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Discussion: Beethoven: Symphony No. 9 "Choral" - Tilson Thomas

Posts: 52
Page: 1 2 3 4 5 6 next

Post by diw April 13, 2013 (1 of 52)
Well, this is certainly a long way from Furtwangler 1942! Probably the best recording of the Ninth from the sonic perspective that we are likely to get.

Post by Polly Nomial April 13, 2013 (2 of 52)

Post by hiredfox April 16, 2013 (3 of 52)
Polly Nomial said:

What is improved on (sonically) from say, Beethoven: Symphony No. 9 - Vänskä or Beethoven: Symphony No. 9 - Paavo Järvi?

Maybe the latter but certainly not the former as diw is talking about SQ rather than performance.

Post by Polly Nomial April 16, 2013 (4 of 52)
I know & I am interested to know what either of those two accounts lack from a sonic perspective.

Post by wehecht April 16, 2013 (5 of 52)
Polly Nomial said:

I know & I am interested to know what either of those two accounts lack from a sonic perspective.

C'mon, John, you know exactly what's missing: the right set of letters or numbers necessary to conform with certain preconceived notions about SQ.

Post by Windsurfer April 16, 2013 (6 of 52)
wehecht said:

C'mon, John, you know exactly what's missing: the right set of letters or numbers necessary to conform with certain preconceived notions about SQ.

???

Jarvi is done in DSD and the Vanska is a PCM recording just like the new one. Exactly what do you mean?

Post by wehecht April 16, 2013 (7 of 52)
Windsurfer said:

???

Jarvi is done in DSD and the Vanska is a PCM recording just like the new one. Exactly what do you mean?

Well Bruce 24/44.1 (Vanska) isn't 24/96 (MTT) or dsd (Jarvi) which, for some people, would settle the SQ question, but perhaps I misread John Luke's comment. I read it immediately after his new thread on "standards" which I took to invite the renewed flogging of what for me is a long dead horse by suggesting that we'd all have been better off if dsd recording were mandatory for sacds. Coupled with my obviously mistaken belief that SFSO sacds were recorded in dsd maybe I got hold of the wrong end of the stick. Apologies to all.

Post by hiredfox April 16, 2013 (8 of 52)
Polly Nomial said:

I know & I am interested to know what either of those two accounts lack from a sonic perspective.

I believe you listen for the purposes of your reviews in mch? If I am wrong then glad to be corrected.

I listen only in stereo. I ran these recordings through again yesterday to re-awaken my memories; my view remains the same that the Vanska recording is pretty much two-dimensional, lacking any sense of depth and volume and the three dimensional tangibility that helps create the illusion of "being there". The high strings positively grate. Jaarvi is very much more of a whole and quite realistic sounding but the performance is in my view uninspiring and run-of-the-mill, whereas the Vanska performance is amongst the very best I have heard in any recorded format.

Of course there are hundreds of Ninth recordings around and nominating a "best ever" is offering a very considerable hostage to fortune. The 1976 von Karajan performance remains peerless in the view of many commentators over the years - I am merely one of those who agree - and is still massively enjoyable even on RBCD.

I am not beating a drum for DSD on this occasion just stating my preferences and all I am saying is that Vanska's is not even amongst the best sounding Ninth's on SACD.

Whether it is right to separate out SQ from performance like this is debatable but it seems to be an inevitable consequence of SACD recording.

Post by Polly Nomial April 16, 2013 (9 of 52)
hiredfox said:
You are correct; I try and listen in the most realistic way possible. Every stereo recording is pretty much 2D by comparison to MCH, so I'm not sure what your point is. Some illusions are far better than others! ;)

That HvK reading was my favourite account from my youth (I must confess to have been something of a HvK devotee, then transferred my affections to the Berliners & now I enjoy a much wider range of music & approaches) but times move on & I have come to believe that Beethoven is not meant to be delivered via the artistic standpoint of Bruckner and/or Wagner. I still keep Beethoven from K & F for sentimental reasons but when considering accounts to recommend, I regard them in much the same way as I do their Bach interpretations.

Post by wehecht April 16, 2013 (10 of 52)
Polly Nomial said:

1. Every stereo recording is pretty much 2D by comparison to MCH, so I'm not sure what your point is. Some illusions are far better than others! ;)

2. I have come to believe that Beethoven is not meant to be delivered via the artistic standpoint of Bruckner and/or Wagner.

1. Over in the thread on BIS' Prokofiev 6th I mentioned the lengths to which I went trying to reconcile John Luke's report of pretty dreadful sound (in the symphony) with what I heard in my room. One of the experiments I tried was to listen to the stereo layer, something I never do, knowing that's what he heard. I didn't think it was awful, in fact I thought it was pretty good for stereo, but nowhere near what I experienced in mutichannel listening. But the clincher was that I forgot to return the player to mc mode before listening to another disc the next morning. The disc I chose that morning was one of Chandos' US recordings from Kansas City, engineered by Sound Mirror. I knew it to be an absolutely gorgeous recording. Now I was sitting there listening, thinking, why did I believe this was great sound? it's dull, lifeless, thin sounding, and all the sense of the church venue was gone. It took about a half hour before the penny dropped. I changed back to mc mode and everything was glorious again. I respect the guys with megabuck stereo gear of exceptional quality and understand their reluctance to make the switch, but it's their loss.

2. Listening to Bruckner played like late Schubert is ear opening. Listening to Beethoven in the traditional Brucknerian/Wagnerian mode is mind numbing (same for HvK's EMI Schubert cycle, a great cure for insomnia).

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