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Thread: Excellent CDs

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    Default Excellent CDs

    What companies make the best quality CDs? I suppose Deutsche Grammophone is one.

    Thank you.

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    Senior Member Art Rock's Avatar
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    Chandos, Hyperion, BIS, CPO to step out of the main names.
    Und Morgen wird die Sonne wieder scheinen.....

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    Quote Originally Posted by Art Rock View Post
    Chandos, Hyperion, BIS, CPO to step out of the main names.
    Thank you. I keep wanting to share a story with you since you are in The Netherlands. Off topic but I think worth hearing. I took a package to the post office that was addressed to "The Netherlands". Mail clerk crossed out "The Netherlands" and wrote in "Holland" because, he said, they might not recognize "The Netherlands".

    Ah well!

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    My father always told the story that when he was visiting the USA in the early sixties he saw a list of top import countries in the newspaper that had Holland at 10 and The Netherlands at 25.
    Und Morgen wird die Sonne wieder scheinen.....

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    Quote Originally Posted by Art Rock View Post


    My father always told the story that when he was visiting the USA in the early sixties he saw a list of top import countries in the newspaper that had Holland at 10 and The Netherlands at 25.
    That is worse! In 1850 my great grandfather told the census taker that his parents were born in "The Netherlands". On the other hand, we grew up calling it "Holland". Ah yes, the boy with his finger in the dyke. Wasn't it called Holland in that story? Think so.

    Anyway, just had to mention it.

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    The best label for recording quality is in my opinion Decca / London. Famous is all what the Decca engineers recorded in Montreal with Charles Dutoit. EMI & DG offer overall good quality, Teldec is IMHO more uneven in this regard.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TxllxT View Post
    The best label for recording quality is in my opinion Decca / London. Famous is all what the Decca engineers recorded in Montreal with Charles Dutoit. EMI & DG offer overall good quality, Teldec is IMHO more uneven in this regard.
    Thank you. I'd forgotten about Decca.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TxllxT View Post
    The best label for recording quality is in my opinion Decca / London. Famous is all what the Decca engineers recorded in Montreal with Charles Dutoit. EMI & DG offer overall good quality, Teldec is IMHO more uneven in this regard.
    Bis has produced excellently engineered recordings with great consistency. The Decca engineers have consistently produced moderately brittle, edgy sounding recordings of piano music, a quality not evident in their recordings of other music.

    The OP's 'best CDs' term may not allow consideration of performance quality, but I consider it more important than the difference between very good and superlative engineering. Decca has recorded some superlative piano music...


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    Quote Originally Posted by Hilltroll72 View Post
    Bis has produced excellently engineered recordings with great consistency. The Decca engineers have consistently produced moderately brittle, edgy sounding recordings of piano music, a quality not evident in their recordings of other music.

    The OP's 'best CDs' term may not allow consideration of performance quality, but I consider it more important than the difference between very good and superlative engineering. Decca has recorded some superlative piano music...


    I am sure I have some Deccas. I'll play some of them What about Dutton Digital? I have one of theirs that i wish was returnable. Maybe it was just a fluke but half of it cannot even be heard.

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    From the mid-90's with the "rededication" of Emil Berliner Studios, DG has become more consistent. DG Originals are better, too, after too many remastering butcherings and unnecessary reissues across the DG product line.

    Good recordings can come from many places, many people, many labels. Avie, BIS, Mirare, Virgin, ECM, Tacet, Naive, Harmonia Mundi continue to be some of my favorite labels.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vaneyes View Post
    From the mid-90's with the "rededication" of Emil Berliner Studios, DG has become more consistent. DG Originals are better, too, after too many remastering butcherings and unnecessary reissues across the DG product line.

    Good recordings can come from many places, many people, many labels. Avie, BIS, Mirare, Virgin, ECM, Tacet, Naive, Harmonia Mundi continue to be some of my favorite labels.
    I am sure you are right. I just want to feel secure in what I buy because CDs are not returnable once they have been opened unless there is physical damage to them and you'd better be able to prove you didn't do that yourself. When you buy a CD that is only half-audible, you don't want any more of that particular brand. Or, I don't. On the other hand, I don't think I have ever gotten a poor Deutsche Grammophone recording. I see Hyperion advertised a lot in a BBC magazine. I am not sure I have any of theirs. Some day I'll find a way to sort these 500 +/- CDs so I'll know what I have. :-)

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    Hazel, every label has made poor performance or sound recordings. I can now only guess that you're asking for the best chance of avoiding a poor-sounding digital recording that has been recorded after the mid-90's. Prior to that time DG had too many follies in both analogue and digital recording. If you haven't come across one from those eras, then you've been lucky tip-toeing through a minefield, or just avoiding them altogether.

    As I said, I'm more confident in DG now, and happily include it in my determination for buying. That said, performance and interpretation for me does not take a backseat. I get the impression from some SACD collectors, that due to limited manufacturing of that product, performance and interpretation often does take a backseat.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vaneyes View Post
    Hazel, every label has made poor performance or sound recordings. I can now only guess that you're asking for the best chance of avoiding a poor-sounding digital recording that has been recorded after the mid-90's. Prior to that time DG had too many follies in both analogue and digital recording. If you haven't come across one from those eras, then you've been lucky tip-toeing through a minefield, or just avoiding them altogether.

    As I said, I'm more confident in DG now, and happily include it in my determination for buying. That said, performance and interpretation for me does not take a backseat. I get the impression from some SACD collectors, that due to limited manufacturing of that product, performance and interpretation often does take a backseat.
    If by "DG" you mean Deutsche Grammophone, I am in agreement. I had not bought many CDs in the 90s as I had my LPs. But the CD collection is growing and I realized that I need to pay attention to the producers.

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    Decca is probably my favorite, followed by DGG, EMI, and (wait for it!)... Naxos.

    Philips has done some wonderful stuff too, especially with chamber music. Pearl, VAI, Testament, and Naxos Historical are my favorites for historical piano recordings, but their sound quality is well... historical.

    RCA is alright, though both sound quality and performances can vary. Same with Brilliant, though their big box sets tend to be pretty high quality through and through. I'm very thankful for my budget Brilliant boxes.

    Harmonia Mundi is gigantic in Baroque music and before.
    Last edited by Air; Apr-08-2011 at 21:22.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Air View Post
    Philips has done some wonderful stuff, especially with chamber music. Pearl, VAI, Testament, and Naxos Historical are my favorites for historical piano recordings, but their sound quality is well... historical.

    RCA is alright, though both sound quality and performances can vary. Same with Brilliant, though their big box sets tend to be pretty high quality through and through. I'm very thankful for my budget Brilliant boxes.

    Harmonia Mundi is gigantic in Baroque music.
    Ah yes, Philips. Thanks.

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