Author Topic: Recordings That You Are Considering  (Read 2219602 times)

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Offline Mandryka

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Re: Recordings That You Are Considering
« Reply #16020 on: December 26, 2020, 06:09:20 AM »
Some of the music is really really complicated in Iberia in Bk 4 especially. I'd say that anyone comparing samples would be well advised to listen to those difficult pieces, like Lavapies. As far as Laroccha is concerned there is a consensus I think about her best recorded performance -- the 1954 Hispavox. I worked hard to get an acceptable transfer, but it still sounds unsatisfactory. Years and years since I last thought about the music, but I remember that I had many stimulating recordings which provided lots of fun: Querol comes to mind as being a perennial source of pleasure, not at all romantic, food for mind and soul as it were.
« Last Edit: December 26, 2020, 06:16:58 AM by Mandryka »
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Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Recordings That You Are Considering
« Reply #16021 on: December 26, 2020, 07:04:09 AM »


I like what I sampled of this. I only have a Martinon set (coupled with Ravel) but the sound has always been a problem on top of my response to this music over the years. Somehow, now, I liked those random samples on that Naxos, clear sound and melodic. Only £11.65 as FLAC on Qobuz.



Considering this one very much for sound quality and clarity too and surprisingly loved the samples (Ruled out Gieseking, old sound puts me off, Ruled out Ciccolini, too much reverb in the sound). I only have a couple of Michelangeli's on the shelf, looking for a modern recording set to explore further.

Any other alternatives to consider please ?

Not in the market for any full collection or Edition (DG, Warner or other). I would not have enough appetite for songs etc, so i'd rather cherry pick recordings that hit the mark in their own section.

I have the Naxos set of ‘complete’ orchestral works, which really amounts to loads of arrangements of solo piano works. Debussy didn’t actually compose that many orchestral works and I’m more interested in the ones that he intended for orchestra, but the Naxos set does offer a glimpse into the scenario of ‘what if’ he had composed more orchestral music. The main orchestral works in that set are better performed elsewhere, IMHO. If you don’t own any of Boulez’s Debussy, then don’t hesitate and jump on it. His later DG remakes are just as good as his earlier Sony ones and since the fidelity is important to you, then the DG recordings should be right up your alley. As for the piano music, I just can’t get into Bavouzet’s Debussy recordings. There’s something missing in the performances and I haven’t quite put my finger on what that something is, but perhaps a certain magic. Two pianists you can’t go wrong in the solo piano works are Paul Jacobs and Zoltan Kocsis. These two pianists are my top choices. Some other favorite Debussy pianists: Momo Kodama, Youri Egorov and Aldo Ciccolini.
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Offline Madiel

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Re: Recordings That You Are Considering
« Reply #16022 on: December 26, 2020, 01:42:07 PM »
Some of the music is really really complicated in Iberia in Bk 4 especially. I'd say that anyone comparing samples would be well advised to listen to those difficult pieces, like Lavapies. As far as Laroccha is concerned there is a consensus I think about her best recorded performance -- the 1954 Hispavox. I worked hard to get an acceptable transfer, but it still sounds unsatisfactory. Years and years since I last thought about the music, but I remember that I had many stimulating recordings which provided lots of fun: Querol comes to mind as being a perennial source of pleasure, not at all romantic, food for mind and soul as it were.

Is Hispavox really 1954? I've seen different things, some claiming her first complete version was around 1962 and others saying 1958-9.

There is a version re-released relatively recently (saying 1962 and Hispavox on a couple of sites), and that's the one that is said to be the 1st of 3, but I've yet to listen to any samples to check out sound quality.
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Offline Mandryka

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Re: Recordings That You Are Considering
« Reply #16023 on: December 26, 2020, 02:33:37 PM »
Is Hispavox really 1954? I've seen different things, some claiming her first complete version was around 1962 and others saying 1958-9.

There is a version re-released relatively recently (saying 1962 and Hispavox on a couple of sites), and that's the one that is said to be the 1st of 3, but I've yet to listen to any samples to check out sound quality.

I expect you are right, and I’m also sure that the Larrocha discography is a terrible rabbit hole nightmare. In fact the one I meant, the one I transferred is not Hispavox after all but Columbia. Here’s a discography which I found.

http://larrocha-discography.blogspot.com/


Quote
Iberia (Four Books)
1st Version
(1958) LP: Hispavox HH 10-76/77
Reissue:
(1959) LP: Columbia M2L-268 / Columbia ML 5466/5467
(1950s) LP: Vega C30-A-222/223 (France)
(2013) SACD: Praga Digitals PRD/DSD 350 090 (?)



But I don’t want to get involved in the discographical nitty gritty because I remember the headaches I had with it all in 2011 (which was the last time I listened to the music  :o ) But if you want me to let you have my transfers of what I think is the Columbia, I will do.

For what it’s worth I made this comment about it on Nov 30 2011, and I haven’t heard it since.

Quote
I think Larrocha plays the work with great awe in this recording, as
if she only recently discovered its depths.
« Last Edit: December 26, 2020, 02:42:10 PM by Mandryka »
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Offline Madiel

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Re: Recordings That You Are Considering
« Reply #16024 on: December 26, 2020, 03:03:02 PM »
Thanks, I’ll just have a listen online to the one that’s currently available (Alto label).
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Offline Madiel

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Re: Recordings That You Are Considering
« Reply #16025 on: December 26, 2020, 03:29:22 PM »
Ah. I think I now understand that there are 3 stereo versions (the first from 1962), and then there's the late 1950s version but that's mono.

So it's the 1962 version that is readily available and which I've read some positive things about (though really I've read positive things about all of them).

EDIT: Comparing 1962 to 1987 is very interesting. For sheer excitement, 1962 is really something. In pretty decent sound. Haven't heard 1973 yet...
SECOND EDIT: I think this music generally benefits from the older de Larrocha's greater subtlety. The earlier one is exciting though. Maybe I'll be wild and get both? Probably too wild for me.
« Last Edit: December 26, 2020, 04:13:53 PM by Madiel »
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Offline Jo498

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Re: Recordings That You Are Considering
« Reply #16026 on: December 27, 2020, 02:13:06 AM »
I think the early 60's de Larrocha is in the cheap EMI/hispavox box. This is certainly worth the low price, even if one wants to supplement some of the recordings with others. The sound is not great on some discs but generally good enough. IIRC I found the older Soler selection also more capivating than the 70s/80s? Decca (unfortunately both times only about one LP side worth).
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Offline Madiel

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Re: Recordings That You Are Considering
« Reply #16027 on: December 27, 2020, 03:12:46 AM »
I think the early 60's de Larrocha is in the cheap EMI/hispavox box. This is certainly worth the low price, even if one wants to supplement some of the recordings with others. The sound is not great on some discs but generally good enough. IIRC I found the older Soler selection also more capivating than the 70s/80s? Decca (unfortunately both times only about one LP side worth).

I've already bought the 80s version.

But the 60s is also a single disc release these days as well.
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Offline vers la flamme

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Re: Recordings That You Are Considering
« Reply #16028 on: January 06, 2021, 03:22:28 AM »
Considering getting some more Beethoven late string quartets sets. Probably don't need any more complete cycles at the moment, but it might be interesting to compare sets of the late quartets. Any thoughts on these?











All can be had relatively cheap currently.

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Re: Recordings That You Are Considering
« Reply #16029 on: January 06, 2021, 05:07:09 AM »
Considering getting some more Beethoven late string quartets sets. Probably don't need any more complete cycles at the moment, but it might be interesting to compare sets of the late quartets. Any thoughts on these?
All can be had relatively cheap currently.


Would it be possible for you to articulate what you are looking for in those quartets a little bit?

...or, without any context, I'd pick Tokyo among that batch. Their complete set is on my 4 favorite sets out of almost all.

Offline Mandryka

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Re: Recordings That You Are Considering
« Reply #16030 on: January 06, 2021, 07:10:28 AM »
Considering getting some more Beethoven late string quartets sets. Probably don't need any more complete cycles at the moment, but it might be interesting to compare sets of the late quartets. Any thoughts on these?


The Smetana has some great high points, in particular ops 127, 130, 132, and 133. I remember The Tokyo is generally nuanced, elegant, beautiful playing. ABQ is a great stalwart and a pleasure to return to for me, I last heard their op 131 and 132 and thoroughly enjoyed them. Haven't ever bothered with the other two.
« Last Edit: January 06, 2021, 08:11:19 AM by Mandryka »
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Offline JBS

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Re: Recordings That You Are Considering
« Reply #16031 on: January 06, 2021, 08:16:23 PM »
I have all but the Smetana Quartet. As a purely subjective opinion, I'd go for the Alban Berg Quartet.
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Offline amw

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Re: Recordings That You Are Considering
« Reply #16032 on: January 07, 2021, 12:14:12 AM »
Smetana Supraphon: I’m generally a fan, although there are a few quartets they do even better in their later Denon set (notably 127). Recommended.

Emerson: I am an Emerson partisan; most of what they have recorded is top flight. Their late quartets are very successful but you have to already like their approach, and some people don’t. Recommended, but sample first.

Tokyo RCA: don’t know it. In the middle quartets, have preferred their later cycle on Harmonia Mundi. But I’m not a huge Tokyo Quartet fan, so not the best person to ask. Sample first

Alban Berg live: don’t know it but have it, & have hoped to find the energy for attentive listening for some years

Guarneri RCA: don’t know it

Other recommendations: for the late quartets specifically, my most common standbys are the Brentano Quartet and the Leipzig Quartet, both only available as individual issues (Leipzig also in a box of all the quartets which is probably OOP). I also like the Yale Quartet & the Lydian Quartet, and have a lot of time for the Quatuor Mosaïques, which most people tend to dislike. But more often, specific recordings; for 127, Smetana and Hagen; for 132, Quatuor Terpsycordes, Pellegrini (very out of print, the only CD I’ve ever spent $50 on and it was worth it), Tetzlaff, Belcea & Concord; for 130 & 133, Brentano, Hagen, Busch, Auryn 1994; for 131, Végh, Brooklyn Rider & Juilliard 1960; for 135, Petersen, Zehetmair & Hagen

All off the top of my head. I would also recommend Joseph Kerman & William Kinderman’s books on the Beethoven string quartets, if you can find them

Offline Dry Brett Kavanaugh

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Re: Recordings That You Are Considering
« Reply #16033 on: January 08, 2021, 03:55:11 PM »


I like what I sampled of this. I only have a Martinon set (coupled with Ravel) but the sound has always been a problem on top of my response to this music over the years. Somehow, now, I liked those random samples on that Naxos, clear sound and melodic. Only £11.65 as FLAC on Qobuz.






Considering this one very much for sound quality and clarity too and surprisingly loved the samples (Ruled out Gieseking, old sound puts me off, Ruled out Ciccolini, too much reverb in the sound). I only have a couple of Michelangeli's on the shelf, looking for a modern recording set to explore further.

Any other alternatives to consider please ?

Not in the market for any full collection or Edition (DG, Warner or other). I would not have enough appetite for songs etc, so i'd rather cherry pick recordings that hit the mark in their own section.


The Naxos box is an enjoyable and interesting set with tasteful arrangements and solid performances. I am not a big fan of the Bavouzet's recordings of Debussy, his performance doesn't offer liveliness, color, etc. I am looking for.  I like the recordings by Paul Crossley, Hans Henkemans, and Michael Korstick.
« Last Edit: January 08, 2021, 03:57:38 PM by Dry Brett Kavanaugh »

Offline Todd

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Re: Recordings That You Are Considering
« Reply #16034 on: January 09, 2021, 03:51:16 PM »


A quick perusal of Gmarket resulted in this popping on my radar.  Three LvB sonatas and a Debussy encore.  I kinda want it just because.
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Offline vers la flamme

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Re: Recordings That You Are Considering
« Reply #16035 on: January 19, 2021, 05:54:52 AM »
Looking at a few very cheap Beethoven cycles:







Any thoughts on these?

Offline DavidW

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Re: Recordings That You Are Considering
« Reply #16036 on: January 19, 2021, 08:09:12 AM »
I think that Szell and Barenboim are two of the finest cycles out there and they compliment with completely different approaches.  I haven't heard the last one.

Offline Brian

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Re: Recordings That You Are Considering
« Reply #16037 on: January 19, 2021, 09:06:42 AM »
Barenboim is extremely good but also unusual, so it depends what you're looking for. His accounts are very slow (the Eroica is 57 minutes, ninth is 77 minutes), with a very big orchestra, and they're unfailingly romantic and dramatic. The exact opposite of any and all things HIP, at an extraordinary high level of playing. My favorite Sixth ever, probably, for its sheer beauty.

Szell is pretty similar to some of the other mainstream 50s/60s cycles, like Karajan '62-63, which I personally like better. I love Szell and own his Big Box containing all his Columbia recordings, but found the Beethoven to be not super interesting, just kind of standard-good. :(

No knowledge of the MDG cycle but the orchestra is not likely to be as good as Barenboim's or Szell's.

It probably all depends on whether this is your first or 11th Beethoven cycle we're talking about here!

Offline vers la flamme

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Re: Recordings That You Are Considering
« Reply #16038 on: January 19, 2021, 01:34:00 PM »
It would be my third complete cycle. Incidentally, another one I'm looking at that I didn't picture is the Karajan/Berlin '63 cycle, which is cheapest of them all, on the used market, and can be had for about 10 bucks. However I already have Karajan/Berlin '77 and not sure whether I need the earlier one too.

Argh, there's too many Beethoven cycles out there. Might be wisest to just stick to the two I have, Bernstein/New York/Sony and Karajan/Berlin/DG '77, and be done with it, otherwise there is dangerous potential to really go down a rabbit hole with all these cycles. Last thing I want is to become one of those guys with 50 Beethoven cycles on the shelves (really no offense intended to those guys among us! ;D)

Offline Brian

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Re: Recordings That You Are Considering
« Reply #16039 on: January 19, 2021, 02:18:26 PM »
If you have a Karajan and the pretty solid Lenny cycle, yeah, I'd suggest that if you acquire a new cycle it should be significantly different - by, say, reflecting modern scholarship & style (Chailly or Mackerras), being outright HIP (Immerseel or Gardiner), or reflecting a conductor's very individual/unusual vision (Barenboim). Note that those subdivisions also conceal diversity! Chailly and Mackerras are very different...anyway, it is QUITE a rabbit hole and if you want to avoid becoming a hopeless Beethoven collector, you might think hard about what kind of thing you would like to be different from Lenny or Herby - if you want to hear a smaller orchestra, or louder brass, or premium sound quality, or slower or faster or bigger/smaller dynamic contrasts etc.