What version of Tchaikovsky's 1812?

Discussion in 'Music' started by Allen.S, Nov 4, 2004.

  1. Allen.S

    Allen.S Extra

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    I just received my SVS pb10 subwoofer, and am looking to show it off.

    My local store had two items that I bought, but I'm hoping to return one, as I'm not a huge Tchaikovsky fan:

    A) Tchaikovksy Doublmaster (2 dc) set (c) 2002 Vox Music Group ($5)
    With:
    Piano Concerto No 1 in B Minor (Prague Symphony Orch, Richard Kapp)
    Romeo & Juliet, 1812 Overture (Utah Symphony Orch, Maurice Abravanel)
    Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty (Vienna Sympony Orch, Eduard de Remoortel)
    Nutcracker (Vienna Symphony Orch, Jonel Perlea)

    B) Telarc Tchaikovsky 1812 (DVD-Audio) [Complete with loud cannon level warning on cover!] - Erich Kunzel & Cinciannati Pops Orchestra, Kiev Symphony Chorus, Children's Chair of Greater Cincinnati ($22)

    Obviously, I'd like to know if the Telarc DVD-A version is four times better than the Vox version, especially for showing of the sound system?


    BTW, I supposed that even these pieces can't hurt my PB-10 with my little-ol 75w/per Onkyo SR502, right?


    Thanks, folks!
     
  2. Dennis Nicholls

    Dennis Nicholls Lead Actor

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    Abravanel is a very fine and underrated conductor there in Utah. Find a place that sells Telarc cheaper. Or wait for the Mercury Living Presence SACD later in 2005. Do you have SACD playback capability?
     
  3. Allen.S

    Allen.S Extra

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    Waiting not possible. [​IMG]

    But, yes, I can play SACD or DVD-A.

    So of the two I outlined, which would you keep?
     
  4. Darryl

    Darryl Stunt Coordinator

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    I would go with A. B is a novelty arrangement of the 1812 overture, where some of the instrumental parts are sung by a children's choir. It's a good listen, but the children's choir is less of a show-off piece than a full orchestral arrangement. Besides, getting the children's choir version before getting the fully orchestrated version is a little like buying a dance remix before you buy the classic tune it's based on.
     
  5. Angelo.M

    Angelo.M Producer

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    Of the two, I'd return "B."

    The Mercury Living Presence recording (from the 1950's) is a classic, although not my favorite. I prefer Solti and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra on Decca.
     
  6. Tom Brennan

    Tom Brennan Screenwriter

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    Get the 1978 Telarc recording coming to SA-CD later this month.
     
  7. Elinor

    Elinor Supporting Actor

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    "B is a novelty arrangement of the 1812 overture, where some of the instrumental parts are sung by a children's choir."

    I remember reading the CD insert. Actually Tchaikovsky originally scored those portions of the work for choir. Using a childrens' choir may be a novelty, but using a choir is actually truer to the original piece as written.
     
  8. Paul.S

    Paul.S Producer

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    Allen:

    If--per what you say--showing off your sub is your primary goal, there's simply no contest: keep the Telarc.

    Although they are not seminal works like "Swan Lake" and "Romeo & Juliet," that disc also has six other Tchaikovsky pieces on it.

    At high volume, the ordnance engineer Michael Bishop recorded for that recording could destroy the highest quality equipment. Read his liner notes!

    My biggest caveat is that I do like the 1978 Cincinnati/Kunzel Telarc performance of the "1812" more than this one. If indeed, as Tom says above, that recording is now (finally!) being re-released on SACD, that's exciting and something I'll be looking for.

    -p
     
  9. Dennis Nicholls

    Dennis Nicholls Lead Actor

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    Vox is a very old and well-established budget classic label. I know they date back at least to the 1960s. I bought a lot of their "Vox box" 3 LP sets back in the early 1970s, and many were quite good (e.g. the Budapest string quartet version of the Beethoven quartets). Currently on redbook CD I have their Alfred Brendel Beethoven piano sonata cycle, and it's quite good.
     
  10. Paul.S

    Paul.S Producer

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    Thx for the 411, Dennis.

    Thx also, Tom, for the tip on the new SACD of the 'old' Telarc "1812".

    Btw, Allen--I know you said you are not that into Tchaikovsky but on the hopeful chance that changes at some point in the future I want to do you the same favor that classical music editor David Vernier of long-defunct mag Digital Audio & Compact Disc Review did me years ago regarding "Nutcracker." Namely, f*ck the suite! Get the whole ballet! (I like the Montreal Symphony/Dutoit recording on London.)

    -p
     
  11. Dennis Nicholls

    Dennis Nicholls Lead Actor

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  12. Allen.S

    Allen.S Extra

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    Kept them both, folks. [​IMG]

    (Haven't cracked the Vox recording, but since 1812 is the only track redundant, I figured I'd keep em both.)

    I listened to the Telarc 1812, and it wasn't quite was I was expecting... I remember more energy and crescendo towards the end...perhaps that's because of the choir thing mentioned above.

    Also, I got this up to about reference level, but the surprising thing is that the cannons are much more crisp
    "cracks" than "booms". The drums (timpanis?) seemed to actually have more bass.

    I hope I didn't hurt my Ascends, but they seem no worse for the wear.

    As far as the PB10 goes, I LOVE it. To *feel* bass adds so much on top of just *hearing* some bass.
     
  13. Paul.S

    Paul.S Producer

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    Although the Telarc "bass drum heard 'round the world" is indeed bassier in the range you hear, the subsonics of the cannons are lower. I sense you may still have sub calibration to do if you were actually able to get this recording up to reference level without knocking some paintings (hell, paint!) off the wall.

    Having said that though, the cannons are both bassier and louder (at least 3 db above the orchestra) on the 1978 recording. On my admittedly modest system, there is simply no way to play the cannon fire as loud as the previous 12 minutes of orchestra at the same loud volume I like.

    -p
     
  14. EricRWem

    EricRWem Screenwriter

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    I believe www.highfidelityreview.com reviewed at least one of these. Could be very helpful. I always make that site my first stop before I make a purchase. [​IMG]
     

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