The funny thing is, listen to the tempos being established by most of the "bright" tuners and all
the sharp notes in the world couldn't make those lag-fests exciting! Meanwhile, one of the ancient
music on ancient instruments crowd that tuned flat (I assume because they were using ancient
instruments that couldn't hold A=440 tuning) took off at an invigorating pace and likely put down an
exciting if ill-tuned performance (I transferred a bunch of those ancient music on ancient
instruments recordings for a collector, and still cringe at the thought of how often the ensemble
was out of tune to each other because those relics couldn't hold tuning for more than a few notes).
Beethoven's 3rd is supposed to stir the soul. Crisp but not racehorse pacing, dramatic dynamics and
a conductor with a clear vision are all necessary.
By the way, Beethoven fans, it's worth checking out the recent recordings by the Minnesota Orchestra
and Osmo Vanska. That man moves the music right along and gets superb playing out of his musicians.
They also have done some wonderful Sibelius recordings, one of which won a Grammy in 2014. It's very
refreshing to hear a relatively young conductor harkening back to the quicker tempos of the best
"golden age" conductors.
-- Tom Fine
----- Original Message -----
From: "Richard L. Hess" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Tuesday, May 05, 2015 10:26 AM
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] A-440, was speaking of pitch
> Tom, I think it was briefly touched on in this thread but even if not, I recall hearing that there
> was a sense of sharp=brighter (or perhaps more exciting).
> On 2015-05-05 10:15 AM, Tom Fine wrote:
>> Richard, I agree. Even in the tape era (where we can assume some level
>> of competence vis-a-vis speed/pitch on recording and playback -- but not
>> always), there is a wide range of pitching. I don't understand why the
>> German and Austrian orchestras sometimes tuned sharp. Why? What is the
>> basis of that concept?
>> -- Tom Fine
>> ----- Original Message ----- From: "Richard L. Hess"
>> <[log in to unmask]>
>> To: <[log in to unmask]>
>> Sent: Tuesday, May 05, 2015 10:05 AM
>> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] A-440, was speaking of pitch
>>> I agree, Steve, and so noted that in the original message, but my
>>> assumption (which could be incorrect) was that the compilers of the
>>> video might have used restored recordings which, hopefully, had been
>>> properly pitched by the restorer...I know we've been discussing that
>>> is not always the case.
>>> Even if we throw out the pre-1950 recordings to eliminate the "78"
>>> ambiguity, it is still quite startling.
>>> On 2015-05-05 9:43 AM, Steve Smolian wrote:
>>>> Many 78s were recorded at speeds above and, more often, below 78.26.
>>>> This wild card makes such comparisons questionable.
>>>> Steve Smolian
>>>> -----Original Message----- From: Richard L. Hess Sent: Tuesday, May 05,
>>>> 2015 9:18 AM To: [log in to unmask] Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST]
>>>> A-440, was speaking of pitch
>>>> Getting back on topic, my son Robert, the music student, passed on this
>>>> link to me--I don't think that I had mentioned this thread but we had
>>>> been talking about variations in recordings (specifically in regards to
>>>> Dvorak's New World Symphony (9th now after renumbering)).
>>>> So here are the opening chords of Beethoven's Eroica (3rd) Symphony,
>>>> recorded between 1924 and 2011.
>>>> And here is a similar compilation of a short section from Stravinsky's
>>>> Rite of Spring from 1921-2010
>>>> Yes, I know that the recording technology influences the pitch as much
>>>> as the actual playing, but, overall, I think these two are very
>>>> informative peeks into the degree of variation considered "normal."
>>>> The first Toscanini performance of the Beethoven really shows off the
>>>> dry acoustic of what I assume to be Studio 8H at 30 Rock...and perhaps
>>>> why, in 20/20 hindsight, it wasn't such a good idea, though it seemed
>>>> to make sense at the time.
>>>> As an aside, my friend the late Dr. Gerre Hancock, after bringing the
>>>> choir of Men and Boys from St. Thomas Church to ABC TV-2 studio on W
>>>> 66th Street in NYC for a holiday season appearance on "Good Morning
>>>> America" asked me why I built studios that sounded like "pillow
>>>> Get out your tuners or pitch pipes and enjoy! If you have perfect pitch
>>>> and are offended easily, please don't listen <smile>.
>>> Richard L. Hess email: [log in to unmask]
>>> Aurora, Ontario, Canada 647 479 2800
>>> Quality tape transfers -- even from hard-to-play tapes.
> Richard L. Hess email: [log in to unmask]
> Aurora, Ontario, Canada 647 479 2800
> Quality tape transfers -- even from hard-to-play tapes.