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Discussion: Brahms/Stravinsky: Violin Concertos - Hilary Hahn

Posts: 14
Page: 1 2 next

Post by terence June 23, 2006 (1 of 14)
comments i've read suggest rears and centre are used very little on this disc, and that its MC mix is not much different to the stereo layer.

anybody heard this and can comment? i was particularly looking to buy it for the stravinsky.

Post by Windsurfer June 23, 2006 (2 of 14)
terence said:

comments i've read suggest that its MC mix is not much different to the stereo layer.

anybody heard this and can comment? i was particularly looking to buy it for the stravinsky.

I didn't find that to be true at all. What is interesting is that the SACD stereo layer and the CD aren't all that different!

I love the performances. Got it as a rbcd for a christmas present and liked it so well that I went out and bought the SACD to take around shopping for an SACD player. My wife and I were so disappointed in the lack of difference between the stereo layer and CD that we looked at each other and shook our heads thinking is this what SACD is all about? No reason to buy one at all!

Then the salesman said lets listen to it in multi-channel. Only moments into the Brahms my wife turned to me with a look of pure astonishment on her face and said:
"That's the best sound stage I ever heard" The notable thing about this is that was the first time I ever heard her use an audiophile term.

She was right! Everything opened up and the room suddenly seemed immensely larger. We were sold!

Only later while reading a review in the Absolute Sound did I learn that others also found the SACD stereo layer was no improvement to the CD. Further the reviewer stated that the multi-channel layer presented a kind of generic concert hall sound. He wasn't very impressed with it. But as I say it was enough to sell my wife and myself.

The first movement cadenza of the Brahms is worth the price of the disc to me, but the Stravinsky is exceedingly well played and has the better sound.

Post by terence June 23, 2006 (3 of 14)
thanks windsurfer that is really useful.

the review i read even suggested that the rears on this disc may be carrying artificially created ambience - i.e. that this wan't a proper MC recording.

it made the same comment exactly about hahn's sony mendelssohn/shostakovich disc.

presumably you wouldn't agree with this suggestion?

Post by fafnir June 23, 2006 (4 of 14)
terence said:

thanks windsurfer that is really useful.

the review i read even suggested that the rears on this disc may be carrying artificially created ambience - i.e. that this wan't a proper MC recording.

it made the same comment exactly about hahn's sony mendelssohn/shostakovich disc.

presumably you wouldn't agree with this suggestion?

IMHO these are fine performances by Hahn and very good recordings with, as Windsurfer stated, an excellent soundstage. My only quibble is the somewhat anemic accompanyment by Marriner - more of a problem in the Brahms than in the Stravinsky.

Hopefully the upcoming Brahms by Fischer on Pentatone will be as fine as her other recordings: absolute knockouts.

Post by Windsurfer June 23, 2006 (5 of 14)
terence said:

the review i read even suggested that the rears on this disc may be carrying artificially created ambience - i.e. that this wan't a proper MC recording.

it made the same comment exactly about hahn's sony mendelssohn/shostakovich disc.

presumably you wouldn't agree with this suggestion?

I couldn't comment on that. I will have to listen to it today with this in mind - been a long time since I heard either disc. I remember that I really really like her Mendelssohn! The articulation is phenomenal! But I don't remember listening to it in multi-channel, This is not bragging but an admission: I still have about a half dozen unlistened to discs that I bought in two large orders, one from jpc and one from CD Universe. Large orders save money on shipping but when one has other responsibilities it bogs one's listening down.

Post by Windsurfer June 23, 2006 (6 of 14)
fafnir said:

Hopefully the upcoming Brahms by Fischer on Pentatone will be as fine as her other recordings: absolute knockouts.

Ah yes, aren't they though? Oh but do I ever hope Fischer is never wooed away from PentaTone!

Post by terence June 23, 2006 (7 of 14)
fafnir said:

IMHO these are fine performances by Hahn and very good recordings with, as Windsurfer stated, an excellent soundstage. My only quibble is the somewhat anemic accompanyment by Marriner - more of a problem in the Brahms than in the Stravinsky.

Hopefully the upcoming Brahms by Fischer on Pentatone will be as fine as her other recordings: absolute knockouts.

so you'd say it IS a proper MC recording, with no artifical additives?

Post by fafnir June 23, 2006 (8 of 14)
terence said:

so you'd say it IS a proper MC recording, with no artifical additives?

I have a confession to make: not being an audio purest, I listen to ALL my RBCDs with artificial additives in the side and rear channels. I find that the improvement in listening experience is enormous, but only if the additives are applied most carefully. I've been doing this for almost 30 years, first with the Haffler ciruit for rear channels ambient extraction.

My thinking is that if a MCH disc has artifical rather than natural rear channels, if it's properly done, it shouldn't be audible. IMHO the rear channels of the Hahn are convincing, but who knows where they came from? Should anyone care, as long as the end result is fine?

There are so many MCH discs (the Gergiev Scheherazade, for example) where the rear channels are a mess, I am happy whenever the recording engineers get it right regardless of the method used.

Post by terence June 23, 2006 (9 of 14)
yes, i take your point.

in fact it was only through this forum that i found out about the NEO:6 Music setting on my amplifier - it truly revivified RBCD for me at a time when, having been through the first flush of discovering MC, i found my (pretty large) collection of RBCDs sounding a bit dull and lifeless by comparison.

i'm guessing the hahn stravinsky/brahms probably IS "genuine" multichannel, as it seems other sony discs of this type (i.e. no RBCD layer) have been released which are dual channel only.

Post by ramesh June 23, 2006 (10 of 14)
fafnir said:

IMHO these are fine performances by Hahn and very good recordings with, as Windsurfer stated, an excellent soundstage. My only quibble is the somewhat anemic accompanyment by Marriner - more of a problem in the Brahms than in the Stravinsky.

I think the main problem was the orchestra. Of the major violin concerti, the Brahms and Elgar are composed for a full orchestra. Yet, Sony decides to hobble their star non-Japanese violinist with the ASMF! Nothing wrong with their quality, just the quantity; unfortunate penny-pinching. Play the 1954 Heifetz SACD or the CD of the 1961 Oistrakh/Klemperer and one hears engulfing power in the first couple of minutes, which is neutered here. I wonder whether this curious choice was on Hahn's prompting or otherwise. The neoclassical Stravinsky isn't reduced by the cut-down orchestra.

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