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Recommended Classical Recordings

Printed From: Graham Slee at Hifi System Components
Category: Music
Forum Name: Classical
Forum Description: Recommendations and Reviews of Classical recordings
URL: https://www.hifisystemcomponents.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=2531
Printed Date: 24 Aug 2019 at 6:16pm
Software Version: Web Wiz Forums 12.01 - http://www.webwizforums.com


Topic: Recommended Classical Recordings
Posted By: morris_minor
Subject: Recommended Classical Recordings
Date Posted: 27 Apr 2015 at 3:24pm
Prompted by another post I thought I'd start a thread of recommended classical recordings that might help folk wanting to get "into" classical music but overwhelmed by the sheer numbers of musical works, and different recordings of the same works.

I'll start the ball rolling:

String Music by Elgar and Vaughan Williams - Sinfonia of London/Sir John Barbirolli (HMV/EMI)
A 1963 recording that's never been out of the catalogue (to my knowledge) - which is testament to its quality. A sumptuous Kingsway Hall recording including Elgar's Introduction & Allegro, and Vaughan Williams Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis, and Greensleeves. IMO the "gold standard" for these pieces. I have many other, good, versions, but always come back to this one.

The English Concert, directed by Trevor Pinnock (on DG Archiv)
For Baroque music, this outfit is hard to to beat. Sprightly rhythms, excellent intonation on "early" instruments and usually superb Deutsche Grammophon recordings. An easy recommendation for J.S.Bach's Brandenburg Concertos, Handel's Water Music and Music for the Royal Fireworks, and Vivaldi's Four Seasons


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Bob

Majestic DAC/pre-amp
Accession MC/Enigma, Accession MM, Reflex M, Elevator EXP, Era Gold V
Solo ULDE, Novo, Lautus USB and digital, Libran balanced, CuSat50
2 x Proprius + Spatia/Spatia Links



Replies:
Posted By: tg
Date Posted: 27 Apr 2015 at 3:49pm

A resource rather than a specific recommendation - http://www.amazon.com/Penguin-Guide-Finest-Classical-Recordings/dp/0241955947/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1430145815&sr=8-1&keywords=penguin+guide+to+classical+music - here




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Tony G


Posted By: morris_minor
Date Posted: 27 Apr 2015 at 4:15pm
And then there's this on the http://www.bbc.co.uk/podcasts/series/bal - BBC website .

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Bob

Majestic DAC/pre-amp
Accession MC/Enigma, Accession MM, Reflex M, Elevator EXP, Era Gold V
Solo ULDE, Novo, Lautus USB and digital, Libran balanced, CuSat50
2 x Proprius + Spatia/Spatia Links


Posted By: RichW
Date Posted: 27 Apr 2015 at 4:24pm
That Elgar & Vaughan Williams recording should be in every collection.
Vinyl re-issue from HiQ & EMI CD both excellent.

Tchaikovsky/ Dvorak Serenade for strings & Grieg Holberg Suite (Decca Legends)
Neville Marriner/ Academy of St Martin in the fields.
One of the finest recordings of the Holberg Suite.



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Elevator, Accession, Majestic, Reflex M, Solo ULDE, CuSat & Lautus.


Posted By: Graham Slee
Date Posted: 27 Apr 2015 at 4:54pm
Great! At last I'll be able to chuck away the stack of classical turn-off albums and buy the right copies!

I'd rather trust our member's ears, so please contribute your thoughts.

Thanks for this Bob!


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Not simple enough for Google-Bot to understand...


Posted By: BAK
Date Posted: 27 Apr 2015 at 5:40pm
I got Switched-On Bach when it first came out. I think it got bad reviews from the traditional classical music lovers, but only because it was played on an electronic instrument "not on hand-made" instruments.

I like it as much as Academy of St Martin in the fields, and J.S.Bach's Brandenburg Concertos, Handel's Water Music and Music for the Royal Fireworks, and Vivaldi's Four Seasons.
I really like the Water Music for peaceful serenity and Music for the Royal Fireworks for the lively rockets, you can feel the rockets shooting upwards and exploding!

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


Switched-On Bach
is a musical album by http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wendy_Carlos - Wendy Carlos (originally released under the name of Walter Carlos) and http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Benjamin_Folkman&action=edit&redlink=1 - Benjamin Folkman , produced by Carlos and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rachel_Elkind - Rachel Elkind and released in March 1968 by http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Columbia_Masterworks_Records - Columbia Masterworks Records . It played a key role in popularizing classical music performed on electronic synthesizers, which had until then been relegated to experimental and "pop" music. This fostered a significant increase in interest in electronically rendered music in general, and the http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moog_synthesizer - Moog synthesizer in particular.

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Bruce
AT-14SA, Pickering XV-15/625, Technics SL-1600MK2, Reflex M, Lautus, Technics SH-8066, Dynaco ST120a, Eminence Beta 8A in custom cabs;; Using Majestic DAC
Enjoy Life Your Way!


Posted By: morris_minor
Date Posted: 27 Apr 2015 at 5:43pm
You're welcome, Graham. Wink

The BBC podcasts of "building a library" are a good listen for their respective pieces, and you get to hear different versions with a commentary on what's good or bad about them. They're good introductions to the music too, and end with a recommendation. (I don't know if they're available outside the UK, though . . )


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Bob

Majestic DAC/pre-amp
Accession MC/Enigma, Accession MM, Reflex M, Elevator EXP, Era Gold V
Solo ULDE, Novo, Lautus USB and digital, Libran balanced, CuSat50
2 x Proprius + Spatia/Spatia Links


Posted By: morris_minor
Date Posted: 27 Apr 2015 at 5:53pm
Ah, yes, Bruce! Switched on Bach Smile

I loved this. It had a kind of fairground flavour to some of the tracks. The 'cadenza' in the Brandenburg was a thrilling listen. The follow up 'Well-Tempered Synthesiser' was almost as good, and Carlos' soundtrack to 'A Clockwork Orange' pushed the boat out for electronic music making in those pre-MIDI days.


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Bob

Majestic DAC/pre-amp
Accession MC/Enigma, Accession MM, Reflex M, Elevator EXP, Era Gold V
Solo ULDE, Novo, Lautus USB and digital, Libran balanced, CuSat50
2 x Proprius + Spatia/Spatia Links


Posted By: tg
Date Posted: 27 Apr 2015 at 6:06pm

My browser gets a UK only page on the BBC link - probably international copyright issues.

Neville Marriner and the London Strings with Igor Kipnis for the 4 record set of Bach harpsichord concertos.

Neville Marriner  and the Academy of St Martin in the fields with Alan Loveday violin for Vivaldi the Four Seasons.

Helmut Walcha for the Art of the Fugue on DG Arkiv (stereo or mono) 2 lps




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Tony G


Posted By: morris_minor
Date Posted: 28 Apr 2015 at 8:32am
Originally posted by tg tg wrote:

My browser gets a UK only page on the BBC link - probably international copyright issues.

Neville Marriner and the London Strings with Igor Kipnis for the 4 record set of Bach harpsichord concertos.

Neville Marriner  and the Academy of St Martin in the fields with Alan Loveday violin for Vivaldi the Four Seasons.

Helmut Walcha for the Art of the Fugue on DG Arkiv (stereo or mono) 2 lps

Pity about the link, though not surprising.

Marriner/ASMF are recommendable in most repertoire I find. Though by no means mainstream, their Argo recording of string music by Sir Michael Tippett is glorious. The 'Concerto for Double String Orchestra' is stunning on all counts, and very approachable for 'modern' music.




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Bob

Majestic DAC/pre-amp
Accession MC/Enigma, Accession MM, Reflex M, Elevator EXP, Era Gold V
Solo ULDE, Novo, Lautus USB and digital, Libran balanced, CuSat50
2 x Proprius + Spatia/Spatia Links


Posted By: Graham Slee
Date Posted: 28 Apr 2015 at 9:33am
Moved this topic to the new Classical forum at 09:33 28/04/2015


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Not simple enough for Google-Bot to understand...


Posted By: discrete badger
Date Posted: 28 Apr 2015 at 10:07pm
Aha - Switched on Bach and the Walcha Art of Fugue...

Walcha was blind and absorbed the entire Bach keyboard canon into his memory from the Braille. Most people with an excellent recall would struggle to memorise the *names* of the hundreds of works, let alone the many hours of music of the most profound depth, complexity, and technical difficulty.

Bach works on pretty much any instrumentation because the music has such fundamental qualities that it can transcend the medium in which is presented - hence the success of Switched On Bach. Bach played on via a MIDI file on a pure sine-wave generator through a cheap hi-fi makes excellent music. 

Somewhat paradoxically, though, at the same time, the music loses some of its qualities when the instrumentation departs from Bach's intentions. A good example are the trio sonatas, music of peerless quality on much the same level as the Art of Fugue, and, like that work, devised for teaching purposes! One might think that using a "real" trio, of three separate instrumentalists, as some arrangers have attempted, would somehow lead to a better result than the intended "compromise" of one performer playing all three parts simultaneously, but this is not the case. 

These sorts of paradoxes are part of the enigma of Bach. Anyone who wants to get to know music of the very highest quality should give him a chance. 


Posted By: RichW
Date Posted: 30 Apr 2015 at 2:26pm
Holst's Planet suite is an outstanding work of great contrasts.
The two versions I own sound quite different - LSO/Previn on LP (HiQ) & a CD of the
Boston Symphony Orchestra/William Steinberg on DG.

The LSO Mars is slow & menacing, the BSO version quicker with a brighter sound & magnificent
reverberation, notably the brass. A very powerful sound.
The LSO Mercury is quick & superbly balanced, the BSO version less lively.
Favourite is BSO Saturn with its almost despairing slow bass introduction &
the fading women's choir at the end of Neptune - & of course the whole piece -
is mesmerising.
Overall the BSO version edges it for me & I never tire of playing it after many years!




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Elevator, Accession, Majestic, Reflex M, Solo ULDE, CuSat & Lautus.


Posted By: morris_minor
Date Posted: 30 Apr 2015 at 3:17pm
I've 11 different recordings of The Planets and Previn's version is not one of them! Shocked How did that escape? LOL

I like the Steinberg but prefer Boult with the London Philharmonic and Handley with the Royal Philharmonic. 

A good also ran is the oft-played "hifi" Decca version with Zubin Mehta and the Los Angeles Phil.

Before I really "got" classical music in my teens I could never understand why you'd possibly want more than one performance of a piece of music. It's obvious when you follow a score and see the liberties than some "maestros" take in order to make the piece their own. That's apart from the way a performance makes you feel . . .

It's a good job there's no absolutely definitive way of performing a classical piece; the whole industry depends on this not being the case! Wink


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Bob

Majestic DAC/pre-amp
Accession MC/Enigma, Accession MM, Reflex M, Elevator EXP, Era Gold V
Solo ULDE, Novo, Lautus USB and digital, Libran balanced, CuSat50
2 x Proprius + Spatia/Spatia Links


Posted By: morris_minor
Date Posted: 30 Apr 2015 at 5:31pm
No Beethoven mentioned yet . . .

Symphonies No.5 and No.7 - Carlos Kleiber and the Vienna Philharmonic (DG 'Originals' - the CD is like a little LP Wink). This is music making of the highest order.


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Bob

Majestic DAC/pre-amp
Accession MC/Enigma, Accession MM, Reflex M, Elevator EXP, Era Gold V
Solo ULDE, Novo, Lautus USB and digital, Libran balanced, CuSat50
2 x Proprius + Spatia/Spatia Links


Posted By: LOINER
Date Posted: 30 Apr 2015 at 7:44pm
Originally posted by morris_minor morris_minor wrote:

No Beethoven mentioned yet . . .

Symphonies No.5 and No.7 - Carlos Kleiber and the Vienna Philharmonic (DG 'Originals' - the CD is like a little LP Wink). This is music making of the highest order.

Agreed Bob the vinyl is also excellent.
Beethoven Violin Concerto Berlin Philharmic Von Karajan Anne-Sophie Mutter (vinyl)
New Philharmonia   Otto Klemperer Yehudi Menhuin     (cd)
This is a no brainer Anne -Sophie wins hands down its exciting well recorded and everything you
expect from Beethoven the Menhuin is the complete opposite in fact it is a dirge and you quickly lose interest.


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STUART
SOLO ULTRA LINEAR DIAMOND EDITION
LAUTUS DUAL MONO 1.5M INTERCONNECTS
GRAM AMP 2SE


Posted By: msphil
Date Posted: 01 May 2015 at 12:50pm
I have four versions of Beethoven's violin Concerto. These are versions by Oistrach, Kennedy, and Perlman but my favourite is Herman Krebbers  with Bernard Haitink  and the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. This used to be the top recommendation for many years in the Penguin Classical Record Guide.

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'You are, through your soul not your body, a human being.'


Posted By: tg
Date Posted: 01 May 2015 at 2:24pm

The Beethoven violin concerto seems to be one to inspire collecting performances, I will not admit to how many I have collected.

The one I seem to visit most often is Wolfgang Marschner with the Sudwestdeutsche Philharmonia under Gunter Neidlinger.

Not quite sure why I like it, although it seems to be a smaller orchestra and perhaps more intimate and concerto like than when played by a full symphony orchestra.

I will go with the Kleiber 5 & 7 recommendation above too.




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Tony G


Posted By: RichW
Date Posted: 20 May 2015 at 1:38pm
Elgar violin concerto.
I've owned the CD of the Kennedy EMI recording for many years & recently acquired
the LP of the same (from Phil).
Have been reminded (as if it were needed) that LP is still an extremely capable & valid
format for classical music.





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Elevator, Accession, Majestic, Reflex M, Solo ULDE, CuSat & Lautus.


Posted By: Fuzzy
Date Posted: 20 May 2015 at 3:05pm
Now that I have my Gram Amp 2 SE installed (with a nice enough 1 meter Supra RCA connect), I am finally able to enjoy in all its glory the legendary live recording of Mahler 8 conducted by Dimitri Mitropoulos (Everest 3189/2 two LP set). While the recording itself is technically speaking nothing really special - and sometimes even rather bad - (the box says 'electronically enhanced for stereo effect'), the music making is excellent. And the LPs I have are for as far as I can tell in very good condition, so that does help too. Somehow these older recordings feel and listen nicer on LP than CD (the latter version I do not possess). 


Posted By: morris_minor
Date Posted: 20 May 2015 at 5:23pm
Originally posted by RichW RichW wrote:

Elgar violin concerto.
I've owned the CD of the Kennedy EMI recording for many years & recently acquired
the LP of the same (from Phil).
Have been reminded (as if it were needed) that LP is still an extremely capable & valid
format for classical music.
One of my favourites too. With the best Elgar conductor in Vernon Handley since Boult. (IMO) "Other conductors are available" LOL

Get a quiet pressing and LPs are excellent for classical music!


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Bob

Majestic DAC/pre-amp
Accession MC/Enigma, Accession MM, Reflex M, Elevator EXP, Era Gold V
Solo ULDE, Novo, Lautus USB and digital, Libran balanced, CuSat50
2 x Proprius + Spatia/Spatia Links


Posted By: morris_minor
Date Posted: 20 May 2015 at 5:44pm
Originally posted by Fuzzy Fuzzy wrote:

Now that I have my Gram Amp 2 SE installed (with a nice enough 1 meter Supra RCA connect), I am finally able to enjoy in all its glory the legendary live recording of Mahler 8 conducted by Dimitri Mitropoulos (Everest 3189/2 two LP set). While the recording itself is technically speaking nothing really special - and sometimes even rather bad - (the box says 'electronically enhanced for stereo effect'), the music making is excellent. And the LPs I have are for as far as I can tell in very good condition, so that does help too. Somehow these older recordings feel and listen nicer on LP than CD (the latter version I do not possess). 
There's something special about playing vintage LPs in the format they were originally released on. Mind you "electronically enhanced for stereo" was a dreadful idea, obviously dreamt up by a marketing man jumping on the stereo bandwagon. If you can play these in mono they'll sound better, but you can't easily get rid of any tonal processing; a number of my processed LPs sound unnaturally bassy and muddy (needing to be ripped to digital and put through a software parametric equaliser  - a bit like restoring a painting!). But I digress. I'm sure the music of your Mahler 8 shines through, with the 2SE doing it's bit.

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Bob

Majestic DAC/pre-amp
Accession MC/Enigma, Accession MM, Reflex M, Elevator EXP, Era Gold V
Solo ULDE, Novo, Lautus USB and digital, Libran balanced, CuSat50
2 x Proprius + Spatia/Spatia Links


Posted By: RichW
Date Posted: 20 May 2015 at 8:43pm
Originally posted by morris_minor morris_minor wrote:

Originally posted by RichW RichW wrote:

Elgar violin concerto.
I've owned the CD of the Kennedy EMI recording for many years & recently acquired
the LP of the same (from Phil).
Have been reminded (as if it were needed) that LP is still an extremely capable & valid
format for classical music.
One of my favourites too. With the best Elgar conductor in Vernon Handley since Boult. (IMO) "Other conductors are available" LOL

Get a quiet pressing and LPs are excellent for classical music!


That's right Bob, & if my collection is typical, classical records with very quiet backgrounds
are actually quite common, especially after a run through a cleaner.
Also it's well known that a GSP phono stage has an uncanny knack of making any
background noise much less intrusive.Wink
Classical LPs do appreciate a TT with bang-on speed stability though!
 


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Elevator, Accession, Majestic, Reflex M, Solo ULDE, CuSat & Lautus.


Posted By: Fuzzy
Date Posted: 20 May 2015 at 10:08pm
If I may continue with Mahler, and if you like Mahler too, I would heartily recommend the recording of the 'Songs from Des Knaben Wunderhorn' by the Symphony Orchestra of the Vienna Festival conducted by Felix Prohaska, sung by Maureen Forrester and Heinz Rehfuss (Vanguard Stereolab VSD-2154). In my view a great performance, and probably my favorite 'Knaben Wunderhorn' recording (on any medium). On LP it is just a wonderful listen, but I think would never buy it on CD: to my ears the vintage LP breathes some extra kind of life into the recording and performance.

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Jan

*****

Majestic DAC
Proprius
Gram Amp 2 SE
Solo SRGII
Solo ULDE


Posted By: Bi-wire
Date Posted: 29 May 2015 at 6:01pm
I've been meaning to add a couple of my favourites to this thread for a while so, here goes, a quartet at random:
 - Elgar Symphony No1 - LPO/Georg Solti (DECCA SXL6569) - a beautiful recording with tremendous range, depth and subtlety, the third movement is sublime.
 
 - RVW A Sea Symphony and Music from The Wasps - LPO/Boult (DECCA LXT2907 &2908) - these FFRR records really come alive through my Revelation.
 
 - Faure Requiem - Willcocks/New Philharmonia Orchestra (HMV ASD2358) - peace, perfect peace for the late evening.
 
 - Saint-Saens Organ Symphony - Von Karajan/Berlin Phil (Deutsche Grammophon 2532 045) - a late recording on vinyl (1982) and the polar opposite of the Faure. Overblown, bombastic and very loud. Guaranteed to get it all out of one's system  -  did the earth move for you? You bet!


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Peter

Satisfied user of: Revelation M, Solo SRGII and lots of CuSat50


Posted By: RichW
Date Posted: 01 Jun 2015 at 11:15am
That Elgar Symphony no.1 is indeed a top class recording.
Continuing with Elgar for a mo', the Enigma Variations & Cello Concerto are both highly recommended additions to any classical collection.

These are the two I happen to own on vinyl.







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Elevator, Accession, Majestic, Reflex M, Solo ULDE, CuSat & Lautus.


Posted By: morris_minor
Date Posted: 01 Jun 2015 at 12:02pm
I have both of those, Rich! 

Boult's later EMI, and Zubin Mehta's Los Angeles PO on Decca are my favourite Enigmas though. And Jacqeline du Pre's Elgar Cello with Barbirolli (EMI) is the "gold standard" (at least for me!).

The Decca LAPO recording is pretty special, too.


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Bob

Majestic DAC/pre-amp
Accession MC/Enigma, Accession MM, Reflex M, Elevator EXP, Era Gold V
Solo ULDE, Novo, Lautus USB and digital, Libran balanced, CuSat50
2 x Proprius + Spatia/Spatia Links


Posted By: RichW
Date Posted: 01 Jun 2015 at 1:49pm
I must try to hear those alternatives Bob. Thanks.
Talking of great British composers,  must also mention this superb collection of RVW
symphonies and other pieces. A repeat posting from the other long-running thread
but a re-post will do no harm!
Outstanding.




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Elevator, Accession, Majestic, Reflex M, Solo ULDE, CuSat & Lautus.


Posted By: morris_minor
Date Posted: 01 Jun 2015 at 2:03pm
I've not heard Andrew Davis' RVW. I've a couple of complete RVW Symphony sets - Boult/LPO(NPO) on EMI, and Handley (RLPO) on EMI/CfP, plus various individual symphonies by Handley/LPO (CfP) and many other performers. For a couple of decades RVW was an obsession! Then Walton, then Bax. Not forgetting Carl Nielsen's tremendous symphonies - try Nos 4 and 5 on Decca with Blomstedt and his San Francisco band. No.4 with it's duelling sets of tympani doing a tug of war between keys is a brilliant piece of music . . . . ShockedApprove

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Bob

Majestic DAC/pre-amp
Accession MC/Enigma, Accession MM, Reflex M, Elevator EXP, Era Gold V
Solo ULDE, Novo, Lautus USB and digital, Libran balanced, CuSat50
2 x Proprius + Spatia/Spatia Links


Posted By: Pomponian
Date Posted: 02 Jun 2015 at 11:19am
A couple of suggestions for those of you who enjoy vintage recordings. First the RCA Living Stereo box sets, which can be had for about £65 online for 60 CDs. These contain classic recordings from greats like Heifetz, Reiner, Rubinstein, Munch etc made in the 50s and early 60s. The sound quality is just amazing, even by today's standards.

Also my favourite music download site: Pristine Classical. https://%20www.pristineclassical.com - www.pristineclassical.com . The proprietor,
Andrew Rose, is an ex-BBC sound engineer, who relocated to rural France and now spends his time re mastering out of copyright classic recordings. He did the technical work to expose the Joyce Hatto hoax. The results he gets are astonishing and there are treasures galore.

All the best,

Steve

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Steve.


Posted By: morris_minor
Date Posted: 02 Jun 2015 at 1:32pm
Mention of Andrew Rose reminds me of a site I sometimes frequent for classical downloads of vintage performances. The guy running The Music Parlour doesn't rate Mr Rose and accuses him of, well, have a look:

http://themusicparlour.blogspot.co.uk/2014/05/the-busch-string-quartet-beethoven-late.html  - http://themusicparlour.blogspot.co.uk/2014/05/the-busch-string-quartet-beethoven-late.html 

Shocked


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Bob

Majestic DAC/pre-amp
Accession MC/Enigma, Accession MM, Reflex M, Elevator EXP, Era Gold V
Solo ULDE, Novo, Lautus USB and digital, Libran balanced, CuSat50
2 x Proprius + Spatia/Spatia Links


Posted By: Pomponian
Date Posted: 02 Jun 2015 at 6:00pm
The blog you link to seems to have disappeared. I suspect there may well be some professional rivalry at play - there's a surprise - and I'm not qualified to comment. But when I have compared Pristine remastering to my original LPs the improvement has been remarkable. For instance the Bruno Walter Mahler 9 on CBS.

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Steve.


Posted By: discrete badger
Date Posted: 02 Jun 2015 at 6:07pm
For me the Living Stereo Munch/Zamkochian/Boston recording of the St. Saens (Organ) Symphony no.3 is still the benchmark. The conducting is typically full of energy and, most importantly, the organ is up to the task. Most of the other recordings seem to (inexplicably) use an instrument with inadequate power, particularly in the bass, where the impact of the final C major descending scale is lost. Not so with the Boston recording, where they went to the trouble of removing many of the seats from the hall to get the right acoustic balance!


Posted By: cypsela
Date Posted: 06 Jun 2015 at 9:06pm
Originally posted by LOINER LOINER wrote:

Originally posted by morris_minor morris_minor wrote:

No Beethoven mentioned yet . . .

Symphonies No.5 and No.7 - Carlos Kleiber and the Vienna Philharmonic (DG 'Originals' - the CD is like a little LP Wink). This is music making of the highest order.

Agreed Bob the vinyl is also excellent.
Beethoven Violin Concerto Berlin Philharmic Von Karajan Anne-Sophie Mutter (vinyl)
New Philharmonia   Otto Klemperer Yehudi Menhuin     (cd)
This is a no brainer Anne -Sophie wins hands down its exciting well recorded and everything you
expect from Beethoven the Menhuin is the complete opposite in fact it is a dirge and you quickly lose interest.


Posted By: cypsela
Date Posted: 06 Jun 2015 at 9:22pm
Never mind Beethoven,it is Mozarts music that strikes a chord with the cerebral cortex.

According to researchers at Sapienza University of Rome( The Times,6June ) ,people who listen to Mozart showed increase brain wave activity linked to memory,understanding and problem solving.
They found no such increases when the group listened to Beethoven.
They concluded that the rational and highly organised arrangemement of Mozarts Sonata for Two Pianos in D Major was responsible for a high level of mental functions,could also improve spatial reasoning skills for a short time afterward.
So, Mozart Sonata ,twice a day for all wrinkles should do you a power of good.


Posted By: DaveG
Date Posted: 07 Jun 2015 at 9:00am
I wonder what they'd find if they tried rather than Mozart  .......... Motorhead!! Wink


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Dave

Michell Gorbe + HR PSU -> Cadenza Bronze -> SME V -> Elevator -> Accession -> Proprius -> B&W CM6 s2 | Cusat 50 & Spatia cables ->


Posted By: jazzcatlee
Date Posted: 19 Jan 2016 at 10:25pm
Originally posted by morris_minor morris_minor wrote:

No Beethoven mentioned yet . . .


Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 4 in G Major, Op. 58
Glenn Gould, piano, and Leonard Bernstein conducting the New York Philharmonic Orchestra
originally released under the Columbia Masterworks label in 1961
reissued 2012 as a 180-gram pressing by Impex Records IMP6011





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"All the hard ways!"


Posted By: Kasper
Date Posted: 13 May 2016 at 9:49pm
This is a true gem. Genius composer and brilliant pianist who plays with such emotion and agility.

Jean-Yves Thibaudet - Saint-Saëns: Piano Concertos Nos. 2 & 5

Signed CD here: 20 bucks.
https://www.shopsfsymphony.org/shop/Jean-Yves-Thibaudet-Saint-Saens-Piano-Concertos-Nos.-2-and-5.html




Posted By: Fuzzy
Date Posted: 07 Jun 2016 at 10:26pm
Calamus - The Splendour of Al-Andalus. Lovely recording (at an authentic location, providing beautiful accoustics).

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Jan

*****

Majestic DAC
Proprius
Gram Amp 2 SE
Solo SRGII
Solo ULDE


Posted By: jeremyo
Date Posted: 10 Jun 2016 at 4:59pm
Anything on Coup d'Archet/L'Archet d'Or (http://www.coupdarchet.com/), labels started in the 90s initially to bring to our ears lost recordings by the incredible violinist Johanna Martzy - try getting her original recordings for less than the price of an Accession! More recently label reissued her EMI recordings at a whole new level, but it started by putting out previously-unreleased recordings. In due course other artists were added. The releases are principally (entirely?) mono, mainly chamber recordings, dating from the 50s golden age and into the 60s, and artists that on the whole have been criminally overlooked (aside from the legendary Martzy herself who didn't exactly make lots of records herself). The recordings were retrieved from the archives of various radio stations by Glenn Armstrong and painstaingly remastered at Abbey Road, pressed impeccably on heavy vinyl when it was blooming hard to find anywhere to cut or press LPs to any quality (there are CDs too, if you must). The L'Archet D'Or records are even more special but only very limited vinyl so good luck getting them (http://www.coupdarchet.com/LArchet-dOr).
Glenn is a perfectionist and would only put out the best sounding recordings so the records sound wonderful, but there's a lot of unusual repertoire in there too.
Incidentally there is now a non-classical string to the Archet bow (pardon the multilingual pun) with Coup Perdu, which is new recordings of (so far) jazz-inclined material http://www.coupperdu.com/ Personally I especially love the Kit Downes release but they are all beautiful. Again, get the vinyl!
I should declare an interest, though you probably divined one. I met Glenn in the early 90s when I sold him a cassette deck in a pile-em-high-sell-em-cheap hifi shop I worked in at the time. To my credit it was the best we had, not the one with the biggest commission Wink. We became close friends and I watched as his obsession with Martzy grew into this (whilst he also introduced me to a lot of lovely hifi that passed through his hands). So I'm not unbiassed, but these are genuinely some of the loveliest recordings you will hear, in the best pressings and most gorgeous sleeves (especially L'Archet D'Or) so do take a listen!


Posted By: morris_minor
Date Posted: 10 Jun 2016 at 6:03pm
Thanks for the info, Jeremy - the Kit Downes album looks especially interesting . . 

Meanwhile, another one from me:

Roy Harris: Symphony No.3, New York Philharmonic Orchestra/Leonard Bernstein, CBS, 1962



Arguably the most well known American symphony, it's short (around 18 minutes) and in one movement. The 1962 Bernstein recording has an excitement missing from his 1987 version on DG (which is a minute and half longer) and the rather brash but exceptionally spacious CBS recording suits the wide open prairies conjured up by the music. In objective terms the DG recording is better - more clarity and depth of tone with a nearer view of the orchestra (in fact more akin to what EMI's Kingsway Hall recordings were like in 1962), but when you're swept along by Lenny in 1962 that hardly matters.

The music might only last a short while, but you have the whole symphonic experience in a tonal, yet modern and entirely "American" idiom - with a suitably "big" tune at its core developed into a fugue like section before the whole plot opens out majestically. 

It was the first time I'd heard my LP via the Accession, and my misgivings about the brash and somewhat thin sound when I decided to play it recently were brushed aside as it presented the music with more refinement and tonal depth than I was expecting. And the soundstage - well it stretched from North Dakota to Texas . . . Wink


-------------
Bob

Majestic DAC/pre-amp
Accession MC/Enigma, Accession MM, Reflex M, Elevator EXP, Era Gold V
Solo ULDE, Novo, Lautus USB and digital, Libran balanced, CuSat50
2 x Proprius + Spatia/Spatia Links


Posted By: jeremyo
Date Posted: 11 Jun 2016 at 11:20am
The Bernstein sounds great, and can't be too hard to find.
The Kit Downes is also fabulous from the point of view of allowing your system to recreate a sense of space and place. There is one track where the piano and cello develop the music whilst you become aware of rain pattering outside, splashing on windows and trickling in gutters. Quite magical. I think I'd like to hear that through an Accession...


Posted By: kgilroy
Date Posted: 14 Sep 2018 at 2:56pm
Can anyone recommend a vinyl recording of the Well-Tempered Clavier on piano? I have the Eurodisc set with Richter and love his playing but the audio quality is variable.


Posted By: morris_minor
Date Posted: 14 Sep 2018 at 4:55pm
I have the Bernard Roberts recording of the WTC on Nimbus.

http://www.classical-music-review.org/reviews/J_S_Bach.html" rel="nofollow - http://www.classical-music-review.org/reviews/J_S_Bach.html


-------------
Bob

Majestic DAC/pre-amp
Accession MC/Enigma, Accession MM, Reflex M, Elevator EXP, Era Gold V
Solo ULDE, Novo, Lautus USB and digital, Libran balanced, CuSat50
2 x Proprius + Spatia/Spatia Links


Posted By: Kory
Date Posted: 14 Oct 2018 at 1:50am
In view of Debussy's 100th anniversary this year (of his death) I thought I'd recommend a brilliant recording of La Mer by the Boston Symphony, and that great french music interpreter, Charles Munch. It really is a terrific recording. Great soundstage width.

And as long as I'm thinking about Munch, I have to highly recommend his recording, again with Boston, of Berlioz overtures. These are just cracking brilliant. Fantastic playing and breathtaking tempos.

I know you'll love these when you get a chance.


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Kory

Zu/Denon 103 Mk. II, Ortofon 2M Black, Slee Accession MM/Elevator EXP/PSU-1 Enigma/Lautus interconnects, Schiit Jil ADC, SOTA Nova, CJ 17LS2, Adcom 7805, VTL MB 300 Deluxe, Infinity IRS Beta


Posted By: morris_minor
Date Posted: 14 Oct 2018 at 8:51am
Kory - I'm guessing you're referring to the 1957 RCA recording? The only Munch/Boston recording I have on LP is Saint-Saëns Symphony 3 which is splendid. It was a great period for both performances and recordings. As well as Munch in Boston there was Fritz Reiner in Chicago of course. Another power combination!

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Bob

Majestic DAC/pre-amp
Accession MC/Enigma, Accession MM, Reflex M, Elevator EXP, Era Gold V
Solo ULDE, Novo, Lautus USB and digital, Libran balanced, CuSat50
2 x Proprius + Spatia/Spatia Links


Posted By: Kory
Date Posted: 14 Oct 2018 at 3:50pm
Bob,
Yes, it's the RCA recording. I have the 200 gram reissue. I have the Saint-Saens 3rd too, and I agree it's terrific. Munch and French were something. There was just some magic he had. Wonderful tempo concepts. That's what's the most fascinating to me. It's like Toscanini said, when asked the three most important tasks for a conductor, he answered. "Oh that's easy-1. tempo, 2. tempo, 3. tempo. That's what set's Munch's french legacy apart in my opinion, his tempi are so brilliant. Well, and like the Reiner recordings, a brilliant orchestra to realize all their ideas.


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Kory

Zu/Denon 103 Mk. II, Ortofon 2M Black, Slee Accession MM/Elevator EXP/PSU-1 Enigma/Lautus interconnects, Schiit Jil ADC, SOTA Nova, CJ 17LS2, Adcom 7805, VTL MB 300 Deluxe, Infinity IRS Beta


Posted By: morris_minor
Date Posted: 14 Oct 2018 at 5:00pm
Kory - can I ask you, as a conductor, is the marked tempo in a piece always "right"? That is, does the composer always know best?

I've some pieces of music which I have multiple recordings of, and often the tempi from different conductors varies quite a lot. How far does an "interpretation" have to go to become just an ego let off the leash? (Sorry if this is a can of worms being slowly opened! Shocked).


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Bob

Majestic DAC/pre-amp
Accession MC/Enigma, Accession MM, Reflex M, Elevator EXP, Era Gold V
Solo ULDE, Novo, Lautus USB and digital, Libran balanced, CuSat50
2 x Proprius + Spatia/Spatia Links


Posted By: Kory
Date Posted: 15 Oct 2018 at 6:33am
Bob,
You have asked the ultimate question. It's a complicated answer, but I'll give it a go. 

First of all, we must separate out a couple of terms. Tempo is mainly indicated by general terms, most often in Italian, for categories of speed. Allegro (fast), Andante (slow), etc, with lots of other terms that indicate other tempos, like Presto(very fast), or modifiers like Molto Allegro(very fast). All well and good, but how fast is fast? Therein lies the rub. Starting with Beethoven, composers have sometimes indicated a metronome marking that gives a standard speed in addition to the Italian tempos marking. 

You'd think metronome markings would help, and they do sometimes, but not always. Here's an example. For the finale of his fourth symphony Beethoven wrote a tempo marking of Allegro ma non troppo (fast but not too much), but then added a metronome marking marking that is so fast it is totally unplayable as the notes are written. So what now? Everyone plays it slower, of course, and it's not the only example, either for Beethoven or other composers that followed. Even if it had been playable, it underscores that when it comes to interpretation, the composer is not the final word on his or her own compositional interpretations. Once the music is written, compositions are transferred to the realm of the interpreter, and great interpreters have their own valid insights. Two good example are the Stravinsky ballets conducted by Stravinsky, and Copland's music that he conducted. Nether were very good conductors, and so their recordings are wonderfully insightful, but not the best performances. It turns out other conductors have done better. 

SO without belaboring this too much further, I think the answer to your question is that there is sufficient wiggle room within a general tempo classification for many variations of tempo. "Fast" is too vague, though everyone will know if it starts feeling slow instead. It's not ego that is being displayed when a conductor sets a tempo, it's rather a personal conviction the conductor has arrived at that is saying, "this is how the music feels right to me." Or, "this is the speed I feel best represents what the composer intended." 

I think it's fair to say that different conductors simply have different convictions about what it is to be faithful to the composer's intent, but most all pick solutions within the boundaries of the composer's original tempo categories. I think of it similarly as when you hear different actors recite the same lines of Shakespeare. 

There's simply lots of room for individual nuance within these masterpieces, and the great fun of listening is to hear the different choices the artists are making. And then to realize that the music is so great that it survives all our feeble attempts to get it right. 

I hope this helps, and sorry to be so long winded about it. You've lifted the lid on a very, very big kettle of fish. But I'm always happy to keep talking. I've got lots of examples of controversies, etc. 

Thanks for asking.

Kory


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Kory

Zu/Denon 103 Mk. II, Ortofon 2M Black, Slee Accession MM/Elevator EXP/PSU-1 Enigma/Lautus interconnects, Schiit Jil ADC, SOTA Nova, CJ 17LS2, Adcom 7805, VTL MB 300 Deluxe, Infinity IRS Beta


Posted By: ICL1P
Date Posted: 15 Oct 2018 at 7:27am
And I thought the answer to the ultimate question was forty-two. 😀

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Ifor
=====
Reflex M, CuSat50, Majestic DAC, a Proprius pair.


Posted By: morris_minor
Date Posted: 15 Oct 2018 at 10:50am
Ifor - that's what popped into my mind too!

Kory - thanks so much for that detailed answer. Would I be right in thinking that this comes to down to the imperfection of musical notation? Is not the only absolute about this the pitch of a note? Note durations are relative to each other - and dependent on tempo and a performer's interpretation. Likewise changes in dynamics.

A long while ago when I was playing around with MIDI synths and sequencing I'd pop, say, a Bach fugue into the computer and the result was dead accurate and musically sterile. Painting by numbers for sound!

We need the human input!


-------------
Bob

Majestic DAC/pre-amp
Accession MC/Enigma, Accession MM, Reflex M, Elevator EXP, Era Gold V
Solo ULDE, Novo, Lautus USB and digital, Libran balanced, CuSat50
2 x Proprius + Spatia/Spatia Links


Posted By: Kory
Date Posted: 16 Oct 2018 at 12:55am
Bob,
You're absolutely right about the only absolute being pitch. Except of course, for early music adjustments of the tuning. But pitch is the most immovable of the variables in notation. Rhythm is pretty close to being fixed, though there are plenty exceptions that notation can't accommodate (i.e. the Viennese offbeats of Strauss waltzes that the Vienna Phil gets so right, and others struggle to imitate, that are not notated at all.)

Nonetheless, I don't think the flexibility/imprecision of notation is an imperfection, but actually a strength. It allows for interpretation. If there were to be no room for interpretation the art would go out of music. It would all sound like that computer generated music. Yikes! It's the imprecision that allows for personality and preference. 

It's the human element that makes the difference, that's for sure.


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Kory

Zu/Denon 103 Mk. II, Ortofon 2M Black, Slee Accession MM/Elevator EXP/PSU-1 Enigma/Lautus interconnects, Schiit Jil ADC, SOTA Nova, CJ 17LS2, Adcom 7805, VTL MB 300 Deluxe, Infinity IRS Beta


Posted By: morris_minor
Date Posted: 16 Oct 2018 at 9:40am
The wriggle-room you referred to earlier when talking about tempo obviously extends to rhythmic interpretation too. How many times does a dotted-quaver/semiquaver pair sound like a crotchet/quaver triplet? And note accents and modifiers - a dot or line over a crotchet - change the feel of a piece as interpreted. And my last random point (!) - it was a long while before I realised that Beethoven's 5th didn't start with a triplet but an upbeat. (I forget now whose performance made me get this).

But it would be very boring if every performance of a piece of music sounded the same!


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Bob

Majestic DAC/pre-amp
Accession MC/Enigma, Accession MM, Reflex M, Elevator EXP, Era Gold V
Solo ULDE, Novo, Lautus USB and digital, Libran balanced, CuSat50
2 x Proprius + Spatia/Spatia Links


Posted By: Kory
Date Posted: 16 Oct 2018 at 11:38am
Bob, 
You are so right. All these variations make this a fascinating world full of discovery and meaning. And experimentation! I'm glad you mentioned Beethoven 5. The Zander recording of the 5th, like all his recordings, includes a fascinating lecture, this one particularly on tempo. It's just brilliant, and speaks to several of the issues we've been musing about. Tempo regions, and flexibility, and conductors trying to get it right. I use it every year with my conducting students as we discuss these ideas. You'd love it.

Well, on we go in our voyage of discovery. 

I appreciate your knowledge and insights, snd I'll enjoy seeing what you're listening to as time goes on.



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Kory

Zu/Denon 103 Mk. II, Ortofon 2M Black, Slee Accession MM/Elevator EXP/PSU-1 Enigma/Lautus interconnects, Schiit Jil ADC, SOTA Nova, CJ 17LS2, Adcom 7805, VTL MB 300 Deluxe, Infinity IRS Beta


Posted By: morris_minor
Date Posted: 16 Oct 2018 at 3:19pm
I'm always listening to Walton's 1st Symphony, Kory. I must have 20 different versions (not that I'm obsessed with it or anything) and most have their "good" and "bad" points for me, a very amateur score reader! Andre Previn's 1966 RCA takes some beating though it isn't the best recorded.

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Bob

Majestic DAC/pre-amp
Accession MC/Enigma, Accession MM, Reflex M, Elevator EXP, Era Gold V
Solo ULDE, Novo, Lautus USB and digital, Libran balanced, CuSat50
2 x Proprius + Spatia/Spatia Links


Posted By: discrete badger
Date Posted: 16 Oct 2018 at 10:22pm
From my own dabblings as a musician amateur, there's yet another aspect to this tempo thing!

As listeners, we naturally think of a recording as being on an LP or on a streaming music service; but we're not always aware that, improvisation aside, this is really a recording of a recording! The first recording was made slowly in the brains of the musicians; when they absorbed the music into muscle movements; when they decided on their interpretation, fingerings, breaths, voicings, dynamics, pauses, performance tempi, and memorised it.

The apparently-effortless performances of top musicians on the concert platform, where the music simply flows through them and their instrument apparently unhindered by any technical difficulties, only appear like that because of enormous effort and dedication that has occurred away from the stage. It's true indeed that making it look effortless takes much effort! This is not to suggest that musicians don't vary their interpretations to suit any particular occasion, but that when they do so, they're drawing on a strong foundation of knowing the music in great detail.

And the tempo connection? Fast pieces of music can't, generally, be played fast until they are learnt! There are simply too many decisions to make about how difficult passages can physically be played to make them quickly enough before the next note is due! The conscious "clock speed" of the brain is too slow! True, a professional musician will be able to draw on a lifetime's experience of how similar passages were played, and advance through this slow practice phase quickly. 

But here's the tempo paradox - as we know from some performances we may not like listening to - some pieces of music easily lose their vitality, their flow, their meaning if played too slowly. But this lost meaning is needed to inform the choices that the musician must make in preparing their performance, because certain techniques make certain forms of expression easier or impossible. As a simple example, it is impossible to obtain legato on the Piano (smooth joins between notes) if one chooses to use only the index finger!

Further, slow tempi allow use of some techniques which will be impossible when the piece is at performance tempo, and if they are learnt, must then be unlearnt! So the musician learning the music has to be very much on their guard against this, and try to bring passages up to a moderate tempo relatively quickly, at least where there is some sort of flow and spirit of the music to hone the rest of the preparation work.

The challenge is then to gradually raise this moderate tempo to performance tempo; all the while checking that the decisions previously made are adhered to. With discipline, the intact performance gradually transfers to "muscle memory", or, as neuroscientists armed with FMRI scanners might opine, the brain builds new hardware to allow the consciously learned capability to become unconscious!
 
Some musicians then go on to bask in their new-found mastery of the piece by playing it too fast! But that's the hallmark of mere amateurs like me...


Posted By: Kory
Date Posted: 16 Oct 2018 at 10:41pm
Well said. All very accurate observations IMO, and they sure line up with my experiences. 

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Kory

Zu/Denon 103 Mk. II, Ortofon 2M Black, Slee Accession MM/Elevator EXP/PSU-1 Enigma/Lautus interconnects, Schiit Jil ADC, SOTA Nova, CJ 17LS2, Adcom 7805, VTL MB 300 Deluxe, Infinity IRS Beta


Posted By: RichW
Date Posted: 27 Feb 2019 at 11:04am
From Karajan's '77 recordings of these symphonies & apparently heavier & more 'fiery' than
his '63 version. 
Wonderfully spacious, powerful sound that is a treat through headphones.

Image result for beethoven symphony 5 DG KARAJAN GALLERIA


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Elevator, Accession, Majestic, Reflex M, Solo ULDE, CuSat & Lautus.


Posted By: tg
Date Posted: 02 Apr 2019 at 4:40am
Recently came across a recommendation for this HIP Beethoven cycle



well reviewed by https://www.gramophone.co.uk/review/beethoven-symphonies-0 - https://www.gramophone.co.uk/review/beethoven-symphonies-0

Have as yet only really listened to the Eroica but I definitely like what I hear and am looking forward to slowly working through the rest whilst comparing them with other performances in my collection.


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Tony G


Posted By: Aussie Mick
Date Posted: 02 Apr 2019 at 12:41pm
I agree, Tony, it’s absolutkey stunning. The Eroica is one of the very best recordings available. It’s HIP, but it’s not dry, cold or any of the other things people sometimes think of in that area. Very human, very exciting.
Mick.


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Rega RP8/Ortofon 2M Black/Rega Apheta 2 - Reflex M/Elevator EXP - C.E.C. TL5 CD Transport - MacBook Pro/Roon - Majestic DAC - Solo ULDE (Focal Elear) - Proprius - PMC Twenty5.22


Posted By: RichW
Date Posted: 03 Apr 2019 at 8:15am
The dynamics of the crescendos & percussion on the Symphonic Dances is breathtaking.
I don't think I've ever heard such slam & impact from an orchestral recording.

Image result for rachmaninov the bells rattle




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Elevator, Accession, Majestic, Reflex M, Solo ULDE, CuSat & Lautus.


Posted By: tg
Date Posted: 07 Apr 2019 at 11:13pm
Ordered a copy of the above on your recommendation Rich.

Listening to https://www.marecordings.com/main/product_info.php?cPath=61&products_id=53 - https://www.marecordings.com/main/product_info.php?cPath=61&products_id=53



Available on LP, CD or HiRes DVD - beautiful playing and interpretation and excellent recording.


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Tony G


Posted By: RichW
Date Posted: 12 Apr 2019 at 8:58am
I hope you enjoy the Rachmaninov Tony.

Well known & frequently played recording of this great Romantic symphony.
From the late Andre Previn.

Image result for rachmaninov symphony no 2 previn



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Elevator, Accession, Majestic, Reflex M, Solo ULDE, CuSat & Lautus.


Posted By: morris_minor
Date Posted: 12 Apr 2019 at 12:57pm
Thanks for reminding me of this record, Rich! I must get my copy out now . . . 

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Bob

Majestic DAC/pre-amp
Accession MC/Enigma, Accession MM, Reflex M, Elevator EXP, Era Gold V
Solo ULDE, Novo, Lautus USB and digital, Libran balanced, CuSat50
2 x Proprius + Spatia/Spatia Links


Posted By: RichW
Date Posted: 05 Jul 2019 at 9:38am
I'm sure this recording has been mentioned already but it deserves to be repeated.
The VW Fantasia is magical - as is the rest!
On HiQ vinyl reissue played with Accession MM & MusicMaster MI cart.
  
Image result for hiq english string music barbirolli


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Elevator, Accession, Majestic, Reflex M, Solo ULDE, CuSat & Lautus.


Posted By: Aussie Mick
Date Posted: 05 Jul 2019 at 9:51am
YES YES YES!!!

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Rega RP8/Ortofon 2M Black/Rega Apheta 2 - Reflex M/Elevator EXP - C.E.C. TL5 CD Transport - MacBook Pro/Roon - Majestic DAC - Solo ULDE (Focal Elear) - Proprius - PMC Twenty5.22


Posted By: morris_minor
Date Posted: 08 Jul 2019 at 10:30am
This is from an Alto 180gm reissue

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fwt4rw3-Tdw -
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fwt4rw3-Tdw - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fwt4rw3-Tdw


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Bob

Majestic DAC/pre-amp
Accession MC/Enigma, Accession MM, Reflex M, Elevator EXP, Era Gold V
Solo ULDE, Novo, Lautus USB and digital, Libran balanced, CuSat50
2 x Proprius + Spatia/Spatia Links


Posted By: Fatmangolf
Date Posted: 08 Jul 2019 at 6:04pm
Excellent choice.

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Jon

Open mind and ears, whilst owning GSP Genera, Accession, Elevator EXP, Solo ULDE, Proprius amps, Cusat50 cables, Lautus digital cable, Spatia cables and links, and a Majestic DAC.


Posted By: PaulRS
Date Posted: 28 Jul 2019 at 5:31pm
I posted the following as part of my new Accession review:

I played Holst’s Planets (HMV (EMI), Andre Previn, LSO). I know or at least I thought I knew this LP very well. When I finally got out of my chair i felt many emotions. Mars was not just menacing it was violent, I was beaten up, other passages gave me some TLC and nursed me with sweet soothing mids and highs. I went through a cold sweat, twice. Bass hit me in the chest a few times. Brass blare is so natural. I have never heard this LP or any other LP affect me this way. Incredible!

What other Planets recordings should i look for? I have never been an Andre Previn fan (until today i thought his music sort of "plods along") so which other conductors should i look for whose interpretation is even more powerful?  



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No Music, No Life!
Paul


Posted By: morris_minor
Date Posted: 29 Jul 2019 at 2:45pm
Originally posted by PaulRS PaulRS wrote:

What other Planets recordings should i look for? I have never been an Andre Previn fan (until today i thought his music sort of "plods along") so which other conductors should i look for whose interpretation is even more powerful?  
Classical interpretations are hard to recommend because what appeals to one person might not to another, but here goes . . . LOL

In no particular order - 

Steinberg/Boston SO on DG
Boult/LPO on EMI
Mehta/Los Angles PO on Decca
Karajan/Vienna PO on Decca

My favourite Planets never made in to vinyl -
Handley/RPO on Tring (or the RPO's own CD label). This is a fabulous recording.


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Bob

Majestic DAC/pre-amp
Accession MC/Enigma, Accession MM, Reflex M, Elevator EXP, Era Gold V
Solo ULDE, Novo, Lautus USB and digital, Libran balanced, CuSat50
2 x Proprius + Spatia/Spatia Links


Posted By: RichW
Date Posted: 30 Jul 2019 at 7:40am
I'll second Bob's recommendation for the Steinberg/Boston SO recording, although
I haven't heard the others yet.
Mars sounds very powerful with reverberant brass, but the personal highlights are Saturn & Neptune.
The female choir in Neptune is appropriately mystical!



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Elevator, Accession, Majestic, Reflex M, Solo ULDE, CuSat & Lautus.


Posted By: Kory
Date Posted: 30 Jul 2019 at 8:17am
This is a terrific question and of course a terrific work. My preferences always toggle between what I think is the best "sounding" recording and what I feel is the best "performance." Best performances are a bit harder to define than best sounding. For example, my favorite recording in terms of sound is the ORG 45 rpm version of Mehta's with the La Phil. It might be the best sounding recording of an orchestra I know of. It is simply stunningly spectacular, and makes my jaw drop every time I play it. I always use it to demonstrate my system to friends. It is what sold me so convincingly on the Accession. The separation of instruments and depth of field is a perfect demonstration for the Accession's virtues. A marriage made in heaven.

I also very much enjoy the Previn and LSO. I've heard so much about the Solti and Chicago performance on Mobile Fidelity and finally located a copy that is on its way as I type. So I'll soon know how it stacks up. It faces some pretty stiff competition, though, and I'll post the winner of the shootout in a few days.

But as for the best performance? That is much harder to decide. Which tempos are best? What phrasing nuances are the most appropriate? Which dynamic contrasts are the most accurate? And which of all these are closest to what the composer asks for in the score? Much harder to settle these issues, and in the end, it's such a delight that one doesn't really have to. Each recording can be enjoyed as a valid version. In the end, however, I'll choose ...to wait till I've heard the Solti before committing. At least on these three. I wish I had a Boult to compare. Maybe that'll be the next shootout.


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Kory

Zu/Denon 103 Mk. II, Ortofon 2M Black, Slee Accession MM/Elevator EXP/PSU-1 Enigma/Lautus interconnects, Schiit Jil ADC, SOTA Nova, CJ 17LS2, Adcom 7805, VTL MB 300 Deluxe, Infinity IRS Beta


Posted By: PaulRS
Date Posted: 30 Jul 2019 at 8:35am
Originally posted by morris_minor morris_minor wrote:

Originally posted by PaulRS PaulRS wrote:

What other Planets recordings should i look for? I have never been an Andre Previn fan (until today i thought his music sort of "plods along") so which other conductors should i look for whose interpretation is even more powerful?  
Classical interpretations are hard to recommend because what appeals to one person might not to another, but here goes . . . LOL

In no particular order - 

Steinberg/Boston SO on DG
Boult/LPO on EMI
Mehta/Los Angles PO on Decca
Karajan/Vienna PO on Decca

My favourite Planets never made in to vinyl -
Handley/RPO on Tring (or the RPO's own CD label). This is a fabulous recording.

Thanks Bob!
I found a website "Peter's Planets" petersplanets.wordpress.com with a CD list where the fantastic to me Previn/LSO ranked 35 out of 83.
As you say everyone hears things differently and have their own preferences, but now i have to try other recordings to see if i agree.
I have other recordings by Boult and Mehta that i like so i will certainly look for them. 





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No Music, No Life!
Paul


Posted By: PaulRS
Date Posted: 30 Jul 2019 at 8:37am
Originally posted by RichW RichW wrote:

I'll second Bob's recommendation for the Steinberg/Boston SO recording, although
I haven't heard the others yet.
Mars sounds very powerful with reverberant brass, but the personal highlights are Saturn & Neptune.
The female choir in Neptune is appropriately mystical!


Thanks Richard, the Steinberg is now on my want list!
I am so pleased i got the Accession, i am really enjoying my "new sound".



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No Music, No Life!
Paul


Posted By: PaulRS
Date Posted: 30 Jul 2019 at 8:53am
Originally posted by Kory Kory wrote:

This is a terrific question and of course a terrific work. My preferences always toggle between what I think is the best "sounding" recording and what I feel is the best "performance." Best performances are a bit harder to define than best sounding. For example, my favorite recording in terms of sound is the ORG 45 rpm version of Mehta's with the La Phil. It might be the best sounding recording of an orchestra I know of. It is simply stunningly spectacular, and makes my jaw drop every time I play it. I always use it to demonstrate my system to friends. It is what sold me so convincingly on the Accession. The separation of instruments and depth of field is a perfect demonstration for the Accession's virtues. A marriage made in heaven.

I also very much enjoy the Previn and LSO. I've heard so much about the Solti and Chicago performance on Mobile Fidelity and finally located a copy that is on its way as I type. So I'll soon know how it stacks up. It faces some pretty stiff competition, though, and I'll post the winner of the shootout in a few days.

But as for the best performance? That is much harder to decide. Which tempos are best? What phrasing nuances are the most appropriate? Which dynamic contrasts are the most accurate? And which of all these are closest to what the composer asks for in the score? Much harder to settle these issues, and in the end, it's such a delight that one doesn't really have to. Each recording can be enjoyed as a valid version. In the end, however, I'll choose ...to wait till I've heard the Solti before committing. At least on these three. I wish I had a Boult to compare. Maybe that'll be the next shootout.

Thanks Kory. 
I spent several hours last night analyzing my knowledge of classical music and decided i need to educate myself. I now know my early years were wasted, i have a mental image of a small me sitting by my grandmothers shoes pumping the bellows for the church pipe organ (my brain says it must have been electric but where does the image come from?), of her playing piano for her own pleasure and of my violin teacher (Mr. Farmer i think, just in case anyone else on this forum attended Worcestershire schools in the 1960's). 

Jaw drop says enough to me, Mehta is on the want list and thanks for letting me know there is a 45rpm version.

I am looking forward to the results of your shootout!

I note you use a Zu Denon 103R, i seem to be the only person on the planet that does not like this cartridge! Mine is stock not Zu so i will have to find someone locally who has the Zu version and compare...  


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No Music, No Life!
Paul


Posted By: Aussie Mick
Date Posted: 31 Jul 2019 at 10:40am
hi All,
  A few more left field suggestions...Bernstein with the New York Phil really should be heard by everyone. You might only want to hear it once, but it’s worth it. Some amazing sounds happening in the slow movements in particular. Easily available on discogs. Of course, shouldn’t we all have a recording of Holst himself conducting it, with the LSO? Tougher to find, but there’s a version on a WRC pressing still floating about. Pristine Classical have a remastered CD available - it sounds damn fine. 

Aside from that, yes to Boult/LSO, it’s awesome. 
Mehta for absolute recording quality definitely. 
I don’t mind Rattle/Berlin either, but CD only. 
The Steinberg has never quite captured me, although I can appreciate what’s happening. Same with the very famous Karajan version.

Music.  It’s the best.
Mick.


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Rega RP8/Ortofon 2M Black/Rega Apheta 2 - Reflex M/Elevator EXP - C.E.C. TL5 CD Transport - MacBook Pro/Roon - Majestic DAC - Solo ULDE (Focal Elear) - Proprius - PMC Twenty5.22


Posted By: morris_minor
Date Posted: 05 Aug 2019 at 1:39pm
A recording of the Planets I really enjoy is one with organ and brass ensemble. It's hard not to mentally superimpose the proper orchestration over it when listening, but worth getting when you already have a good selection of "proper" Planets in your collection. Here is a (very rambling) piece about it:

http://www.enjoythemusic.com/magazine/music/0213/classical/holst.htm - http://www.enjoythemusic.com/magazine/music/0213/classical/holst.htm


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Bob

Majestic DAC/pre-amp
Accession MC/Enigma, Accession MM, Reflex M, Elevator EXP, Era Gold V
Solo ULDE, Novo, Lautus USB and digital, Libran balanced, CuSat50
2 x Proprius + Spatia/Spatia Links


Posted By: morris_minor
Date Posted: 05 Aug 2019 at 1:41pm
Originally posted by morris_minor morris_minor wrote:

A recording of the Planets I really enjoy is one with organ and brass ensemble. It's hard not to mentally superimpose the proper orchestration over it when listening, but worth getting when you already have a good selection of "proper" Planets in your collection. Here is a (very rambling) piece about it:

http://www.enjoythemusic.com/magazine/music/0213/classical/holst.htm - http://www.enjoythemusic.com/magazine/music/0213/classical/holst.htm


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Po7GkXv9JMU - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Po7GkXv9JMU


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Bob

Majestic DAC/pre-amp
Accession MC/Enigma, Accession MM, Reflex M, Elevator EXP, Era Gold V
Solo ULDE, Novo, Lautus USB and digital, Libran balanced, CuSat50
2 x Proprius + Spatia/Spatia Links


Posted By: Kory
Date Posted: 12 Aug 2019 at 6:08pm
I finally acquired the celebrated Solti/London Phil recording of The Planets last week. I spent considerable time comparing my top versions, the Previn/LSO, Mehta/Los Angeles Phil, and this new Solti. All three are highly recommended in several prominent "best recordings" lists and it was a blast listening. As I posted previously, my feeling about "best" recordings fall into two categories: best sounding and best performance. If a recording hits both, then Nirvana, but it often seems not to be the case. The Planets, for me, is a perfect example. The Mehta/LA recording on 45 rpm from ORG to my ears is far and away the best sounding recording of this piece. It's just stunning. The breadth of the soundstage, the separation and placement of the instruments, and the location of the listening position is what I find utterly satisfying. The other recordings have a more distant listening position, and narrower soundstage. More blended instrument position, at least to my ears, and just can't quite match the impact of the Mehta.
In terms of performance, however, I think after listening back and forth with these other two, that my favorite performance overall is the Previn. But individual movements by Solti are better in some cases. My best of each movement list is: Mars-Previn (quite terrifying intensity), Venus-Solti (crystalline playing and colors), Mercury-Solti (again brilliant and stone-cold clarity), Jupiter-Mehta (can't get over the vast soundscape of the recording), Saturn-Previn (impressive balance of mystery and power), Uranus-Previn (spooky and dynamic), Uranus-Mehta (great soundscape matches the ethereal effects, and chorus had great intonation).
So that is my ranking. I know so much is just personal preference, and some of the great fun is to compare and not have to choose or eliminate. 


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Kory

Zu/Denon 103 Mk. II, Ortofon 2M Black, Slee Accession MM/Elevator EXP/PSU-1 Enigma/Lautus interconnects, Schiit Jil ADC, SOTA Nova, CJ 17LS2, Adcom 7805, VTL MB 300 Deluxe, Infinity IRS Beta


Posted By: PaulRS
Date Posted: 14 Aug 2019 at 1:20am
Originally posted by morris_minor morris_minor wrote:

A recording of the Planets I really enjoy is one with organ and brass ensemble. It's hard not to mentally superimpose the proper orchestration over it when listening, but worth getting when you already have a good selection of "proper" Planets in your collection. Here is a (very rambling) piece about it:

http://www.enjoythemusic.com/magazine/music/0213/classical/holst.htm - http://www.enjoythemusic.com/magazine/music/0213/classical/holst.htm

Thanks!
I am getting into organ sound again after a 50 or so year break so this will be added to my list of Planets must haves! 


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No Music, No Life!
Paul


Posted By: PaulRS
Date Posted: 14 Aug 2019 at 1:24am
Kory, thanks for your shoot out notes. I love the adjectives people use and can certainly agree on the Previn comments. I have to wait a while before i can compare the others.




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No Music, No Life!
Paul


Posted By: morris_minor
Date Posted: 14 Aug 2019 at 4:31pm
Thanks for your insights, Kory! 

It might be worth getting a Spotify playlist together with movements from different recordings to make a "super" Planets! LOL


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Bob

Majestic DAC/pre-amp
Accession MC/Enigma, Accession MM, Reflex M, Elevator EXP, Era Gold V
Solo ULDE, Novo, Lautus USB and digital, Libran balanced, CuSat50
2 x Proprius + Spatia/Spatia Links


Posted By: RichW
Date Posted: 16 Aug 2019 at 9:54am
Thanks for the very interesting comments on The Planets.
Holst's name is so closely associated with that wonderful work.

Eager to discover more of his music, I recently bought a Naxos CD containing various
works including his Somerset Rhapsody, a wonderful piece of music which reminds
of Vaughan Williams. They were close friends & VW was a great influence on Holst.

http://https://www.amazon.co.uk/Holst-Royal-Scottish-National-Orchestra/dp/B000007N5X - http://https://www.amazon.co.uk/Holst-Royal-Scottish-National-Orchestra/dp/B000007N5X


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Elevator, Accession, Majestic, Reflex M, Solo ULDE, CuSat & Lautus.


Posted By: Fatmangolf
Date Posted: 20 Aug 2019 at 4:17pm
I have a cd of Mehta's planets from a Decca boxset. I played it after reading your review Kory, it is dynamic and front row. Today I picked up a Decca reissue of it on vinyl for one pound! It is in excellent condition and will be getting an ultrasonic wash before being played tonight. I am delighted.

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Jon

Open mind and ears, whilst owning GSP Genera, Accession, Elevator EXP, Solo ULDE, Proprius amps, Cusat50 cables, Lautus digital cable, Spatia cables and links, and a Majestic DAC.


Posted By: PaulRS
Date Posted: 21 Aug 2019 at 11:33am
Well, this Planets shootout is harder than i ever imagined it would be!
Unfortunately i still only have the Previn LP so i have been comparing digital files.
My current list of Planets2DieFor in order of preference is: Solti/Boult/Elder/Dutoit so i will start searching for these LP's.

I also listened to Mehta and Karajan and was underwhelmed to say the least.

Comparing the digital files to the Previn LP was a waste of time as to my ears the LP rules supreme! 
Except for Solti, i did not get any emotional impact from the other digital versions.  
 


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No Music, No Life!
Paul


Posted By: Kory
Date Posted: 24 Aug 2019 at 1:02am
I'm getting ready to conduct Stravinsky's L'Histoire du Soldat(A Soldiers Tale) and have been listening to a fabulous recording I totally forgot I even had. It's by the Boston Chamber Players recorded back in the 70's. Only released on LP. These were the principal players of the Boston Symphony and the playing is spectacular. With super kudos to Joseph Silverstein on violin. What's also so stellar on the recording are the narrators, especially John Gielgud. Holy Smokes. He's something. It's just a terrific recording and I couldn't recommend it more. Those who are interested will find it immensely rewarding I'm sure.

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Kory

Zu/Denon 103 Mk. II, Ortofon 2M Black, Slee Accession MM/Elevator EXP/PSU-1 Enigma/Lautus interconnects, Schiit Jil ADC, SOTA Nova, CJ 17LS2, Adcom 7805, VTL MB 300 Deluxe, Infinity IRS Beta



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