate history of recordings. I was arguing
"philosophy" and logic with the Deacon. Specifically, is it possible to know
with absolute certainty whether recordings never made would have recouped the
costs of recording them?

-david gable
Theresa
2004-12-26 19:19:52 UTC
Permalink
Post by David7Gable
I don't hear anything remotely approximating what I could even begin to
describe as vocal defects in Borkh's Salome final scene under Reiner. I hear a
clear and gorgeous voice well produced with a far greater purity of tone than,
say, Rysanek ever mustered. Nor is this a case of my liking a singer despite
vocal defects. I'm well aware of the insufficiencies I overlook. (I don't do
Elektra, and haven't heard the Elektra bits in years.) (Also love the
Welistsch/Reiner final scene.)
I agree with you on Borkh's voice, but with the reservation that I
know her only from recordings before 1960 or so, when she wasn't
quite forty (born 1921).
William Sommerwerck
2004-12-26 19:57:06 UTC
Permalink
Is it possible to know with absolute certainty whether recordings
never made would have recouped the costs of recording them?
No, but it's hard to believe that recordings of Strauss operas conducted by
Reiner wouldn't have sold well.

If I were running a classical recording company, I would look at overall
expenses versus overall profits, without worrying about whether a specific
recording did or did not make money. This would let me make the occasional
recording not expected to make an immediate profit, because it was
"underwritten" by more-successful recordings.
Matthew B. Tepper
2004-12-26 20:17:54 UTC
Permalink
Post by William Sommerwerck
Is it possible to know with absolute certainty whether recordings
never made would have recouped the costs of recording them?
No, but it's hard to believe that recordings of Strauss operas conducted
by Reiner wouldn't have sold well.
If I were running a classical recording company, I would look at overall
expenses versus overall profits, without worrying about whether a
specific recording did or did not make money. This would let me make the
occasional recording not expected to make an immediate profit, because
it was "underwritten" by more-successful recordings.
So would I, although first I'd probably waste an hour or so standing in
front of the mirror practicing that little gesture that Donald Trump makes.
The accompanying spoken phrase would give me no problem at all.
--
Matthew B. Tepper: WWW, science fiction, classical music, ducks!
My personal home page -- http://home.earthlink.net/~oy/index.html
My main music page --- http://home.earthlink.net/~oy/berlioz.html
To write to me, do for my address what Androcles did for the lion
Take THAT, Daniel Lin, Mark Sadek, James Lin & Christopher Chung!
Tom Deacon
2004-12-26 22:20:54 UTC
Permalink
Post by William Sommerwerck
Is it possible to know with absolute certainty whether recordings
never made would have recouped the costs of recording them?
No, but it's hard to believe that recordings of Strauss operas conducted by
Reiner wouldn't have sold well.
If I were running a classical recording company, I would look at overall
expenses versus overall profits, without worrying about whether a specific
recording did or did not make money. This would let me make the occasional
recording not expected to make an immediate profit, because it was
"underwritten" by more-successful recordings.
A dangerous slope.

And very slippery.

Your shareholders may not have the same attitude towards your use of their
money. They want profits and who can blame them. It is, after all, their
money, isn't it?

TD
Tom Deacon
2004-12-26 19:51:34 UTC
Permalink
On 12/26/04 1:57 PM, in article
I was arguing "philosophy" and logic with the Deacon. Specifically, is it
possible to know with absolute certainty whether recordings never made would
have recouped the costs of recording them?
In which case you were not arguing with much experience as you have little
if any experience of the costs of recording or how those costs are
"recouped".

RCA Victor was a very canny company in the 1950s, like Columbia Records.
They made money for their owners.

Columbia recorded little, if any, opera during that time, and despite the
fact that they had Bruno Walter on their roster.

RCA Victor recorded Italian opera based on Met casts who knew the works
inside and out. Indeed, some recordings were even "Met" productions turned
into recordings, replete with their second string conductors accompanying
the likes of Bjoerling and Milanov. Their only foray into Wagner came
courtesy of Decca (the Leinsdorf Walkure) until the devastating Boston
Symphony Orchstra Lohengrin, for which I would imagine they are still trying
to recoup their losses. (Incidentally, Leontyne was supposed to sing in that
production but dropped out).

Salome? Elektra?

No way, Jose. Too expensive to produce. Massive orchestras. Few decent
singers. Heavy copyright payments to the Strauss publishers. The whole
shebang.

Arguing philosophy is for amateurs, David. Facts are much more sobering.

TD
Matthew B. Tepper
2004-12-26 20:17:56 UTC
Permalink
Post by David7Gable
Post by Mitchell Kaufman
Borkh was the Salome/Elektra of her era. That said, I can't stand her.
The characterization may have been wonderful, but the vocal defects are
too pronounced for me to ignore.
For that reason, I find the Salome and Elektra excerpts the least
satisfactory of Reiner's Strauss recordings for RCA.
I don't hear anything remotely approximating what I could even begin to
describe as vocal defects in Borkh's Salome final scene under Reiner. I
hear a clear and gorgeous voice well produced with a far greater purity
of tone than, say, Rysanek ever mustered. Nor is this a case of my
liking a singer despite vocal defects. I'm well aware of the
insufficiencies I overlook. (I don't do Elektra, and haven't heard the
Elektra bits in years.) (Also love the Welistsch/Reiner final scene.)
Perhaps he was confusing Borkh with Welitsch, who was also known for her
assumption of Salome, but whose voice was not, shall we say, traditionally
beautiful?
Post by David7Gable
I agree with everything in your elaborate history of recordings. I was
arguing "philosophy" and logic with the Deacon. Specifically, is it
possible to know with absolute certainty whether recordings never made
would have recouped the costs of recording them?
If TD thinks he can, then he believes himself to be as omniscient as God
and would therefore, by his own definition, be a blasphemer. I like that.
--
Matthew B. Tepper: WWW, science fiction, classical music, ducks!
My personal home page -- http://home.earthlink.net/~oy/index.html
My main music page --- http://home.earthlink.net/~oy/berlioz.html
To write to me, do for my address what Androcles did for the lion
Take THAT, Daniel Lin, Mark Sadek, James Lin & Christopher Chung!
Mitchell Kaufman
2004-12-26 20:33:41 UTC
Permalink
Post by Matthew B. Tepper
Perhaps he was confusing Borkh with Welitsch, who was also known for her
assumption of Salome, but whose voice was not, shall we say, traditionally
beautiful?
No, I wasn't confusing anybody with anybody. I know damned well what
Borkh sounds like and what Welitsch sounds like.

Do we still have room for differences of opinion here? I hope so.

MK
J. Teske
2004-12-26 19:35:54 UTC
Permalink
Post by Mitchell Kaufman
Post by David7Gable
Post by Tom Deacon
Reiner wouldn't have sold enough Salomes or Elektras for RCA
Victor to recoup the costs. End of discussion.
The discussion is, as they say, "academic," what with Reiner being dead
and RCA no longer in existence. But nobody will ever know whether
recordings of Salome and Elektra with Reiner would have sold enough to
recoup the costs.
There were recordings of Salome, at least, made during Reiner's stint at
RCA: Christel Goltz with Krauss for Decca, Nilsson w/Solti (Decca),
Borkh w/Böhm (DGG). As for RCA, see below.
I don't go along with that necessarily either, but RCA was essentially
doing no German opera at the time.
For the most part that was true. I do recall a George London
"Dutchman" which may have been recorded by someone else and rights for
US distribution bought by RCA.

RCA did record a "Wulkure" under Leinsdorf/LSO. A couple years after
the recording was issued in the 60's, the old "High Fidelity" magazine
had a story about the financial aspects of that recording. I don't
remember the details but the bottom line was that it was expensive to
cast and produce, it was up against stiff competition from
Decca/London with the Solti set (being issued at the time but with an
announced committment that there would be a complete "Ring." RCA
didn't do that) and that as of a couple years after the recording, RCA
had taken a financial bath on this effort. I seem to remember figures
like $70K production figures, and something like a $4000 return to RCA
on sales up to that point in 1960's dollars. Interestingly enough
though, that set seems to continue to be reissued, even on CD. I do
not recall what kind of critical notices the recording got but I seem
to remember that it was a normally saleable cast (Vickers, Nilsson,
London). I have never listened to it so I can't comment on what I
think are the merits of this recording. It would be interesting to
learn if RCA/BMG ever recouped its investment with ultimately inflated
dollars, either by subsequent sales or relicensing. It seems to be
currently available on Decca/London according to a Google search.

Jon Teske
Post by Mitchell Kaufman
MK
Matthew B. Tepper
2004-12-26 20:17:55 UTC
Permalink
RCA did record a "Walküre" under Leinsdorf/LSO. A couple years after the
recording was issued in the 60's, the old "High Fidelity" magazine had a
story about the financial aspects of that recording. I don't remember the
details but the bottom line was that it was expensive to cast and
produce, it was up against stiff competition from Decca/London with the
Solti set (being issued at the time but with an announced committment
that there would be a complete "Ring." RCA didn't do that) and that as of
a couple years after the recording, RCA had taken a financial bath on
this effort. I seem to remember figures like $70K production figures,
and something like a $4000 return to RCA on sales up to that point in
1960's dollars. Interestingly enough though, that set seems to continue
to be reissued, even on CD. I do not recall what kind of critical notices
the recording got but I seem to remember that it was a normally saleable
cast (Vickers, Nilsson, London). I have never listened to it so I can't
comment on what I think are the merits of this recording. It would be
interesting to learn if RCA/BMG ever recouped its investment with
ultimately inflated dollars, either by subsequent sales or relicensing.
It seems to be currently available on Decca/London according to a Google
search.
I used to work for a CPA firm whose audit department devoted almost all of
its time to motion picture and TV production studio accounting. Let me
just say two words: "Creative accounting." Given the reputation of the
classical recording biz, the amount of credence I would attach to the above
claim can be enumerated as "slim to none." I wouldn't believe such an exec
unless I had him strapped to a polygraph and stood over him holding a
fully-charged taser.
--
Matthew B. Tepper: WWW, science fiction, classical music, ducks!
My personal home page -- http://home.earthlink.net/~oy/index.html
My main music page --- http://home.earthlink.net/~oy/berlioz.html
To write to me, do for my address what Androcles did for the lion
Take THAT, Daniel Lin, Mark Sadek, James Lin & Christopher Chung!
Mitchell Kaufman
2004-12-26 20:36:24 UTC
Permalink
Post by J. Teske
Post by Mitchell Kaufman
I don't go along with that necessarily either, but RCA was essentially
doing no German opera at the time.
For the most part that was true. I do recall a George London
"Dutchman" which may have been recorded by someone else and rights for
US distribution bought by RCA.
etc., etc.
Post by J. Teske
Post by Mitchell Kaufman
All its contract vocal artists were primarily Italian specialists
(Milanov, Björling, Warren, Merrill, Price, et al.), and those German
operas they did record were done so as part of the cooperative agreement
with Decca, and later ceded to them.
Which is exactly what you went on to say.

MK
Tom Deacon
2004-12-26 22:17:16 UTC
Permalink
Post by J. Teske
Post by Mitchell Kaufman
Post by David7Gable
Post by Tom Deacon
Reiner wouldn't have sold enough Salomes or Elektras for RCA
Victor to recoup the costs. End of discussion.
The discussion is, as they say, "academic," what with Reiner being dead
and RCA no longer in existence. But nobody will ever know whether
recordings of Salome and Elektra with Reiner would have sold enough to
recoup the costs.
There were recordings of Salome, at least, made during Reiner's stint at
RCA: Christel Goltz with Krauss for Decca, Nilsson w/Solti (Decca),
Borkh w/Böhm (DGG). As for RCA, see below.
I don't go along with that necessarily either, but RCA was essentially
doing no German opera at the time.
For the most part that was true. I do recall a George London
"Dutchman" which may have been recorded by someone else and rights for
US distribution bought by RCA.
Recorded by Decca and rights reverted to them.
Post by J. Teske
RCA did record a "Wulkure" under Leinsdorf/LSO.
Recorded by Decca and rights have reverted to them.

A great recording, incidentally.

TD
r***@yahoo.com
2004-12-26 19:35:05 UTC
Permalink
Thanks be to God that Deacon wasn't in charge of Decca Opera in the
50's, 60's and 70's.
Matthew B. Tepper
2004-12-26 20:17:55 UTC
Permalink
Post by r***@yahoo.com
Thanks be to God that Deacon wasn't in charge of Decca Opera in the
50's, 60's and 70's.
Yeah, just imagine if somebody who hates opera and knows nothing about it
were to be put in charge of one of the major operatic organizations.

Oops!
--
Matthew B. Tepper: WWW, science fiction, classical music, ducks!
My personal home page -- http://home.earthlink.net/~oy/index.html
My main music page --- http://home.earthlink.net/~oy/berlioz.html
To write to me, do for my address what Androcles did for the lion
Take THAT, Daniel Lin, Mark Sadek, James Lin & Christopher Chung!
Stephen Worth
2004-12-26 21:18:49 UTC
Permalink
Post by r***@yahoo.com
Thanks be to God that Deacon wasn't in charge of Decca Opera in the
50's, 60's and 70's.
He's found his true calling... usenet crumudgeon.

See ya
Steve
--
*#*#*#*#*#*#*#*#*#*#*#*#*#*#*#*#*#*#*#*#*#*#*#*#*
VIP RECORDS: Rare 78 rpm recordings on CD in great sound
20s Dance Bands - Swing - Opera - Classical - Vaudeville - Ragtime
FREE MP3s OF COMPLETE SONGS http://www.vintageip.com/records/
Tom Deacon
2004-12-26 22:29:41 UTC
Permalink
Post by Stephen Worth
Post by r***@yahoo.com
Thanks be to God that Deacon wasn't in charge of Decca Opera in the
50's, 60's and 70's.
He's found his true calling... usenet crumudgeon.
AKA newsnet reality check.

By the way, the word is curmudgeon.

TD
Tom Deacon
2004-12-26 22:15:43 UTC
Permalink
On 12/26/04 2:35 PM, in article
Post by r***@yahoo.com
Thanks be to God that Deacon wasn't in charge of Decca Opera in the
50's, 60's and 70's.
If I had been, you can be sure that Polygram would not have been able to
pick up the company for ten cents on the dollar when it did, and that the
company would probably still be the great English company it once was.

But you go on with your fantasies.

None of which have anything to do with keeping a company solvent.

TD
tilltheend
2004-12-27 01:38:20 UTC
Permalink
Post by William Sommerwerck
I might add that a _properly_ engineered recording made with _modern_ equipment,
will, in terms of sheer realism, blow away those classic recordings from the
early days of stereo. But few recording companies seem to be
interesting in
Post by William Sommerwerck
creating such recordings.
Agreed. Although there have been many poor digital recordings produced
in the eighties and early nineties, certainly not all were. But certain
companies, like Dorian and Delos, for instance, have consistently
produced some very realistic sounding recordings at various venues,
leading me to believe that nowadays, assuming one is using
state-of-the-art equipment, the most important aspect in producing a
recording lies in the technique, not the venue.

Dean

unglued
2004-12-25 12:59:06 UTC
Permalink
Post by William Sommerwerck
Post by William Sommerwerck
Not all Living Stereo recordings sound that good (eg, Reiner's B5,
a
Post by William Sommerwerck
fine
Post by William Sommerwerck
performance with coarse sound), but in general, they were made with
only a few
Post by William Sommerwerck
mics that fed directly into the tape deck with little or no further
processing.
Post by William Sommerwerck
This sort of recording -- regardless of the equipment -- generally
produces
Post by William Sommerwerck
more-natural sound.
I don't mean this as a rhetorical question--If RCA could produce such
astonishing results back in the fifties, why would record companies,
now, with more knowledge in recording techniques, and better
microphones and recording equipment, change that methodology, and
produce recordings that can't even compare in quality. What reason
would motivate that change? In all fairness, I have heard a good number
of excellent recently recorded discs (Tilson Thomas' Mahler, Kocsis'
Bartok, Chailly's Mahler), but by and large, to my recent dismay, the
bulk of my cd collection is from eighties, many of which I now find
hard to listen to after hearing some of these RCAs, and also some very
recently produced SACDs.
<The bass drum, for instance, on Reiner's Thunder and Ligthning Waltz
recording is so realistically cannon-like, and reverberant--on many
present day recordings, the drum sounds like a dull, cardboard-like
thud. Such a thud actually mars the conductor's intention (well,
assuming the conductor wants the thunder prominent)Much of the brass on
the 1980'8 DDD recordings sound not like trumpets, horns, or
trombones,
Post by William Sommerwerck
but like a cheap Casio keyboard's simulacrum. Ideally, when an
orchestra is holding a chord, the listener should be able to
distinguish not only one instrument from the another, the tonal
qualities making each instrument unique, but also should be able to
clearly hear the actual notes each instrument plays.
Just as the first cassette decks were a step backwards in recording
quality compared to reel-to-reel tape, with more tape hiss and lower
dynamics, the digital recordings of the 80's were a step backwards from
the analogue recordings that preceded them. Mostly it's a question of
the amount of musical information being lost or corrupted by the new
technology.
William Sommerwerck
2004-12-25 13:29:45 UTC
Permalink
Post by unglued
Just as the first cassette decks were a step backwards in recording
quality compared to reel-to-reel tape, with more tape hiss and lower
dynamics, the digital recordings of the 80's were a step backwards
from the analogue recordings that preceded them. Mostly it's a
question of the amount of musical information being lost or corrupted
by the new technology.
In my experience, this is not true. The quality of the tape recorder (analog or
digital) has significantly less effect on the sound quality of the recorder than
the number of mics used (fewer = better) and the quantity of electronics &
signal processing between the mics and the deck (less = better). The earliest
digital recorders might very well have a been a sonic step backwards over the
best analog decks, but the lousy sound of most recordings -- digital or analog,
from any era -- is due to poor recording techniques.
William Sommerwerck
2004-12-25 13:42:53 UTC
Permalink
That should have been...
The quality of the tape recorder (analog or digital) has significantly
less effect on the sound quality of the recording...
unglued
2004-12-26 09:51:18 UTC
Permalink
Post by William Sommerwerck
Post by unglued
Just as the first cassette decks were a step backwards in recording
quality compared to reel-to-reel tape, with more tape hiss and lower
dynamics, the digital recordings of the 80's were a step backwards
from the analogue recordings that preceded them. Mostly it's a
question of the amount of musical information being lost or
corrupted
Post by William Sommerwerck
Post by unglued
by the new technology.
In my experience, this is not true. The quality of the tape recorder (analog or
digital) has significantly less effect on the sound quality of the recorder than
the number of mics used (fewer = better) and the quantity of
electronics &
Post by William Sommerwerck
signal processing between the mics and the deck (less = better).
You mean the increase in backround hiss in the recordings from the 60's
and 70's was caused by the use of more mics and electronics ?
Post by William Sommerwerck
The earliest
digital recorders might very well have a been a sonic step backwards over the
best analog decks, but the lousy sound of most recordings -- digital or analog,
from any era -- is due to poor recording techniques.
Yes but the shortcomings of the first digital recorders did introduce
flies in the ointment that hadn't been there before. A crystal clear
recording of an orchestra with a brass section that has a nasty
synthesizer sound is a waste of money for any discerning listener.
William Sommerwerck
2004-12-26 11:00:01 UTC
Permalink
Post by unglued
Post by William Sommerwerck
In my experience, this is not true. The quality of the tape recorder
(analog or digital) has significantly less effect on the sound quality
of the recording than the number of mics used (fewer = better) and
the quantity of electronics & signal processing between the mics
and the deck (less = better).
You mean the increase in backround hiss in the recordings from the
60's and 70's was caused by the use of more mics and electronics?
In a sense, yes. The availability of multi-track recorders -- which had narrower
tracks, and thus poorer S/N ratio -- only encouraged the use of more mics and
complex recording consoles.

Multi-track recording actually dates to the late '30s, when RCA introduced a
7-channel optical recorder. Although it was used to make stereo recordings for
"Fantasia," it was intended for adjusting the balance of mono recordings. The
masters for a number of films still exist, and have been used to make rather
swimmy-sounding ersatz stereo remixes.
Tom Deacon
2004-12-26 15:28:08 UTC
Permalink
Post by William Sommerwerck
Post by unglued
Post by William Sommerwerck
In my experience, this is not true. The quality of the tape recorder
(analog or digital) has significantly less effect on the sound quality
of the recording than the number of mics used (fewer = better) and
the quantity of electronics & signal processing between the mics
and the deck (less = better).
You mean the increase in backround hiss in the recordings from the
60's and 70's was caused by the use of more mics and electronics?
In a sense, yes. The availability of multi-track recorders -- which had
narrower tracks, and thus poorer S/N ratio -- only encouraged the use of more
mics and complex recording consoles.

There is absolutely nothing inherently wrong with multi-track recordings.
The crossover between one track and another - from my experience in the
control room - is inaudible. They are more or less discrete tracks. Any
"crossover" effect is more likely to come through the microphone itself,
picking up the violas while aimed closely at the oboe, for example. But even
then the effects are minimal when the final mix is accomplished. (Did you
really want or expect to have the oboe and the violist sitting directly in
front of him to have their own discrete acoustic space. Such would not, of
course, be possible with a simple mike set up; the two instruments would be
blended).

The S/N ratio has to do with the inherent noise floor of the tape system
itself, not the number of tracks on the tape head. Moreover, multitrack
machines use enormous tape, sometimes over one inch in width.

The problems with multitrack recordings come in the final mixing of the
signals. Stokowski LOVED the ability to mix and blend in a way he could not
in the studio itself. He considered it part of his "artistic" statement.

Check out his Scheherazade on London Phase Four LP for an indication. (Not
sure if the CD used his mix or another one)

TD
Dan
2004-12-26 19:40:09 UTC
Permalink
<<There is absolutely nothing inherently wrong with multi-track
recordings>>

If I may be allowed to enter my two cents on the subject. While there
might not be anything inherently wrong with multi-track recordings,
what it does do is to take the job of balance and blend, the province
of the conductor, and give it to the engineer or producer, who,
whatever his merits (and I've worked with genius engineers, so I don't
mock them), may be thinking about the music with a different agenda
than those producing the interpretation. Balance and blend of
sonorities are an integral part of the way a conductor "should" hear
and conceptualize how a work unfolds in time, long before he begins to
rehearse and recreate it in the flesh.

Also, dynamic and tempo are mutually dependent aspects of music making,
as are the realities of the hall in which one is performing and it's
the chief job of a conductor to make them all mesh, doing what's
necessary to produce an artistic statement in one environment often
quite different than doing so in another. To determine what is best
(for better or worse) and then give them over to someone else to re-do
it seems to be not the best way to contribute to a recorded performance
that should be all of a piece, again, for better or worse.

That Stokowski would love this approach isn't surprising, considering
his experiments from his Philadelphia days, but not all his ideas were
successful (like putting the trumpets in front). As for Phase Four, I
still haven't recovered from the aviary that was unleashed at the end
of the third movement of Munch's recording of the Pines of Rome. Alone
with that recording, I immediately understood how Tippi Hedrin felt
having gone into that room and nearly being pecked to death. :->
Dan Plante
Tom Deacon
2004-12-26 22:19:35 UTC
Permalink
On 12/26/04 2:40 PM, in article
Post by Dan
<<There is absolutely nothing inherently wrong with multi-track
recordings>>
That Stokowski would love this approach isn't surprising, considering
his experiments from his Philadelphia days, but not all his ideas were
successful (like putting the trumpets in front).
But since you claim that the conductor should be "in charge", there is
little to complain about in Stokowski entering the balance studio and
rebalancing matters to his taste.

Other conductors do the same today with multitrack recordings. They just
don't bother boasting about it.

TD
Dan
2004-12-26 23:53:59 UTC
Permalink
<<But since you claim that the conductor should be "in charge", there
is
little to complain about in Stokowski entering the balance studio and
rebalancing matters to his taste.

Other conductors do the same today with multitrack recordings. They
just
don't bother boasting about it.>>

Well, yes I do have disagree with because if mikes were set properly in
the first place than a conductor would only have to do his balancing
in front of the orchestra and not as a post-production add-on. To my
ear, at least, it seems that the best balanced orchestral recordings
have been made in a good hall with three mikes and a conductor with an
ear for balance - like the old Mercury recordings.

It seems to me that more mikes, actually, CREATE a balance problem
since most composers, once they have established an orchestral style,
score their works with a general idea as to the placement of the
orchestra and the listener's relationship to it.

To me, unnecessary miking creates a balance problem that emanates from
- or at least assumes - a basic distrust of the composer and conductor
to have done their job.

In any case, if I were a conductor who regularly had to sit in to
balance a recording I wouldn't boast about it either. It would say
something I really wouldn't want to be said about me. There are, of
course, the occasional acoustical accident or limitation and one can
understand the necessity of repair, but still....

And, one more thing, instruments actually playing softly often don't
sound the same when they have been toned down post facto by the
producer because each dynamic produces its corresponding level of
stress and effort on an instrument and this correspondance is a fact of
musical life and part of real performance. If one wants to listen to
an extreme case of multi-miking (if it can still be found) is the old
Anthony Newman Brandenburg Concertos for CBS in which each instrument
was miked separately. You can almost smell the rosin, hear the
breathing, and see the horn players emptying the spit valve. Does one
want to get THAT close and not be paid?

Dan Plante
William Sommerwerck
2004-12-27 00:51:22 UTC
Permalink
Post by Dan
To me, unnecessary miking creates a balance problem that
emanates from -- or at least assumes -- a basic distrust of the
composer and conductor to have done their job.
As much as I detest multi-miking, I have to take exception here. Microphones do
not "hear" the way your ears and brain do. Simply dropping a mic pair in front
of the orchestra does not usually produce an ideal balance. Multi-miking permits
attaining that balance, at the cost of an inaccurate/unnatural sense of space
and perspective.

J. Gordon Holt (founder of Stereophile) told me that it took a year of recording
the Denver Philharmonic to find the "ideal" position for a pair of spaced omnis
haging above the orchestra.
Post by Dan
If one wants to listen to
an extreme case of multi-miking (if it can still be found) is the old
Anthony Newman Brandenburg Concertos for CBS in which each
instrument was miked separately. You can almost smell the rosin,
hear the breathing, and see the horn players emptying the spit valve.
Does one want to get THAT close and not be paid?
I was right -- it _was_ Newman.

This recording was released both in stereo and SQ. I suspect the heavy
multi-miking was for the purpose of controlling the quad mix.

I saved all my quad LPs. Does this mean I have to pull out the Newman set and
play it in quad? Guess so. I'll report in a few days.
Mitchell Kaufman
2004-12-27 01:22:38 UTC
Permalink
Post by William Sommerwerck
J. Gordon Holt (founder of Stereophile) told me that it took a year of
recording the Denver Philharmonic to find the "ideal" position for a pair
of spaced omnis haging above the orchestra.
Heh. If it were as easy as hanging two or three microphones in front of
an orchestra, you or I could be Kenneth Wilkinson or Lewis Layton.

Just consider the problems the great engineers experienced in Boston's
Symphony Hall finding the right positions for the mikes vis-a-vis the
orchestra.

It's an art and a science, and simpler is only better if a great
artist/scientist is in charge.

MK
William Sommerwerck
2004-12-27 01:33:01 UTC
Permalink
Post by Mitchell Kaufman
Just consider the problems the great engineers experienced
in Boston's Symphony Hall finding the right positions for the
mikes vis-a-vis the orchestra.
It's an art and a science, and simpler is only better if a great
artist/scientist is in charge.
You don't have to be "a great artist/scientist" if you have enough time to
experiment.
Tom Deacon
2004-12-27 00:45:12 UTC
Permalink
On 12/26/04 6:53 PM, in article
Post by Dan
<<But since you claim that the conductor should be "in charge", there
is
little to complain about in Stokowski entering the balance studio and
rebalancing matters to his taste.
Other conductors do the same today with multitrack recordings. They just
don't bother boasting about it.>>
Well, yes I do have disagree with because if mikes were set properly in
the first place than a conductor would only have to do his balancing
in front of the orchestra and not as a post-production add-on. To my
ear, at least, it seems that the best balanced orchestral recordings
have been made in a good hall with three mikes and a conductor with an
ear for balance - like the old Mercury recordings.
Fine.

But not all engineers are Bob Fine.

You deal with the situation you are faced with.
Post by Dan
It seems to me that more mikes, actually, CREATE a balance problem
since most composers, once they have established an orchestral style,
score their works with a general idea as to the placement of the
orchestra and the listener's relationship to it.
Most composers are not conductors and only hear the work in their head. Not
the worst place, but hardly helpful for the conductor. He has to bring the
score to life. For recordings, that is NOT in the studio but in the living
room of the listener, which is just an acoustical illusion, not reality at
all.

Recording is inherently artificial.
Post by Dan
To me, unnecessary miking creates a balance problem that emanates from
- or at least assumes - a basic distrust of the composer and conductor
to have done their job.
Wrong.

It is only that the conductor may have decided to "do his job" at a
different stage of the recording process.

TD
William Sommerwerck
2004-12-27 01:10:55 UTC
Permalink
Post by Tom Deacon
Recording is inherently artificial.
Post by Dan
To me, unnecessary miking creates a balance problem that emanates from
- or at least assumes - a basic distrust of the composer and conductor
to have done their job.
Wrong.
It is only that the conductor may have decided to "do his job" at a
different stage of the recording process.
In this case, I agree with TD. The reason is that recordings, in general, do not
sound like what you hear at the mic position. Multi-miking gives control over
balance, and suppresses the overly reverberant sound of simply miked recordings,
while losing the overall coherency one would achieve by miking at a single
point.
William Sommerwerck
2004-12-26 20:02:08 UTC
Permalink
Post by Tom Deacon
Post by William Sommerwerck
Post by unglued
You mean the increase in backround hiss in the recordings from the
60's and 70's was caused by the use of more mics and electronics?
In a sense, yes. The availability of multi-track recorders -- which had
narrower tracks, and thus poorer S/N ratio -- only encouraged the use
of more mics and complex recording consoles.
There is absolutely nothing inherently wrong with multi-track recordings.
The crossover between one track and another - from my experience in
the control room - is inaudible. They are more or less discrete tracks.
Any "crossover" effect is more likely to come through the microphone
itself, picking up the violas while aimed closely at the oboe, for example.
But even then the effects are minimal when the final mix is accomplished.
(Did you really want or expect to have the oboe and the violist sitting
directly in front of him to have their own discrete acoustic space? Such
would not, of course, be possible with a simple mike set up; the two
instruments would be blended).
I'm not trying to be rude when I ask... Have you ever made live recordings?
Simply miked recordings have their own set of problems, but I can make -- heck,
_you_ can make -- a better-sounding recording on a cassette deck, using just two
mics, than most recording engineers can make with a dozen mics and a fancy
console. The latter might have somewhat better balance, but will not present as
coherent a picture of the orchestra, or the recording space.

On the other hand... If you're not worried about "naturalness," you can get all
sorts of effects with multi-miking -- especially in surround sound -- than are
impossible in plain stereo. Take, for example, the EPB Freiburg Cathedral
recordings. The disk of the Bach T&Fs has been reissued on multi-channel SACD.
It is not only spectacular, but fairly realistic. Definitely demo quality,
regardless of your philosophy about such things.

I have about 100 Columbia SQ LPs, most of which are full-surround -- everything
from a set of the Brandenburgs to Wagner on the organ. They aren't
"natural"-sounding -- but most stereo recordings aren't, either. But they are a
lot more fun!

PS: I have an audiophile LP of two people playing dulcimer. A photo on the back
shows the recording session. The performers are sitting next to each other --
with a separate mic on each dulcimer. And each is wearing monitor headphones!
This is nuts.
Post by Tom Deacon
The S/N ratio has to do with the inherent noise floor of the tape system
itself, not the number of tracks on the tape head. Moreover, multitrack
machines use enormous tape, sometimes over one inch in width.
2", even.

But more tracks per inch means lower S/N, all other things being equal. 16
tracks on 1" tape is going to be noisier than 2 tracks on 1/4" tape. Although
half-track 1/4" recordings were not noise-free (even at 30ips), the move toward
multi-track machines was a major impetus to the adoption of Dolby A and similar
NR systems.

I'd swear that some of the Living Stereo recordings have almost no dynamic
range, because someone is subtly riding gain during the quiet passages. Anyone
out there who can confirm or deny this?
Post by Tom Deacon
The problems with multitrack recordings come in the final mixing of the
signals. Stokowski LOVED the ability to mix and blend in a way he could
not in the studio itself. He considered it part of his "artistic" statement.
True. Stokowski was always interested in the "latest and greatest" in recording
technology. Multi-channel recording made it possible to adjust the balance in a
way that was not possible with a single mono mic. (Living Presence was over a
decade in the future.) *
Post by Tom Deacon
Check out his Scheherazade on London Phase Four LP for an indication.
(Not sure if the CD used his mix or another one.)
Why hasn't Decca reissued the Phase Four catalog on surround SACDs, especially
the two albums of Bennie conducting his film scores? I have them on quad
open-reel tape, and they are nothing short of spectacular.

It's not clear why there are so few "full-surround" recordings on multi-channel
SACDs. (Berlioz's Requiem doesn't count.) Even the most-notorious surround
recording of all time, Boulez's "Concerto for Orchestra", puts only a few
instruments in the rear, and that only occasionally. (I have the original SQ LP,
and it's rather more exciting.)

There are two reasons, I think. One is aesthetic. Recording companies have
suddenly "gotten religion," and decided that the rear channels should be used
only for ambience. I find this appallingly hypocritical, as we have had to put
up with almost a half-century of atrocious-sounding multi-miked, heavily
processed two-channel recordings that rarely sound plausibly natural, let alone
"realistic."

The other is practical. Many surround systems use relatively small rear
speakers, which can't handle heavy bass. Of course, this doesn't seem to have
stopped the producers of the reissues of "Dark Side of the Moon," "Tommy,"
"Tubular Bells," et al., all of which are available on multi-channel SACDs.
Matthew B. Tepper
2004-12-26 20:17:54 UTC
Permalink
Post by William Sommerwerck
I have about 100 Columbia SQ LPs, most of which are full-surround --
everything from a set of the Brandenburgs to Wagner on the organ. They
aren't "natural"-sounding -- but most stereo recordings aren't, either.
But they are a lot more fun!
Which Brandenburgs? The only SQ set I can recall was Somary on Vanguard.
--
Matthew B. Tepper: WWW, science fiction, classical music, ducks!
My personal home page -- http://home.earthlink.net/~oy/index.html
My main music page --- http://home.earthlink.net/~oy/berlioz.html
To write to me, do for my address what Androcles did for the lion
Take THAT, Daniel Lin, Mark Sadek, James Lin & Christopher Chung!
William Sommerwerck
2004-12-26 20:46:51 UTC
Permalink
Post by William Sommerwerck
I have about 100 Columbia SQ LPs, most of which are full-surround --
everything from a set of the Brandenburgs to Wagner on the organ.
They aren't "natural"-sounding -- but most stereo recordings aren't,
either. But they _are_ a lot more fun!
Which Brandenburgs? The only SQ set I can recall was Somary on Vanguard.
I think it's Anthony Newman. I remember the performance as being a bit
overwrought, which fits Newman. If you really want to know, write to me directly
and I'll dig through my collection.
Tom Deacon
2004-12-26 22:27:36 UTC
Permalink
Post by William Sommerwerck
Post by Tom Deacon
Post by William Sommerwerck
Post by unglued
You mean the increase in backround hiss in the recordings from the
60's and 70's was caused by the use of more mics and electronics?
In a sense, yes. The availability of multi-track recorders -- which had
narrower tracks, and thus poorer S/N ratio -- only encouraged the use
of more mics and complex recording consoles.
There is absolutely nothing inherently wrong with multi-track recordings.
The crossover between one track and another - from my experience in
the control room - is inaudible. They are more or less discrete tracks.
Any "crossover" effect is more likely to come through the microphone
itself, picking up the violas while aimed closely at the oboe, for example.
But even then the effects are minimal when the final mix is accomplished.
(Did you really want or expect to have the oboe and the violist sitting
directly in front of him to have their own discrete acoustic space? Such
would not, of course, be possible with a simple mike set up; the two
instruments would be blended).
I'm not trying to be rude when I ask... Have you ever made live recordings?
Quick answer? Thousands of them.
Post by William Sommerwerck
Simply miked recordings have their own set of problems, but I can make -- heck,
_you_ can make -- a better-sounding recording on a cassette deck, using just two
mics, than most recording engineers can make with a dozen mics and a fancy
console. The latter might have somewhat better balance, but will not present as
coherent a picture of the orchestra, or the recording space.
Nonsense. Please allow me to disagree heartily.
Post by William Sommerwerck
I have about 100 Columbia SQ LPs, most of which are full-surround -- everything
from a set of the Brandenburgs to Wagner on the organ. They aren't
"natural"-sounding -- but most stereo recordings aren't, either. But they are a
lot more fun!
Are you trying to generalize from the particular here?

Bad policy.
Post by William Sommerwerck
PS: I have an audiophile LP of two people playing dulcimer. A photo on the back
shows the recording session. The performers are sitting next to each other --
with a separate mic on each dulcimer. And each is wearing monitor headphones!
This is nuts.
Post by Tom Deacon
The S/N ratio has to do with the inherent noise floor of the tape system
itself, not the number of tracks on the tape head. Moreover, multitrack
machines use enormous tape, sometimes over one inch in width.
2", even.
But more tracks per inch means lower S/N, all other things being equal.
Wrong. Only the tape quality itself makes signal to noise ratio.


16
Post by William Sommerwerck
tracks on 1" tape is going to be noisier than 2 tracks on 1/4" tape.
Wrong. See above.
Post by William Sommerwerck
Although half-track 1/4" recordings were not noise-free (even at 30ips), the
move toward multi-track machines was a major impetus to the adoption of Dolby A
and similar NR systems.

Dolby A was created to defeat the inherent noise in the tape recording
system. It is irrelevant how many tracks you have. The noise of tape is
still the noise of tape.
Post by William Sommerwerck
I'd swear that some of the Living Stereo recordings have almost no dynamic
range, because someone is subtly riding gain during the quiet passages. Anyone
out there who can confirm or deny this?
But of course they are.

And why not? They were trying to record a whole orchestra and make it heard
on noisy LPs.
Post by William Sommerwerck
Post by Tom Deacon
The problems with multitrack recordings come in the final mixing of the
signals. Stokowski LOVED the ability to mix and blend in a way he could
not in the studio itself. He considered it part of his "artistic" statement.
True. Stokowski was always interested in the "latest and greatest" in recording
technology. Multi-channel recording made it possible to adjust the balance in a
way that was not possible with a single mono mic. (Living Presence was over a
decade in the future.) *
You are way off with your time line here.

Stokowski's dalliance with multitrack on Decca Phase Four dates from the
1970s, aided and abetted by Tony D'Amato.

Living Presence was always minimal miking. One mike for mono. Two for
binaural. Three for stereo.

TD
William Sommerwerck
2004-12-27 01:04:22 UTC
Permalink
Post by Tom Deacon
Post by William Sommerwerck
Post by Tom Deacon
The S/N ratio has to do with the inherent noise floor of the tape system
itself, not the number of tracks on the tape head. Moreover, multitrack
machines use enormous tape, sometimes over one inch in width.
2", even.
But more tracks per inch means lower S/N, all other things being equal.
Wrong. Only the tape quality itself makes signal to noise ratio.
I'm not going to respond to your other comments, because I don't want to get
into an argument on matters that are partly (but only partly) a matter of taste.

The fact is, the narrower the track, the lower the flux intensity and the lower
the head's output.
Post by Tom Deacon
Post by William Sommerwerck
Although half-track 1/4" recordings were not noise-free (even at 30ips),
the move toward multi-track machines was a major impetus to the
adoption of Dolby A and similar NR systems.
Dolby A was created to defeat the inherent noise in the tape recording
system. It is irrelevant how many tracks you have. The noise of tape is
still the noise of tape.
The issue here, I think, is what the principal source of noise is in a tape
system. It is true that consumer decks generally have such high bias noise that
the noise of the electronics can be a secondary consideration.
Post by Tom Deacon
Post by William Sommerwerck
True. Stokowski was always interested in the "latest and greatest"
in recording technology. Multi-channel recording made it possible to
adjust the balance in a way that was not possible with a single mono
mic. (Living Presence was over a decade in the future.) *
You are way off with your time line here.
Not at all!!! "Fantasia" was a multitrack recording.
Guus
2004-12-25 14:33:54 UTC
Permalink
Post by unglued
Just as the first cassette decks were a step backwards in recording
quality compared to reel-to-reel tape, with more tape hiss and lower
dynamics, the digital recordings of the 80's were a step backwards from
the analogue recordings that preceded them. Mostly it's a question of
the amount of musical information being lost or corrupted by the new
technology.
Casette decks were never intended for making master recordings for the music
industry.
William Sommerwerck
2004-12-25 15:28:08 UTC
Permalink
Cassette decks were never intended for making
master recordings for the music industry.
True, but a good one can do an excellent job. Isn't there a famous rock album
that was mastered on a cassette deck?

I once had to make a live recording of a full orchestra with a Nakamichi
cassette deck, and it acquitted itself very well. In fact, that deck was the
first tape recorder of any kind I'd owned whose output was essentially
indistinguishable from its input. (I'll admit that my prior open-reel decks were
not of the highest quality.)
MINe 109
2004-12-25 15:35:44 UTC
Permalink
Post by William Sommerwerck
Cassette decks were never intended for making
master recordings for the music industry.
True, but a good one can do an excellent job. Isn't there a famous rock album
that was mastered on a cassette deck?
Springsteen "Nebraska".

Stephen
Mitchell Kaufman
2004-12-26 10:31:42 UTC
Permalink
Post by tilltheend
I don't mean this as a rhetorical question--If RCA could produce such
astonishing results back in the fifties, why would record companies,
now, with more knowledge in recording techniques, and better
microphones and recording equipment, change that methodology, and
produce recordings that can't even compare in quality. What reason
would motivate that change?
Studio time with a huge orchestra and soloists is hugely expensive.
Multi-miking to a multi-track console taped onto multi-track tape
recorders allows modification of the sonics in post-production--after
the performers have left. Nor do all the performers even have to be in
the same room at the same time. Rather than getting it right as it
happens, the motto is "we'll fix it in post (production)," which, as we
all know, is a bad idea from the artistic/sonic standpoint. Money,
however, makes the world go 'round.

MK
Tom Deacon
2004-12-26 15:21:41 UTC
Permalink
On 12/26/04 5:31 AM, in article
Post by Mitchell Kaufman
Post by tilltheend
I don't mean this as a rhetorical question--If RCA could produce such
astonishing results back in the fifties, why would record companies,
now, with more knowledge in recording techniques, and better
microphones and recording equipment, change that methodology, and
produce recordings that can't even compare in quality. What reason
would motivate that change?
Studio time with a huge orchestra and soloists is hugely expensive.
Multi-miking to a multi-track console taped onto multi-track tape
recorders allows modification of the sonics in post-production--after
the performers have left. Nor do all the performers even have to be in
the same room at the same time. Rather than getting it right as it
happens, the motto is "we'll fix it in post (production)," which, as we
all know, is a bad idea from the artistic/sonic standpoint. Money,
however, makes the world go 'round.
The technique is clearly not ideal, Mitchell.

However, in view of the enormous costs of orchestral recording, particularly
in the USA and in Berlin and Vienna, it is understandable.

Moreover, if used judiciously, the techniques allowing a producer to
"correct" mistakes in post production are for the most part inaudible to the
ear.

TD
Mitchell Kaufman
2004-12-26 15:58:33 UTC
Permalink
Post by Tom Deacon
The technique is clearly not ideal, Mitchell.
However, in view of the enormous costs of orchestral recording,
particularly in the USA and in Berlin and Vienna, it is understandable.
Oh, absolutely. It's either that or nothing, unfortunately. (I should've
made that clear.)
Post by Tom Deacon
Moreover, if used judiciously, the techniques allowing a producer to
"correct" mistakes in post production are for the most part inaudible to the
ear.
True, but it's more a question of the kinds of technology and techniques
to which budgetary questions have given rise (and I'm thinking
specifically here of overdubbing and multimking). Or at least those
considerations have helped push them along.

And we're not only talking "mistakes" per se, but rather doing the
actual mix after the fact. Of course even Lew Layton was doing that, but
only in the context of three tracks. ;-)

MK
William Sommerwerck
2004-12-26 19:18:38 UTC
Permalink
Post by Tom Deacon
Moreover, if used judiciously, the techniques allowing
a producer to "correct" mistakes in post production
are for the most part inaudible to the ear.
This is no doubt true, but it doesn't change the fact that a simply-miked
recording is (almost) invariably more natural-sounding and "realistic" than a
multi-miked recording.
Tom Deacon
2004-12-26 19:54:29 UTC
Permalink
Post by William Sommerwerck
Post by Tom Deacon
Moreover, if used judiciously, the techniques allowing
a producer to "correct" mistakes in post production
are for the most part inaudible to the ear.
This is no doubt true, but it doesn't change the fact that a simply-miked
recording is (almost) invariably more natural-sounding and "realistic" than a
multi-miked recording.
I suppose I will now throw a spanner in the works and argue your
interpretation of "natural-sounding" and "realistic".

De gustibus...

TD
Tom Deacon
2004-12-24 13:31:44 UTC
Permalink
On 12/23/04 10:42 PM, in article
Post by tilltheend
Some years ago I purchased a couple of Toscannini recordings whose
recorded quality sounded so bad, I vowed to never again purchase
anything recorded prior to the early sixties years. Well, I recently,
and somewhat skeptically, decided to purchase a couple of the latest
Living Stereo SACD releases (Reiner's Zarathustra and Mussorgsky), and
I'm wondering if all of the recordings in the Living Stereo series
sound this good--that is, not only the sacd releases, but all Living
Stereo recordings? I've since purchased another, this one non-sacd,
Reiner's "Vienna" recording. The quality of even this recording is
excellent: The brass (especially trumpets) actually sound real. Perhaps
the strings are a bit muted, but overall, everything sounds quite
realistic. All the instruments are really transparent. I wish I
discovered these long ago.
Were all these RCA recordings this excellently and equally balanced
throughout the fifties and sixties?
Tonight, for example, I was just listening to Bernstein's DG recording
of Mathis Der Maler, and though this was recorded some 30 years after
Reiner's Strauss, I actually prefer the older recording's sound!
This is an understandable reaction, Dean.

First of all, the conductors and orchestras and soloists involved were ne
plus ultra. You can't do much better than Reiner, Munch, Monteux,
Rubinstein, Heifetz, etc. etc. Today we have veritable pygmies in
comparison.

Secondly, the engineers did not get in the way of the music; they served the
interpreters and their interpretations.

So, just enjoy.

We who lived through this period as record collectors and now look back with
enormous nostalgia at its treasures know full well what you are now
discovering for the first time. The repertoire may not be as exhaustive as
it is today - there were no Mahler cycles in Mercury Living Presence or
Living Stereo - but somehow it doesn't miss much that is essential. (One
can, in fact, live quite nicely without Mahler or Bruckner). Hell, you can
even find the Brandenburg Concerti in Living Stereo, admittedly with the
massed forces of far too many members of the Boston Symphony Orchestra.

No matter.

My advice? Buy everything you can get your hands on in Living Stereo and MLP
before some idiot at the record companies which have inherited these
treasures decides they are so much junk and not sufficiently profitable and
deletes them en masse.


TD
Sol L. Siegel
2004-12-24 15:07:19 UTC
Permalink
(One can, in fact, live quite nicely without Mahler or Bruckner).
Which one?

-Sol Siegel, Philadelphia, PA
--------------------
"I really liked it. Even the music was good." - Yogi Berra, after seeing
"Tosca"
--------------------
(Remove "exitspam" from the end of my e-mail address to respond.)
Norman M. Schwartz
2004-12-24 16:57:37 UTC
Permalink
Post by Tom Deacon
My advice? Buy everything you can get your hands on in Living Stereo and MLP
before some idiot at the record companies which have inherited these
treasures decides they are so much junk and not sufficiently profitable and
deletes them en masse.
Damn good advice!
Phil Garon
2004-12-24 17:33:52 UTC
Permalink
Post by Tom Deacon
The repertoire may not be as exhaustive as
it is today - there were no Mahler cycles in Mercury Living Presence or
Living Stereo - but somehow it doesn't miss much that is essential. (One
can, in fact, live quite nicely without Mahler or Bruckner).
What? That's heresy. Well, at least the part about Mahler. ;o)
pgaron
David7Gable
2004-12-24 20:28:21 UTC
Permalink
Post by Tom Deacon
One
can, in fact, live quite nicely without Mahler or Bruckner).
One cannot.

-david gable
Andrew T. Kay
2004-12-24 21:59:31 UTC
Permalink
David Gable wrote:

[Deacon]
Post by David7Gable
Post by Tom Deacon
One
can, in fact, live quite nicely without Mahler or Bruckner).
One cannot.
I managed to eliminate them from my diet for five years, beginning in 1999 and
ending recently, and didn't really miss them. Not that I started hating their
music or anything, but I wanted to spend more time on opera, so when I had big
blocks of free time to really listen to something (and they do require that!),
I didn't want to squander it on the familiar terrain of Bruckner and Mahler.
That terrain became less familiar with time. I remember at one point in that
hiatus coming across Bruckner 7/iii on the radio and thinking it was familiar,
but not being able to place it. Anyway, I finally returned to all of the
Bruckner symphonies a few months ago, and all of the Mahler symphonies and song
cycles just this past month, the latter in part because of the recent
"best/worst" thread here in which No. 8 got such a pasting. I wanted to see if
I still gave it a relatively high ranking. (I did. I don't get the antipathy at
all..)


--Todd K
Matthew B. Tepper
2004-12-24 22:58:14 UTC
Permalink
Anyway, I finally returned to all of the Bruckner symphonies a few months
ago, and all of the Mahler symphonies and song cycles just this past
month, the latter in part because of the recent "best/worst" thread here
in which No. 8 got such a pasting. I wanted to see if I still gave it a
relatively high ranking. (I did. I don't get the antipathy at all..)
On two consecutive recent days I listened to the Stokowski and Horenstein
performances of the 8th. I still think it is wow.
--
Matthew B. Tepper: WWW, science fiction, classical music, ducks!
My personal home page -- http://home.earthlink.net/~oy/index.html
My main music page --- http://home.earthlink.net/~oy/berlioz.html
To write to me, do for my address what Androcles did for the lion
Take THAT, Daniel Lin, Mark Sadek, James Lin & Christopher Chung!
Van Eyes
2004-12-24 23:59:07 UTC
Permalink
Post by Matthew B. Tepper
Anyway, I finally returned to....all of the Mahler symphonies and song cycles just this past
month, the latter in part because of the recent "best/worst" thread here
in which No. 8 got such a pasting. I wanted to see if I still gave it a
relatively high ranking. (I did. I don't get the antipathy at all..)
On two consecutive recent days I listened to the Stokowski and Horenstein
performances of the 8th. I still think it is wow.
My "wow" likely will happen the day I experience it in-concert. Similar
thing happened with "War Requiem" a few years ago. It had never done
much for me as a recording.

Regards
--
Posted via Mailgate.ORG Server - http://www.Mailgate.ORG
Tom Deacon
2004-12-25 00:45:40 UTC
Permalink
On 12/24/04 6:59 PM, in article
Post by Van Eyes
Post by Matthew B. Tepper
Anyway, I finally returned to....all of the Mahler symphonies and song
cycles just this past
month, the latter in part because of the recent "best/worst" thread here
in which No. 8 got such a pasting. I wanted to see if I still gave it a
relatively high ranking. (I did. I don't get the antipathy at all..)
On two consecutive recent days I listened to the Stokowski and Horenstein
performances of the 8th. I still think it is wow.
My "wow" likely will happen the day I experience it in-concert. Similar
thing happened with "War Requiem" a few years ago. It had never done
much for me as a recording.
My experience is at least three times. Each time I walked out.

What junk!

TD
Tom Deacon
2004-12-24 23:57:11 UTC
Permalink
On 12/24/04 3:28 PM, in article
Post by David7Gable
Post by Tom Deacon
One
can, in fact, live quite nicely without Mahler or Bruckner).
One cannot.
This ONE can and does. You ONE can't and don't.

TD
torcik wedlowski
2004-12-25 02:32:03 UTC
Permalink
On Fri, 24 Dec 2004 08:31:44 -0500, Tom Deacon
Post by Tom Deacon
On 12/23/04 10:42 PM, in article
Post by tilltheend
Some years ago I purchased a couple of Toscannini recordings whose
recorded quality sounded so bad, I vowed to never again purchase
anything recorded prior to the early sixties years. Well, I recently,
and somewhat skeptically, decided to purchase a couple of the latest
Living Stereo SACD releases (Reiner's Zarathustra and Mussorgsky), and
I'm wondering if all of the recordings in the Living Stereo series
sound this good--that is, not only the sacd releases, but all Living
Stereo recordings? I've since purchased another, this one non-sacd,
Reiner's "Vienna" recording. The quality of even this recording is
excellent: The brass (especially trumpets) actually sound real. Perhaps
the strings are a bit muted, but overall, everything sounds quite
realistic. All the instruments are really transparent. I wish I
discovered these long ago.
Were all these RCA recordings this excellently and equally balanced
throughout the fifties and sixties?
Tonight, for example, I was just listening to Bernstein's DG recording
of Mathis Der Maler, and though this was recorded some 30 years after
Reiner's Strauss, I actually prefer the older recording's sound!
This is an understandable reaction, Dean.
First of all, the conductors and orchestras and soloists involved were ne
plus ultra. You can't do much better than Reiner, Munch, Monteux,
Rubinstein, Heifetz, etc. etc. Today we have veritable pygmies in
comparison.
Which is why I will sacrafice my first born son(If I can catch him) to the record gods for issuing Reiner, Munch, Monteux,
Rubinstein, Heifetz, etc. etc on SACD. And more are in the pipline. A great Christmas present
Kalman Rubinson
2004-12-25 16:29:47 UTC
Permalink
On Fri, 24 Dec 2004 20:32:03 -0600, torcik wedlowski
Post by Tom Deacon
Which is why I will sacrafice my first born son(If I can catch him) to the record gods for issuing Reiner, Munch, Monteux,
Rubinstein, Heifetz, etc. etc on SACD. And more are in the pipline. A great Christmas present
Yes. The Heifetz Sibelius/Prokofiev/Glazunov Concerti is magnificent
and, with the Reiner Nightingale (filled with Szheherazade) , the best
of the next batch, imho.

Kal
Spam Scone
2004-12-25 16:16:09 UTC
Permalink
Post by Tom Deacon
On 12/23/04 10:42 PM, in article
Hell, you can
even find the Brandenburg Concerti in Living Stereo, admittedly with the
massed forces of far too many members of the Boston Symphony
Orchestra.

Is this on CD?
J. Teske
2004-12-25 17:36:27 UTC
Permalink
Post by Tom Deacon
Post by Tom Deacon
On 12/23/04 10:42 PM, in article
Hell, you can
even find the Brandenburg Concerti in Living Stereo, admittedly with
the
Post by Tom Deacon
massed forces of far too many members of the Boston Symphony
Orchestra.
Egad I remember that one. Even before the days of historic performance
practices (I'm talking early 1960's here) that album was often cited
as how not to do things. As I recall the Brandenburg #5 (probably the
only one of the set I heard knowing what it was) used a piano. While
we used modern string instruments in this repetory then we at least
used smaller forces and harpsichord. I think I played in a couple of
Brandenburg performances (on violin) during that era where we did use
recorders vice flutes for the Brandenburg #4. That was about as
"authentic" as we could get.

During this time there was a memorable review in the old Washington
Star of a Brandenburg performance. It was written by the late
Wendell Margrave who was a friend of mine.

"The Brandenburg Concerto # ? as performed by the ******* Ensemble
seems more like Bladensburg."

[Bladensburg is a decidedly unfashionable suburb northeast of
Washington DC. It abuts a decidedly unfashionable part of Washington.]
Post by Tom Deacon
Is this on CD?
I hope not!

Jon Teske, violinist
Tom Deacon
2004-12-25 19:07:32 UTC
Permalink
Post by J. Teske
Post by Tom Deacon
Post by Tom Deacon
On 12/23/04 10:42 PM, in article
Hell, you can
even find the Brandenburg Concerti in Living Stereo, admittedly with
the
Post by Tom Deacon
massed forces of far too many members of the Boston Symphony
Orchestra.
Egad I remember that one. Even before the days of historic performance
practices (I'm talking early 1960's here) that album was often cited
as how not to do things. As I recall the Brandenburg #5 (probably the
only one of the set I heard knowing what it was) used a piano. While
we used modern string instruments in this repetory then we at least
used smaller forces and harpsichord. I think I played in a couple of
Brandenburg performances (on violin) during that era where we did use
recorders vice flutes for the Brandenburg #4. That was about as
"authentic" as we could get.
During this time there was a memorable review in the old Washington
Star of a Brandenburg performance. It was written by the late
Wendell Margrave who was a friend of mine.
"The Brandenburg Concerto # ? as performed by the ******* Ensemble
seems more like Bladensburg."
[Bladensburg is a decidedly unfashionable suburb northeast of
Washington DC. It abuts a decidedly unfashionable part of Washington.]
Post by Tom Deacon
Is this on CD?
I hope not!
But of course it is, John.

What's your problem.

You prefer the earth shoes and crunchy granola versions?

Well, so be it. This one is a hoot.

TD
J. Teske
2004-12-26 01:40:28 UTC
Permalink
On Sat, 25 Dec 2004 14:07:32 -0500, Tom Deacon
Post by J. Teske
Post by Tom Deacon
Post by Tom Deacon
On 12/23/04 10:42 PM, in article
Hell, you can
even find the Brandenburg Concerti in Living Stereo, admittedly with
the
Post by Tom Deacon
massed forces of far too many members of the Boston Symphony
Orchestra.
Egad I remember that one. Even before the days of historic performance
practices (I'm talking early 1960's here) that album was often cited
as how not to do things. As I recall the Brandenburg #5 (probably the
only one of the set I heard knowing what it was) used a piano. While
we used modern string instruments in this repetory then we at least
used smaller forces and harpsichord. I think I played in a couple of
Brandenburg performances (on violin) during that era where we did use
recorders vice flutes for the Brandenburg #4. That was about as
"authentic" as we could get.
During this time there was a memorable review in the old Washington
Star of a Brandenburg performance. It was written by the late
Wendell Margrave who was a friend of mine.
"The Brandenburg Concerto # ? as performed by the ******* Ensemble
seems more like Bladensburg."
[Bladensburg is a decidedly unfashionable suburb northeast of
Washington DC. It abuts a decidedly unfashionable part of Washington.]
Post by Tom Deacon
Is this on CD?
I hope not!
But of course it is, Jon.
What's your problem.
You prefer the earth shoes and crunchy granola versions?
No, I am firmly in the modern instrument camp but with harpsichord. I
even get a bit ticked off that the HIP movement has stolen a fair
amount of repetory from conventional string players. But the BSO
was kinda over the top, even in ca. 1960.
Well, so be it. This one is a hoot.
It is that.

Jon
TD
Tom Deacon
2004-12-25 17:34:19 UTC
Permalink
On 12/25/04 11:16 AM, in article
Post by Tom Deacon
Post by Tom Deacon
On 12/23/04 10:42 PM, in article
Hell, you can
even find the Brandenburg Concerti in Living Stereo, admittedly with
the
Post by Tom Deacon
massed forces of far too many members of the Boston Symphony
Orchestra.
Is this on CD?
Yes. In a two-fer, from Japan, of course. Along with lots of other Munch
Living Stereo CDs.

TD
Paul Goldstein
2004-12-25 21:48:37 UTC
Permalink
In article <***@c13g2000cwb.googlegroups.com>, Spam Scone
says...
Post by Tom Deacon
Post by Tom Deacon
On 12/23/04 10:42 PM, in article
Hell, you can
even find the Brandenburg Concerti in Living Stereo, admittedly with
the
Post by Tom Deacon
massed forces of far too many members of the Boston Symphony
Orchestra.
Is this on CD?
In Japan. It's with Munch. Quite good, too.
--
Paul Goldstein
Ivailo Partchev
2004-12-24 14:27:23 UTC
Permalink
Why, you need everything, but, as a start:

- all Strauss with Reiner (partly on CD only)
- Bartok with Reiner (truly amazing SACD)
- the violin concerti with Heifetz
- La Mer / Pini di Roma with Reiner (no SACD yet)
- Daphnis et Chloe with Munch (SACD, yet another stunner)
- Mahler 4 with Reiner (CD)
- piano concerti and what not
- and not forgetting the operas, particularly Turandot, Tosca, Otello...
Post by tilltheend
Some years ago I purchased a couple of Toscannini recordings whose
recorded quality sounded so bad, I vowed to never again purchase
anything recorded prior to the early sixties years. Well, I recently,
and somewhat skeptically, decided to purchase a couple of the latest
Living Stereo SACD releases (Reiner's Zarathustra and Mussorgsky), and
I'm wondering if all of the recordings in the Living Stereo series
sound this good--that is, not only the sacd releases, but all Living
Stereo recordings? I've since purchased another, this one non-sacd,
Reiner's "Vienna" recording. The quality of even this recording is
excellent: The brass (especially trumpets) actually sound real. Perhaps
the strings are a bit muted, but overall, everything sounds quite
realistic. All the instruments are really transparent. I wish I
discovered these long ago.
Were all these RCA recordings this excellently and equally balanced
throughout the fifties and sixties?
Tonight, for example, I was just listening to Bernstein's DG recording
of Mathis Der Maler, and though this was recorded some 30 years after
Reiner's Strauss, I actually prefer the older recording's sound!
Dean
notrump15-17
2004-12-24 15:55:35 UTC
Permalink
The following will undoubtedly ruffle the feathers of el senor duck: Have
you heard the Living Stereos on Shaded Dog vinyl (on a good analog system,
of course)?
Post by Ivailo Partchev
- all Strauss with Reiner (partly on CD only)
- Bartok with Reiner (truly amazing SACD)
- the violin concerti with Heifetz
- La Mer / Pini di Roma with Reiner (no SACD yet)
- Daphnis et Chloe with Munch (SACD, yet another stunner)
- Mahler 4 with Reiner (CD)
- piano concerti and what not
- and not forgetting the operas, particularly Turandot, Tosca, Otello...
Post by tilltheend
Some years ago I purchased a couple of Toscannini recordings whose
recorded quality sounded so bad, I vowed to never again purchase
anything recorded prior to the early sixties years. Well, I recently,
and somewhat skeptically, decided to purchase a couple of the latest
Living Stereo SACD releases (Reiner's Zarathustra and Mussorgsky), and
I'm wondering if all of the recordings in the Living Stereo series
sound this good--that is, not only the sacd releases, but all Living
Stereo recordings? I've since purchased another, this one non-sacd,
Reiner's "Vienna" recording. The quality of even this recording is
excellent: The brass (especially trumpets) actually sound real. Perhaps
the strings are a bit muted, but overall, everything sounds quite
realistic. All the instruments are really transparent. I wish I
discovered these long ago.
Were all these RCA recordings this excellently and equally balanced
throughout the fifties and sixties?
Tonight, for example, I was just listening to Bernstein's DG recording
of Mathis Der Maler, and though this was recorded some 30 years after
Reiner's Strauss, I actually prefer the older recording's sound!
Dean
David7Gable
2004-12-24 20:25:08 UTC
Permalink
Post by tilltheend
Some years ago I purchased a couple of Toscannini recordings whose
recorded quality sounded so bad, I vowed to never again purchase
anything recorded prior to the early sixties years.
I shudder in horror at the recordings you miss out on because of sound or date.
If you mean Toscanini recordings with the NBC SO, I've got plenty of
recordings that sound worse. More relevant from your point of view, though, is
the fact that virtually any commercial recording, monaural or stereo, from the
50's will have better sound than those Toscanini recordings.

-david gable
tilltheend
2004-12-24 21:26:59 UTC
Permalink
Post by David7Gable
I shudder in horror at the recordings you miss out on because of sound or date.
If you mean Toscanini recordings with the NBC SO, I've got plenty of
recordings that sound worse. More relevant from your point of view, though, is
the fact that virtually any commercial recording, monaural or stereo, from the
50's will have better sound than those Toscanini recordings.
-david gable
Yes, the Toscanini/NBC recordings. I have Beethoven 6,9 and
Mussorgsky's Pictures. Funny thing was the recording of Pictures was
the one by which I learned the piece. It's just that I mistakenly
figured the recording quality was indicative of the whole period. Well,
it now seems to me that the past holds a number of treasures.
William Sommerwerck
2004-12-24 23:46:40 UTC
Permalink
Yes, the Toscanini/NBC recordings. I have Beethoven 6, 9 and
Mussorgsky's Pictures. Funny thing was the recording of Pictures
was the one by which I learned the piece. It's just that I mistakenly
figured the recording quality was indicative of the whole period.
Well, it now seems to me that the past holds a number of treasures.
I'm not a big fan of Toscanini, but his "Pictures" (which was one of my first
classical LPs) is superb. He manages simultaneously to make it sound like "one
big piece of music," while still imaginatively characterizing each section. Not
many conductors can do that. Both Reiner and Haitink perform the same magic with
"Also Sprach Zarathustra."
Johannes Roehl
2004-12-25 11:28:57 UTC
Permalink
Post by David7Gable
Post by David7Gable
I shudder in horror at the recordings you miss out on because of
sound or date.
Post by David7Gable
If you mean Toscanini recordings with the NBC SO, I've got plenty of
recordings that sound worse. More relevant from your point of view,
though, is
Post by David7Gable
the fact that virtually any commercial recording, monaural or stereo,
from the
Post by David7Gable
50's will have better sound than those Toscanini recordings.
-david gable
Yes, the Toscanini/NBC recordings. I have Beethoven 6,9 and
Mussorgsky's Pictures. Funny thing was the recording of Pictures was
the one by which I learned the piece. It's just that I mistakenly
figured the recording quality was indicative of the whole period. Well,
it now seems to me that the past holds a number of treasures.
The "Pictures" is actually one of the better sounding Toscanini
recordings (some may have improved in more recent reamsterings: the
Beethovne 3rd Concerto with Rubinstein sounds quite good in the newish
Rubinstein edition).
For an example of very good, clear, warum and dynamic mono, try one of
the more recent issues of DG recordings from that time, for instance the
Jochum/Mozart disc in this new "Sprache der Welt" series or most of the
recordings (a few are stereo) in the Original Masters Box dedicated to
Markevitch or the Verdi Requiem with Fricsay or many others.

Johannes
Aaron Z Snyder
2004-12-25 14:37:38 UTC
Permalink
Post by Johannes Roehl
The "Pictures" is actually one of the better sounding Toscanini
recordings ...
This is an opportunity to show my age (ugh!). The Toscanini "Pictures" was
used to showcase RCA's then-new "New Orthophonic" recording techniques.
They issued an LP with verbal explanations of what "High Fidelity"
consisted of, and specifically what was new about the "New Orthophonic"
system. (Remember that RCA first introduced the word "Orthophonic" with the
advent of electrical recording.) Many excerpts from "Pictures" were used to
demonstrate just how far recording quality had come. A very unfavorable
comparison was made between the sound of Koussevitzky's "Great Gate at
Kiev" and that of Toscanini. I first heard this demo LP when I was 10 (and
that's the last time I heard it; I never owned it). When we finally got a
33.3 rpm player, it was the Toscanini "Pictures" that became the first LP I
ever owned.

Aaron Z (still got all my teeth)
Dontaitchicago
2004-12-25 21:45:26 UTC
Permalink
Subject: Re: RCA Living Stereo recommendations
Date: 12/25/2004 8:37 AM Central Standard Time
Post by Johannes Roehl
The "Pictures" is actually one of the better sounding Toscanini
recordings ...
This is an opportunity to show my age (ugh!). The Toscanini "Pictures" was
used to showcase RCA's then-new "New Orthophonic" recording techniques.
They issued an LP with verbal explanations of what "High Fidelity"
consisted of, and specifically what was new about the "New Orthophonic"
system. (Remember that RCA first introduced the word "Orthophonic" with the
advent of electrical recording.) Many excerpts from "Pictures" were used to
demonstrate just how far recording quality had come. A very unfavorable
comparison was made between the sound of Koussevitzky's "Great Gate at
Kiev" and that of Toscanini. I first heard this demo LP when I was 10 (and
that's the last time I heard it; I never owned it). When we finally got a
33.3 rpm player, it was the Toscanini "Pictures" that became the first LP I
ever owned.
Aaron Z (still got all my teeth)
I own a copy of that RCA Victor promotional LP. "Hearing is Believing," SRL
12-1. It sold for 98 cents, I think. The comparison between the beginning of
Koussevitzky's "Great Gate at Kiev" and Toscanini's recording was unfavorable
to say the least. In fact, it was unconscionable. When I got the 78s of
Koussevitzky's BSO recording of Pictures I couldn't believe how good the sound
was compared to the snippet that was on that 1953/4 LP. RCA had clearly
gimmicked it to sound like a hoarse cough over the telephone in order to make
their comparison - and sell their current records.

I agree that Pictures is one of the better-sounding Toscanini recordings,
many of which were miked and engineered disgracefully badly for their time. It
was a disgrace to the engineers and producers and a perpetual disservice to a
great artist who deserved at least to be preserved as well as the technology of
the time permitted, but wasn't. Others, such as Furtwangler, were. The most
recent CD edition of Toscanini's Pictures has superb sound (including the bass
missing from earlier editions) and I agree that he, like Reiner and a couple of
others, is one of the few conductors to succeed in making each section of the
work vivid by itself while providing a satisfying sense of unity when the music
is over. No one interested in Pictures at an Exhibition should fail to listen
to Toscanini at least once, whether he or she finally likes the result or not.

Don Tait
TransfrGuy
2004-12-26 05:16:25 UTC
Permalink
Post by Dontaitchicago
I own a copy of that RCA Victor promotional LP. "Hearing is Believing," SRL
12-1. It sold for 98 cents, I think. The comparison between the beginning of
Koussevitzky's "Great Gate at Kiev" and Toscanini's recording was unfavorable
to say the least. In fact, it was unconscionable. When I got the 78s of
Koussevitzky's BSO recording of Pictures I couldn't believe how good the sound
was compared to the snippet that was on that 1953/4 LP.
Another unconscionable comparison on that same promo disc: in order to show the
superiority of "New Orthophonic" sound, Toscanini's "hi-fi" 1951 NBC recording
of the Act 3 Prelude to "Lohengrin" was compared to Karl Muck's 1917 acoustic
BSO recording. Talk about stacking the deck!

Mark O-T
Matthew B. Tepper
2004-12-26 16:32:28 UTC
Permalink
Post by TransfrGuy
Post by Dontaitchicago
I own a copy of that RCA Victor promotional LP. "Hearing is Believing,"
SRL 12-1. It sold for 98 cents, I think. The comparison between the
beginning of Koussevitzky's "Great Gate at Kiev" and Toscanini's
recording was unfavorable to say the least. In fact, it was
unconscionable. When I got the 78s of Koussevitzky's BSO recording of
Pictures I couldn't believe how good the sound was compared to the
snippet that was on that 1953/4 LP.
Another unconscionable comparison on that same promo disc: in order to
show the superiority of "New Orthophonic" sound, Toscanini's "hi-fi"
1951 NBC recording of the Act 3 Prelude to "Lohengrin" was compared to
Karl Muck's 1917 acoustic BSO recording. Talk about stacking the deck!
Wasn't there some BSO promo disc which had a tripartite recording of
Berlioz' "Rakoczky March," beginning with Muck, switching to Koussevitzky,
and ending with Munch?
--
Matthew B. Tepper: WWW, science fiction, classical music, ducks!
My personal home page -- http://home.earthlink.net/~oy/index.html
My main music page --- http://home.earthlink.net/~oy/berlioz.html
To write to me, do for my address what Androcles did for the lion
Take THAT, Daniel Lin, Mark Sadek, James Lin & Christopher Chung!
Van Eyes
2004-12-24 21:42:30 UTC
Permalink
....I recently,
and somewhat skeptically, decided to purchase a couple of the latest
Living Stereo SACD releases (Reiner's Zarathustra and Mussorgsky), and
I'm wondering if all of the recordings in the Living Stereo series
sound this good--that is, not only the sacd releases, but all Living
Stereo recordings? I've since purchased another, this one non-sacd,
Reiner's "Vienna" recording. The quality of even this recording is
excellent: The brass (especially trumpets) actually sound real. Perhaps
the strings are a bit muted, but overall, everything sounds quite
realistic. All the instruments are really transparent. I wish I
discovered these long ago.
Were all these RCA recordings this excellently and equally balanced
throughout the fifties and sixties?
Tonight, for example, I was just listening to Bernstein's DG recording
of Mathis Der Maler, and though this was recorded some 30 years after
Reiner's Strauss, I actually prefer the older recording's sound!
Different strokes re RCA Living Stereo. They've had no staying power for
me. The Bernstein rec you mention, aside (which I haven't heard), in
each and every case (probably a coupla dozen RCA LS reissues), I've been
able to buy significantly better recordings (IMO) in both performance &
sound. I own zero RCA Living Stereos. Note: The SACD hype for these,
means nothing to me. I'm not interested in their quasi fraud with 50
year-old 2/3 channel recordings.

Mercury CDs have been more successful for me...I own three of them.
Again, their SACD hype means nothing...it fires blanks.

Mercury CDs I've kept...

Brahms (& Mendelssohn) Cello Sonatas - Starker & Sebok
Webern, Berg, Schoenberg - LSO/Dorati
Rimsky-Korsakov (& Borodin) Capriccio Espagnol, etc. - LSO/Dorati
(available in SACD)

I note some SACD drop-out reports. I wonder how widespread this is?
Related URL below.

http://www.audioasylum.com/forums/hirez/messages/195301.html


Regards
--
Posted via Mailgate.ORG Server - http://www.Mailgate.ORG
Bob Harper
2004-12-24 22:23:16 UTC
Permalink
Van Eyes wrote:

(snip)
Post by Van Eyes
Different strokes re RCA Living Stereo. They've had no staying power for
me. The Bernstein rec you mention, aside (which I haven't heard), in
each and every case (probably a coupla dozen RCA LS reissues), I've been
able to buy significantly better recordings (IMO) in both performance &
sound. I own zero RCA Living Stereos. Note: The SACD hype for these,
means nothing to me. I'm not interested in their quasi fraud with 50
year-old 2/3 channel recordings.
(snip)
Post by Van Eyes
Regards
Unjustifiably dismissive, IMO. I've bought several of the LS SACDs, and
find them wonderful; yes, better than the CD issues. I wonder what
recordings of the two Strauss tone poems you'd consider superior to
Reiner/CSO, for example? And whose Daphnis is significantly superior, in
sound or performance, to Munch's?

Granting that there are wonderful modern recordings of these works does
not oblige us to denigrate the LS performances. And throwing around
terms like 'hype' and 'quasi fraud' contributes nothing to the discussion.

Bob Harper
Van Eyes
2004-12-24 23:26:57 UTC
Permalink
....Granting that there are wonderful modern recordings of these works does
not oblige us to denigrate the LS performances.
I agree, reserve denigration for the hypesters and marketeers.
And throwing around
terms like 'hype' and 'quasi fraud' contributes nothing to the discussion.
Well, if you were Board Boss, Bob, I might take that more to heart.


Regards
--
Posted via Mailgate.ORG Server - http://www.Mailgate.ORG
Bob Harper
2004-12-25 05:58:11 UTC
Permalink
Post by Van Eyes
....Granting that there are wonderful modern recordings of these works does
not oblige us to denigrate the LS performances.
I agree, reserve denigration for the hypesters and marketeers.
And throwing around
terms like 'hype' and 'quasi fraud' contributes nothing to the discussion.
Well, if you were Board Boss, Bob, I might take that more to heart.
Regards
Is this supposed to be a crushing response to my remarks? Pardon me if
I'm not crushed.

Bob Harper
Continue reading on narkive:
Loading...