Regarding Karl's message, all pre-war (WWII) Boston Symphony (and Pops)
recordings were indeed made in Symphony Hall. The only exception was Harris's
Symphony 1933, recorded live by Columbia in Carnegie Hall in early 1934.
I don't have complete information and other may know more. However, the
reason for the lack of reverberation on the pre-1940 or so Boston recordings
seems to be that the rehearsal curtain in Symphony Hall was drawn for the
sessions. It was routinely used to cut down the immense reverberation in the hall when
it was empty. Beginning with the Koussevitzky sessions in November 1944,
Victor seems to have worked without that deadening influence. (When there was an
audience, Symphony Hall was and is ideal. Either Richard Mohr or John Pfeiffer
of RCA Victor were quoted somewhere as saying during the 1950s nor '60s that
the two finest halls for recording in the USA were Symphony Hall when full or
Chicago's Orchestra Hall when empty. The latter changed with the disastrous
renovation of 1966, which essentially wrecked Orchestra Hall as a listening or
On Mon, 3 Apr 2006, Goran Finnberg wrote:
> Which makes the practice of adding echo after the recording highly
> dubious for classical music as you´re correct that the tempo is set by
> how long the ambience is in the room where the recording was done.
I agree. It really does become something else. But then I wonder...were
the preLP Boston Symphony Orchestra recordings made in Symphony
Hall...with its acoustic, yet recorded with such a dry sound. The NBC
Symphony in 8 H was one thing, but I do wonder...
I am reminded of some of the Dutton Boston Symphony Transfers with the
added reverb...it all sounds so unnatural, or is it that I am used to
listening to it with a dry acoustic.