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ARSCLIST  August 2017

ARSCLIST August 2017

Subject:

Re: classical music LPs to CDs

From:

David Lewis <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

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

Date:

Thu, 10 Aug 2017 09:27:15 -0400

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (90 lines)

Dennis is right in that among the majors stereo recordings were preferred
over mono for reissues until relatively late in the CD era, and even then
mono recordings took kind of a backseat to stereo. If you had a
conductor-work combination in both mono and stereo you'd take the stereo
even if the performance was inferior. Everyone here understands where this
convention falls on its face -- I have a Mercury Living Presence CD of
Kubelik in "Ma Vlast" that sounds so great that you'd never know it was in
mono unless you were told about it or read it on the liner. But that was
the thinking.

Vault losses are heavy among the minor labels of the 50s.
Counterpoint/Esoteric was lost in the Northridge Earthquake; the Don Gabor
masters were seized and taken to an FBI lockup, where they were apparently
discarded; the Eli Oberstein masters were sold to Cy Walter around 1960 and
acquired -- and presumably discarded -- by Polygram in the late 1970s.

Some majors have suffered from periodic toss outs. While staffers at Warner
will tell you that they've never lost anything, the domestic Nonesuch label
of the 1970s appears to missing some tapes amd I know of at least one
instance where a Nonesuch master of that era could not be located. I have
never seen, for example, any of the 1970s Accademia Monteverdiana releases
on CD and have taken to finding these on LP (I do an early music radio show
now) which is fine generally for the 70s but once you get into the 80s you
encounter ticky surfaces on Warner's LPs which is a problem in a capella
vocal music. Most of the early digital LPs from any company sound wretched,
in my opinion.

Haydn Society was folded into Vanguard very early. As mono recordings most
of those were never reissued, but they still exist in the holdings of the
Welk Group, unless that company has changed hands, in which case I don't
know. Most of the stereo Vanguard classical material was reissued in the
90s when an Australian company (whose name escapes me at the moment) owned
both Vanguard Classics (not the pop) and Everest. Not everything appeared
-- VCS 10013 Harold Farberman "Charles Ives Orchestral Works" was never
reissued; a pity as I've not found a vinyl copy not riddled with ticks
owing to a faulty mastering job.

Umusic owns Westminster and a small number of re-releases from that company
have trickled out since the late 1990s. All of the Scherchen ones have
appeared on TAHRA. There is an Italian label now that uses the Urania name
but the recordings that they reissue are mostly from elsewhere. Bear in
mind that a lot of the classical releases that appeared on cheap labels in
the 50s (and Nonesuch through about 1971) were the result of limited
licensing agreements with European companies. Some of these may well have
appeared on CD in Europe, but not here, or on labels far removed from what
they appeared on in the 50s. I recently found a treasurable Period LP of
Prokofiev recordings, all made within a year of so of the composer's death:
the First Piano Concerto with Richter and Kondrashin, the Third with Alfred
Brendel (!) and the Fifth Sonata with Hans Graf. The Richter has been on CD
numerous times, and is probably included in that monster Richter box set
Polygram issued in the mid-90s, but the Brendel is totally new to me and
with Hans Graf your guess is as good as mine as to where it originated, and
where it is now.

best,

Uncle Dave Lewis
Sperryville, VA

On Thu, Aug 10, 2017 at 12:55 AM, Paul Stamler <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> On 8/9/2017 6:06 PM, Gary A. Galo wrote:
>
>> As a hard-core Furtwanger collector, I can tell you that virtually
>> everything - studio and live - had been issued on CD, usually multiple
>> times over. And, it hasn't stopped yet.
>>
>
> On the other hand certain lines don't seem to have been reissued on CD at
> all -- for instance, the cheap albums available on Plymouth, or Remington,
> or Colosseum in the early 1950s. We had a lot of those back then.
>
> And have the Vanguard Everyman LPs been reissued on CD? How about the
> discs on Westminster that were reissued on 1960s cut-price LPs?
>
> There were a *lot* of classical LPs in the 50s. Just looking at the charts
> for playback curves reminds me of some long-lost labels -- what happened to
> Urania Records, or Haydn Society for that matter?
>
> Tracing what became of the 1950s labels (and their master tapes) might
> make a nice article for the ARSC Journal.
>
> Peace,
> Paul
>
> ---
> This email has been checked for viruses by Avast antivirus software.
> https://www.avast.com/antivirus
>

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