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Thread: Mozart Piano Concertos Question

  1. #1
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    Default Mozart Piano Concertos Question

    Hello Guys.
    I'm venturing into the world of Classical music and for some time now I wanna create a desktop HEADPHONES system in order to listen to lossless music.

    Listening to Brendel and Perahia Complete Piano Concertos,to my surprise I found that the Audio Files (.WAV) have poor dynamic range.

    I know I know they’re old recordings, But 10.5 of DR is Too low for Classical music
    I've Pop/rock files with 15/20 DR.

    The versions I’m talking about are these:

    Mozart "The Piano Concertos - Alfred Brendel Academy Of St.Martin in The Fields Neville Mariner" Philips 416272-2 1985

    Mozart "The Complete Piano Concertos - Murray Perahia, English Chamber Orchestra - Sony Classical 82876872302

    Any idea why The tracks lacking in Dynamic?
    Thanks

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    I'm not aware of these recordings' dynamic range. I'm happy with their sound quality but my sound equipment is not so good. Anyway both are highly recommended recordings on a modern piano. My favorite is Brendel/Marriner but some people here will prefer Perahia.

    I'll recommend you one recording that's in quite audiophile quality, with two pianofortes that are copies of an instrument by the Viennese piano-maker Anton Walter (1752-1826). Brautigam has more recently recorded the complete Mozart Concertos, but you gotta start somewhere.
    R-6711093-1425123833-6227.jpeg.jpg

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    Senior Member jegreenwood's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Magilla81 View Post
    Hello Guys.
    I'm venturing into the world of Classical music and for some time now I wanna create a desktop HEADPHONES system in order to listen to lossless music.

    Listening to Brendel and Perahia Complete Piano Concertos,to my surprise I found that the Audio Files (.WAV) have poor dynamic range.

    I know I know they’re old recordings, But 10.5 of DR is Too low for Classical music
    I've Pop/rock files with 15/20 DR.

    The versions I’m talking about are these:

    Mozart "The Piano Concertos - Alfred Brendel Academy Of St.Martin in The Fields Neville Mariner" Philips 416272-2 1985

    Mozart "The Complete Piano Concertos - Murray Perahia, English Chamber Orchestra - Sony Classical 82876872302

    Any idea why The tracks lacking in Dynamic?
    Thanks
    I have a Perahia box set - not sure if it’s the same as yours, as I’ve ripped it to ALAC and stored the box. According to JRiver, DR ranges from 11-17.

    Edit - here's the cover art on my set.
    hqdefault.jpg
    Last edited by jegreenwood; Oct-08-2021 at 17:45.

  4. #4
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    I don't know the answer to your question. But it is a surprising question, because both the Brendel/Marriner and Perahia ECO cycles have been remastered, and there was nothing poor about the original Philips or CBS analogue sound recordings. There were even some digital recordings within both cycles, & especially the Perahia cycle.

    Here are my favorite remasters for each cycle, to date:

    1. Brendel/Marriner:

    --Universal's 'Eloquence' series, with AMSI or ambient surround sound imaging remasters, issued as a bargain box set. The remasters here offer all the warmth of my old Philips LPs, & you should be able to buy the set for around $20-25; though the price does appear to have gone up a bit recently:

    https://www.amazon.de/Klavierkonzert...rpt=ABIS_MUSIC
    https://www.amazon.com/Mozart-Die-Kl...%2C195&sr=1-11

    --Pentatone 'Remastered Classics' series, a single hybrid SACD offering exceptional remastering: https://www.pentatonemusic.com/rc-mo...-asmf-marriner

    --Philips, import, 96kHz 24-bit super digital transfer remasters, on a single CD: https://www.amazon.com/Piano-Concert...s=music&sr=1-8

    2. Perahia ECO cycle:

    The most recent remasters are in the following DSD box set (although I don't mind the older CBS CD remasters, either, and find they have more of the warmth of my old LPs, but without quite the same degree of spatial definition as the DSD remasters): https://www.amazon.com/Mozart-Comple...s=music&sr=1-3. Yet, I do remember that there were some complaints about the DSD remasters in this set when it first came out.

    Here too is the initial CD of Perahia's second Mozart PC cycle with The Chamber Orchestra of Europe, which offers special performances; however, unfortunately, the cycle was stopped due to a hand injury that the pianist sustained at the time. These excellent performances come in superior sound to Perahia's earlier cycle with the English Chamber Orchestra: https://www.amazon.com/Mozart-Piano-...s=music&sr=1-4

    If the versions above aren't audiophile enough for you, I'd suggest that you look into Christian Zacharias's hybrid SACD cycle on MDG, which offers 'state of the art' audiophile sound. Note that the individual releases in this cycle are hybrid SACD, while the complete box set was issued on CD. These are good performances, though, if pressed to choose, I prefer Zacharias's earlier Mozart PC cycle on EMI.

    Even better, you might also look into Alicia de Larrocha's recordings for RCA, which are digital and well recorded. I often find her phrasing & ornamentation to be more interesting than Perahia's, and Sir Colin Davis is definitely the more experienced, knowing Mozart conductor, in comparison to the young Perahia conducting from the keyboard. The only negative here is that de Larrocha and Davis didn't record a complete cycle.

    In addition, you might want to look into pianist Ivan Moravec's digital recordings with Marriner & the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, which are superb; as well as Brendel's second series of Mozart Piano Concerto recordings made with Sir Charles Mackerras, which offers excellent digital sound; indeed some of these issues were released on hybrid SACD, where they offer audiophile sound quality. The critics generally preferred Brendel's performances with Mackerras to his first Philips cycle, however, I don't always agree with them. Nor is it a complete cycle, either.

    There is also a selection of very good Mozart PC recordings from pianist Maria Joao Pires on DG, which are well worth hearing. Pires has just the right delicate touch & quick, nimble hands for Mozart.

    Finally, for yet another alternative digital cycle, I'd recommend that you look into the box set from pianist Andras Schiff and the Camerata Academica des Mozarteums Salzburg, with conductor Sandor Vegh. It's a very good cycle (esp. in the earlier concertos), which likewise offers first rate orchestral playing, & conducting that is more 'red blooded' than what you will often find in this present HIP era: https://www.amazon.com/Mozart-Piano-...a-493215215469

    Most, if not all of the above recordings can be sampled on You Tube (but bear in mind, YT isn't always the best indicator as to actual sound quality), and likely Spotify, too.

    Hope that helps.
    Last edited by Josquin13; Yesterday at 00:30.

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