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Subject: Blu-ray, hi-rez, etc.
From: Jason Victor Serinus <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Jason Victor Serinus <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Fri, 7 Jul 2017 13:55:54 -0700
Content-Type:text/plain
Parts/Attachments:
Parts/Attachments

text/plain (886 lines)


Hi all,

I haven't been reading Opera-L posts for a while, but I'm glad I did today.

First of all, I encourage everyone who understands what a huge difference
hi-rez digital makes in terms of timbral truth, soundstage size, air, and,
most of all, emotional impact to always check for hi-rez downloads at
findhdmusic.com and eclassical.com. A check of the former reveals
http://www.findhdmusic.com/album-search/?q=Tristan+und+Isolde
with the live Bohm Tristan
three complete Parsifals (no, not the Kna),
five complete Carmens, including the Beecham (but not the Solti)
[Note: all three of the historic reissues Max Paley mentions are available
for download in hi-rez from HDTracks]
a number of Bohemes, including Karajan's with Pavarotti and Freni
the Klemperer, Bohm, and Jacobs Die Zauberflote
the Thieleman, Karajan, and Solti Rings (amongst others)
The Solti Aida
etc...
These all offer the same resolution as on the Blu-ray discs.

Eclassical seems to have a lot of the Naxos historical issues in CD
quality. And lots of hi-rez downloads, of course.

To address Max D. Winter's question concerning Blu-ray, yes, since Pure
Audio Blu-ray discs offer  hi-rez, 24/96 sound, and Blu-ray videos in
general offer CD quality sound (superior to DVD sound), a good Blu-ray
player has the potential to make a major difference (all things being
equal). The standard all-purpose audiophile player of choice is the Oppo
multi-format player. There's a new one out, but I don't have the $ to buy
it right now. That Oppo has a headphone output, I believe, which means that
if you get good headphones and good headphone cable, you don't have to
worry about the quality of your aging speakers, receiver, and cabling.

The alternative, if you're talking about sound only, is to skip the blu-ray
player, and buy an external DAC for your computer. I currently have the
Mytek Brooklyn ($2000) on loan, and it is a fantastic deal. It plays every
hi-rez format you can imagine, including MQA - I don't want to get into an
MQA discussion here, but MQA hi-rez audio discs are on the horizon, and MQA
streaming on Tidal is already a reality, and sounds great - and it has a
headphone jack. All you need, again, is a good USB cable.

On the other end of the financial spectrum, you can buy a $199 AudioQuest
Dragonfly Red, plug it into your USB port, plug your headphones into it,
and hear much, much better sound than through your computer's headphone
output.

I hope this helps. I'm speaking about all this on the forthcoming Music
Critics Association of North America CD/DVD reviewing panel in Santa Fe, so
it's on my mind.

jason victor serinus
Contributing Editor, Stereophile

--
Date:    Fri, 7 Jul 2017 14:40:23 +0000
From:    "ls111553 ." <[log in to unmask]>
Subject: Re: Callas live and other reissues

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 Boh=C3=A8me (Freni,
Pavarotti, Karajan) are slated for Blu-ray release. The Mobile Fidelity LP
edition of this Boh=C3=A8me is already an imaging feat! On a good setup, yo=
u can
almost walk around the tables at Momus.

Another worthy, but almost not advertised item is the B=C3=B6hm DG Magic Fl=
ute
(Wunderlich, Lear, FD, Peters) on SACD. As you mentioned for the Parsifal
(sitting on my shelf with the B=C3=B6hm 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 Walk=C3=BCre 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 ha=
d
> 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 opera=
s
> 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 sound=
ed
> 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 B=C3=B6hm "Tr=
istan
> und Isolde" (Nilsson, Windgassen, Ludwig, W=C3=A4chter, Talvela). More
> expressive details now audible and the new sound benefits B=C3=B6hm's han=
dling
> 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, B=C3=B6hm's conducting lacks the weight and majesty of Furtw=C3=A4ngl=
er 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 C=
D
> and Blu-Ray Audio. Individual part tapes that had been re-recorded multip=
le
> 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
> **********************************************
> OPERA-L on Facebook:
> http://www.facebook.com/groups/25703098721/
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------=
-
> To UNSUBSCRIBE, send a message to [log in to unmask]
> containing only the words:  SIGNOFF OPERA-L
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L
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------=
-
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> -------------------------------------------------------------------------=
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>

**********************************************
OPERA-L on Facebook:
http://www.facebook.com/groups/25703098721/
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
To UNSUBSCRIBE, send a message to [log in to unmask]
containing only the words:  SIGNOFF OPERA-L
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--------------------------------------------------------------------------

------------------------------


Date:    Fri, 7 Jul 2017 08:06:14 -0700
From:    Max Paley <[log in to unmask]>
Subject: Re: Callas live and other reissues

Luis, the Karajan Berlin "Boh=C3=A8me" is out on Blu-Ray and, good as
previo=
us LP editions (Mobile Fidelity and Speakers Corner in particular, although
t=
he original Decca was no slouch), I find the Blu-Ray significantly better.
I=
n terms of "space," as you say, I find really impressive the ambience and
ov=
erall clarity the Decca team got in what I think was their first go at
using=
the DGG/EMI stronghold, the Jesus Christus Kirche in the Dahlem suburb of B=
erlin.

That said, I still get much of this same "space," maybe even more, on many
o=
riginal LPs, which has often been my disappointment with CD. However, that
S=
olti "Aida" Blu-Ray has notably better clarity and presence on the voices
th=
an my "Shaded Dog" RCA LP set. Matrix 801s do have tremendous clarity (and
m=
assive bass), which is also a characteristic of my Wilson MAXX 3s.

I just got delivered the SACD sets of Warner's remastered Beecham "Carmen,"
G=
iulini "Don Giovanni" and Klemperer "Magic Flute." Hope to find time to
list=
en this weekend.

Les, one thing that has always puzzled me is why Italian broadcast material
f=
rom the 50s sounds so terrible. This is particularly true compared to
contem=
porary German (WDR, Bavarian Radio) and Austrian (ORF) material, which
often=
has remarkably good sound. It's not like the Italians (RAI) didn't have the=
equipment; they had absolutely top class 30 IPS tape machines. One story I
h=
ad heard was that they didn't like to spend money on acquisition and
storage=
of recording tape. Those 30 IPS recordings were very quickly transferred to=
shellac discs so that the tape could be erased and re-used. This is what ha=
ppened with the Rome Furtw=C3=A4ngler "Ring" and could also apply to Callas
m=
aterial.=20

A few years ago, a very gussied up and very expensive box set LP set was
rel=
eased of the 1956 revival of the La Scala "Traviata" - still Callas, but
oth=
er cast changes. Despite the luxury packaging and beautiful 180 gram LPs,
th=
e sound is terrible.

I remember the limited edition of the Lisbon "Traviata" that was derived
fro=
m different, much better source material than the EMI release. I never
acqui=
red that but, not too long after, another company (I think Pearl) came out
w=
ith a much more affordable set that also had markedly better sound. It will
b=
e interesting to see what Warner uses.

Max Paley

Sent from my iPad

> On Jul 7, 2017, at 07:40, ls111553 . <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>=20
> Yes, the Blu-ray Aida sounds fantastic!=20
>=20
> 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 i=
s due to increased clarity, which lets you hear more detail on how sounds
"f=
ade away", but the fact is that the imaging -intentional or accidental- on
t=
hese recordings comes through wonderfully. The Solti Ring is another good
ex=
ample of this.
>=20
> I hope the DECCA Carmen (Troyanos,Domingo, Solti) and Boh=C3=A8me (Freni,
P=
avarotti, Karajan) are slated for Blu-ray release. The Mobile Fidelity LP
ed=
ition of this Boh=C3=A8me is already an imaging feat! On a good setup, you
c=
an almost walk around the tables at Momus.
>=20
> Another worthy, but almost not advertised item is the B=C3=B6hm DG Magic
Fl=
ute (Wunderlich, Lear, FD, Peters) on SACD. As you mentioned for the
Parsifa=
l (sitting on my shelf with the B=C3=B6hm Tristan, cellophane wrap still
on)=
, the improvement over previous versions is "incremental", but none the
less=
welcome.
>=20
> By the way, I had a chance to A-B test the Solti/Flagstad Walk=C3=BCre
Act=
I on SACD against the DECCA (London) LP. I think the more distinct "bite" o=
n the strings you describe on the LP may be due to an over-all upper
midrang=
e emphasis on the vinyl that is less prominent on SACD. Still, I am very
imp=
ressed with the newly-found spaciousness and much quieter background on the
h=
i-res edition. Besides, the tweeters on my B&W Matrix 801s don't need any
fu=
rther encouragement to "bite" like Akita-Pit Bull crossbreeds!
>=20
> Cheers,
>=20
> Luis
>=20
>=20
>=20
>> 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 t=
hey had heard before, because on previous issues any innate stridency had
be=
en layered with additional distortion that, once stripped away, frequently
r=
evealed much more agreeable sounds than had previously been heard (at least
d=
igitally) and the new remastering removed a veil over a wealth of
interpreti=
ve nuance.
>>=20
>> 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 possib=
le sources" are used, but no more specifics. The studio recordings were
rema=
stered at Abbey Road in London. These live recordings are remastered at
Stud=
io 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 s=
eparately.
>>=20
>> 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 ne=
ver recorded commercially,
>>=20
>> In the case of the studio remasterings, high res (24-bit 96KHz) versions
f=
ollowed as downloads on HDTracks and other sites, and on SACD from Japan.
>>=20
>> Of other material:
>>=20
>> The Blu-Ray audio release of the RCA/Decca 1961 Solti "Aida" (Price,
Vick=
ers, Gorr, Merrill, Tozzi) is the best sounding version of this I've heard.
R=
emarkable "in your room" presence and localization of the singers and
orches=
tral forces. Some harshness, that may be the way the tape sounded or due to
a=
ging of the tape, but a notable increase in dynamics and clarity. The
perfor=
mance bursts with life in the new remastering. I find this a thrilling
recor=
ding.
>>=20
>> Not quite as much of a revelation, but a significant improvement over
ear=
lier issues is the Blu-Ray audio version of the 1966 DGG B=C3=B6hm "Tristan
u=
nd Isolde" (Nilsson, Windgassen, Ludwig, W=C3=A4chter, Talvela). More
expres=
sive details now audible and the new sound benefits B=C3=B6hm's handling of
t=
he orchestra. The recording captures the power and thrust of Nilsson's
singi=
ng, but I found her sound much more beautiful live in the house. For me,
B=C3=
=B6hm's conducting lacks the weight and majesty of Furtw=C3=A4ngler but
does=
n't make as compelling a lean, intense counter-statement as Carlos
Kleiber's=
.
>>=20
>> On SACD from Japan, the Knappertsbusch 1962 Bayreuth "Parsifal" sounds
gr=
eat, but then this recording always has. If you have it already on CD, the
i=
mprovement is incremental.
>>=20
>> Haven't yet had time to listen to the Blu-Ray audio Bernstein "Fidelio."
C=
oming soon, also on Blu-Ray audio, are the Solti "Salome" and "Elektra."
>>=20
>> Not opera, but of interest to some here will be the 50th anniversary
remi=
x/remastering of the Beatles' groundbreaking "Sgt. Pepper" album on CD and
B=
lu-Ray Audio. Individual part tapes that had been re-recorded multiple
times=
(given the limitations of four track tape) were recovered for the remix wit=
h startling improvements in clarity. The original album was painstakingly
mi=
xed in mono with the stereo mix thrown together quite quickly (and without
p=
articipation of the performers). The new stereo mix (and 5.1 surround),
made=
by Gilles Martin, son of the original producer George Martin, seeks to reca=
pture much more of the intended effect of the original mono mix.  There's
al=
so a new vinyl LP version.
>>=20
>> Max Paley
>>=20
>> Sent from my iPhone
>> **********************************************


------------------------------

Date:    Fri, 7 Jul 2017 14:56:58 -0400
From:    "Max D. Winter" <[log in to unmask]>
Subject: Question re Blu-ray CDs

I have a good if dated sound system (even though these days I do most of =
my listening on=20
computer), including a top-of-the-line (at the time bought) Yamaha receiv=
er and Klipsch=20
Cornwall speakers.=20=20

My question is:  assuming I get a decent blu-ray player, do I need any ot=
her special=20
equipment to make investing in blu-ray CDs worth it (i.e., to get the ben=
efit of the improved=20
sound)?  Yes, I know that to maximize the benefits I need better, more mo=
dern equipment=20
than I have.  But frankly I don't want to make a huge investment in new e=
quipment.  So - is=20
there a significant improvement to be had in my getting blu-ray discs?

Thanks for the input.=20

Max




Date:    Fri, 7 Jul 2017 14:40:23 +0000
From:    "ls111553 ." <[log in to unmask]>
Subject: Re: Callas live and other reissues

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 Boh=C3=A8me (Freni,
Pavarotti, Karajan) are slated for Blu-ray release. The Mobile Fidelity LP
edition of this Boh=C3=A8me is already an imaging feat! On a good setup, yo=
u can
almost walk around the tables at Momus.

Another worthy, but almost not advertised item is the B=C3=B6hm DG Magic Fl=
ute
(Wunderlich, Lear, FD, Peters) on SACD. As you mentioned for the Parsifal
(sitting on my shelf with the B=C3=B6hm 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 Walk=C3=BCre 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 ha=
d
> 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 opera=
s
> 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 sound=
ed
> 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 B=C3=B6hm "Tr=
istan
> und Isolde" (Nilsson, Windgassen, Ludwig, W=C3=A4chter, Talvela). More
> expressive details now audible and the new sound benefits B=C3=B6hm's han=
dling
> 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, B=C3=B6hm's conducting lacks the weight and majesty of Furtw=C3=A4ngl=
er 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 C=
D
> and Blu-Ray Audio. Individual part tapes that had been re-recorded multip=
le
> 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
> **********************************************
> OPERA-L on Facebook:
> http://www.facebook.com/groups/25703098721/
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------=
-
> To UNSUBSCRIBE, send a message to [log in to unmask]
> containing only the words:  SIGNOFF OPERA-L
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------=
-
> To stay subscribed but TURN OFF mail, send a message to
> [log in to unmask] containing only the words:  SET OPERA-L NOMAI=
L
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------=
-
> Modify your settings: http://listserv.bccls.org/archives/opera-l.html
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------=
-
>



------------------------------

Date:    Fri, 7 Jul 2017 08:06:14 -0700
From:    Max Paley <[log in to unmask]>
Subject: Re: Callas live and other reissues

Luis, the Karajan Berlin "Boh=C3=A8me" is out on Blu-Ray and, good as
previo=
us LP editions (Mobile Fidelity and Speakers Corner in particular, although
t=
he original Decca was no slouch), I find the Blu-Ray significantly better.
I=
n terms of "space," as you say, I find really impressive the ambience and
ov=
erall clarity the Decca team got in what I think was their first go at
using=
the DGG/EMI stronghold, the Jesus Christus Kirche in the Dahlem suburb of B=
erlin.

That said, I still get much of this same "space," maybe even more, on many
o=
riginal LPs, which has often been my disappointment with CD. However, that
S=
olti "Aida" Blu-Ray has notably better clarity and presence on the voices
th=
an my "Shaded Dog" RCA LP set. Matrix 801s do have tremendous clarity (and
m=
assive bass), which is also a characteristic of my Wilson MAXX 3s.

I just got delivered the SACD sets of Warner's remastered Beecham "Carmen,"
G=
iulini "Don Giovanni" and Klemperer "Magic Flute." Hope to find time to
list=
en this weekend.

Les, one thing that has always puzzled me is why Italian broadcast material
f=
rom the 50s sounds so terrible. This is particularly true compared to
contem=
porary German (WDR, Bavarian Radio) and Austrian (ORF) material, which
often=
has remarkably good sound. It's not like the Italians (RAI) didn't have the=
equipment; they had absolutely top class 30 IPS tape machines. One story I
h=
ad heard was that they didn't like to spend money on acquisition and
storage=
of recording tape. Those 30 IPS recordings were very quickly transferred to=
shellac discs so that the tape could be erased and re-used. This is what ha=
ppened with the Rome Furtw=C3=A4ngler "Ring" and could also apply to Callas
m=
aterial.=20

A few years ago, a very gussied up and very expensive box set LP set was
rel=
eased of the 1956 revival of the La Scala "Traviata" - still Callas, but
oth=
er cast changes. Despite the luxury packaging and beautiful 180 gram LPs,
th=
e sound is terrible.

I remember the limited edition of the Lisbon "Traviata" that was derived
fro=
m different, much better source material than the EMI release. I never
acqui=
red that but, not too long after, another company (I think Pearl) came out
w=
ith a much more affordable set that also had markedly better sound. It will
b=
e interesting to see what Warner uses.

Max Paley

Sent from my iPad

> On Jul 7, 2017, at 07:40, ls111553 . <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>=20
> Yes, the Blu-ray Aida sounds fantastic!=20
>=20
> 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 i=
s due to increased clarity, which lets you hear more detail on how sounds
"f=
ade away", but the fact is that the imaging -intentional or accidental- on
t=
hese recordings comes through wonderfully. The Solti Ring is another good
ex=
ample of this.
>=20
> I hope the DECCA Carmen (Troyanos,Domingo, Solti) and Boh=C3=A8me (Freni,
P=
avarotti, Karajan) are slated for Blu-ray release. The Mobile Fidelity LP
ed=
ition of this Boh=C3=A8me is already an imaging feat! On a good setup, you
c=
an almost walk around the tables at Momus.
>=20
> Another worthy, but almost not advertised item is the B=C3=B6hm DG Magic
Fl=
ute (Wunderlich, Lear, FD, Peters) on SACD. As you mentioned for the
Parsifa=
l (sitting on my shelf with the B=C3=B6hm Tristan, cellophane wrap still
on)=
, the improvement over previous versions is "incremental", but none the
less=
welcome.
>=20
> By the way, I had a chance to A-B test the Solti/Flagstad Walk=C3=BCre
Act=
I on SACD against the DECCA (London) LP. I think the more distinct "bite" o=
n the strings you describe on the LP may be due to an over-all upper
midrang=
e emphasis on the vinyl that is less prominent on SACD. Still, I am very
imp=
ressed with the newly-found spaciousness and much quieter background on the
h=
i-res edition. Besides, the tweeters on my B&W Matrix 801s don't need any
fu=
rther encouragement to "bite" like Akita-Pit Bull crossbreeds!
>=20
> Cheers,
>=20
> Luis
>=20
>=20
>=20
>> 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 t=
hey had heard before, because on previous issues any innate stridency had
be=
en layered with additional distortion that, once stripped away, frequently
r=
evealed much more agreeable sounds than had previously been heard (at least
d=
igitally) and the new remastering removed a veil over a wealth of
interpreti=
ve nuance.
>>=20
>> 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 possib=
le sources" are used, but no more specifics. The studio recordings were
rema=
stered at Abbey Road in London. These live recordings are remastered at
Stud=
io 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 s=
eparately.
>>=20
>> 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 ne=
ver recorded commercially,
>>=20
>> In the case of the studio remasterings, high res (24-bit 96KHz) versions
f=
ollowed as downloads on HDTracks and other sites, and on SACD from Japan.
>>=20
>> Of other material:
>>=20
>> The Blu-Ray audio release of the RCA/Decca 1961 Solti "Aida" (Price,
Vick=
ers, Gorr, Merrill, Tozzi) is the best sounding version of this I've heard.
R=
emarkable "in your room" presence and localization of the singers and
orches=
tral forces. Some harshness, that may be the way the tape sounded or due to
a=
ging of the tape, but a notable increase in dynamics and clarity. The
perfor=
mance bursts with life in the new remastering. I find this a thrilling
recor=
ding.
>>=20
>> Not quite as much of a revelation, but a significant improvement over
ear=
lier issues is the Blu-Ray audio version of the 1966 DGG B=C3=B6hm "Tristan
u=
nd Isolde" (Nilsson, Windgassen, Ludwig, W=C3=A4chter, Talvela). More
expres=
sive details now audible and the new sound benefits B=C3=B6hm's handling of
t=
he orchestra. The recording captures the power and thrust of Nilsson's
singi=
ng, but I found her sound much more beautiful live in the house. For me,
B=C3=
=B6hm's conducting lacks the weight and majesty of Furtw=C3=A4ngler but
does=
n't make as compelling a lean, intense counter-statement as Carlos
Kleiber's=
.
>>=20
>> On SACD from Japan, the Knappertsbusch 1962 Bayreuth "Parsifal" sounds
gr=
eat, but then this recording always has. If you have it already on CD, the
i=
mprovement is incremental.
>>=20
>> Haven't yet had time to listen to the Blu-Ray audio Bernstein "Fidelio."
C=
oming soon, also on Blu-Ray audio, are the Solti "Salome" and "Elektra."
>>=20
>> Not opera, but of interest to some here will be the 50th anniversary
remi=
x/remastering of the Beatles' groundbreaking "Sgt. Pepper" album on CD and
B=
lu-Ray Audio. Individual part tapes that had been re-recorded multiple
times=
(given the limitations of four track tape) were recovered for the remix wit=
h startling improvements in clarity. The original album was painstakingly
mi=
xed in mono with the stereo mix thrown together quite quickly (and without
p=
articipation of the performers). The new stereo mix (and 5.1 surround),
made=
by Gilles Martin, son of the original producer George Martin, seeks to reca=
pture much more of the intended effect of the original mono mix.  There's
al=
so a new vinyl LP version.
>>=20
>> Max Paley
>>=20
>> Sent from my iPhone

------------------------------

Date:    Fri, 7 Jul 2017 14:56:58 -0400
From:    "Max D. Winter" <[log in to unmask]>
Subject: Question re Blu-ray CDs

I have a good if dated sound system (even though these days I do most of =
my listening on=20
computer), including a top-of-the-line (at the time bought) Yamaha receiv=
er and Klipsch=20
Cornwall speakers.=20=20

My question is:  assuming I get a decent blu-ray player, do I need any ot=
her special=20
equipment to make investing in blu-ray CDs worth it (i.e., to get the ben=
efit of the improved=20
sound)?  Yes, I know that to maximize the benefits I need better, more mo=
dern equipment=20
than I have.  But frankly I don't want to make a huge investment in new e=
quipment.  So - is=20
there a significant improvement to be had in my getting blu-ray discs?

Thanks for the input.=20

Max
---
Jason Victor Serinus http://www.jasonserinus.com     Whistler
Extraordinaire: **The Voice of Woodstock • The Pavarotti of Pucker**
Music and audiophile critic: Seattle Times, Port Townsend Leader,
Stereophile, Listen, San Francisco Classical Voice, Bay Area Reporter, Gay
City News, American Record Guide, Classical Voice North America, Stanford
Live, Opera Now, Copper, and more

"Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the
tormentor, never the tormented.” — Elie Wiesel

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