Act 1: Beginning To Elviras Aria - Mozart* - Don Giovanni (Vinyl, LP, Album)
He was quickly accepted but, having suffered a stroke in May of that year, was living in the Village Nursing Home in New York. He died on January 16,but had already learned of his acceptance into the Hall of Fame from his closest friend in his last years, the wonder owner of the Village Vanguard, Lorraine Gordon. She accepted the award on his behalf in Savannah at the induction ceremonies in May, Francesco Pinamonti; Ensemble Lorenzo da Ponte, cond.
See my article tearing apart the HIP movement here. Ferdinando Bertoni was an Italian composer fond of the opera seria style that just preceded and initially influenced his great contemporary Christoph Act 1: Beginning To Elviras Aria - Mozart* - Don Giovanni (Vinyl Gluck Thin, whiny, and inhuman sounding, the strings snivel and mewl their way through the score like sick kittens.
This is in stark contrast to our two lead singers, who have strong vibratos tenor Jan Petryka, unfortunately, also sounds like a sick kittenand neither the singing nor the playing is helped by the awful acoustic. Recorded in live performance at the Teatro Comunale di Ferrara, there is a bizarre sort of reverb that distorts the voices of Genaux and Lombardi-Mazzulli to the point where they grate on the ear like the aural equivalent of Brillo pads. Moreover, the chorus sounds not only thin but amateurish, since some of the voices are recorded too forward and lack a really fine blend.
Sometimes you really wonder if these HIP performers realize how much havoc they are wreaking on music and making it not only unpleasant to hear but actually disgusting. And this is a case where, with a little concession to string vibrato and a less choppy style a bit more legato would have done wondersthis might actually have been a valuable recording. In addition, Ziegler presents us with a real, complex character, not just a nice singing job—although sheerly in terms of singing, she has it all over Genaux.
Her voice is richer, her tone coloring vastly superior, and she sings the trills that Genaux simply skips over. The presence of the great Bruce Ford as Imeneo speaks for itself…here was a master tenor in a nice piece of luxury casting for a throwaway role. Album) new recording is, quite simply, wrong-headed in execution and hard to listen to, a real disaster.
Horowitz was the super-virtuoso who could play anything; Rubinstein was the last great Romantic who specialized in Beethoven and Chopin. And frankly, most of his recordings still strike my ears this way, the only exceptions being his studio recordings of Scriabin sonatas and two live performances with his father-in-law, Toscanini the Tchaikovsky Concerto No.
He made the music come alive without in this work and performance distorting the music. He stunned me. And the ones I heard were disappointing. They were either slow and disconnected-sounding or well played but lacking the feeling and excitement I heard in person. In a studio recording of Cherkassky playing the Tchaikovsky Second Concerto with the Cincinnati Symphony appeared. Of course I bought a copy immediately, but it, too, was disappointing. The tempos were pretty good but not as tight as the live performance I heard, and his playing was clean but somewhat uninvolved.
I also learned about his background: born in Odessa infled to America with his family to escape the Bolshevik Revolution, lived in this country for several years, made his first records for Victor between and Studied with Josef Hofmann untilwhereupon he began touring extensively and moved to Great Britain.
With the coming of World War II he moved to Hollywood, California, where he stayed until after the War, then moved back to England where he became a legend.
He continued to live mostly in England and mostly in hotel rooms for the rest of his life. Of course I went to see him, and he was again fantastic. Here, in closer quarters, I was able to observe his playing in greater detail. One thing I noticed was his constant pumping of the sustain pedal—on Album) off, off and on, which colored and shaded his playing and created much of the shimmer one heard. After the recital I stood on line among other admirers mostly little old ladies to ask him about this.
Astonished, I said yes. She told me that when she started gushing at him about how wonderful he was, he answered her in Russian! Tchaikovsky: Piano Concerto No. Cherkassky left us four recordings of the Tchaikovsky Second, one of his pet projects. Chopin: Etudes, Opp. These are mostly mono recordings of Chopin but all of them are utterly fantastic.
Rather than pulling the music out of the keyboard, here Cherkassky makes it flutter and sing as if the Etudes were played by butterflies. The Piano Sonata No. An excellent, excellent album. Beethoven: Piano Sonata No. Clementi: Sonata in B-flatOp. Schubert: Piano Sonata in A, D. Chopin: Fantaisie-Impromptu in C minor, Op.
Schumann-Tausig: Der Contrabandiste, Op. Liszt: Consolation No. Some of the Chopin works on here are also on the Philips album, but they are different recordings. Your reaction as to which you prefer will depend on your individual taste, but by and large these WRC recordings caught Cherkassky in a particularly relaxed and inventive mood, especailly the big sonatas of Beethoven and Schubert.
Overall, a fascinating album. Chopin: Piano Concerto No. Christopher Adey ; Piano Concerto No. These live performances from Scotland and England in the early s capture Cherkassky at his very best, in good digital sound. So…these albums sum up, for me, the essence of Cherkassky. A strange man, he was married once but not for very long.
When he died in Decemberit was learned that he owned nothing: his television, CD player and stereo set, his evening dress, even his piano, were all rentals. In the spring ofI was still a sophomore in college and, although I thought I knew what I wanted to be—a teacher a dream destroyed by the liberal left after my graduation —from a personal perspective I was lost. Trying desperately to find a way to fit into society, I was ridiculed and rebuffed everywhere I turned. One afternoon, during a break between classes, I wandered over to a sort of on-campus coffeehouse with a loft.
In the loft was a phonograph and a small pile of what I would best describe as Hippie-type pop records. The following year the college turned this little sanctuary, which was open to everyone and always had a mixed crowd, exclusively over to the black students on campus and they permanently barred white students from hanging out.
But I digress. There was another female student up in the loft, and she put a record on the turntable. After three short piano notes, a voice began to sing:.
Dreams are nothing more than wishes And a wish is just a dream You wish would come true. It was a high-pitched voice, very sweet in sound and completely unlike any other contemporary pop singer I had ever heard.
I thought it was a woman singing…I was, in fact, quite surprised to learn that it was a man. I looked at the album cover and saw a faded black-and-white photo of a freckle-faced boy with the single word, Harry, next to it. That was my introduction to Harry Nilsson. I listened to the entire album in one sitting; each song seemed as good if not better than the last. When it was finished, I felt as if there was someone—this singer-songwriter, at least—who understood what it was like to feel alienated.
Backed only by Randy Newman on acoustic piano, but multi-tracking his voice, Nilsson sang ten Newman songs, almost none of which became hits even when Newman himself did them but most of which had the same theme of trying to fit in to society.
By this time, I was hooked. Since I wore out one vinyl pressing of the Harry album and was working on wearing out another, I broke down and bought an 8-track tape player because I was by that time working weekend jobs as a security guard while putting myself through college.
Most of these jobs were night shift, after everyone in the building had gone home, and so I was able to play Harry over and over and over again until every note, every phrase was burned into my musical DNA. I learned, by this time, that Nilsson had started out making demo records for songwriter Scott Turner inthen wrote some songs including one for Little Richard and three for Phil Spector through which he met and befriended publisher Perry Botkin, Jr.
But Nilsson had an office of his own. He sang just one live performance in tandem with another singer, was petrified and hated the experience, but Botkin was still able to promote Nilsson as a singer.
Due to these demos, Tipton wangled a contract with RCA and history was made. It seemed as if Nilsson was a quiet, sensitive man who had tapped into what it was like to be quiet and sensitive and misunderstood in American society.
Certainly, that was part of his charm. I was less thrilled with his next release, A Little Touch of Schmilsson in the Night, even though it consisted of classic American pop songs arranged by Gordon Jenkins, not because of the songs but because of the slow, lethargic tempos he and Jenkins chose. Both John Lennon and Paul McCartney were smitten by his pure, three-octave tenor voice and sensitive delivery, but it was Lennon who personally went out to California and helped to corrupt Nilsson.
The two of them smoked pot, got drunk often and went around from club to club heckling performers, starting bar fights and otherwise raising hell. That was pretty much the end of my infatuation with Nilsson. To me, they were just something perfect and beautiful and moving. They realize that they have fallen in love.
As they leave, they sing of their newfound love. A great crowd, including children, has gathered with street sellers announcing their wares chorus: Aranci, datteri! Caldi i marroni! Hot chestnuts! Parisians gossip with friends and bargain with the vendors; the children of the streets clamor to see the wares of Parpignol, the toy seller. The friends enter the Cafe Momus.
It is clear she is tired of him. To be rid of Alcindoro for a bit, Musetta pretends to be suffering from a tight shoe and sends him to the shoemaker to get her shoe mended. Alcindoro leaves, and Musetta and Marcello fall rapturously into each other's arms. The friends are presented with their bill. However, Schaunard's purse has gone missing and no one else has enough money to pay. The sly Musetta has the entire bill charged to Alcindoro.
The sound of a military band is heard, and the friends leave. Alcindoro returns with the repaired shoe seeking Musetta. The waiter hands him the bill and, dumbfounded, Alcindoro sinks into a chair. Peddlers pass through the barriers and enter the city. She tries to find Marcello, who is currently living in a little tavern where he paints signs for the innkeeper.
She tells him of her hard life with Rodolfo, who abandoned her the night before, and of Rodolfo's terrible jealousy O buon Marcello, aiuto! Rodolfo wakes up and comes out looking for Marcello. Her weeping and coughing reveal her presence, and Rodolfo hurries to her. Musetta's laughter is heard and Marcello goes to find out what has happened.
As a compromise, they agree to remain together until the spring, when the world is coming to life again and no one feels truly alone. Marcello and Rodolfo are trying to work, though they are primarily talking about their girlfriends, who have left them and found wealthy lovers.
Schaunard and Colline arrive with a very frugal dinner and all parody eating a plentiful banquet, dance together and sing, before Schaunard and Colline engage in a mock duel. Briefly, she feels as though she is recovering. Musetta and Marcello leave to sell Musetta's earrings in order to buy medicine, and Colline leaves to pawn his overcoat Vecchia zimarra —"Old coat".
They remember past happiness and their first meeting—the candles, the lost key. Musetta prays. He sobs helplessly as the curtain falls. The earliest commercially released full-length recording was probably that recorded in February and released on HMV 's Italian label La Voce del Padrone. There are several recordings with conductors closely associated with Puccini. It is the only recording of a Puccini opera by its original conductor. Although the vast majority of recordings are in the original Italian, the opera has been recorded in several other languages.
Enrico Carusowho was closely associated with the role of Rodolfo, recorded the famous aria "Che gelida manina" in This aria has been recorded by nearly tenors in at least seven different languages between and Record Company released a six LP set with different tenors singing the aria. In Illica's widow died and his papers were given to the Parma Museum.
DS D Cherubini: Requiem in c. Scarce late Menuhin with prodigy protege. ELLIS synthesizer. Red label. S S Brahms: Symphony 4. Blue label. S S Mahler: Symphony 4. S S Brahms: Concerto 1. S S Brahms: Cello Sonatas. Late label. Scarce, short-lived issue.
S Q Strauss: Don Quixote. S S Chopin: Preludes complete ; Barcarolle. SB S 2 Bruckner: Symphony 8. SB Act 1: Beginning To Elviras Aria - Mozart* - Don Giovanni (Vinyl 2 Mahler: Symphony 2. Angel label. Bach,Dussek, et al "The English Harpsichord".
SB Q 2 Delibes: Sylvia. Bach: 6 "Hamburg" Concertos, Wq. The two stereo recordings were much more successful, and here I've been able to make the very most of the full extension both at the top end and in the very deep bass, to convey the wonderfully evocative and dramatically Spanish intent of the conductor.
Review Tchaikovsky. Dorati grasps the fiery work with both hands, throwing none of it away. Right from the crisp "till ready " of the allegro of the first movement it is clear that this is going to be an alert performance and the alertness does in fact continue until the very end. Sometimes, arguably, a bit too much so: in the slow movement, after the pizzicato chords, when the violins take over the horn's original tune-is this not pushing on a bit too vigorously?
The orchestra responds to Dorati with some very alive playing. The violas in particular are unusually strong-this was noticeable, too, in the same orchestra's recording of the Mozart G minor Symphony, reviewed here this month ; could it be anything to do with the microphone placing? Not, in passing, for the bassoons- their last notes to the first movement of the Tchaikovsky are quite lost.
The recording is vivid, matching the performance ideally. With the opening of the slow movement re-made, I would have little difficulty in believing this to be the best available version Excellent playing, and very life-like recording in both mono and stereo versions.
A slight lift of the eyebrows at what struck me as an exaggerated broadening of the tempo at the heavy string theme in the Dance, but on the whole very good indeed. Critics seem to spend most of their time sighing "If only Transfer and Ambient Stereo processing by Dr.
John Duffy. Further remastering by Andrew Rose. Over PADA Exclusives recordings are available for high-quality streamed listening and free kbps MP3 download to all subscribers. Newsletter - 29 June PADA Medtner plays his own piano music. This week Carlo Maria Giulini's recording of Mozart's Don Giovanni was one of a number of major operatic recordings made with the arrival of stereo in the late s and s - and surely rates among the absolute best.
Unlike their rivals at Decca, EMI's engineers and producers elected to concentrate purely on the music rather than bringing in "location" sound effects for this particular production, but what they did record was particularly good, and in a production like this I don't miss the sonic frippery. Yes, you can get it as an MP3, but even the redoubtable Arkiv Music offers this alone - no uncompressed full-quality release can be had anywhere other than in the second-hand market it seems.
Reason enough, then, to have a listen and make a few initial tests with an LP transfer. I'm pleased to report great success - as is often the case with material of this vintage the effect is akin to lifting a veil from the loudspeakers when XR remastering works its magic. If it wasn't for a low-level background of tape hiss one might imagine this was a modern, digital recording, and not one made in the autumn ofit really is that good.
We can thank HMV for providing such good LP pressings that the detail now revealed was there all along - vinyl may have its technical shortcomings but it is capable of out-performing master tapes on a number of fronts, and this remastering goes to show just how good it can be as a source.
All of these were made with the Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra, and each was early in its respective sequence of issues for Mercury Records - 9th in the MG mono series for the earlier recording, 8th in the SR series for the stereo.
The recordings, though made just 5 years apart, do amply demonstrate Act 1: Beginning To Elviras Aria - Mozart* - Don Giovanni (Vinyl fast and far things progressed technically in the fifties. The Spanish music has an extension at the top and bottom end that simply wasn't there in for the Tchaikovsky, as well as the clarity and definition of stereo to help it.
These later recordings are currently available - but only as part of a 5 CD box set from Mercury. As far as we're aware, the Tchaikovsky remains in the vaults. Finally a reminder again that there will be no new release or newsletter next week. There will also be a break here with no releases or newsletters on 24 and 31 August.
Increasing hard drive prices coupled with ever-increasing content will see a price rise for our Digital Music Collection drives from the start of August. A refresher course on MP3, FLAC and the rest I've been meaning to write this column for a while, and if you're au fait with the technical stuff about what and MP3 is and why and the differences between bit and bit audio and what a FLAC is 9or don't really care! I first came across the idea of compressed digital music files whilst working at the BBC.
For many years we'd used tape cartridges for radio jingles and theme music. Each "cart" looked a lot like the 8-track cartridge system developed in the s by Lear of LearJet fame which was briefly popular in cars before losing out to cassette tapes in the seventies. Then in the s along came a new device from Sony, the MiniDisc, which was soon adopted in my workplace as a much smaller, higher quality and more flexible alternative to the old carts and their bulky record and replay machines.
I distinctly recall the scepticism which greeted this new-fangled format. We knew it didn't have the storage capacity of a proper CD disc how could it, at that small size?!
None of us had heard of MP3 developed in Germany in the late s or anything else like this before, and we were sure we'd easily hear problems with the sound quality. How wrong we were! None of our highly-trained and experienced ears could find anything "wrong" with Sony's sound, which used their own MP3-like system, ATRAC, operating at kbps - pretty close to the very highest quality bit-rate allowable for MP3s.
So, putting aside the difficult minor technical differences between ATRAC, MP3 and the others for the purposes of this discussion, what exactly is going on and what do those bit-rate numbers actually mean? Simply put, the number is indicative of how much information has been retained from the original recording. Assuming we start with a regular, uncompressed CD audio file, we begin with a data rate of That's five times as much sound information on a CD than the MiniDisc saves - yet we couldn't hear the difference.
Why not? Well it turns out that a lot of what is encoded in a CD is in fact silence, or near enough. Then there's stuff that's so quiet it's effectively drowned out by the louder frequencies.
In other words, there's an awful lot of nothing being faithfully notated by an uncompressed digital music recording. If all that nothing is discarded somehow, without touching the something you do want to hear, you can start to reduce the file size considerably.
The only sounds which contain something of everything, making compression just about impossible, would be random "white" noise and the like, where all frequencies are present at random levels all the time. Music isn't generally like this - it usually has a lot of discreet frequencies with yawning great gaps between them.
There are though some important caveats, and it's these which give the game away when you listen to a compressed music file. I'll come to this in a moment, but first Bit-rates for compressed files are very important. The lower the bit rate, the more the data has been "squeezed" and the less of it is left, with the result that the sound quality is reduced, ultimately to a point at where it's clearly audible to anyone that something is not quite right.
I should at this point make it clear that digital music data compression is not the same as the volume compression used to make pop singles sound louder, or ride the gain of very loud passages in some classical recordings over the years. The compression in an MP3 won't alter the dynamics of a recording, nor will it introduce background hiss, both of which are key to its initial impact being so positive to a bunch of sound engineers used to tape hiss, treble loss and wow and flutter being the main shortcomings of cassette tape, for example.
You have to listen for other problems if you're looking to identify a poorly-encoded MP3. Now coming back to that white noise. It turns out that there are some common musical sounds which do contain something very akin to white noise, something any lossy compression routine struggles with, and it's most commonly heard in cymbals and other metal percussion instruments.
To accurately reproduce these you really need all the bit rate you can get - i. As soon as you get onto MP3 bit-rates you're making a real mess of the hi-hat in a rock track - it smears, sounds like mushy, loses its clarity, how else can I put it? It doesn't sound right, basically, especially once you start to drop the bit rate and squeeze it down into a smaller file size.
Inisfail - The Paul Haslem Consort* - Ancient Moon Rising Sun (CD, Album), Culture Beat DMC Megamix, Im The One Wholl Be By Your Side - Gary Wright - Im The One Wholl Be By Your Side (Vinyl), La Que Quiero Yo - Campeche Show - Como Agua Bendita (CD, Album), You And I - Mu (7) - The Last Album (Vinyl, LP, Album), Cadenze Per Violino Solo - Frank Lind / Anders Åstrand - Pleasant Meeting (CD, Album), Шарада - Мелодия - Популярная Мозаика (Vinyl, LP, Album), Pjesmom Te Ljubim - Vinko Coce - Sve Najbolje (CD), Kots - Stitched Up The Splits (CD, Album), Fat Space Acid (Lsdelicious Mix By Zion Train) - Ashfelt - The Butterfly Chair EP (CD), Face Those Demons - Princess Sharifa - Time Will Tell (CD, Album), Nova Art - Follow Yourself (CD, Album), Mammals - Radiation City - The Hands That Take You (Vinyl, LP, Album)