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  #1  
Old 16-07-05, 01:23 AM
Alex S Alex S is offline
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Advice for Classical fans:

Buy some of the Living Stereo/RCA and Mercury hybrid/dual layer discs even if you never intend to play an SACD in your life. The CD layer tends to be top notch, the remastering excellent and the performances seminal. Also, they aren't expensive: 8.99 for the LS and 9.99 for Mercury from Amazon.

The Reiner/CSO performances from the 50s are superb, as are the Dorati/LSO on Mercury, especially the Dvorak Cello conc' with Starker.
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  #2  
Old 16-07-05, 01:40 AM
Anderzander Anderzander is offline
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that sounds good - can I search by label on Amazon?
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  #3  
Old 18-07-05, 06:57 AM
Alex S Alex S is offline
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Not easy to search that way. The Living Stereos can be checked out here and the Mercurys here
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  #4  
Old 18-07-05, 08:04 AM
colindog colindog is offline
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Don't miss Daphnis Et Chloe on this label, Boston Symphony under Charles Munch from 1953, or Bartok's Concerto for Orchestra and Music for Strings Percussion and Celesta with CSO under Reiner

The sound on these releases is unbelievable, amazing they are more than 50 year old.
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  #5  
Old 18-07-05, 08:07 AM
sean99 sean99 is offline
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Superb classical CD web site

www.archivmusic.com

I'm not sure if they ship outside of the US, but their search mechanism is the best I have found, and they give you the serial numbers.

I've bought a few disks from them and they are a great outfit.

I like the Decca Legends series also. It's amazing how good the old recordings sounds. Progress, what progress !?
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  #6  
Old 18-07-05, 09:09 AM
Alex S Alex S is offline
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colindog, yes, both are superb - which layer are you listening to?
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  #7  
Old 18-07-05, 11:03 AM
colindog colindog is offline
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Its the SACD layer on someone else's Marantz SA-11.
A lot of the best SACDs I've heard have been DSD remasters of pre-digital analogue recordings.

The redbook layer is still very good, I read some crits of these Living Presence recordings that said they thought the redbook layer was better than the previous CD remasterings, although they claim to be the same as issued in early '90s. But the SACD layer is stunning - so much life and presence and vibrancy to the sound.
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  #8  
Old 18-07-05, 11:10 AM
kasperhauser kasperhauser is offline
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distantly related question

How does stuff on the Russian Melodiya (sorry, no Cyrillic characters) rate sound- and performance-wise? I see them from time to time. Just curious. The one I have (forget the title at the moment) is odd lots of hall noise (chairs and paper shuffling, etc.) but the performance is absolutely FIERCE. Really shakes you to attention.

I'll post the details of it later, when I have access to my (still boxed) cd collection.
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Old 18-07-05, 11:39 AM
Tantris Tantris is offline
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Re: distantly related question

Quote:
Originally posted by kasperhauser
How does stuff on the Russian Melodiya (sorry, no Cyrillic characters) rate sound- and performance-wise? I see them from time to time. Just curious. The one I have (forget the title at the moment) is odd lots of hall noise (chairs and paper shuffling, etc.) but the performance is absolutely FIERCE. Really shakes you to attention.

Like any label, the sound quality is variable. I think I generally prefer the recordings on vinyl than on CD, where the remastering is noticeably drier. Melodiya linked up with EMI for distribution of many of their recordings (mainly of Russian composers, or Russian performers) in the West, and several of these are definitive, e.g. the Borodin's two cycles of Shostakovich's string quartets (the first cycle doesn't include the last two quartets as they weren't written at the time), Tatiana Nikolayeva's recording of Shostakovich's 24 preludes and fugues (earlier than her later recording on Hyperion), Kondrashin's and Mravinsky's recordings of Shostakovich's symphonies, Richter's recordings of Bach's Well Tempered Clavier, etc.

Last edited by Tantris; 19-07-05 at 12:06 AM.
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  #10  
Old 19-07-05, 02:52 AM
Alex S Alex S is offline
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My preferred and most lyrical Shostakovich recordings are on Melodia - picked up in Russia - with Gennadi Rozhdestvensky conducting the USSR Ministry of Culture Orchestra. Perhaps not in the same class as Haitink and other lumineries but they get to the heart of the matter.
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  #11  
Old 19-07-05, 01:35 PM
Jonboi Jonboi is offline
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Hi Alex S

Many thanks for the 'tip' - I've only just recently 'discovered' SACD *shame on me* and will investigate. Heheh, that's what you get for being a Naim disciple, well, almost ex in my case....LOL

Best Regards

John... :-)
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  #12  
Old 19-07-05, 01:43 PM
duncan duncan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex S
My preferred and most lyrical Shostakovich recordings are on Melodia - picked up in Russia - with Gennadi Rozhdestvensky conducting the USSR Ministry of Culture Orchestra. Perhaps not in the same class as Haitink and other lumineries but they get to the heart of the matter.
I almost always prefer Russian orchestras and conductors in Shostakovich. It is possible to go overboard on this nationalist stuff but they just sound so much more, well, russian. I'm a big fan of Haitink generally but his cycle sounds too straight and germanic to my ears. Wonderful recordings though.
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  #13  
Old 20-07-05, 12:32 AM
Alex S Alex S is offline
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I quite agree Duncan - I have the whole Haitink cycle and its too germanic. I wonder if Russian conductors have any luck with German composers - I'll do a survey.
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  #14  
Old 20-07-05, 12:49 AM
griffo104 griffo104 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by colindog
Don't miss Daphnis Et Chloe on this label, Boston Symphony under Charles Munch from 1953, or Bartok's Concerto for Orchestra and Music for Strings Percussion and Celesta with CSO under Reiner

The sound on these releases is unbelievable, amazing they are more than 50 year old.
I have the Daphnis Et Chloe disc and the sacd layer is exceptional. Really shows what is possible with this format - and also with a near 50 year old recording.

Although some of the Channel classics discs on sacd, and BIS too, are also excellent.
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  #15  
Old 20-07-05, 03:54 AM
Herman S Herman S is offline
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My advice re the Melodyia would be to pick up any copy you spot, because they're really getting quite scarce.

I know David HM, for instance, was looking for the DSCH 48 preludes and fugues by Nikolayeva, and they seem to have completely vanished off the market. Or have you found one, David?

Re: Shostakovich symphonies. There's an excellent remastering of Kondrashin's cycle with the Moscow Philharmonic on the Korean Aulos label. You can get it thru a New York (or rather Rockaway) mon & pop store called Russian Video or something (which also sells Tabu etc). Or even better they are also auctioning it on Bay of E, as I recall. It completely blows away the way too spiffy Haitink versions (and let's face it the spot-miking and the bizarre esatz Concertgebouw acoustic on the Haitink 5 & 8 are just too silly for words). It's too bad the Aulos folks won't clean up the Rozhdestvensky DSCH too, because that is a great version, but the sound is just too tubby.
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