From: Tom Fine <[log in to unmask]>
> BTW, no doubt the Rach 2nd on that old RCA LP is the electronic recording.
> The timing is slightly different from the acoustic version on the CD and
> some of the playing is different, but remarkably similar interpretations,
> I guess Rach and Skoki liked how they did it the first time. I thought the
> instrumentation was clever on both versions, working around a limited
> medium to get the point across clearly. -- Tom Fine
I could have (and should have) told you that LCT-1014 was the electrical
because I have it, and that RCA never issued the acoustical version on
microgroove (incomplete, of course) until the box series "The Complete
Rachmaninoff". You never did identify the 1992 CD with the acoustical
-- is it RCA from the box set or a pirate issue -- and whether side
three is the newly found acoustical or the segment from the electrical.
I am not so sure about whether it was Rach and Stoki liking the original
recording as much as the fact that Rach performed this in concert more
than 100 times and HE knew how he wanted to play it. But remember,
LCT-1014 like all the microgroove issues of the electrical are NOT from
the approved M (Master) takes but from the secondary HC (Hold
Conditional)takes. You are not really hearing the takes that Rach
really preferred. For that you have to go to the Ward Marston reissue
CD or Mark Obert-Thorn's Naxos issue. These are the only issues of the
approved takes since the scroll label pre-war pressings.
When I discovered the substitution and the forged paperwork at BMG my
feeling was that there was not all that much difference among the takes
other than perhaps a bit more precision, most obviously on side ten. A
review I came across yesterday when I was looking for the issue numbers
makes a statement that there is an interesting comparison between the
two sets of takes of the 1929 electrical recording by Jonathan Yungkans.
No mention of a comparison with the acoustical version from five years
earlier is given. This is from the review of the Biddulph of the
alternate takes from my sets transferred by Mark, and he also reviews
the Naxos Mark did on the same page.
"The alternate and original takes are similar in general approach.
However, numerous details arise that accrue to a substantially different
performance – not really better than the approved takes, but with
altered weights and measures – more impetuous in some spots and looser
in others. Playing this disc and the Naxos side by side, I was amazed
how the changes added up. Since Rachmaninov re-recorded very little of
his music, this disc becomes a doubly-fascinating document, as well as a
rare glimpse into the composer’s mind."
Mike Biel [log in to unmask]