Concerto No.3 -- listening experience

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opus23#10
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Concerto No.3 -- listening experience

Postby opus23#10 » Sun Jun 29, 2008 7:01 pm

The CD of SVR performing his third piano concerto under the baton of Eugene Ormandy has always had a strange quality for me. The orchestral part seems to come into the room like a tidal wave -- in a huge swell of sound. Then, there is an unnatural abruptness when the sound subsides. I attribute this quality to the recording techniques of the time. Perhaps the "Philadelphia sound" comes across this way on the remastered recording. ( The piano part is unaffected, and is very clear.)

LESS IS MORE Recently, I played this CD of the third piano concerto on a little Lenoxx CD player near my favorite chair, and I was impressed with the sound quality. The orchestra was tamed, and the sudden lurches in sound were not obvious. This has proved to be a good way for me to really study the work -- movement by movement. If some of the sound is filtered out, that just makes it possible for me to focus on what is there. Hopefully, I will be able to graduate to my big stereo system for this CD, and ride the tsunami.
Opus23#10

mikhailp
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Postby mikhailp » Mon Jul 14, 2008 3:08 am

Myabe it was the chair? :lol:

Just kidding. I don't like abrupt changes when they're unnecessary either. Often in these recordings I notice that the piano is heard almost always throughout the whole peice, whereas the orchestra might fluctuate. I've come to the simple conclusion that the piano usually has a separate microphone! I don't think they setup every section of the orchestra with a microphone like they do nowadays...

opus23#10
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recording of concerto no. 3 by SVR

Postby opus23#10 » Mon Jul 14, 2008 7:24 am

That chair gets pretty comfortable, and puts me in a relaxed mood! I read somewhere that SVR did not want to be on the radio, because he couldn't stand the thought of anyone just sitting in a chair, with their feet propped up, listening to his music! :( Thank goodness he made records!

I think your explanation about a separate microphone for the piano and another one for the orchestra is probably the cause of the imperfect orchestral sound. I didn't know that they use so many microphones for the orchestra today. No wonder the sound is so great!
Those historic recordings are a treasure, though.
Opus23#10

opus23#10
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SVR's radiophobia

Postby opus23#10 » Mon Jul 14, 2008 5:02 pm

In my last posting I mentioned a rather lame excuse that SVR supposedly made for not appearing on radio broadcasts. After some consideration, I really think that he had another objection, rather than the casual attitude of the listener.

From what I know about earlier broadcasts, radio had a great variety of entertainment options -- everything from news to comedy to dubious talent shows. Serious classical music had to compete with that format. I suspect that Rachmaninoff felt radio was not a serious place for classical performance. This objection did not apply to recordings, because anyone who bought a record obviously appreciated classical music. Any ideas, especially from anyone remembering early radio shows :?:
Opus23#10

mikhailp
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Postby mikhailp » Mon Jul 14, 2008 7:31 pm

It's true that recordings for radio stations as well were commercialized, sometimes limiting the artist to a time restraint (as the recording disc couldn't hold more than some period of time). I remember Horowitz talking about his first recording of the 3rd Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto. He said that they didn't give him any time to do what he wanted with the music, hence he always preferred his later recordings of the work.

As for the orchestra microphones, have you seen the DVD recording of the 2nd Symphony that took place during the Rachmaninoff Society Conference in Amsterdam back in 2005? I might be wrong but I recall seeing a microphone in front of the clarinetists, and the trombones, violas, etc. I guess I'll have to watch it over again to insure myself :)

Amphissa
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Postby Amphissa » Wed Jul 16, 2008 4:32 am

mikhailp wrote:As for the orchestra microphones, have you seen the DVD recording of the 2nd Symphony that took place during the Rachmaninoff Society Conference in Amsterdam back in 2005?



Where can I get this DVD? I am not familiar with it.
"Life without music is a mistake." Nietzsche

mikhailp
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Postby mikhailp » Thu Jul 17, 2008 8:02 pm

Unfortunately, this DVD is not available for sale but if you would like to borrow a copy, you may contact RACHBOY (administrator of our forum) via private message and he can assist you in this.

There is also a documentary on our conference in Amsterdam during which the music was used in the background and featured at various intervals.

mikhailp

opus23#10
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Location: San Antonio, Texas

Thanks for DVD info -- my new CD

Postby opus23#10 » Wed Jul 23, 2008 7:30 am

MikhailP thanks for the info. about the conference DVD.

I just bought a CD of Evgeny Kissin and Seiji Ozawa performing the Concerto No. 3 by SVR. According to info. included with the CD, Ozawa followed a score carefully marked with SVR's directions. when he played it with the Boston Symphony Orchestra in 1919. It is quite different from Rachmaninoff's own recording, but I enjoy it very much. The orchestra benefits tremendously from the 1991 recording technology.
The CD also includes a piano arrangement of Vocalise Op.34 No. 14, and the Prelude Op.23 No.2 . I had not heard it performed before, and
now I find it spellbinding.
Opus23#10

RACHBOY
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Re: Thanks for DVD info -- my new CD

Postby RACHBOY » Sun Jul 27, 2008 11:23 pm

Thanks for the info Opus23#10,will check it out!

opus23#10 wrote:MikhailP thanks for the info. about the conference DVD.

I just bought a CD of Evgeny Kissin and Seiji Ozawa performing the Concerto No. 3 by SVR. According to info. included with the CD, Ozawa followed a score carefully marked with SVR's directions. when he played it with the Boston Symphony Orchestra in 1919. It is quite different from Rachmaninoff's own recording, but I enjoy it very much. The orchestra benefits tremendously from the 1991 recording technology.
The CD also includes a piano arrangement of Vocalise Op.34 No. 14, and the Prelude Op.23 No.2 . I had not heard it performed before, and
now I find it spellbinding.
Opus23#10


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