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Thread: Furtwängler 22-disc SACD box set releasing in December 2018

  1. #46
    Senior Member JosefinaHW's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by inthemusiczone View Post
    There are, and always have been, many unique Japanese editions of classical music releases, especially of historic material. Japanese music lovers are serious audiophiles and very serious about classical music. That's why there are so many SACD and other "high-end" CD remasters of labels like DGG originating from Japan. This goes way back to LP days when Japan would produce its own vinyl pressings; the vinyl itself was often superior to what was used in Europe and especially America, but the sources for those pressings were often one or two generations down from the sources used in European pressings. Latterly, dedicated audiophile remasters and repressing like King Super Analogue were mastered from master tapes, and that's why these pressings command such high prices on the used market. I've got quite a few of these myself and they are, indeed, superb. Certain conductors have always been highly regarded in the Japanese market, hence the special editions of Furtwangler and Fricsay, to name just a few. Nowadays there's a whole series of DG releases being put out for the Japanese market of artists like Karajan on HQCD, which is supposedly superior to normal CDs. I've heard some of these and they are very good indeed. The differences are small but telling: the music has less digital glare, and it doesn't fatigue as much; the presentation is more "analogue" in nature. Worth the money? That is in the ears (and wallet) of the listener.
    This is interesting in so many ways and completely new to me other than now searching for Furtwangler recordings. I consider myself extremely fortunate to have purchased the Furtwangler Legacy box set for only $120 including shipping. I believe that was produced by a German company (Mem... something--the box hasn't arrived yet; it's coming from the US).

    There is at least one YouTube video where someone in Japan remastered to HD a Furtwangler Beethoven--the sound is gorgeous--to my ears. Someone in the comments said that the person probably used at least two different recordings and then there was a link to a page in Japanese that was supposedly showing the specs/"music" in the public domain. I went back to look for that video and I'm not sure if the person deleted it or the links within it.

    I am greatly at a disadvantage because I cannot read Japanese and it is impossible for me to learn it at this stage in my life--it's not cultural arrogance, so I cannot read the info on Amazon Japan and many of the used sets coming from Japan that are advertised in English on various sites don't offer tracked shipping.

    I'm sure I am not alone in my ignorance or interest. It would be wonderful if you created a new thread or just continue to describe for us some of the history of audio and the love of CM in Japan.

    Many Thanks!
    Last edited by JosefinaHW; Feb-27-2019 at 18:57.


  2. #47
    Senior Member JosefinaHW's Avatar
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    I found one of those videos and here's the link referenced.

    http://www.flac.aki.gs/Furtwangler/f...hp?data_id=326



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    Quote Originally Posted by inthemusiczone View Post
    Anyway, between the DG set, the Audite RIAS box I already own (fantastic!) and the new BPO remastered radio wartime radio recordings (on its way), I am going to be in Furtwangler heaven!!!!
    Oh wow, you're on your way! I would also add this box of VPO recordings, including the wartime Brahms 2nd and Bruckner 8th (my favorite of all WF recordings along with the wartime Beethoven 9th)


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    Junior Member inthemusiczone's Avatar
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    You are too kind. I am far from an expert in these matters, have just picked up a few opinions and information over a lifetime of collecting classical LPs and CDs. I also used to produce music and drama programming for NPR and BBC etc. over many years. Like you, I am not able to read Japanese!! But at some point I will no doubt be moved to start a thread on something or other.....

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  7. #50
    Junior Member inthemusiczone's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JosefinaHW View Post
    I found one of those videos and here's the link referenced.

    http://www.flac.aki.gs/Furtwangler/f...hp?data_id=326


    The sound on this is, indeed, extraordinary and it's a great listen. It reminds me of the work of Pristine Classical, a label specializing in reissuing historic recordings. Its founder and CEO, as it were, is a former BBC engineer called Andrew Rose takes a somewhat more interventionist approach, which doesn't please some, but many others love the results as much as I do. He is an occasional guest on BBC Record Review. I highly recommend you investigate, if you do not know of his work already. He has extensive extracts posted with each recording. Apologies for the effect this may have on your checkbook!

    https://www.pristineclassical.com

  8. #51
    Junior Member inthemusiczone's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brahmsianhorn View Post
    Oh wow, you're on your way! I would also add this box of VPO recordings, including the wartime Brahms 2nd and Bruckner 8th (my favorite of all WF recordings along with the wartime Beethoven 9th)


    I had seen this and was definitely interested. Thanks for recommending.

  9. #52
    Junior Member inthemusiczone's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JosefinaHW View Post
    This is interesting in so many ways and completely new to me other than now searching for Furtwangler recordings. I consider myself extremely fortunate to have purchased the Furtwangler Legacy box set for only $120 including shipping. I believe that was produced by a German company (Mem... something--the box hasn't arrived yet; it's coming from the US).

    There is at least one YouTube video where someone in Japan remastered to HD a Furtwangler Beethoven--the sound is gorgeous--to my ears. Someone in the comments said that the person probably used at least two different recordings and then there was a link to a page in Japanese that was supposedly showing the specs/"music" in the public domain. I went back to look for that video and I'm not sure if the person deleted it or the links within it.

    I am greatly at a disadvantage because I cannot read Japanese and it is impossible for me to learn it at this stage in my life--it's not cultural arrogance, so I cannot read the info on Amazon Japan and many of the used sets coming from Japan that are advertised in English on various sites don't offer tracked shipping.

    I'm sure I am not alone in my ignorance or interest. It would be wonderful if you created a new thread or just continue to describe for us some of the history of audio and the love of CM in Japan.

    Many Thanks!
    You are too kind. I am far from an expert in these matters, have just picked up a few opinions and information over a lifetime of collecting classical LPs and CDs. I also used to produce music and drama programming for NPR and BBC etc. over many years. Like you, I am not able to read Japanese!! But at some point I will no doubt be moved to start a thread on something or other.....

  10. #53
    Senior Member JosefinaHW's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by inthemusiczone View Post
    The sound on this is, indeed, extraordinary and it's a great listen. It reminds me of the work of Pristine Classical, a label specializing in reissuing historic recordings. Its founder and CEO, as it were, is a former BBC engineer called Andrew Rose takes a somewhat more interventionist approach, which doesn't please some, but many others love the results as much as I do. He is an occasional guest on BBC Record Review. I highly recommend you investigate, if you do not know of his work already. He has extensive extracts posted with each recording. Apologies for the effect this may have on your checkbook!

    https://www.pristineclassical.com
    LOL. Many Thanks for this info.. In my free time today I've been watching films re/ Furtwangler and HvK on the Berlin Philharmonic's Digital Concert Hall. (In one of the films, Furtwangler's second wife said that people referred to him as "Fu" and Knappersbush (haven't explored his conducting at all yet) as "Kna"? Do people still do that? Does it sound obnoxious for me to refer to him now as "Fu"? I am being serious especially since I've said for the past two years that I am going to print out a list of all the keyboard combinations to insert letters with umlauts, etc. Anyway,....

    As I'm sure you saw the sound engineer that produced the newly released Fu WWII radio recordings said that they could have eliminated all kinds of sounds (and I would imagine enhanced them as well), and I have to say that I do prefer that crystal clear, full sound that vibrates every cell of your body. Maybe they wanted to just put the music out there and let whomever wants to fiddle with it do so. I thought it was very interesting how they included on one of the the discs a performance of the Fourth without the audience and with the audience. It was also amazing to hear the difference in quality of the first performance of the Fifth and the later performance--amazing advancement in a short period of time.

    I've moved onto watching a film about HvK's "Second Life" that was extremely focused on producing as perfect a recording as possible. It is very interesting that he states several times in the film (and I'm not half-way through it yet) that certain pieces of music can never be performed the way the composer intended them to be heard in a concert hall: it is necessary to adjust the sounds of the different instruments, etc... Very interesting stuff..... and maybe somewhere in this process I will learn when Western CM was introduced and then became popular in Japan. :-)

    P.S. Has your Fu Radio Recordings set arrived yet?


  11. #54
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    Never could adjust to Fu. I always say Furt.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brahmsianhorn View Post
    Never could adjust to Fu. I always say Furt.
    “Fu” has a rather unpleasant connotation in these parts...

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    Senior Member staxomega's Avatar
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    I was able to hear lossless rips of the redbook part of the BPO Furtwangler box, this is what I posted to the SH forums

    I had a chance to hear lossless samples from the latest BPO Furtwangler box. They've added some "ambience" effects and there is also a hard brick wall filter at 10 KHz. I'll have to compare them with other superior digital transfers before saying more, at least on these samples I have heard I'll be skipping this box.

    Resized image:



    Click here for full size: https://i.imgur.com/GuAAyLG.jpg

    It was the noise reduction and the ambient stereo effects that killed it for me.

    Quote Originally Posted by Brahmsianhorn View Post
    Oh wow, you're on your way! I would also add this box of VPO recordings, including the wartime Brahms 2nd and Bruckner 8th (my favorite of all WF recordings along with the wartime Beethoven 9th)

    Do you mind posting the dates these were performed? Thank you.
    Last edited by staxomega; Mar-02-2019 at 15:49.

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    I've acquired the box set and am very pleased with the overall quality thus far. I find it to be superior to most other versions (of certain pieces) that I've heard in the past.

    Following staxomega's post, I used the latest version of fre:ac to rip a track to my computer in FLAC format with no further signal processing to verify whether the 10KHz filter is present. This is what I see (no hard wall):

    Spectrogram.jpg

    Also a direct link: https://imgur.com/a/gv9br4D

    @staxomega: I also noticed your track is ripped to 48KHz, whereas mine went from a standard 44.1KHz CD to a standard 44.1KHz FLAC.

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    Senior Member bigshot's Avatar
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    It looks like they used dynamic noise reduction (which is what I would expect). If you look at that chart, the loud stuff has higher frequencies than the quieter. The filter is being dynamically applied heavier in the quiet parts where the noise is most intrusive, and lighter in the loud parts where it isn't as much of a problem.

    I doubt there is a heck of a lot of signal above 11kHz though. I think all that pale light blue stuff is tape hiss that has been allowed through by the dynamic filter. and is totally masked by the loud lower frequencies. You could probably apply a low pass filter at 11 or 12 and it wouldn't sound all that different.

    The thing to remember is that there isn't much music up there in the top octave of 10 to 20kHz. The fact that a recording from the 40s has strong content up to 11 is pretty darn good. I bet this sounds great.

    That upper chart looks like it is the raw tape transfer with signal only below 11 and undifferentiated noise above that.
    Last edited by bigshot; Mar-02-2019 at 20:19.
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  16. #59
    Junior Member inthemusiczone's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JosefinaHW View Post
    LOL. Many Thanks for this info.. In my free time today I've been watching films re/ Furtwangler and HvK on the Berlin Philharmonic's Digital Concert Hall. (In one of the films, Furtwangler's second wife said that people referred to him as "Fu" and Knappersbush (haven't explored his conducting at all yet) as "Kna"? Do people still do that? Does it sound obnoxious for me to refer to him now as "Fu"? I am being serious especially since I've said for the past two years that I am going to print out a list of all the keyboard combinations to insert letters with umlauts, etc. Anyway,....

    As I'm sure you saw the sound engineer that produced the newly released Fu WWII radio recordings said that they could have eliminated all kinds of sounds (and I would imagine enhanced them as well), and I have to say that I do prefer that crystal clear, full sound that vibrates every cell of your body. Maybe they wanted to just put the music out there and let whomever wants to fiddle with it do so. I thought it was very interesting how they included on one of the the discs a performance of the Fourth without the audience and with the audience. It was also amazing to hear the difference in quality of the first performance of the Fifth and the later performance--amazing advancement in a short period of time.

    I've moved onto watching a film about HvK's "Second Life" that was extremely focused on producing as perfect a recording as possible. It is very interesting that he states several times in the film (and I'm not half-way through it yet) that certain pieces of music can never be performed the way the composer intended them to be heard in a concert hall: it is necessary to adjust the sounds of the different instruments, etc... Very interesting stuff..... and maybe somewhere in this process I will learn when Western CM was introduced and then became popular in Japan. :-)

    P.S. Has your Fu Radio Recordings set arrived yet?
    The Fu Radio recordings set just arrived, and it is a beautiful thing to behold. The design and documentation are superb. I think this will be a strong contender for Reissue of the Year. Alas I will not have time to take a listen for a few days --can't wait!

    The Karajan recording which most completely embodies his thoughts on manipulating recording techniques to maximize the music is of Schoenberg's Variations, part of his ground-breaking set of the Second Viennese School which paved the way for a serious reassessment of this difficult music in the general music-going public. He changed the orchestra seating for each variation to maximize the clarity and impact of the dense orchestration. Karajan had to put his own money into the project to get it made. It was a huge bestseller. Give the whole set a listen if you don't know it already.

    116192259.jpg
    Last edited by inthemusiczone; Mar-02-2019 at 21:44.

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  18. #60
    Senior Member JosefinaHW's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Triplets View Post
    “Fu” has a rather unpleasant connotation in these parts...
    The pronunciation the woman used was "phoo". Did you think I was pronouncing it with two syllables? Or is there something I don't know and need to look up in the Urban Dictionary?


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