Classical Music Forum banner

Which performance(s) do you prefer (up to 2 choices)

  • A

    Votes: 2 28.6%
  • B

    Votes: 2 28.6%
  • C

    Votes: 3 42.9%
  • D

    Votes: 1 14.3%
41 - 52 of 52 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,930 Posts
Discussion Starter · #41 ·
My thanks for putting the time and effort into these kinds of threads - My apologies for not being able to do them justice - But it's kind of your own fault - You left the door open and I just waltzed in... Maybe make the next "Blind Comparison" a "by invitation only" event so as to keep the riff-raff out - :LOL:
At least you didn't lie down on my couch and cry your eyes out!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,375 Posts
Since the Boult came from a broadcast recording, that explains the narrow dynamic range, and that is also in line with ICA's tendency to do minimal when re-mastering such recordings. The real surprise for me is that, in a live concert in as late as 1972, he was much faster than his two studio recordings made in 1953 & 1969. I seldom think of him as being slow, but his two studio recordings are not particularly fast, and now having heard D, I know he was capable of doing it at a faster speed that I like. The problem I have with this broadcast recording is the narrow dynamic range. (By the way the narrow soundstage does not bother me.) I thought it could be due to the engineer, the conductor, or both; and regardless who the culprit was, it could be bad enough to make it sound flat, which is what I found and disliked.

The rest are slow but decent. I could have expected an even more beautiful sound from Rattle (C is not the most beautiful among the three, although they are close); more drama from Pappano (I suppose A is reasonable dramatic); and more drive from Vasily (which is more like a wish against reality as his recent recordings show he can be Celi in disguise).

Thanks Becca for arranging this blindcomp. I have enjoyed it although I was in a rush this time.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,930 Posts
Discussion Starter · #43 ·
FWIW, the Rattle/LSO is my favourite ... if only the sound wasn't so poor, which is kinda weird for BBC/Proms broadcasts, and that background noise must be the hall air conditioning. Anyway it's interesting to watch the concert as it's a bit eerie with the empty hall, but it does add an appropriate ambience to the occasion. It is also interesting that I have never seen Rattle as being an RVW conductor!

As to the Boult, ICA released this very recently and it can be found on Spotify.

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,930 Posts
Discussion Starter · #44 ·
Sir Antonio Pappano, music director of Covent Garden for the last 20 years. He takes over from Rattle at the London Symphony in a year or two. Despite the name he is English.
P.S. There is a very recent and highly rated recording of the RVW 4th & 6th with Pappano and the LSO on the LSOLive label.
 

·
Premium Member
Chicago (ex-Dublin)
Joined
·
4,271 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
252 Posts
Sir Antonio Pappano, music director of Covent Garden for the last 20 years. He takes over from Rattle at the London Symphony in a year or two. Despite the name he is English.
that would figure. I haven't been to Covent Garden for about 30 years and my interest in non-Slavonic opera is fairly minimal. London is just a big provincial town these days (as Rattle would no doubt tell you......):D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
299 Posts
:: Serge Koussevitzky/BSO [1947 radio broadcast/Guild]
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=imyMYZkDG2Q&list=PLrnsjMis4n-MGVOo0H5jNcqcS3Jn6zEpG

I’ve been too lazy to take part in the blind comparison (aside from conducting a few spot checks here and there), but I’m unashamed enough to saunter in after the fact and put in a word for my favorite recording of the Fifth …

Koussevitzky’s big, undaunted, scarcely pastoral approach to the Fifth tends to underscore the Modern in Vaughan Williams’s Romantic-yet-Modern sensibility—he brings a Samuel Barber-like quality to many of the themes and episodes, especially in the Romanza—yet it all sounds somehow natural if not necessarily all that idiomatic or “British.” The scherzo begins rather gruffly and heavily here, but it insidiously morphs into something resembling Boris Blacher’s Concertante Musik (1937) by movement’s end. The BSO plays with sovereign command and eloquence throughout, soothing the savage beast in some sections (the final minutes of the Romanza have never sounded so ethereally beautiful) while evoking the power of the sea in others (certain passages of the final movement have a Tintagel-like Baxian quality about them), with teeming molecular energy and inner intensity underlying the beautiful sheen of the strings.

The 1947 broadcast sound is no great shakes, with a woolly, generalized bottom end and not much top end, but the middle end is good enough to carry the sonic load and put the performance across. Solos are variously spotlit as they often are in old radio broadcasts, but they often come across like concertino members in a concerto grosso and add to the atmosphere rather than detract from it; besides, the solos are so well and so characterfully played that it’s seems churlish to complain about them being a bit too prominent. Not a performance/recording for everyone, then … indeed, I seem to be its only known fan.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,849 Posts
FWIW, the Rattle/LSO is my favourite ... if only the sound wasn't so poor, which is kinda weird for BBC/Proms broadcasts, and that background noise must be the hall air conditioning. Anyway it's interesting to watch the concert as it's a bit eerie with the empty hall, but it does add an appropriate ambience to the occasion. It is also interesting that I have never seen Rattle as being an RVW conductor!
Ah but ... I assume your hearing of it was not blind? Perhaps you would have preferred one of the others if you had been able to blind test them?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,930 Posts
Discussion Starter · #51 ·
Ah but ... I assume your hearing of it was not blind? Perhaps you would have preferred one of the others if you had been able to blind test them?
Maybe ... but having seen it during the height of the pandemic shutdown with the acoustic of a very large and very empty hall, it made rather an emotional hit.
 

·
Registered
Sibelius, Beethoven, Satie, Debussy
Joined
·
2,099 Posts
I watched the Rattle at the time, though I don't recall much about it...the 5th is fine enough, but it hasn't made the same impression as the 3rd, 6th and 7th.

Thanks again for arranging.
Having said that it didn't make the same impression as others of his symphonies, it has now. I can't stop listening to it!
 
41 - 52 of 52 Posts
Top