[f_minor] Remastered GG edition

maryellen jensen maryellenjensen28 at hotmail.com
Tue May 12 14:12:33 MDT 2015

I repeat here my reply to Anita:

"chère Anita,

>From what I understand you have most of Gould's Columbia Masterworks LPs, you've got no worries. If I owned the LPs I wouldn't buy the digital anything.
 Keep listening to your albums; I reckon you've already understood that.
 I find one or two of them from time to time at a Salvation Army or even
 thrown out onto the street in a box with LPs of Schnabel, but it's 
quite rare and I always look upon it as a gift from the Gods of Music. 
Almost as good as adopting an abandonned cat which decided to hide in my
 garden until it could find a trusted friend..."

 I can truly say that when the stylus makes contact with the LP I am ready for the music - the music which will take me to somewhere I never expected to go... 


From: bobmerk at earthlink.net
To: f_minor at glenngould.org
Date: Tue, 12 May 2015 14:33:53 -0400
Subject: Re: [f_minor] Remastered GG edition

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 
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 
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 
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?

News, Global 
Warming, Mozart, Sports, Intergalactic Travel, sausages, 
VOLCANOS!!! opera, 
PIRATES!!! Filth in Extinct Lingos, 
Big Integers & 
BOINC: http://VleeptronZ.blogspot.com/
Remarkable Older Stuph: http://Vleeptron.blogspot.com/

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