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Karajan Mahler 6 - exposition repeat = cut-and-paste?

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Roasted Swan:

--- Quote from: Spotted Horses on June 22, 2021, 09:04:51 AM ---Which of the 4 studio Karajan 5's are you talking about? 55, 62, 77, 83? My impression is that the exposition repeats are identical enough that they could very well be cut and paste jobs, based on 62 and 77, but I have not specifically compared.

My impressions of how widely cut-and-paste was used is mostly based on headphone listening of CD releases from the early days, when they would not usually go back to "session tapes" but would digitize the master used to cut the LP. With LP surface noise and loudspeakers the cuts were typically not noticeable. However, listening to the more pristine CD release on headphones I would sometimes notice obvious edits, typically because the reverberation doesn't quite match up. In later re-masters they would go to the session tapes and re-do the razor and tape edits digitally and they would become difficult to notice. Typically the cuts were made at a point where the music pauses and starts again, and were probably recorded as separate blocks with the intention of splicing.

My understanding is that the most common recording technique today, with dozens if not hundreds of microphones, is to facilitate splicing or even replacing a single orchestral part (i.e., the oboe player squeaks, and they substitute the oboe line from another take). Also, having close microphones isolating instruments and separate microphones to capture reverberation allows them to cut from one take to another, while allowing the reverberation tracks to overlap, obscuring the edit.

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It was the '77 Beethoven 5 - all I would say with Beethoven is that everyone (well I've never heard a performance that doesn't) does take the repeat and its very short so there is a kind of organic whole.

Roasted Swan:

--- Quote from: Brian on June 22, 2021, 05:27:38 AM ---An interesting test would be the Sixth Symphony, a movement in which Kertesz has the repeat in place, and there is an unfakeable transition passage back to the repeat. It would be interesting if they recorded one take through that transition, then recorded the alternative transition which leads from the exposition to the development, relying on editors to splice in the repeat itself. That would come pretty close to proving "intent."

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The "first times bars" are often quite extended but even when they are short - as in Dvorak 9 - they can't be 'faked' at the desk.  I would not be at all surprised if there have been many occasions where those repeat sections have been recorded just to keep options open.  My feeling from a musical point of view it that they should be taken.  If you stick with a composer such as Dvorak - by the time he came to write his 9th Symphony he was an experienced mature composer who was quite happy to experment with formal and musical aspects of his work.  The fact that he still chose to write repeats meant that they had a function for him that went beyond 'tradition' and performers should respect that....

Roasted Swan:

--- Quote from: Brian on June 22, 2021, 09:14:44 AM ---Or to record the final rehearsal before recording a weekend of live performances, to patch out coughs and audience shuffling. (The CEO of BIS has a good story about having to edit out a moment in a live recording where he, up in the control room, shouted the f-bomb.) I only mention this because there's a new release coming in New Releases which proudly brags that it is "unedited" live tapes - quite a debatable point of pride, one would think.

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The fact that final rehearsals are recorded is different I think from a specific "unedited live concert" scenario.  The rise in the use of performances recorded in concert is a simple economic necessity and is understood to be that.  Most people realise that what you hear is an amalgamation of several performances plus a rehearsal sequence - how else is applause avoided without a sharp cut on the last chord!  Also, the phenomenal quality of orchestral playing is such now that orchestras regualrly play the hardest repertoire with relative ease and can record in concert works that would have had to be recorded painstakingly in the studio.  There is then the added argument that live performances have a frisson that the studio cannot match.  I fnd that last point harder to agree with - the truth is some performers/conductors are able to create electricity more in a studio than others - that's always been the case.  Ultimately any modern performance can now be manipulated to a far greater degree than was ever the case before and for me the danger is that absolutely flawless playing becomes the expectation - even when that "photo-shopped" musical perfection is the result of technical air-brushing rather than superhuman execution.  Of greater worry to me is that personality in performance is often secondary to (perceived) technical perfection.


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