The recording environment gives the musicians the opportunity to idealize their interpretation.  Any technical slip can easily be fixed so the recorded performance is flawless.  Some people see this as a lack of spontenaity but that's nonsense.  No author writing a book would leave a typo in the book simply because that's the way it got typed the first time.  With the tools which are available today, recordings from sessions, (or combination live/session), will be exactly what the musician intended.


On Tuesday, November 18, 2014 10:34 AM, Tom Fine <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

The small boutique labels probably work on a shoestring budget with second-tier non-union orchestras 
and conductors willing to work for 1/10th of what Karajan got. It's doable, but certainly not easy. 
There are a lot of well-trained musicians in eastern Europe and Asia. Notice that big orchestras 
like the LSO and Chicago have gotten into releasing their own recordings (mostly just concert 
recordings, but occasionally a real-deal produced classical recording somewhat akin to what used to 
be done). My own taste does not favor any of this stuff to the best "golden age" recordings. I don't 
need "new" when it's not "better."

Don, you are wrong about musicians playing "better" live, not if they're good musicians. Perhaps 
today, orchestral players have so few opportunities to do real recording sessions that they don't 
know how to do them anymore. But, back in the "golden age," both the best orchestras and the most 
successfully-recorded conductors were very clear on the fact that a recording session is different 
from a live performance and were very good at the kind of super-precise and quick-on-the-draw 
music-making that is required for successful recordings. Live concerts can be more sloppy because of 
audience enthusiasm. They tend not to hold up as well to repeated listening outside of the live 
venue. A great recording is closer to perfection as far as each note being rendered correctly within 
the larger context of the music. Conductors like Dorati, Reiner, Szell and Solti (coincidentally, 
all Hungarians, and there were many other "golden age" conductors of other nationalities who made 
long-loved recordings) really understood this and made many great recordings.

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Don Cox" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Tuesday, November 18, 2014 10:34 AM
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Recording technology

> On 18/11/2014, Tom Fine wrote:
>> Find a top-rate orchestra in a good acoustic space, get some serious
>> funding to restore the vintage equipment (last I checked, Schoeps
>> wants several thousand dollars per mic to factory-restore M201's, and
>> they can't guarantee results since they have no original parts on
>> hand; Steve Jackson at Pulse Techniques can make near-clones of the
>> Pultec preamps for several thousand dollars per channel), gather up a
>> whole bunch of digital gear to test, and we're ready to roll, just for
>> the feasibility-testing stage though! I won't hold my breath. ;)
>> Seriously, I thought about this at one point and came up with a $25k
>> budget just to get started, just for gear and gear restoration (figure
>> several multiples of that to pay a producer/editor, recording engineer
>> and mastering engineer). Maybe 10-15 albums per year, at a cost of
>> about $15k per album factoring in travel costs, and then add more for
>> manufacturing of the end product (which is what? single CDs? they're
>> supposedly toxic to profits in the classical business. SACDs? can't
>> live on sales of a few thousand units. downloads? what format? how
>> will you market them?), marketing, etc. There is no classical
>> recording business plan except a crazy rich patron that works for that
>> kind of craftsmanship today.
> I wonder how companies such as CPO or BIS manage to finance their steady
> stream of issues of single CDs of often little-known orchestral works.
> Regards
> -- 
> Don Cox
> [log in to unmask]