A Good Classical SACD / DVD-A

Discussion in 'Music' started by dan-0, Aug 17, 2005.

  1. dan-0

    dan-0 Stunt Coordinator

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    Here's the deal.

    1) I've been playing piano for aprox. 25 years. I love to play classical music and a bit of blues and jazz.

    2) I'm also a child of the 80's and for better or worse, the music I listen to has been greatly influenced by that decade. To that end I listen predominately to 80's metal, rock/pop, and quite a bit of blues.

    3) I really really like multichannel. Some of my better sounding SACD/DVD-A's are the stringed or relatively unamplified recordings. Stuff like Muddy Waters - Folk Singer, Beck - Sea of Change, Diana Krall - Look of Love, etc... Much to my dismay, Megadeth and Aerosmith do not impress me in multichannel. Additionaly, I've read more then once that SACD/DVD-A really lends itself to stringed recordings.

    Can anyone recommend a good classical SACD/DVD-A that I might enjoy listening to? Something to get my feet wet with, and perhaps see what I've been missing.

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. Phil A

    Phil A Producer

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    Lots of good ones. Some of the old RCA Living Stereos are pretty good for old recordings. Some of them are the orig. 3-channel (left, right, center) only. The Mahler series by the San Francisco Symphony are good. I have not heard a bad classical thing on Chesky or Telarc or AIX (DVD-A) for that matter. Just check out - http://www.chesky.com/ or http://www.telarc.com/ or www.aixrecords.com and pick whatever music you like from what they have in multi-channel and I'm sure you'll enjoy it.
     
  3. Paul.S

    Paul.S Producer

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    I second Phil's mention of Telarc.

    Since you mentioned Muddy Waters explicitly, I presume you have either the DVD-A or the SA-CD of Folk Singer? I have not heard it, but have read ebullient reviews.

    -p
     
  4. Seth--L

    Seth--L Screenwriter

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    MDT is having a major sale ($11.21) on PentaTone SACDs that ends next week. Sound quality is among the best; repertoire is eclectic; performances mostly excellent, though there are some duds.

    PentaTone Reccomendations:
    • BACH Sonatas and Partitas for Solo Violin BWV 1001-1006 Julia Fischer
    • BARTOK Divertimento for Strings HARTMANN Concerto Funebre BRITTEN Variations on a Theme of Frank Bridge Op.10. Gordon Nicolic, violin & leader of Netherlands Chamber Orchestra.
    • HAYDN Symphonies Nos.88 & 99 BEETHOVEN Symphony No.1 in C Op.21. Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, BBC Symphony Orchestra/ Sir Colin Davis.
    • MAHLER Symphony No.5 Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra/ Hartmut Haenchen
    • SCHUBERT Trout Quintet in A D667 MOZART Clarinet Quintet in A K581 Beaux Arts Trio, Pieterson Quartet Pentatone
    • STRAVINSKY Suite from L'histoire du soldat, Ragtime for 17 instruments, Dumbarton Oaks, Concerto in D and two Suites for Small Orchestra Paavo Jarvi

    BIS and Channel Classics both make SACDs of a high artistic and sonic caliber. MDT also has a sale on them.
     
  5. Justin_P

    Justin_P Stunt Coordinator

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    I've also found that wading through the SACD review section at www.classicstoday.com often points me towards great recordings of great music that I might not have otherwise found. These guys are brief but thorough reviewers and their site's robust search features can help you find just about anything.

    Other places I commonly check are www.highfidelityreview.com and www.classical.net. Classical.net is the least geared towards high rez, but their search engine yields interesting results from time to time. Highfidelityreview.com has a medium sized database of extremely well thought out and detailed reviews on a wide range of music including a decent quantity of classical, which seems to be more their focus these days.

    A few recordings I'm fond of:

    If three channel recordings are acceptable, both the RCA Living Stereo line (www.livingstereo-sacd.com) and the Mercury Living Presence line (www.mercurylivingpresence.com) are hard to go wrong with.

    My favorite right now is Berlioz: Requiem on RCA with Charles Munch conducting the Boston Symphony Orchestra. At $18.99 for a two disc SACD, you can't go wrong. It is a three channel recording, though.

    I multichannel, we have:

    Telarc's Miklos Rozsa: Three Choral Suites (film scores, but close, right?). Cincinatti Pops conducted by Erich Kunzel.

    Decca's Mahler: 3rd Symphony. Riccardo Chailly conducting the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra.

    RCA Red Seal's Mozart: Requiem. Conducted by Nikolaus Harnoncourt. I'm not entirely sure of the orchestra.

    These are all great multichannel discs.

    Have fun!

    Justin
     
  6. Aaron Silverman

    Aaron Silverman Executive Producer

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    That's a good one. IIRC, it also includes a PDF file of Mozart's original manuscript, which is pretty neat.
     
  7. Rich Malloy

    Rich Malloy Producer

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    As suggested above, you probably can't go wrong starting with the RCA Living Stereo releases: http://www.livingstereo-sacd.com/index.jsp

    A wide range of titles, excellent low price, and all fantastic performances and recordings. The three-channel stuff really changed my mind about the efficacy of a center channel speaker for music, at least when originally recorded in that way (and not "folded down" into the center from a two-channel source).

    It's hard to say what you might like best, but I suspect the Mussorgsky, Rimsky-Korsakov, or Bartok might be appealing to you. Or, for piano, either the Chopin disc or Brahms piano concerto 1. If you like violin, you might check out the Heifetz titles (Beethoven/Mendelssohn and Sibelius/Prokofiev violin concerto discs).
     
  8. dan-0

    dan-0 Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks for all the great replys!

    With the recommendations here and similiar recommendations elsewhere, I've ordered the MAHLER Symphony No.1. Can't wait.


    John S.

    I've always been a big Muddy Waters fan. Prior to my SACD of Folk Singer I've only heard it on vinyl and it was either a very poor recording or a record in poor condition or both. It had the sonic equivalent of a Led Belly recording.

    Anyway, the remaster of the recording is fantastic. It's a DSD recording and to me, they seem to consistantly have the best sonics (ie Alison Krause-Live). It's only a two channel SACD, but damn, when you put it in late at night, with the lights off and a cool pale ale in your hands, it's like actually being there. You can see Muddy Waters sitting up on a stool plucking his guitar, his face contorting as he sings the blues, you can smell the smoke. The soundstage is excellant, drums behind him, bass behind and to the left, guests off to the right...

    I like it.
     
  9. Paul.S

    Paul.S Producer

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    Dan:

    I assume you meant me, Paul.S . . . [​IMG]

    "It's a DSD recording . . ." Well it was recorded in 1963. So I think it's a DSD mastering of an analog recording. [​IMG]

    -p
     
  10. dan-0

    dan-0 Stunt Coordinator

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    Paul, yes and yes
     
  11. Greg Bright

    Greg Bright Second Unit

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    Dan,

    Good that you started Mahler with No. 1. I assume it's the San Francisco/Tilson-Thomas recording. Understand that the surround channels are used primarily for hall ambience. You won't hear individual instruments from them. If Mahler strikes your fancy just keep going through the symphonies one at a time. He wrote more than just music - it's an emotional adventure. Guess I'm a hopeless fanatic. I hope that when they record Mahler's 8th that the antiphonal brass choirs are placed in the surrounds. I keep waiting for an album of Gabrieli brass/choir/organ music to be released in SACD/DVD-A multi-channel. The glory of Venice, indeed!
     
  12. Paul.S

    Paul.S Producer

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    I'd bet that Jack Renner, Robert Woods and perhaps Michael Bishop have been scheming about just such a surround presentation on a Telarc SA-CD of the 8th since probably even before the label's earliest days of supporting the format . . .

    -p
     

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