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Discussion: Mahler: Das Lied von der Erde - Klemperer

Posts: 27
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Post by pacwin December 12, 2011 (1 of 27)
I wanted to test one of these new EMI Japan remasters before I invested in a few more. All I can do is convey a few impressions about the recording/remastering. The performance is excellent as far DLVDE goes. The EMI engineers seemed to have scraped everything of the nearly half century old tapes because sonically they are as a good a represetative of this era analogue transfers as any I've heard.

Ive also been able to do a quick spectral analysis and there is plenty of high frequency energy preserved on the high resolution layer as there is bass heft and low end growl when it appears in the score. The noise reduction, if they used it, doesnt appear to have sucked vital microdynamics out of it. In all, better than I expected. The packaging is a plain jewel case and no real frills. The liner notes, excluding the libretto are fully in Japanese.

http://emimusic.jp/artist/klemperer/?action=release&id=59195

Cover: http://www.pixhost.org/show/534/10463040_folder.jpg

Post by seth December 12, 2011 (2 of 27)
so how does it compare to the GROTC CD release?

Post by Naun December 12, 2011 (3 of 27)
Wondering also how it compares to the previous Esoteric SACD transfer, which was of course much more expensive and is possibly out of print by now. The Esoteric SACD sounds appreciably better (less pinched, more natural) than the late-1990s EMI CD transfer.

Post by rosenkavalier817 December 12, 2011 (4 of 27)
I also have the esoteric and think it quite excellent. Any comments or comparisons would be welcome.

Post by hiredfox December 13, 2011 (5 of 27)
If you have the Esoteric and consider it satisfactory, why would you buy the EMI?

Like you I have the Esoteric and can recommend it so see no need to duplicate my collection however much we may admire Simon Gibson's work.

Post by hiredfox December 13, 2011 (6 of 27)
So, out of curiosity and to support fading memories we just sat through this disc again. It is very difficult to know how Simon could improve on this, maybe minor improvements in balance and possibly a correction of the tone of massed strings in Lied 1 but otherwise this disc is utterly captivating in its articulation and timbre.

It reminds us that surely this must be one of the greatest pieces of classical music ever written, a fusion of opera and orchestral genres that both sensorially stimulating and spiritually uplifting. Magnificent!

Post by Chris December 14, 2011 (7 of 27)
hiredfox said:



It reminds us that surely this must be one of the greatest pieces of classical music ever written, a fusion of opera and orchestral genres that both sensorially stimulating and spiritually uplifting. Magnificent!

Absolutely agree on all points!
IMHO a timeless Masterpiece!

Post by pacwin December 18, 2011 (8 of 27)
I have placed a couple of images of the spectra and dynamics of the 2011 SACD versus the Redbook layer of the ca.1998 redbook remaster and versus the redbook equivalent on the new Hybrid SACD. There's more "meat" on the 96/24 A/D source and there's clearly filaments of high frequency energy albeit at low levels, otherwise obliterated by the redbook filter.

http://www.pixhost.org/show/572/10568114_dlvde_klemperer_spectra.jpg

http://www.pixhost.org/show/572/10568115_dlvde_klemperer_spectra2.jpg

The 1998 transfer is a very good one and that version holds up well for its era. However to my ears the latest version delivered on SACD does give some gains, especially during the forte passages especially with Wunderlich singing. The inevitable redbook compression/congestion at dynamic extremes is gone and the "shrieking/shouting" is much better modulated during those loud passages with the greater headroom of the SACD i.e around the seven minute mark on Das Trinklied. Like many others I find redbook fatiguing/tiring but now eliminated with this SACD transfer.

There is more weight and slam in the bass and percussion, although it is already plausible on the redbook. Also the instrumental solos and highlights are more delicate and filigreed on the SACD version, for example the triangle percusssion is more crystalline. I would say that the SACD gives you the typical gain of an analogue recording deivered on SACD: microdynamics, better attack/decay, more spatial cues, reduced time smearing. Whether that is worth the price of a couple of new SACD recordings is another matter. In any event a great recording. I could not notice anything substantive in the two redbook layers although comparison was limited.

Ultimately I would like to hear a pure, direct to disk/unadulterated Grimm A/DSD conversion of this piece, artifacts and all. I suspect it could be improved a few notches again. I'm looking forward to trying the sonics of some of the recent DG SHM-SACDs of Fischer Dieskau.

Post by rammiepie December 18, 2011 (9 of 27)
Well, apparently, both the Esoteric and EMI disc were sourced from the identical 96/24 remaster of the original analogue tapes and the only difference seems to be in the DSD converter.

But Pacwin brings up an interesting point as he ascertains that there IS room for improvement and would possibly be FURTHER ENHANCED by using a straight analogue/DSD conversion using the Grimm.

And hopefully under any circumstances comparisons with a RBCD should weigh in favor of SACD so that is a moot point, IMO.

And hirefox is correct. If one does own the Esoteric there is probably no need to add the newer EMI to one's collection.

Jonalogic's reviews comparing the newly minted EMI SACDs with his older vinyl (early EMI pressings from the original master tapes when they were in pristine condition {sans wear/tear} ) is probably most telling and points to a truth that we're really NOT getting the sound of the master tapes.......at all!

So, perhaps it's time to invest 1500 yen in the upcoming (January 2012) EMI sampler disc and judge for ourselves whether these remasters are worth the investment..... saving ourselves, in the end, a lot of AGITA!

Post by seth December 18, 2011 (10 of 27)
pacwin said:

I have placed a couple of images of the spectra and dynamics of the 2011 SACD versus the Redbook layer of the ca.1998 redbook remaster and versus the redbook equivalent on the new Hybrid SACD. There's more "meat" on the 96/24 A/D source and there's clearly filaments of high frequency energy albeit at low levels, otherwise obliterated by the redbook filter.

The 1998 transfer is a very good one and that version holds up well for its era. However to my ears the latest version delivered on SACD does give some gains, especially during the forte passages especially with Wunderlich singing. The inevitable redbook compression/congestion at dynamic extremes is gone and the "shrieking/shouting" is much better modulated during those loud passages with the greater headroom of the SACD i.e around the seven minute mark on Das Trinklied. Like many others I find redbook fatiguing/tiring but now eliminated with this SACD transfer.

Whether that is worth the price of a couple of new SACD recordings is another matter. In any event a great recording. I could not notice anything substantive in the two redbook layers although comparison was limited.

pacwin:

Thanks for that very detailed summary. Of the EMI SACDs, this is in my top 3, but based on your comments, I'm going to pass. Given the price, I'll live with my GROTC redbook version.

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