Mercury Living Presence recordings coming to SACD

Discussion in 'Music' started by Seth_S, Mar 6, 2003.

  1. Seth_S

    Seth_S Second Unit

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    While no release date, timetable or titles have been set, Universal Music (under Philips) is planning on bringing the famous sound of the Mercury Living Presence recordings to SACD.

    It will be interesting to see how they are mixed for SACD since MLP made their recordings in 3 channel sound.
     
  2. LanceJ

    LanceJ Producer

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    At the risk of sounding cranky, are these going to be another batch of ancient or obscure recordings that only collectors or sound nutz will buy?

    LJ
     
  3. Dennis Nicholls

    Dennis Nicholls Lead Actor

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    IIRC these include the Antal Dorati recordings which are quite good. I remember owning some of these on vinyl back in the day.
     
  4. Seth_S

    Seth_S Second Unit

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    These recordings are neither ancient or obscure.

    The sound quality still remains superb. Like EMI and Decca in the beginning of the stereo era, they realized that you can produce the best results with a few (three) well placed microphones. In fact, Decca's miking system is a clone of MLP's.

    Many of the performances on the label are still widely regarded as being unsurpassed, such as:

    • Rachmaninoff: Piano Concertos Nos.2 & 3 - Byron Janis
      Dvorak: Concerto for cello - Janos Starker
      Chabrier: Orchestral Works - Paul Paray
      Stravinsky: "Le sacre du printemps" and "The Firebird" - Antal Dorati
      Bartók: Violin Concerto No. 2 - Yehudi Menuhin
      Tchaikovsky: Symphonies Nos.4-6 - Antal Dorati
      Prokofiev: Piano Concerto No.3 - Byron Janis
      Lizst: Piano Concertos - Byron Janis[/list=a]

      (the list really goes on forever - Antal Dorati, Byron Janis and Janos Starker all made numerous great recordings for them)
     
  5. Lee Scoggins

    Lee Scoggins Producer

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    The Byron Janis and Janos Starker albums are classics as are most of the others.

    The MLP albums were done by Wilma Cozart Fine and her recording team. Chesky interviewed and emulated a lot of these techniques on classical albums and I personally use the ORTF mic configuration (similar sonics yet simpler plan) and the "three mics apart" system used on many of these classics. It is, among audiophile engineers, a magic formula for capturing orchestras and other ensembles.

    [​IMG]

     
  6. Seth_S

    Seth_S Second Unit

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    Lee,

    I was told by a reliable friend that when remixing the recordings for their current CD incarnations, that Wilma Cozart Fine and crew thought that despite their best efforts, when the recordings were played back in 3 channel sound they sound noticeably better than in 2 channel. Hopefully whoever is working on these SACDs will be smart enough to include a three channel layer. Knowing Universal though, they'll try and remix it for surround sound, which I don't think could properly be done.

    This will also represent the first major classical catalogue release for Universal Music (specifically Decca/Philips).
     
  7. Zane Charron

    Zane Charron Second Unit

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  8. Lee Scoggins

    Lee Scoggins Producer

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  9. Seth_S

    Seth_S Second Unit

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    More like exactly how Fine originally envisioned her recordings would be played back: 3.0.
     
  10. Dennis Nicholls

    Dennis Nicholls Lead Actor

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    Oh dear, Starker playing the Dvorak. I've been holding out until the format war is over, but this may make me reconsider.

    How does one pronounce SACD? Is it "sack-dee"? Maybe I should ask this over on Ms. Bitchlist's thread.
     
  11. Lee Scoggins

    Lee Scoggins Producer

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  12. Ed St. Clair

    Ed St. Clair Producer

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    3.0 the "original" stereo!
     
  13. Joe Cole

    Joe Cole Second Unit

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    Seth, great list. And the sooner the better.

    Are there any Bruckner recordings on Mercury?

    As far as I know there are none yet on SACD and I really like his music.

    N.P. Mark O'Connor's Hot Swing Trio - In Full Swing- with Wynton Marsalis and Jane Monheit on SACD
     
  14. Seth_S

    Seth_S Second Unit

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    Joe,

    I don't believe that any Bruckner was recorded for MLP (not really the repertoire of their artists).

    Strangely, Bruckner has yet to come to SACD. His massive symphonies would be perfect for the format.

    As I see it, labels are being so careful to cater to the mainstream, that they're not releasing works and composers that appeal to the minority (serious collectors). The minority would probably buy more recordings of Bruckner's 8th than the mainstream would of someone singing famous arias.
     
  15. Joe Cole

    Joe Cole Second Unit

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    Seth,

    Bruckner's 8th is the one piece I have been waiting for on SACD. [​IMG] I am no classical expert but I happened to stumble upon this piece and it is wonderful and would be perfect to show what SACD can do.

    Just in case some folks missed it, here is a link to MLP's recordings that could come to SACD.

    http://www.4music.net/hifiheaven/mercury/merc.html

    And a link to vote for the first 10 disks.

    http://boards.iclassics.com/htdocs/d...mID22/476.html

    Is this a good recording? Fischer, Budapest Festival Orchestra - Dvorak: Symphonies No. 8 and 9 (Philips Classics 0289-470617-2)
     
  16. Seth_S

    Seth_S Second Unit

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    Is this a good recording? Fischer, Budapest Festival Orchestra - Dvorak: Symphonies No. 8 and 9 (Philips Classics 0289-470617-2)

    Joe,

    Yes, but only buy it if you don't already own either Szell's or Kubelik's recordings of the last 3 symphonies (Szell's is on SACD; obviously not nearly as good as Fischer's sonically - recorded nearly 40 years apart from each other - but the performances and interpretations are unsurpassed).
     
  17. Mike Broadman

    Mike Broadman Producer

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    This is fantastic news.
     
  18. Dennis Nicholls

    Dennis Nicholls Lead Actor

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    Well I don't want to go through all those posts in the linked forum again....

    Has Mercury/Philips ever come out with an announcement about their schedule for the MLP SACD releases? I bought my SACD player "on spec" as they say - I sure hope they don't disappoint me.....

     
  19. Seth--L

    Seth--L Screenwriter

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    No. In general Universal Music is still dragging their feet with classical SACD releases, especially catalogue ones.
     

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