By demonstrating my ignorance, I've learned a lot - thank you Don! Had no
idea the Martinon Nielsen album was from Orch Hall. I assumed nothing was
issued from there post renovation, until much later. They did manage to make
a very effective document, a cult-classic for brass players. What's
surprising is that the renovators could do so much damage in so little time:
mid-June to early October.

I read recently that the Auditorium had been declared impossible by Theodore
Thomas, and that lead to the building of Orchestra Hall, a more
appropriately sized venue as well as better sounding. While the Hall was
loved by audiences and record makers, apparently it was not so hot for the
players. The shallow stage required the orchestra to spread out wide and
thin, making it hard for one side to hear the other. In his biography of
Fritz Reiner, Philip Hart tells the story of the CSO's first visit to
Boston. Symphony Hall was a revelation, the players saying that it was the
first time they understood what a great orchestra they had become. They just
had never heard each other before.

Would be nice to have confirmation of that story. I bet the Temple was a
bear for the players, too, though probably in a totally different way.

-----Original Message-----
From: Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List
[mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Donald Tait
Sent: Sunday, November 04, 2012 2:51 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Medinah Temple

  Both the Dvorak Concerto and its discmate, his Silent Woods (Du
Pre/Barenboim/CSO) -- recorded November 11, 1970, Medinah Temple.

  The first Capitol/EMI CSO session was June 25, 1969. Ozawa. Borodin:
Prince Igor: Polovtsian Dances; Kodaly: Dances from Galanta. Recorded in
Edman Chapel, Wheaton College, Wheaton, Illinois. Not issued, and no other
CSO sessions seem to have been held there. The works were done successfully
at the sessions of June 30 and July 1, 1969 in Medinah. The rest of the
Capitol/EMI sessions took place there, through Giulini's Mahler Symphony 1on
March 30, 1971.

  The CSO's recording venues after the autumn of 1966 are a sad and slightly
complicated story, and this all reflects that. In the summer of 1966 the
Orchestral Association undertook what they described as an "updating" of
Orchestra Hall. Some things needed it, but the acoustics did not.
Nonetheless, the acoustics were severely damaged and the resultant sound was
completely dead. All resonance and reverberation were gone. As someone who
heard the before-and-after, it was shocking. For everyone. Additionally,
what had been one of the finest halls in the country for recording was
rendered useless for it. RCA attempted three sessions there after the
"renovation:" Nielsen Symphony no. 4 (October 10, 1966) and Helios Overture
and Massenet Thais Intermezzo (December 3, 1966, all cond. Martinon) and
March 8, 1967 (Schumann Piano Concerto -- Rubinstein/Giulini). The early
issues, before artificial reverb was added, are acoustically as dead as the
proverbial doornail. An almost shocking change from the formerly great
acoustics and resonance of the empty hall. RCA clearly felt they could no
longer record the CSO there and had to go elsewhere. The first attempt was
at the historic Auditorium Theatre on February 15, 1967 with Morton Gould.
All Ives: Orchestral Set no. 2; Three Places in New England; Robert Browning
Overture. After that RCA moved to Medinah Temple, first on April 26, 1967
with Jean Martinon. The rest of their sessions were held there through May
16, 1968. They reverted to Orchestra Hall for the Ozawa sessions of July 1
and 16 and August 9 -- the last ones under the RCA contract.

  Some of the recordings Carl cited were made in Orchestra Hall before the
mid-1966 acoustical disaster, not in Medinah Temple. I'll include some he
didn't cite as well:

  Morton Gould, Orchestra Hall --

  Ives: Symphony 1 -- November 6, 1965
  Ives: The Unanswered Question -- January 31, 1966
  Ives-Schuman: Variations on "America" -- ditto

  Orchestra Hall, all on June 18, 1966:

  Morton Gould/Benny Goodman, clarinet
  Nielsen: Symphony no. 2
  Nielsen: Clarinet Concerto
  Fred Fischer-Gould: "Chicago, that Toddlin' Town" (Goodman)

  The first Solti/CSO Decca sessions were held in Medinah Temple on March
26, 27, and April 6, 7, 8 1970. 

  Thanks are due to Mike Gray and Steve Smolian, who obtained this
information and sent it to me for a CSO discography that I unfortunately had
to abandon preparing.

  Don Tait




-----Original Message-----
From: Carl Pultz <[log in to unmask]>
To: ARSCLIST <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Sun, Nov 4, 2012 9:29 am
Subject: [ARSCLIST] Medinah Temple

Oh, yeah - I didn't know about that performance. If it has too much star,
I'd blame the producer or artist manager rather than Mr. Taylor. I admire
his work. Was he a contemporary of Frank Abbey? He - they - others? - were
early on really into purist stereo, using various coincident and M/S pickups
on Stokowski projects and the Cello Galaxy album.

I read years ago that an engineer discovered the trick for Medinah Temple of
micing way up in the ceiling to pick up a meaty reverberance. That must have
helped to blend together the many spot mics that are evident on most all
projects made there. IIRC, it was credited to a Decca guy working on the
first Solti records around 1969, and everybody else copied it. But, the
first crews in there were RCA, I think, and they also made it work (ie.
Nielsen 2&4, Ives 1, etc). The EMIs I've heard achieve a more homogeneous,
more distant sound, better to my taste than the others.

The Taylor/CSO session I'd most like to hear remastered is the Lutoslawski
Concerto for Orchestra. That is mind-blowing. The Angel LP (S-36045 c/w
Janacek Sinfonietta and a nice piece by R.C. Marsh about the sessions) gives
a hint, but a HMV Concert Classics DMM pressing gets us closer. Worth
seeking out ED 29 0134 1 if that music hasn't already been put out on silver
drink coasters. Gathering from that evidence, the first EMI dates were in
1969. What's the date on the Dvorak?

-----Original Message-----
From: Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List
[mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Tom Fine
Sent: Sunday, November 04, 2012 7:02 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] CDJAPAN has remastered Barbirolli

I got the DuPre Dvorak recording from HDTracks:
(I bought it during one of their frequent 15% off sales)

It sounds marginally more clear and "weighty" vs. the CD reissue from the
90's. This recording was 
done by Carson Taylor, who did many of the U.S. classical recordings for
EMI/Angel/Capitol in those 
days. Taylor put a coicident stereo mic down at cello level and out in front
of it, so the cello is 
very forward and on its own, to my ears. I think a cellist would love this
approach, but a listener 
wanting to hear the whole musical product may prefer the cello better
blended with the orchestra. 
This way, you hear the vibrating strings and wood very clearly, plus the bow
strokes. But that then 
diverts your attention somewhat from what the orchestra is doing. In this
recording, it also sounds 
like the cello is in a different sound-field from the rest of the orchestra,
because the Medinah 
Temple is reverberant and Taylor put most of his orchestra mics at more
distance than the cello 
mics. I know this because I have photos taken during the recording session.

-- Tom Fine