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Subject: Re: Records
From: Maxwell Paley <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Maxwell Paley <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Tue, 13 Feb 2018 17:54:46 +0000
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The first operatic LP I bought was the Callas/Serafin “Medea” with the technicolor picture of Callas as Medea on the cover and the big blue “Mercury Living Presence Stereo” banner across the top. Still love it.

The first vocal recording I bought on CD was the Colin Davis “Magic Flute.” Recorded by Philips in Dresden in the days “the wall” was still up. Sound quality wonderfully clear and natural, particularly compared to the relative edginess of some early digital recordings. One of the German magazines joked that maybe the sound was so good because they had to use a simpler microphone scheme because they couldn’t afford too many mics in the DDR.

The tempi on that “Flute” were more sluggish than I expected from Davis, which disappointed me.  There are some wonderful things on it. I love the actresses speaking the Three Ladies as if through clenched teeth.

Max Paley

Sent from my iPad

> On Feb 13, 2018, at 5:41 PM, Vesna Danilovic <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> 
> Well, mine was non-operatic, The Band album, "The Night They Drove Old
> Dixie Down" live in concert (it was a CD reissue of their LP album "Rock of
> Ages"). I can't remember my first opera CD because I reluctantly switched
> from LPs to CDs and started slowly doing it with the rock genre first, but
> I imagine it had to be one of the recitals with Maria Callas.
> 
> Vesna
> 
>> On Tue, Feb 13, 2018 at 12:16 PM, Bob Rideout <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>> 
>> Elisabeth Schwarzkopf singing Operetta including the spectacular
>> Nun's Chorus from Casanova. It is as fabulous today as it was the
>> first time I played the vinyl in 1960. There ain't nuthin' like it!
>> 
>> Bob
>> 
>> On Tue, Feb 13, 2018 at 11:58 Rich Lowenthal <[log in to unmask]>
>> wrote:
>> 
>>> Over the holidays I bought a CD for my brother and found myself
>>> wondering whether it was the last CD I would ever buy. I stream just
>>> about everything I listen to--it's more convenient and there's a better
>>> selection than what's on my shelves.
>>> 
>>> We've asked similar things in the past, but as we're waxing nostalgic,
>>> what was the first vocal item listers bought on CD? Mine was Jessye
>>> Norman singing Vier letzte lieder--still one of my favorite recordings.
>>> 
>>> Rich
>>> 
>>> ------ Original Message ------
>>> From: "Jon Goldberg" <[log in to unmask]>
>>> To: [log in to unmask]
>>> Sent: 2/13/2018 11:43:16 AM
>>> Subject: Records (was - Re: Another announcer - David Elliott (WHRB
>>> Boston))
>>> 
>>>> "All recorded music"?? No sir. The methods have changed, as they have
>>>> tended to do
>>>> every generation, but music is still being recorded and listened to,
>>>> and will be for a long
>>>> time to come.
>>>> 
>>>> What is a record (musically speaking)? At one point it was a cylinder.
>>>> Then, very
>>>> breakable discs that became standardized at 78 rpm. By the 1930's and
>>>> "talkies,"
>>>> recordings could be done on film, and tape would follow soon after, in
>>>> both reel and
>>>> cassette formats. (And of course the ephemeral 8-track, which always
>>>> seems to be the
>>>> butt of jokes more than a truly successful invention - just like the
>>>> Betamax, lol.) The
>>>> heavy breakable 78's eventually ceded to "unbreakable" vinyl 33's, and
>>>> 45's. (I still have
>>>> one of those clip-on adapters that make it possible to play 45's on a
>>>> standard turntable.
>>>> Remember those little attachments?) The big LP's transformed into small
>>>> CD's that
>>>> "recorded" in digital terms instead of analog. Which led to music being
>>>> recorded on no
>>>> discs at all, available the same way that I type this post. But is it
>>>> *really* any less valid
>>>> this way?
>>>> 
>>>> Sure, having been born in the 60's, my youth was all about the vinyl
>>>> age, and I have to
>>>> say that what I *really* miss are the 12" covers, the artwork, the
>>>> booklets, etc. Yes, CD's
>>>> still had all that, but on a much smaller scale. And yes, as music is
>>>> tending to move
>>>> online, I do miss the physical form of recording that you can browse in
>>>> person at the
>>>> store (something we also barely have anymore) - but on the other hand,
>>>> it seems to me
>>>> that we have more access to so much music online than we've ever had in
>>>> the analog
>>>> age, and in an instantly accessible way.
>>>> 
>>>> A decade or so ago, I was still carrying around CD's and a CD Walkman
>>>> everywhere I go,
>>>> as I'm so often listening to music as I travel. That in itself is
>>>> remarkable, given that when
>>>> I was a preteen starting to get into opera, my only practical way to
>>>> bring music around
>>>> with me was in recording LP's to tape and carrying a small tape
>>>> recorder (not yet a
>>>> Walkman, though that was just around the corner).
>>>> 
>>>> In fact, I have fond memories of the "pirating" that my dad and I used
>>>> to do when I was a
>>>> kid - we would build our own personal collections of music by raiding
>>>> the several well-
>>>> stocked libraries in our area, and recording the vinyl to cassettes.
>>>> And with my dad and I
>>>> both having a bit of "type A" in us, lol, this was a complex process -
>>>> adding up the
>>>> timings on the records to see how best to fit them on the cassette
>>>> (which actually meant
>>>> having to time things ourselves if the info wasn't listed), having to
>>>> watch out for
>>>> imperfections/skips (my dad was more into having clean recordings - if
>>>> there were too
>>>> many audible pops and scratches, he wouldn't record it - if it was a
>>>> piece I still wanted to
>>>> have in my collection, I'd often record it anyway), and
>>>> "post-production," which for my
>>>> dad was writing the album and cast info on index cards to be filed
>>>> away, and giving each
>>>> cassette a number to go with those files. Of course, we did buy albums
>>>> also, lol - but I'm
>>>> sure the 2 of us were far from the only people to be making their own
>>>> tapes of library
>>>> recordings. ;-)
>>>> 
>>>> I remember a friend in college (this would have been around 1983/4) who
>>>> got a CD
>>>> player and was so excited about the new format. Funny that though the
>>>> technology was
>>>> exciting, I at first didn't like the sound I was hearing - TOO clean to
>>>> my ears. But by
>>>> 1990, as new recordings I wanted were no longer being offered on LP's,
>>>> I gave in. Now I
>>>> wonder what the fuss was all about, lol. I still love my LP's, but CD's
>>>> became far more
>>>> manageable. But now, having so much music on our computers and phones
>>>> (or mp3
>>>> devices, etc), it's easy to see why even CD's are now a bit "passe" -
>>>> even though I still
>>>> buy them and play them.
>>>> 
>>>> But of course I'm not saying anything here that isn't evident to all of
>>>> us. Just that I don't
>>>> think recorded music is going away anytime soon - it's just the way
>>>> it's recorded. Anyone
>>>> want to go back (exclusively) to the cylinder age?? ;-)
>>>> 
>>>> (And going back to the original topic as it relates - I love the very
>>>> early recordings that
>>>> David Elliott plays. A huge part of our history and legacy, and,
>>>> "primitive" sound and all,
>>>> so cool to hear. The way we record and listen has changed many times,
>>>> but that doesn't
>>>> negate the oldest recordings. No sound sissy I, lol.)
>>>> 
>>>> 
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