[f_minor] Remastered GG edition
steve.balboa at yahoo.fr
Mon Sep 14 10:43:53 MDT 2015
I wrote a review on amazon.fr about this remastered edition, which might interest you. Unfortunately, my english is far too bad to translate it to you properly. Hope you can read french ! Best regards,S. Balboa. "Un jeune pianiste canadien inconnu du grand..." a review of: The complete columbia album...
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| "Un jeune pianiste canadien inconnu du grand..." a revie...S. Balboa "molotov" says: Il est très fréquent, particulièrement dans le monde de la musique, que les légendes et les rumeurs finissent par recouvrir une œuvre, au ... |
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Le Jeudi 10 septembre 2015 12h49, Richard de Waard <mail at rdewaard.nl> a écrit :
The collection is already on iTunes. You can listen to parts of tracks there.
Op 9 sep. 2015 om 20:57 heeft Kristian Johansson <destept.kristian at gmail.com> het volgende geschreven:
The book that comes with this box-set looks very interesting and is to me a factor in whether or not to buy it. Having all the original LP-covers (in CD-format!) is another reason, even if one needs a magnifying glass to read the text on them.
But in the end it will to me come down to how much the sound quality has improved after remastering. I would be very interested to know where to find some samples of the remastered tracks.
On Wed, Sep 9, 2015 at 12:06 PM, Richard de Waard <mail at rdewaard.nl> wrote:
I was wondering what your experiences are since it was released. I just listened to the remastered c minor partita but did not notice a huge sound difference.
Are there other reasons why anyone with a reasonable big GG music library should buy this?
Op 31 mei 2015 om 18:20 heeft Kristian Johansson <destept.kristian at gmail.com> het volgende geschreven:
I find it incredible pleasing that Sony has decided to produce this new edition. First of all I hope that there will be a significant improvement in sound quality. Not that I personally have much to complain about in that respect with the current issues, but if engineers can use modern sound technique to improve it by working directly from the master-tapes that would be wonderful. I am leaving aside the discussion regarding what a better sound really is, since that is mainly up to each ones individual taste, how much noise-reduction should be used, etc. I hope there will be some hi-quality samples to download from Sonys site or elsewhere for everyone to judge themselves about the sound quality.I thought that the DSD-technique was only used for SACD-production, but this new release will be on regular CDs, or am I wrong?
Secondly, the fact that Sony deems it economically viable to produce this edition means that there must be a large new public still interested in Gould and his recordings and that in itself is nice to know. For people who recently have become seriously interested in the recordings of Gould, this must be the one edition to buy. Perhaps the younger generation will be content with, or even prefer, to have access to the streamed music. Much has been said (not on this forum as far as I remember) about the demise of CD-records, but new comprehensive editions like this one, Karajan 60s, 70s.. Perahia 40 years etc, continue to be released, so the record companies must still make money from them. Apparently many people, myself included, still value the item.But to people like myself who already bought all the recordings from previous releases, I guess weather buying the new edition or not will come down to not only the question about improved sound, but also what the 416-page book that comes with it will offer. The introduction by Kevin Bazzana and rare photos that are mentioned on the Amazon UK site are factors that make this new release very interesting and tempting to me at least.
One would hope there will be some bonus material added. But unfortunately as far as I can see there are none. Probably it's more complicated than I imagine, but I would love to see some outtakes from any recording session included. The New Listener CD-ROM, if anyone remembers that, came with a couple of different takes from the a-minor fugue from WTC I, so to me it does not seem totally unrealistic to see a couple of outtakes also with a comprehensive edition like the one now planned by Sony.
The pricing of the USB version seems strange to me. Would anybody pay significantly more for an issue on USB only? Does anybody know on what format the music will be on the USB-version? And if the book then will be included only as a pdf-version?
On Wed, May 13, 2015 at 12:12 AM, Jörgen Lundmark <jorgen.lundmark at mypost.se> wrote:
Very interesting comments on sound quality, Robert. Something Gould himself no doubt thought a lot about.
I have to say though that your own example of Caruso makes the idea of sound-improvement valid. If you compare the original 78s with the very best (most sensitively made) digital remasterings I'd be very surprised if most listeners wouldn't agree upon the superiority of the latter. I wouldn't say it's a question of trying to achieve something that was not there in the first place. It's not a question of making perfect, but making the original shine the best it possibly can. And since we are dealing with technologies that has been improving over the years -- you can show that say the best modern microphone is better equipped to register sound than the equivalent produced 50 years ago for example -- this is not a question of wishful thinking.
Now, this is not the same as saying that every new edition is better than the previous one. In popular music you have the stupid idea of increasing the mean volume by reducing the dynamics; in classical music too many releases of historical recordings sound lifeless because the background noise has been too severely cut. It's a question of sensitivity and knowledge by the person making the remastering. There are many excellent examples of contemporary remasterings that do sound better than previous editions: "Horowitz at Carnegie Hall", Karajan's 1960s Beethoven edition and his Mahler 5th to name three examples. And of course there are several other examples that is actually less impressive.
The very idea of improving something digitally is I would say is very much in Gould's spirit. Changing the original -- ignoring the "sacred" original -- was something he approved of. Since I prefer Gould to stay Gouldian I wouldn't want producers to go that far. But if they can manage to bring me closer to the original masters I would be very happy. What that constitutes is of course open to debate. Sound quality is sometimes a tricky area to agree upon.
This brings us back to a persistent theme in GG's art and pychology: perfectionism. His retreat from the concert stage and advance into the studio, with its technical wizardry, were his declaration of making perfectionism a central virtue of what he wanted to achieve. I've grumbled before that IMHO, sterility is the unavoidable handmaiden of perfectionism. To achieve the perfect requires the loss of spontaneity, risk, daring, thrill -- like crossing Niagara on a guaranteed solid bridge with sturdy handrails rather than a tightrope. So 33 years after he died, many of us still long and dream for an even more perfect edition of his keyboard work. Although they, too, were ear art produced by the same brain/spirit and the same fingers, it's interesting that nobody ever asks for audio-improved "more perfect" re-masterings of the radio documentaries. It's facile to say, "Well, one was keyboard music, the other was dialogue montage." One of my thrills in recorded music is early capturings of great talents. I have two editions of the first RCA Caruso sessions, both in 33 1/3 LP vinyl. The first was RCA/Camden (NJ)'s "standard" lavishing of state-of-the-art analog technology. (Caruso "made" RCA's phonograph; before his voice came out of the sound horn, the public had only mild curiosity about this new arcade gimmick. I think RCA paid the unknown Italian $25 to sing about 12 songs.) The second, issued soon after, was the Stockham Soundstream version -- the first digital remastering of any music, the pioneering effort of the technology that soon nearly completely took over the recorded music industry, and nearly extincted the vinyl analog system. Digitizing Caruso produced no miracles by itself. But Thomas Stockham had analyzed the Caruso recordings and concluded that much or most of the squawk and noise and hiss weren't due to old age or 80 years of dust in the cylinder grooves, but due to the acoustic characteristics of "shouting" and pointing accompanying instruments into the giant sound collection horn in the era before electric/electronic microphones. (The horn mechanically wiggled the groove-cutting needle.) This collection-horn trouble could be identified and filtered out mathematically by computer. The result "jumped" Caruso several decades toward the era of sensitive electric/electronic microphones -- from Caruso's recording tech to Billie Holiday's electric/electronic microphone tech. Suddenly modern ears can hear what all the gossip and buzz about Enrico Caruso was all about. It ain't perfect -- still lots of crude squawk and hiss and noise -- but Stockham had rescued the lost spirit, the emotion, the concert thrill of Caruso circa 1903. The whole issue of what makes a perfect or an aesthetically valuable recording, or what truly best represents a performing artist, is very under-discussed and under-thought-out. Some treasures are not rendered "better" by applying new popophonic dysenstereo 36-bit 12-channel audio techno. Their value or treasure had been there from the first, courtesy of the performers themselves. I guess another way of saying this -- I started buying GG stuph around 1971 -- is I never heard a GG recording I didn't like. And never yearned for a new remastering that would technologically "improve" the old recording and make me love it more. I've bought and had Happy Thought about new editions, but the magic was in the recordings I first heard, the magic hasn't been improved since. Bob
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