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Thread: What are you currently listening to (Classical)?

  1. #1281
    Member Sponsor Addicted to Best! MadFloyd's Avatar
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    May 2010
    Quote Originally Posted by Fiddle Faddle View Post
    As per usual, I got a small batch of them via my twice yearly order (this one being my end of Autumn one here in the antipodes).

    I have only played three so far but all have been very good indeed. Apart from the Bruckner above, I can also strongly recommend the new Speakers Corner Oistrakh Sibelius Violin Concerto reissue and the two-LP reissue by Warner Classics of Rostropovich playing the Dvorak and Saint-Saens cell concertos. The latter is remarkable not only because of the superb remastering (24/96) but also because they've put the Dvorak concerto across three entire sides and the Saint-Saens onto the remaining side. Other companies might have attempted to cram both concertos all onto one disc, though it must be said that Rostropovich has the slowest tempo I've ever heard in these concertos (stately interpretations versus the more energetic and urgent Starker ones, for example). The remastering really is superb and if you are used to the lacklustre EMI catalogue remasterings onto CD over the last few decades, this is a real eye opener in terms of sound quality. I think it is even better than the HiQ label were managing with their DMM mastering direct from the analogue tapes.

    When I've got through all of them I will post regarding the good ones and any bad ones will remain un-mentioned!
    Thank you, much appreciated!
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  2. #1282
    Addicted to Best! Fiddle Faddle's Avatar
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    Aug 2015
    Another new-release LP recommendation. A reissue of the 1966 Four Seasons recording with Hugh Bean (Decca Phase 4).

    OK, I am only really a fan of Phase 4 for other genres (I also got the reissue of the Decca Phase 4 "Secret Agent Themes" disk in this batch) but the multi-miking and multi-tracking is more subtle here and tends to serve this music reasonably (or perhaps arguably is the better word) well. After all, doesn't every home on the planet have a copy of the Four Seasons? So obviously you gotta use the good pop music technology

    Actually, I only really got this because more traditional performances of these concertos are actually very thin on the ground in terms of vinyl reissues. It seems that once we got into the 1980s, everyone had to put their own heavy handed "hey look at me, I'm a rock star" spin on it and it just got to the point of being utterly ridiculous in my opinion. Vivaldi would have be turning in his grave. For me, I like performances that are on the one hand respectful to the score but also respectful to mid 20th century performance practices (at least for bowed instrument string playing).

    My three favourite performances of this work are (apart from this one) are an early DG recording with Wolfgang Schneiderhan and a later recording by Alan Loveday on Decca (1969 from memory?). But to my knowledge, this is the first of those three performances to be reissued onto an "audiophile" LP. It was remastered on a Sadie using DSD and the remastering is extremely detailed and vivid. I guess it just comes down to what performances you like and whether you mind the "Phase 4" treatment when it comes to traditional works.

    This LP is expensive in the States though - nearly $60 and more than twice the price of the uniformly excellent Decca and DG reissues via Universal themselves. I guess you have to be keen. I notice an Anne-Sophie Mutter version on EMI came out a few days later, too, though I haven't heard it. I was a huge fan of Anne-Sophie up until the late 80s. Going into the 90s she changed her style dramatically (excessive rubato and particularly an excessive avoidance of vibrato being the main problems I have with her "modern" playing) and I honestly cannot stand it anymore. Give me Hilary Hahn over the "modern" version of Anne-Sophie any time. I thought Anne-Sophie was a much better player when she was a teenager and stuck much more pedantically to what was actually written on the page!!

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  3. #1283
    Member Addicted to Best! NorthStar's Avatar
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    Feb 2011
    Vancouver Island, B.C. Canada
    All the Very Best, - Bob --------- "And it stoned me to my soul" - Van Morrison --------- AudiophileAudition

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