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There are mistakes in every recording I've ever heard...usually very minor and barely noticeable...recordings of live performances may contain more obvious errors, but that goes with the territory
 

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There was a famous live recording made by Lipatti with Ansemet. There’s a tremendous fluff at one point no doubt because the pianist was seriously ill at this point.
 

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In Karajan's recording of Sibelius' Symphony No. 4 A minor op. 63 with the Philharmonia (1953), there is a funny error in the first movement.

In bar 40, at approx. 3:33/3:34, you hear a diminished chord in the trombones - e sharp (yes), g sharp, b. That's what is written in the first version of the score, but it's wrong. In the reprise there is the correct version with e natural.

This is extra funny to my mind, as other early conductors were not confused by the score and played bar 40 as intended by Sibelius - starting with the first recording of op. 63 with Beecham in 1937.

Later versions of the score show the correct note in bar 40.

 

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Next one, again Karajan, funny with a conductor who was known for his striving for technical perfection.

It's about his recording of Holst's "Planets" op. 32 with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra (DG), movement 1 - Mars, the bringer of war.

The movement starts as usual, strings, harps and timpani have their rhythmic pattern in 5/4. Then bassoons, double bassoon and two horns are starting with the first theme ... G ... D ... and then D flat ... and this D flat is terribly out of tune.

How could this stay uncorrected?

 

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Next one, again Karajan, funny with a conductor who was known for his striving for technical perfection.

It's about his recording of Holst's "Planets" op. 32 with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra (DG), movement 1 - Mars, the bringer of war.

The movement starts as usual, strings, harps and timpani have their rhythmic pattern in 5/4. Then bassoons, double bassoon and two horns are starting with the first theme ... G ... D ... and then D flat ... and this D flat is terribly out of tune.

How could this stay uncorrected?

I think the reputation Karajan had as a 'perfectionist' was somewhat misplaced. He was more interested in getting the effect he wanted I think rather than absolute technical perfection
 

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I think the reputation Karajan had as a 'perfectionist' was somewhat misplaced. He was more interested in getting the effect he wanted I think rather than absolute technical perfection
You may be right about that....recording studio time is very dear.....there is only so much time available to do retakes in a session...
 

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There's a Stanley Black/LSO recording on Decca of Khatchaturian's Sabre Dance where the timpani - and possibly a few other players - part company with the rest of the orchestra for a few bars. The whole thing has a disjointed, out-of-phase quality about it. It don't know how they didn't retake it. Used to drive me nuts at that part. I got rid of the LP!
 

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There is a very exposed collision with a music stand in Bruno Walter's stereo L.P. recording of the Schubert "Unfinished" Symphony. I don't know if it was fixed in the CD release. I hope not.

Eugene Ormandy's 1947 recording of Scheherazade is infamous for the barking dog during the fourth movement's concluding violin solo. However, it was "corrected" in subsequent L.P. pressings and I haven't found a copy with the dog. Disappointing.

Someone has a coughing fit in the leadout groove at the conclusion of Ormandy's monophonic Dvorak "New World" Symphony; but again it seems to have been "fixed" in subsequent L.P. pressings, spoiling the fun.

There is a trumpet "clam" during the "Mars" movement of Boult's 1966 recording of Holst's "The Planets". I've read reviews dismissing the recording because of the error; but frankly I don't understand the big deal. It remains my favorite stereo recording of the work.

Obscure; but there is a disfiguring violin "squeak" during the Dimitri Mitropolous/New York Philharmonic monophonic recording of Saint Saens' "Phaeton". Love it anyway.

It may be unfair to include this because it's an unauthorized aircheck of a live performance preserved on an ancient and dodgy monophonic Baroque L.P.; but in the closing moments of the 1948 Gilels/Kondrashin/Leningrad Philharmonic performance of the Tchaikovsky second piano concerto, the pianist suffers a brief memory lapse, pianist and orchestra become disentangled and there is an uncomfortable moment of "noodling" until Richter regains his memory. I have the L.P. somewhere; but more important the recording is on YouTube. I think the lapse is covered quite well and the audience seem not to notice.
 

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One that comes to mind is the trombone section failing to enter at the climax of Bernstein's recording of Mahler's Ninth with the Berlin Philharmonic. But that's from a live recording so mistakes are inevitable.
 

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Are there any recordings where something isn't screwed up in the soloist sections of the Beethoven 9 finale? Even the Fricsay recording which is my favorite has some blown notes/timings
 

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Gennady Rozhdestvensky‘s rather wonderful recording of Sibelius’ 7th Symphony with the GSO is completely destroyed by a trombonist who appears to be completely smashed on low grade vodka…

Noz-drove-ya-here, Comrade?
 

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I could hardly imagine a whole lot of studio recodings with mistakes in them. Live recordings, sure. But in the studio, I'd think they'd at least make sure they've got the notes right.

Only thing I remember is Bach's Italian Concerto by Sviatoslav Richter, where Richter used to play a wrong note. Here's what Wikipedia says:

Similarly, after Richter realized that he had been playing a wrong note in Bach's Italian Concerto for decades, he insisted that the following disclaimer/apology be printed on a CD containing a performance thereof: "Just now Sviatoslav Richter realized, much to his regret, that he always made a mistake in the third measure before the end of the second part of the 'Italian Concerto'. As a matter of fact, through forty years -- and no musician or technician ever pointed it out to him -- he played 'F-sharp' rather than 'F'. The same mistake can be found in the previous recording made by Maestro Richter in the fifties."
Make a mistake once, and it's an accident. Do it twice and it's jazz!
 

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I remember taping Richter's Live Diabelli Variations off the radio way back in 1986, it was the live Amsterdam Concertgebouw recording. And in the unisono ending of the "Don Giovanni" variation, he hit a horrible wrong note, that couldn't stand out more. I listened to that tape many times after, the performance was a triumph but that one note stood out like a sore thumb. Of course in the subsequent cd release on Philips had the offending note corrected.
 

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Gennady Rozhdestvensky‘s rather wonderful recording of Sibelius’ 7th Symphony with the GSO is completely destroyed by a trombonist who appears to be completely smashed on low grade vodka…
I love his USSR Sibelius 7 recording...vintage Russian brass playing - the trombone solo is such a hoot....the guy just blowing his a*s off - loud, edgy, blatty, strident, molto vibrato....amazing!! lol!!
 

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I'll do my part.

I considered relistening to each of the several thousand "classical" discs I have in my collection, and taking copious notes of any out of the ordinary "sounds" that surface. Of course, this would likely take some time.

So, rather, I decided to concentrate, first, for now, only on recordings of music by a handful of my favorite contemporary composers, including Stockhausen, Ligeti, John Cage, Pierre Boulez, and Iannis Xenakis. I think I'll start with Xenakis. There's bound to be a wrong note here and there somewhere in the music of Xenakis.
 

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The people who created the "Zenph re-performance" of Glenn Gould's Goldberg Variations claim that Gould played wrong notes in his 1955 recording, though they didn't specify any. (They chose not to correct them in order to preserve the original performance.)
Glenn Gould would often splice together 2 flawless performances. Simply because he enjoyed the activity of "rocking the reels" to find an edit point, marking the tape with a grease pencil, slicing it apart with a razor blade, and splicing segments together.
 
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