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ARSCLIST  November 2014

ARSCLIST November 2014

Subject:

Re: Recording technology

From:

Michael Shoshani <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Tue, 18 Nov 2014 08:13:16 -0600

Content-Type:

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On 11/17/2014 21:24, Paul Stamler wrote:
> On 11/17/2014 7:30 PM, Tom Fine wrote:
>> Also today, the
>> market is flooded with junk, b- and c-list orchestras recording on the
>> cheap for the likes of Naxos. None of it appeals at all when compared to
>> the great recordings from the "golden age." It's the Wal-Marting of
>> classical music, if you will. Just like journalism, just like book
>> authoring, music-making and recording are crafts. When there is not
>> money and time to allow for craftsmanship, record companies and
>> consumers (and what used to be called newspaper readers, and book
>> buyers) get what they are willing to pay for.
>
> Again I agree; most of the modern conductors I've heard are pallid
> compared to the Reiners and Munches of my youth. I invite you to hear
> one exception, though: David Robertson. I heard him conduct Beethoven 9
> in 2013, and it gave me the same tingle the Reiner recording always has.
> And he kicks serious butt on Stravinsky -- he plays it with passion,
> while most moderns aeem afraid to get their hair mussed up.
>

I'll tell you what's been an interesting exercise for me of late, which 
sort of veers off the scope of ARSCList a bit because this is more 
broadcast than commercial recording territory.

I have one or two programs to play internet radio on my laptop as well 
as a standalone wifi receiver, and some of the biggest sources of decent 
classical music - some concert performances, some recorded for broadcast 
under studio conditions - are the various government-run public 
broadcasters overseas.

Just off the top of my head, radio broadcasters in Denmark, France, 
Italy, and Germany maintain at least one full symphonic house orchestra. 
I know there must be more, but I'm not going to look them all up. The 
BBC maintains at least two concert orchestras, one in London and one in 
Cardiff that I know of. They all play everything from timeless classics 
to avant-garde and newly commissioned works, usually in a pleasing 
manner if not overly individual in style.

You aren't going to get the trademark signatures that let the expert 
listener distinguish Toscanini from Sargent within a few bars, for 
example, but they are for the most part well performed and well 
recorded. Or sound well recorded given the various bitrates and 
compression schemes necessary to transmit in realtime over the internet. 
No doubt they sound better in their native FM radio broadcasts, but one 
takes what one can get.

Michael Shoshani
Chicago

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