GMG Classical Music Forum

The Music Room => Great Recordings and Reviews => Topic started by: aukhawk on October 11, 2015, 04:00:00 AM

Title: Blind comparison: Bartok's Music for Strings, Percussion and Celesta
Post by: aukhawk on October 11, 2015, 04:00:00 AM
... or SPC for short.
Here a blind comparison for you, we don't seem to have had one for a while.
18 recordings initially, in 3 groups of 6, the music is the 3rd movement, Adagio. 
This generally lasts a bit over 7 minutes so 6 versions represents about 45 minutes of listening.
2 from each group will go through, plus 4 more 'best of the rest' to make up 10 for round 2 (2 groups of 5).

(I would have preferred to start at the beginning but the 1st movement is more or less strings-only, so not very representative of this piece as a whole.  I'll use the 1st movement for round 2.)

Each group is a zipped file containing the 6 versions as separate high-bit mp3 files, anonymised and simply titled 1,2,3,4,5,6.
Simply use this thread to rank them in your preferred order (ties are OK), and please add comments if you want.
No deadline - things seem a bit quiet round here just now so we'll see how it goes.  When a few results are in I'll propose a cut-off date.

Please reply to this thread or PM me, to receive a download link for one of the three groups.

Francis
Title: Re: Blind comparison: Bartok's Music for Strings, Percussion and Celesta
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on October 12, 2015, 03:26:16 AM
I'll give it a try, Francis.  Thanks for starting this up!
Title: Re: Blind comparison: Bartok's Music for Strings, Percussion and Celesta
Post by: aukhawk on October 12, 2015, 08:30:44 AM
OK thanks Karl, link sent, that's  3 4 so far (hint: we'll probably need 9 to make it viable - hence no deadline yet).

I didn't realise, until researching it a bit today, how very prescriptive Bartok was about tempi.  This may explain why, when I auditioned several versions of the 2nd movement with the idea of making that the first-round music - I decided they all pretty much sounded the same!  So I wouldn't be surprised if some preferences here hinged on sonority as much as interpretation.

Anyway, I offer this for consideration - the 1st 4 bars of the 3rd movement (with my annotation in red).
(http://www.aukadia.net/pix/spc3.jpg)
Title: Re: Blind comparison: Bartok's Music for Strings, Percussion and Celesta
Post by: aukhawk on October 12, 2015, 09:00:11 AM
I meant to mention - one of the versions (in group B I think) is evidently a needledrop - but that's just me being mean, the same recording is currently available as CD or download.  So please ignore the clicks!  :-\
Title: Re: Blind comparison: Bartok's Music for Strings, Percussion and Celesta
Post by: Abuelo Igor on October 18, 2015, 04:45:03 AM
I suppose that for some people out there it will be their favourite version. It's on vinyl and therefore it will be "warmer".  :P
Title: Re: Blind comparison: Bartok's Music for Strings, Percussion and Celesta
Post by: Cato on October 18, 2015, 04:51:11 AM
I suppose that for some people out there it will be their favourite version. It's on vinyl and therefore it will be "warmer".  :P

Heh-heh!  Include me with that skepticism!

Yes, I will join, even though joining groups is not something I do!   0:)

Title: Re: Blind comparison: Bartok's Music for Strings, Percussion and Celesta
Post by: Sergeant Rock on October 18, 2015, 05:10:28 AM
Yes, I will join, even though joining groups is not something I do!   0:)

"Don't join too many gangs. Join few if any. Join the United States and join the family but not much in between." --Robert Frost
Title: Re: Blind comparison: Bartok's Music for Strings, Percussion and Celesta
Post by: Cato on October 18, 2015, 05:30:58 AM
"Don't join too many gangs. Join few if any. Join the United States and join the family but not much in between." --Robert Frost

Amen, brother,amen!   8)