[f_minor] Remastered GG edition/Balboa

maryellen jensen maryellenjensen28 at hotmail.com
Tue Sep 15 15:47:29 MDT 2015

salut Steve Balboa,

What a stunningly erudite and comprehensive review you have offered to Amazon - and thank you for sending it here to Fminor because I wouldn't have read it had you not done so, I wouldn't have been aware you wrote it. I am looking forward to reading it again and printing it for some friends. I wish I was up to the task of translating it into as elegant an English text as your French is. Of all the 'reviews' I was expecting to read of the new 'GG coffret' I never expected someone like you would come out of the blue with such an extraordinary and wide-ranging piece of writing/analysis/commentary. Mille bravos!

To promote the new GG box set, Radio France Musique has programmed a week long special series:


The first two programmes have disappointed me enormously - all full of the cliches and witless comments of the sort you mentioned in your Amazon review. I wish you were doing the programme instead. Another criticism: only the final 30 minutes of the 'emission' is dedicated to GG, so you must fast-forward the little mauve box manually to approximately '1:30' if you do not wish to listen to the entire "En Pistes!" programme.

If you happen to be anywhere in/near Paris:
"Michael Stegemann, spécialiste de Glenn Gould, 
animera une rencontre musicale autour du pianiste de génie à l'occasion 
de la sortie du coffret intégral Glenn Gould "remastered" 81 CD (et du 
3CD exclu Fnac). Introduction par Philippe Venturini."
FNAC Paris-Ternes  (forum de rencontres niveau 4)
Friday September 25th 2015 at 18:00h 

Thanks again Steve Balboa, what a marvellous 'review',

Mary Jensen

ps I am e-mailing a link to your Amazon review to Olivier Le Borgne at Radio France Musique. Le Borgne features a lot of GG in his programmes.

Date: Mon, 14 Sep 2015 16:43:53 +0000
From: steve.balboa at yahoo.fr
To: f_minor at glenngould.org
Subject: Re: [f_minor] Remastered GG edition

Hi everyone,
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...       "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 ...Afficher sur www.amazon.frAperçu par Yahoo 

     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.RichardOp 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.best regards,KristianOn 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?Regards,RichardOp 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?regards,KristianOn 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
      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.
            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.
            Massachusetts USA
        P.S. Winter finally ended
            and boy am I happy. Off-list I'd be happy to dicuss the
            existence or non-existence of Climate Change, and Whose
            Fault it is.
        What up recently, if
            anything, with lossless digital technologies like FLAC?
                Global Warming, Mozart, Sports, Intergalactic Travel,
                VOLCANOS!!! opera, PIRATES!!! Filth in Extinct Lingos, 
                Integers & BOINC: http://VleeptronZ.blogspot.com/
            Remarkable Older
                Stuph: http://Vleeptron.blogspot.com/

-- /Kristian

-- /Kristian

-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://ff0.org/pipermail/f_minor/attachments/20150915/69469ac2/attachment.html>

More information about the f_minor mailing list