I have been following this thread with great interest over the past few days. I have a couple of questions regarding specific reissue series, put forward on the chance that one of you might know something about these recordings.
First, EMI’s and then Warner’s use of the cash cow that was once called Maria Callas. Quite a lot of attention was paid in the musical community to the first two series of releases, with the apparent consensus that the first issues of her extensive catalog (1980s Dutch pressings, mostly) were substantially superior to a second release, completely repackaged and released in the late 90s. To my ears, at least, the latter sounded significantly poorer in reproduction values and were carelessly assembled. Finally comes the ownership transfer, and Warner issues a great big red box entitled “Maria Callas: Remastered, the Complete Studio Recordings (1949–1969).” These are also now being released as individual sets. Warner goes to great lengths to support its superior transfers. Andrew Cornall is cited as the “èminence grise,” behind the whole remastering effort. Of the engineers, Allan Ramsay (team leader), Ian Jones, Simon Gibson, and Andrew Waller are given credit. The work was done at Abbey Road Studios and seems to have been executed initially as an EMI initiative which Warner then picked up. A quite lengthy explanation is given as to the process undertaken to obtain definitive results for these seminal interpretations. High-definition remastering and Retouch technology was employed, original analog tapes where possible.
Finally! my question: If any of you have heard any of these releases and are familiar with the technical personnel, or earlier transfers, do yo agree that a significant improvement has been made to the Callas recorded legacy?
Second, Sony Classics made a big deal several years ago of releasing remastered versions of all the Haydn symphonies Max Goberman recorded before his untimely death in 1962. These recordings were made using 3 track setups, and Sony says it went back to those 3 track masters whenever they could be found deep in the Sony Archives. To my ears, very few of these 3 track masters appear to have made it to the 3 track mix for CD. Symphony no. 92 is one that did. In many instances, there appear to have been no masters at all, and Sony used LP recordings from the original release on Goberman’s self-financed Library of Recorded Masterpieces to make the new transfers. Columbia made new LP transfers in the late 60s which were roundly condemned for their poor sound quality. James North (an ARSC member in good standing) supplied the original LPs to replace the missing Sony masters. No where in the literature, or from James North himself, is there any identification of the analog source for each of the 45 symphonies, which certainly vary in sonic quality.
Last question: Do any of you know some of the inside story on these transfers? North has kept mum except for an article he penned that provided no further information on masters used for the release.
This is a very long email and please accept my apologies for the reading time it has taken anyone who is able to shed light on these two questions, or refer me to literature that does—I’ve made a fairly extensive search myself.
> On Jul 26, 2017, at 9:55 AM, Richard L. Hess <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> Thanks, John!
> It was fun doing the review!
> Jamie, I don't think Dupré capitalized the "p" in his name.
> On 2017-07-25 9:57 PM, John Haley wrote:
>> Richard Hess did a bang-up job of reviewing those DuPre recordings in the
>> ARSCJ--see Spring, 2016.
> Richard L. Hess email: [log in to unmask]
> Aurora, Ontario, Canada 647 479 2800
> Quality tape transfers -- even from hard-to-play tapes.