Classical Music Recordings

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Simon Hickie
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Classical Music Recordings

Unread post by Simon Hickie » Tue Nov 21, 2017 8:33 pm

I happened to hear a snippet of Brahms' German Requiem on the TV yesterday and decided I must have a copy. I looked up the recommended recordings on Gramophone magazine and have listened to a couple via Spotify. Now, the quality wasn't brilliant as I'm still in the holiday chalet waiting to go to the new house tomorrow, but there was enough there to be able to distinguish between the two recordings. The 2007 Harnoncourt was demonstrably better recorded but the 1961 Klemperer was by far the more involving performance. So it will have to be the Klemperer of the two for me.

Similarly, Mahler's second Symphony (Resurrection) has many fine technical offerings, but again it's the early Klemperer (1963) that I play the most, although opinion is divided on the performance.

This is where perhaps classical music differs from other forms in that performances of the same work can vary wildly.

So as a question to perhaps stimulate a bit of discussion about classical music (after all, music is why we have the hifi in the first place), do members here veer towards high recording quality or best performance (ideally it would be nice to have both)?
“The reasonable man adapts himself to the world: the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.” George Bernard Shaw.

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Ithilstone
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Re: Classical Music Recordings

Unread post by Ithilstone » Tue Nov 21, 2017 9:10 pm

Somebody posted here recently J. Page talk:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vVi6rMo2Ppo
and him talking about importance of how acoustic instruments are recorded
I think that most of older classical recordings are just properly acoustically recorded
while the newer ones are recorded "technically perfect" but without understanding how to actually make it sound good
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Fretless
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Re: Classical Music Recordings

Unread post by Fretless » Tue Nov 21, 2017 10:05 pm

When I started to listen to Classical music it was a case of just getting hold of the most easily available (cheap) CD to familiarise myself with the period, composer and work. Then you dig deeper into the composers or pieces that most appeal to you.

Eventually, for me as a listener, it comes down to being able to appreciate music making and how does a performer / ensemble / orchestra / conductor interpret a piece and inject their own personality and dynamic into it.

In general, Classical works are usually well-recorded by engineers who know what they are doing. Naxos label discs are almost always worthwhile despite it being a budget label and some of the best orchestras are to be found in the former communist bloc of eastern Europe.

I should be playing more classics really - thought about having a listen to some Szymanowski this afternoon ... :violin: :violin: :violin:
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Ithilstone
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Re: Classical Music Recordings

Unread post by Ithilstone » Tue Nov 21, 2017 10:26 pm

Well me coming from Eastern Block I mostly listen to eastern recordings in my early years ( and yes I did listen to classical almost as much as Queen, Pink Floyd, Marillion or Helloween :mrgreen: ) and need to agree that - almost all performances coming from that end are exceptional I love a bit of Henryk Wieniawski or Rachmaninoff. But I am not sure if I can agree that most recent recordings are done 100% right
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SteveTheShadow
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Re: Classical Music Recordings

Unread post by SteveTheShadow » Tue Nov 21, 2017 11:39 pm

I tend to go for the performances and the emotion being conveyed.
When you get the emotional involvement AND the top sound quality.... :clap:
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savvypaul
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Re: Classical Music Recordings

Unread post by savvypaul » Wed Nov 22, 2017 1:28 pm

Less than ideal SQ won't put me off a great performance. Exceptional SQ won't make me like a poor performance.

I have found this site to be a useful resource: http://www.high-endaudio.com/softw.html
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SteveTheShadow
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Re: Classical Music Recordings

Unread post by SteveTheShadow » Thu Nov 23, 2017 10:32 am

Nice article Paul.
DIY NVA amplification ( roughly equivalent to NVA A60) BTE Designs passive preamp, BTE Designs Lenco L75 turntable, Rega R200 arm, Goldring E3 cartridge, NVA Phono 1
Musical Fidelity M1 DAC, AppleTV4 with Apple Music subscription, ripped CDs streamed via WD MyCloud Home Duo NAS, with PLEX media server.
Speakers - Sealed cabs with Fane 12-250-TC 12" full range drivers. Also, Winslow Burhoe/Roy Allison/Richard Dunn influenced semi-omnidirectional.

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