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Subject: Re: Callas live and other reissues
From: "ls111553 ." <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:ls111553 .
Date:Fri, 7 Jul 2017 14:40:23 +0000
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Yes, the Blu-ray Aida sounds fantastic!

One thing I find so welcome when going from LP or CD to SACD or Blu-ray is
the improved sense of "space" in the hi-res version. I don't know if this
is due to increased clarity, which lets you hear more detail on how sounds
"fade away", but the fact is that the imaging -intentional or accidental-
on these recordings comes through wonderfully. The Solti Ring is another
good example of this.

I hope the DECCA Carmen (Troyanos,Domingo, Solti) and Bohème (Freni,
Pavarotti, Karajan) are slated for Blu-ray release. The Mobile Fidelity LP
edition of this Bohème is already an imaging feat! On a good setup, you can
almost walk around the tables at Momus.

Another worthy, but almost not advertised item is the Böhm DG Magic Flute
(Wunderlich, Lear, FD, Peters) on SACD. As you mentioned for the Parsifal
(sitting on my shelf with the Böhm Tristan, cellophane wrap still on), the
improvement over previous versions is "incremental", but none the less
welcome.

By the way, I had a chance to A-B test the Solti/Flagstad Walküre Act I on
SACD against the DECCA (London) LP. I think the more distinct "bite" on the
strings you describe on the LP may be due to an over-all upper midrange
emphasis on the vinyl that is less prominent on SACD. Still, I am very
impressed with the newly-found spaciousness and much quieter background on
the hi-res edition. Besides, the tweeters on my B&W Matrix 801s don't need
any further encouragement to "bite" like Akita-Pit Bull crossbreeds!

Cheers,

Luis



On Wed, Jul 5, 2017 at 6:44 PM Maxwell Paley <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> Warner did a really first class job with their reissues of Callas' studio
> recordings 3 years ago. People found even the high notes much better than
> they had heard before, because on previous issues any innate stridency had
> been layered with additional distortion that, once stripped away,
> frequently revealed much more agreeable sounds than had previously been
> heard (at least digitally) and the new remastering removed a veil over a
> wealth of interpretive nuance.
>
> They're promising to do it again with a 42-CD + Blu-Ray set "Maria Callas
> Live: Remastered Live Recordings 1949-1964." The claim is that "best
> possible sources" are used, but no more specifics. The studio recordings
> were remastered at Abbey Road in London. These live recordings are
> remastered at Studio Art et Son in Paris. The recordings will be on CD in a
> box set with a 200 page hard-backed book, but CDs of the individual operas
> will be available separately.
>
> Such things as the 1952 ROH "Norma," 1950 Mexico City "Aida," 1955 Berlin
> "Lucia" and 1953 La Scala "Medea" and others are joined by 12 operas she
> never recorded commercially,
>
> In the case of the studio remasterings, high res (24-bit 96KHz) versions
> followed as downloads on HDTracks and other sites, and on SACD from Japan.
>
> Of other material:
>
> The Blu-Ray audio release of the RCA/Decca 1961 Solti "Aida" (Price,
> Vickers, Gorr, Merrill, Tozzi) is the best sounding version of this I've
> heard. Remarkable "in your room" presence and localization of the singers
> and orchestral forces. Some harshness, that may be the way the tape sounded
> or due to aging of the tape, but a notable increase in dynamics and
> clarity. The performance bursts with life in the new remastering. I find
> this a thrilling recording.
>
> Not quite as much of a revelation, but a significant improvement over
> earlier issues is the Blu-Ray audio version of the 1966 DGG Böhm "Tristan
> und Isolde" (Nilsson, Windgassen, Ludwig, Wächter, Talvela). More
> expressive details now audible and the new sound benefits Böhm's handling
> of the orchestra. The recording captures the power and thrust of Nilsson's
> singing, but I found her sound much more beautiful live in the house. For
> me, Böhm's conducting lacks the weight and majesty of Furtwängler but
> doesn't make as compelling a lean, intense counter-statement as Carlos
> Kleiber's.
>
> On SACD from Japan, the Knappertsbusch 1962 Bayreuth "Parsifal" sounds
> great, but then this recording always has. If you have it already on CD,
> the improvement is incremental.
>
> Haven't yet had time to listen to the Blu-Ray audio Bernstein "Fidelio."
> Coming soon, also on Blu-Ray audio, are the Solti "Salome" and "Elektra."
>
> Not opera, but of interest to some here will be the 50th anniversary
> remix/remastering of the Beatles' groundbreaking "Sgt. Pepper" album on CD
> and Blu-Ray Audio. Individual part tapes that had been re-recorded multiple
> times (given the limitations of four track tape) were recovered for the
> remix with startling improvements in clarity. The original album was
> painstakingly mixed in mono with the stereo mix thrown together quite
> quickly (and without participation of the performers). The new stereo mix
> (and 5.1 surround), made by Gilles Martin, son of the original producer
> George Martin, seeks to recapture much more of the intended effect of the
> original mono mix.  There's also a new vinyl LP version.
>
> Max Paley
>
> Sent from my iPhone
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