Shostakovich #11/BSO Nelsons on DG

Ron Resnick

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#21
i can relate to your musical compass on 'angry' modern classical music. 24 years ago when i got going on a serious dive into hifi, i knew nothing about jazz or classical. maybe had a like of some of the most listenable classical pieces. and viewed most 20th Century classical compositions as not enjoyable or musical to my ear. the term i used was angry. but over time, as i listened to more and more classical, especially vinyl classical, i, little by little, acquired a taste for more complex and introverted ( or whatever the term is) classical compositions.

it is a personal decision as to whether you desire to work at it little by little. my path was from Romance era major compositions, to lots of mild chamber music, to more involved string quartets, to then stuff like Mahler and Stravinsky, and then it seemed like it all opened up to me. that was maybe 5 years ago. now i listen to 60% to 70% classical and mostly 20th century compositions. and it's rare i can't get my mind into it's flow.

if you stick with vinyl only then it's certainly harder to navigate, as there is so much modern classical on digital that is so easy to access.

i'm listening to this Nelsons Shostakovich 24/96 MQA on Tidal right now (and also downloading the 24/96 file) and really like it; but your comments remind me of my mid-90s viewpoint on music like this. i feel it would be sad if i never had developed a taste for this music as it has great depth of feeling and really satisfies. i love how it sounds on my system (and think it would soar on yours too). some of my most 'zen' musical journeys are with new discoveries of modern compositions.
"Angry" may be a good term to describe why I don't care for a lot of classical music. It never occurred to me to evaluate whether the classical music I do like was composed in the 20th century or in the 19th century.

So here is the evaluation. There are five classical music pieces I truly enjoy: Mozart Sym. 41, Beethoven Sym. 5, Beethoven Sym. 9 and Mussorgsky Night on Bald Mountain and Pictures at an Exhibition. I also like a few other things, but these five are my absolute favorites.

Well look-ey here: ALL 19th CENTURY COMPOSERS! Good work, Mike (Sherlock) L!

I truly hate math, but I hear a kind of precision, a kind of mathematical rigor, a kind of musical consistency or linearity, in the Mozart Sym. 41 and in the Beethoven Sym. 5 and Sym. 9 which appeal so much to me. I do not hear this kind of mathematical precision or consistency or repetition in the Mussorgsky pieces, but I just like those anyway.

And, Mike, prior to adopting your word "angry," I used to think of energetic and lively classical performances I don't care for as sounding like a "mess." In fact that is exactly the word I used with Keith last night to describe the Shostakovich piece he played for me. It was dynamic and energetic but, to me, it just sounded like a mess.
 
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Ron Resnick

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#22
Kedar has been quite patient in trying to introduce me to new things (which I test out on Spotify or on youtube.com) but I rarely like them. I do not care for symphony orchestra music which is slow, or for chamber music (even if it lively) or for solo piano or solo violin, etc.

But I am happy to listen to Mozart Sym. 41 every single day. (This is why tape is for me, very idiosyncratically, a very worthwhile endeavor. 5 to 10 classical titles, 4 to 6 jazz titles, 20 to 25 pop/rock titles and I am done.)

Ever since I learned a couple of weeks ago about the other two verses of Procol Harum's A White Shade of Pale I have listened to that song a couple of times, or a few times, a day. Why would I want to listen to anything else when I like my few favorites so very much? :)
 
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Mike Lavigne

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#23
somehow i ended up with three different versions of this DG Nelsons Shosty 4 + 11 recording, all 24/96.

1-the Tidal MQA streaming 24/96
2-a download of the Tidal MQA streaming file (accidentally purchased)
3-a Presto Music 24/96 download file.

so i did what any self respecting audiophile dweeb would do, i compared them directly.

no surprise that the 2 MQA versions sounded identical.

the regular 24/96 file was better to my ears. a touch more than slightly better. enough to be appreciated. more finely rendered and focused, cleaner transients, the bass a bit more articulate, and a bit more dynamic snap and harmonically coherent. both MQA's sounded very slightly smeared and blurred in direct comparison. and possibly the MQA had a bit of expansion to their presentation which i'm not sure was complimentary.

i first listened to the MQA 24/96 Tidal streaming version and had no sense of any issue, only upon direct comparison was anything perceived as wanting. so not to worry all is fine......unless you want it a little better.

don't have the CD version to compare, and of course, this is only what i hear in my system. it might not be the way it is on every system.
 

tima

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Mar 4, 2014
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#24
Why would I want to listen to anything else when I like my few favorites so very much? :)
Because your appreciation for the massive library of classical music and possibly other genres will not have a chance to grow if you don't. Music that you can enjoy and continue to explore over a life time. What you describe as complexity is that, but eventually you may see it as genius.

Don't get me wrong - I really really enjoy Procol Harum and have most of their albums. As a former keyboardist (organ & piano) how can I not like a band with both and whose music I played. Try A Salty Dog, Broken Barricades, Shine on Brightly. Keith Reid is a brilliant lyricist. But Gary Booker - even coupled with Matthew Fisher, bless their hearts, is not Stravinsky.

There are five classical music pieces I truly enjoy: Mozart Sym. 41, Beethoven Sym. 5, Beethoven Sym. 9 and Mussorgsky Night on Bald Mountain and Pictures at an Exhibition. I also like a few other things, but these five are my absolute favorites.
With all respect, right now you're in the pop music stage of classical. You've dipped your toe in the water and feeding your musical sweet tooth.

That's a good start. There was a lot of amazing music written in the 19th C. Expand around something you like. Try Karl Bohm's or Andre Cluyten's version of Beethoven's 6th Symphony (Pastoral). Try Beethoven's Emperor Concerto, with, say, Michelangeli. Or B's 4th Piano Concerto with Glenn Gould - it was considered revolutionary in the time of Napolean, turning the relationship between the conductor and soloist on its head.

And yet it was Beethoven who broke out of the formal rigor of the Classical Period. Beethoven got radical in his later years - his music was considered complex in its day, ahead of his time. Try his last several string quartets - bingo, you're in the mid-20th C. And he was deaf!

Edge up to the 20th Century with someone like Tchaikovsky. Highly melodic with plenty of interest - though ultimately not complex, it is very easy listening. Try his 4th. Then ... cross over the line to 1901 (oooh) with Sibelius' 2nd Symphony (Colin Davis is no risk).

Take your time. Expose yourself. Make yourself listen twice or thrice. The more you listen, the more you listen.
 

Ron Resnick

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#25
Thank you very much, Tim! :)
 

Kingsrule

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#26
Do u guys find the Presto download really slow, like 350kB? (My internet speed is 950mB up and down)
It was my first download from them and I have to say probably the last unless I just had a bad moment with them....
 

Mike Lavigne

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#27
Do u guys find the Presto download really slow, like 350kB? (My internet speed is 950mB up and down)
It was my first download from them and I have to say probably the last unless I just had a bad moment with them....
yes; it took me three tries to get it to go all the way through. it may have been the time of the day and other download traffic on their end. tried it mid-morning on Saturday PST and it would only get 1/3rd of the way. tried it twice. then later at 4pm PST it did work; took about 90 minutes.

i love the HD Tracks download program; very fast and fool proof for me. i'm not very techie that way and typically have to bang on things to figure them out unless i'm doing it frequently.
 

LL21

Well-Known Member
Dec 26, 2010
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#29
Because your appreciation for the massive library of classical music and possibly other genres will not have a chance to grow if you don't. Music that you can enjoy and continue to explore over a life time. What you describe as complexity is that, but eventually you may see it as genius.

Don't get me wrong - I really really enjoy Procol Harum and have most of their albums. As a former keyboardist (organ & piano) how can I not like a band with both and whose music I played. Try A Salty Dog, Broken Barricades, Shine on Brightly. Keith Reid is a brilliant lyricist. But Gary Booker - even coupled with Matthew Fisher, bless their hearts, is not Stravinsky.



With all respect, right now you're in the pop music stage of classical. You've dipped your toe in the water and feeding your musical sweet tooth.

That's a good start. There was a lot of amazing music written in the 19th C. Expand around something you like. Try Karl Bohm's or Andre Cluyten's version of Beethoven's 6th Symphony (Pastoral). Try Beethoven's Emperor Concerto, with, say, Michelangeli. Or B's 4th Piano Concerto with Glenn Gould - it was considered revolutionary in the time of Napolean, turning the relationship between the conductor and soloist on its head.

And yet it was Beethoven who broke out of the formal rigor of the Classical Period. Beethoven got radical in his later years - his music was considered complex in its day, ahead of his time. Try his last several string quartets - bingo, you're in the mid-20th C. And he was deaf!

Edge up to the 20th Century with someone like Tchaikovsky. Highly melodic with plenty of interest - though ultimately not complex, it is very easy listening. Try his 4th. Then ... cross over the line to 1901 (oooh) with Sibelius' 2nd Symphony (Colin Davis is no risk).

Take your time. Expose yourself. Make yourself listen twice or thrice. The more you listen, the more you listen.
To add a little audiophile-perspective to this, I have always enjoyed classical music alongside nearly every other genre. However, until the big Wilsons came in, I just found I did not gravitate towards large scale classical when i had the choice (because I did own the albums). And even less so large scale organ music.

Once the system really started to be able to take on more scale and weight...i found I started to enjoy my larger scale orchestral pieces more.

Ron - with your system, its resolution, your new room, etc, etc...the incredibly fine nuances of classical music, particularly 70-100 piece orchestras may come at you in a way (perhaps) other times it had not. And suddenly (for me), much of the composition starts to make a lot more sense, mean more, evoke more...

Who knows...you might just genuinely not care for classical in any material way...totally respect that. But the system certainly enables me to hear more into the recording, the music...and genuinely enjoy it more. It is 'an instrument' (not musical instrument but playback instrument) that gets me closer and closer to the music which is a lot of fun.
 

nonesup

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Feb 16, 2017
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#30
This DG CD won a Grammy for best engineered album, and the recording is shockingly good. So good in fact that the bass drum on Track 2, around minute 13 is as powerful and dry as at Symphony Hall, with no "boom" or overhang; just not as life-size in my system as the real thing, and at times lacking that leading edge (Hmm, woofers a little slow? I am leaning more towards the DAC right now). Cymbal crashes are outstanding; timbre (especially timpani), scale and presentation to die for. Some $20.

Something is wrong. I just found this album in Qobuz, but track 2 only has 11:47 minutes
 

Al M.

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Sep 10, 2013
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#31
Something is wrong. I just found this album in Qobuz, but track 2 only has 11:47 minutes
There is always the option to spin an old fashioned CD.
 

asiufy

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#32
There is always the option to spin an old fashioned CD.
No need for masochism :) The confusion is because ack was playing a CD, and this is a 2CD set. He meant track 2 off the 2nd CD, which means track 7 for everybody else that's not spinning silver plastic...
 
Likes: christoph

nonesup

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Feb 16, 2017
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#33
Thanks for the clarification.
Since it's 1:30 in the morning, I think I'd better leave tomorrow to listen to a symphony of Shostakovitch at high volume.
 

ack

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May 6, 2010
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#34
Looks Iike we have many newcomers to 20th century classical music. I am willing to bet your tastes will evolve over time and appreciate the complexities and sophistication.

@nonesup I am talking about the 2nd movement of the 11th symphony (see thread title) which happens to be my favorite Shostakovich, followed by the 5th and 9th.
 

Ron Resnick

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#35
Thank you, LL21!

I know my “story” on how I like only very few titles may sound a little unusual, but I don’t think anyone enjoys his favorite classical music anymore than I enjoy my favorite classical music. I just happen to be incredibly picky and selective about what I find enjoyable to listen to. I just happen to love, at this point anyway, only a handful of pieces.

I agree with the thrust of your post, LL21, and I certainly hope the Pendragons exhibit the scale and grandeur which you and I hear from, and value in, tall speakers.
 

bonzo75

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Feb 26, 2014
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#36
Looks Iike we have many newcomers to 20th century classical music. I am willing to bet your tastes will evolve over time and appreciate the complexities and sophistication.

@nonesup I am talking about the 2nd movement of the 11th symphony (see thread title) which happens to be my favorite Shostakovich, followed by the 5th and 9th.
7th I like for the first movement, I also like the entire 8th, 15th is excellent and the chamber arrangement for that is fantastic. He also has a chamber symphony called op.110a which is very good as are cello sonatas. I find his violin concerto a bit meh
 
Oct 3, 2012
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#37
I don't know if there's a separate thread on it but I feel that Reference Recording's Shostakovich 5 conducted by Manfred Honeck with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra is one fine example of an excellent recording and definitely better than this one here (even if it's not the 11th it's still Shostakovich)!
 

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