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Genius Aspirant

Classical Music Recommendations

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The thread on loudness in CDs was very interesting. A lot of it focused on rock music, but some commented on classical music.

I like classical music a good deal, but I must admit I am pretty ignorant about quality of recordings. Someone (I cant remember who) suggested that DG (I assume Deutsche Gramaphone) was particularly bad. Does anyone have a good and handy list of labels that produce high quality classical CDs/recordings?

Related (maybe this should be a separate topic), what is your all time must have classical recording and why?

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The thread on loudness in CDs was very interesting. A lot of it focused on rock music, but some commented on classical music.

I like classical music a good deal, but I must admit I am pretty ignorant about quality of recordings. Someone (I cant remember who) suggested that DG (I assume Deutsche Gramaphone) was particularly bad. Does anyone have a good and handy list of labels that produce high quality classical CDs/recordings?

Related (maybe this should be a separate topic), what is your all time must have classical recording and why?

I have over 400 CDs, and most were accumulated in the eighties. I was one of the very first to buy a CD player in 1982 (Sony CDP101). Because of this I can say little of the recordings made since then. I can however comment on the recordings I do have. In HiFI circles, there is a lot of mystical nonsense about sound. I have found that the manner of the original recording is every bit as important as the final playback. I have found the best recordings to be done with minimal miking.

Picture sitting in an audience. The orchestra is spread out on the stage. At the back the brass, and in front the strings. The time delay between all the instruments adds to a certain richness that is picked up by your two ears. You are able to locate the sound by the different times the sound takes to reach each ear. Now you can imagine what happens when they stick mikes all over the place. The sound is instantaneous and flat. It seems that the best recordings are made with a couple of mikes that duplicate our ears. Telarc was a big believer in this, and earlier Mercury recordings were very good too as they had simple miking. The DG recordings overseen by Herbert von Karijan (sp?) were to my mind, guilty of too many mikes, making the strings very harsh indeed. Just remember, a good sound is one that differs the least from the live performance - you don't need golden ears for that.

As for an all time favourite, that is difficult because it depends on my mood, and my mood changes over time. I find I cannot listen to Requiems (Get down and Get dead music) when I am sad for example. I most enjoy (Get up and Boogie) upbeat music when I am in that mood though. Penguin puts out a catalog of recordings and their ratings if you are keen enough to buy it. Otherwise, let me know what recording you are considering, and I will see if I have it, then give you my opinion of it. Just to be clear, I am a technical ignoramus about music itself; I only give my emotional response to what I hear.

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The thread on loudness in CDs was very interesting. A lot of it focused on rock music, but some commented on classical music.

I like classical music a good deal, but I must admit I am pretty ignorant about quality of recordings. Someone (I cant remember who) suggested that DG (I assume Deutsche Gramaphone) was particularly bad. Does anyone have a good and handy list of labels that produce high quality classical CDs/recordings?

Related (maybe this should be a separate topic), what is your all time must have classical recording and why?

Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture. It is like a story of a struggle and ending with a complete triumph over it.

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