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Michael Green
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PostSubject: Classical music reviews & more   Wed Apr 23, 2014 11:56 pm

What are some of your classical favorites and why?



Nothing has gripped the audiophile ear like classical music. From the style to the most refined nuances classical music sets itself apart from all the rest. It's a world of recreating the passion throughout the ages. We live in a time where we can enjoy these creations in our homes. Classical music gives host to the ego of the hobby like no other and why not as the artists strive not only to bring forth the original, but their individual emotion into each piece as well.

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PostSubject: Re: Classical music reviews & more   Fri Apr 25, 2014 10:15 pm

taking a look at the layout



There are quite a few layouts in classical music.

here's a helpful guide to the word orchestra

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orchestra

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PostSubject: Re: Classical music reviews & more   Sun Apr 27, 2014 12:24 am

My involvement with Classical music.

Besides orchestra pieces being brought into pop recordings during my stays at studios most of my direct exposure was done by working in Ft. Lauderdale or Atlanta. Ft. Lauderdale was mainly with Diane Bish, and I moved to Atlanta in 81, so my stay in Ft. Lauderdale was brief.

In Atlanta, I was able to be a part of much more and worked in the main halls as well as the play centers, where my downtown office was. I also had my stereo stores where I did a lot of my referencing as well as my home. My TV training was done with the TBS guys (In-Touch Studios), but my main focus was music and theatre.

here are the halls I worked in from 81-87 regularly

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Woodruff_Arts_Center
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fox_Theatre_(Atlanta,_Georgia)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atlanta_Civic_Center
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chastain_Park

I worked with guess orchestras but my home orchestra was Atlanta during the Robert Shaw, Louis Lane years.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atlanta_Symphony_Orchestra

I should mention that this was also during my early jazz years but this is the classical thread.

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PostSubject: Re: Classical music reviews & more   Fri May 09, 2014 2:57 am

Listening to



Mendelssohn Bartholdy: The Complete Solo Concertos [Box set, Import]
Felix Mendelssohn (Composer), Lev Markiz (Conductor), Nieuw Sinfonietta Amsterdam (Orchestra) featuring, Isabelle van Keulen, Ronald Brautigam, Roland Pöntinen, Love Derwinger

Disc: 1  
1. I. Allegro Molto - Isabelle Van Keulen  
2. II. Andante - Isabelle Van Keulen  
3. III. Allegro - Isabelle Van Keulen  
4. Scherzo - Lev Markiz  
5. I. Allegro Con Fuoco - Isabelle Van Keulen  
6. II. Andante - Isabelle Van Keulen  
7. III. Allegretto Non Troppo-Allegro Molto Vivace - Isabelle Van Keulen





recorded with, neumann microphones, studer mixer, fostex D-10 DAT recorder, and stax headphones

the sound

The Neumann's do a great job of picking up this hall. My stage is maybe 30 feet wide 20 feet deep and a beautiful height of I would say 20 or more feet. You can clearly hear the strings haloing off the ceiling with a thick warm harmonic flow that goes well behind me. I'm not looking at the hall but sitting in it. I can see the instruments with good detail and hear how they flow into the space. The soft passages you can sense the pressure but when the dynamics hit there's an immediate filling of the room. A cushion of support, but never confusing as the instruments stay in perfect position.

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PostSubject: Re: Classical music reviews & more   Tue Jun 17, 2014 3:49 pm

What’s Sonic Listening To?




People Past and Present

John Donne 1572 – 1631

Devised by Douglas Cleverdon with Carleton Hobbs, William Squire and Robert Spencer (Baritone and Lute)

Argo ZPL1167 1972 ©

A beautiful record of readings from Izaak Walton’s ‘Life of John Donne’ along with poems and prose from John Donne interspersed with song accompanied by lute.

Sonic likes the spoken word played back on my system. For audiophiles who listen to solely to singing voices, the reproduction of the spoken word may come as sounding as something they are unaccustomed to.

In this recording the two principal spoken voices are placed ¾ Right and ¾ Left. Sung music with lute is placed the centre of the stage, yet the width and height are unbounded. Inflection of the voices and characteristics of the reader captured realistically. The voices are dimensional and pleasing without added presence or overdramatic puffiness.

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PostSubject: Re: Classical music reviews & more   Sat Jun 21, 2014 7:51 am

What is Sonic Listening To?

Acoustic Research is venerable, coming up with the AR XA turntable (of which Sonic owns one, but had an arm that due to its design was dodgy especially when old), and speakers such as the AR2Ax, AR3A (top of the line), then the AR Laboratory Standard Transducer – the AR LST.

It can be of course argued that AR started the march to low efficient speakers and heavy cabinets and acoustic suspension sealed box design.  At that time American manufacturers were in a state of hubris.  Transistors had been adopted for amplifiers edging out tubes and watts were easy to generate – it was only later that individuals like Holt and Pearson said “watts but wait! How does it sound?”

A little trivia – the original driver in the AR1 was Western Electric!

AR was however committed to music and accurate reproduction as far as they understood it and given the limitations of technology and manufacturing process allowed.  They had too these wonderful ads where luminaries of the music world were photographed with their AR music systems comprising most often an ARXA TT (with Shure M91ED cartridge), the AR amp or receiver and AR speakers.  

We had Woody Herman, Herbert von Karajan, Arthur Fiedler and Miles Davis.  Great ads and Sonic knows an elderly nostalgia fan who frequents the Hifi shops on Saturdays who collects these ads and the AR catalogs.

AR had a tie up with Ensayo Records of Spain and issued some LPs.  One is the Acoustic Research Demonstration Record.



I got a copy.  Nice snippets of mostly classical music, with one jazz and a flamenco piece.  Sonic heard it critically last evening. Compared to the midrange, the treble on this record sounds slightly boosted, the bass slightly shelved down giving an over-tight efffect.  On my system, it sounded like three steps going up from Bass to Midrange to Treble.  Small steps not Big Tall Steps but steps nonetheless.

I wonder (and here is a mean thought from Sonic) if AR EQ’d the record to sound best with their Speakers, particularly the AR3a?  

Given the limitations of the day, frequency response plots of the AR3a showed a good flat midrange, a treble range that was shelved down some 5dB compared to 1 kHz and the bass range below 400 hz up about 3 dB above the 1 kHz reference.  In Sonic’s system, the record sounds the exact inverse of this -- except the treble is noticeably lifted but not as much as +5 db.

The nice tracks are the opening Stravinsky, the Albeniz piano piece from Iberia and the jazz piece.  The Bach organ toccata and fugue that opens Side Two has the extreme lows and girth rolled off.  The unaccompanied female vocal piece in Spanish is a bit distant but nicely dimensional. Flamenco…something that Sonic is a little allergic to.  The closing applause is wall2wall and front to back round my listening chair but phasey when Sonic moves the head.

But I like this record for its nice variety.  

Sonic


Last edited by Michael Green on Sat Jun 21, 2014 8:27 am; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : correct an unclear sentence)
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PostSubject: Re: Classical music reviews & more   Sun Jul 13, 2014 8:20 am

Greetings Zonees

Sonic is both happy and saddened by my recent LP record finds.  I found this:



and this:



and this -  a long time reference cited by Harry Pearson of The Abso!ute Sound.  On playing back it sound gorgeous – huge soundfield and clear definition of the complex lines and rhythms of the musick.  The only observation Sonic can proffer is that the state of the art of original instrument performances has moved on, the earlier ones like those dating from the 1960s and this may be slightly exaggerated compared to the way these works will be performed in 2014:



All discovered in charity thrift stores at very low prices <$10….including the Ravel which is three disc set.
Their condition was almost new, dusty but clean and distortion-free, almost totally free of ticks and pops.

Happy I found these plus another five records at these prices and quality. But what conditions, motivation made someone send these to a charity thrift shop?  A music lover who passed on and whom he/she left behind thought this stuff was castoff junk? So sad.

Without any intention to reignite any analog vs digital debates, I prefer the LP of the work by Abbess Hildegard of Bingen to the CD.  The voices on the LP sound more projected and the role of the “symphony” – a reed drone instrument to set a background of harmony to the monophonic singing – is clear in how it supports the sung lines, and the “symphony’s” own harmonic complexity is reproduced on the LP to an extent not on the CD.

Sonic been also listening to these and this one – Haydn Quartets Op 76 and Op 77 by the Aeolian Quartet.



This one is too in exceptionally good condition and is singing on the Rega while I type this but not "thrift stored". The Haydn is a modern interpretation of these works.  

Sonic
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PostSubject: Re: Classical music reviews & more   Sun Nov 19, 2017 8:11 pm

Wanted to add more from Sonic's collection, not just Classical but a cool range none the less.








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