Stephen Speicher

1812 Overture, Op. 49

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9 posts in this topic

I like this one a lot, and the cannon and bells really underscore the message of the music. I always have a hard time staying seated when the first cannon shot is fired; the music makes me want to stand up and cheer.

As luck would have it, I just bought a new recording of the 1812 Overture. (Well, it isn't really new, but it's new for me.) At a library book sale, they were selling vinyl records for 25 cents, and so I bought this recording, which features an 18th century bronze cannon, recorded at West Point, with music played by the Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra, on the "Mercury Living Presence" label. This just might be my favorite recording of the piece.

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I like this one a lot, and the cannon and bells really underscore the message of the music. I always have a hard time staying seated when the first cannon shot is fired; the music makes me want to stand up and cheer.

As luck would have it, I just bought a new recording of the 1812 Overture. (Well, it isn't really new, but it's new for me.) At a library book sale, they were selling vinyl records for 25 cents, and so I bought this recording, which features an 18th century bronze cannon, recorded at West Point, with music played by the Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra, on the "Mercury Living Presence" label. This just might be my favorite recording of the piece.

Vinyl eh? Either you are a purist or nostalgia buff. You have to look for a receiver that can handle a record player these days. If I remember well, Mercury did really good recordings, because unlike the multi miking which was popular then, they had a simple two mike affair. This was also later employed by TELARC, who went out of their way for purity in recording. Generally their stuff is very good, but I did not keep the 1812 Overture disc they made using real cannons. They warn you to watch the volume because of the dynamic range of the cannons, but in the end the integration with the music didn't work for me. I prefer an older recording I have. The climax of this music is unmistakably victorious.

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Vinyl eh? Either you are a purist or nostalgia buff.

Actually, it was just a matter of price - the fact that the record only cost 25 cents. I've found that classical vinyl records are often in very good shape. And since I can still play them... why not? :blink:

You have to look for a receiver that can handle a record player these days.

Hmmm. I hadn't thought of that, but that's one more reason to hold on to my existing receiver and record player, since so much of my music is on records.

If I remember well, Mercury did really good recordings, because unlike the multi miking which was popular then, they had a simple two mike affair. This was also later employed by TELARC, who went out of their way for purity in recording. Generally their stuff is very good, but I did not keep the 1812 Overture disc they made using real cannons. They warn you to watch the volume because of the dynamic range of the cannons, but in the end the integration with the music didn't work for me. I prefer an older recording I have. The climax of this music is unmistakably victorious.

Yes - I agree about the Mercury Living Presence recordings - they're excellent quality, and I've read about the fact that they only use a few microphones. In fact, on the jacket of a different, monaural Mercury record I have, they talk with pride about their "single microphone technique." (I also have quite a few Mercury CD's, which, from the recording dates, must be copies of material previously available on vinyl.)

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I like this one a lot, and the cannon and bells really underscore the message of the music. I always have a hard time staying seated when the first cannon shot is fired; the music makes me want to stand up and cheer.

As luck would have it, I just bought a new recording of the 1812 Overture. (Well, it isn't really new, but it's new for me.) At a library book sale, they were selling vinyl records for 25 cents, and so I bought this recording, which features an 18th century bronze cannon, recorded at West Point, with music played by the Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra, on the "Mercury Living Presence" label. This just might be my favorite recording of the piece.

I have this vinyl recording too (since high school). It is the best one I have heard. The engineers at Mercury really had something going and put out a series of great recordings. I have this one reissued on CD too. The sound of the analog to digital recording is as good or better than most digital recordings. I think they just set the levels and left them alone on the original taping. No fancy mixing with a mike on every instrument in this series of recordings (except for the cannons and bells on 1812.

See for more CD releases of the series:

http://www.deccaclassics.com/music/mercurylivingpresence/

The Eastman Wind Ensemble put out some great recordings under the directions of Frederick Fennell in this series also.

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I have this vinyl recording too (since high school). It is the best one I have heard. The engineers at Mercury really had something going and put out a series of great recordings. I have this one reissued on CD too. The sound of the analog to digital recording is as good or better than most digital recordings. I think they just set the levels and left them alone on the original taping. No fancy mixing with a mike on every instrument in this series of recordings (except for the cannons and bells on 1812.

I don't know much about recording techniques, but obviously the people who made these recordings knew what they were doing and paid attention to the details that mattered.

See for more CD releases of the series:

http://www.deccaclassics.com/music/mercurylivingpresence/

Thanks. Many of these covers look familiar. The Mercury CD's are popular enough that some record stores here have a section in their bins that are devoted to just that one label, so I've bought quite a few over the years (when I have reason to think the music is something I'd like). And never been disappointed.

The Eastman Wind Ensemble put out some great recordings under the directions of Frederick Fennell in this series also.

Yes - those are very good! In fact, the first LP record I ever owned is a monaural version with the Eastman Ensemble called "Marching Along." And even though it's a record, over 40 years old, and monaural, it's still one of my favorite records. The dynamic range is really noticeable in American Patrol that starts off barely audible and builds up from there. The instruments sound so crisp and fresh every time.

Another good one in this series is a CD of Sousa marches.

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I don't know much about recording techniques, but obviously the people who made these recordings knew what they were doing and paid attention to the details that mattered.

Thanks. Many of these covers look familiar. The Mercury CD's are popular enough that some record stores here have a section in their bins that are devoted to just that one label, so I've bought quite a few over the years (when I have reason to think the music is something I'd like). And never been disappointed.

Yes - those are very good! In fact, the first LP record I ever owned is a monaural version with the Eastman Ensemble called "Marching Along." And even though it's a record, over 40 years old, and monaural, it's still one of my favorite records. The dynamic range is really noticeable in American Patrol that starts off barely audible and builds up from there. The instruments sound so crisp and fresh every time.

Another good one in this series is a CD of Sousa marches.

My Favorite in this series is American and British Band Classics with Fennell and the Eastman Wind Ensemble. The Crown Imperial March by William Walton is one of the most inspiring and uplifting pieces I have heard, especially this performance. The Fennell albums in this series are considered to be the definitive interpretations of the wind band pieces included.

Another great one in the Living Presences Series is the album with the Howard Hanson Symphonies no. 1 (Nordic) and no. 2 (Romantic), conducted by Hanson.

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My Favorite in this series is American and British Band Classics with Fennell and the Eastman Wind Ensemble. The Crown Imperial March by William Walton is one of the most inspiring and uplifting pieces I have heard, especially this performance. The Fennell albums in this series are considered to be the definitive interpretations of the wind band pieces included.

Another great one in the Living Presences Series is the album with the Howard Hanson Symphonies no. 1 (Nordic) and no. 2 (Romantic), conducted by Hanson.

If you like Fennell in a modern recording with good dynamic range, you can find him on Telarc 80099, with a good selection of marches.

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If you like Fennell in a modern recording with good dynamic range, you can find him on Telarc 80099, with a good selection of marches.

Thanks, Arnold.

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