NWR The "What are we listening to?" Thread

Along with some of the Italian operatic repertoire, he's probably the 'great' composer whose work I know the least, although the later C19th orchestra has never really been my thing. There was a wonderful documentary about Haitink and his last concert, which was Bruckner (7 I think), recently though.
 
I was at the Linz Bruckner festival in 1989, and although I got a ticket to hear Tilson Thomas and the LSO in the 6th (very average), the MPO and Celi - who were playing the 7th at St Florian - was sold out. I was backpacking, with no transport, staying in Linz - it seemed futile to hike out there (where was it?) only to possibly miss out on a ticket. But, now, I rather wish I'd tried it...

I am delighted to see St. Florian mentioned on a UK wie board. Just shows how great this board is. I grew up 10kms away from the beautiful monastery of St. Florian, the place where Bruckner is buried right below the magnificent organ. I remember being completely fascinated as a kid by the wonderful depth of sound, the sheer volume of the lower tones that that wonderful instrument could produce.
 
Along with some of the Italian operatic repertoire, he's probably the 'great' composer whose work I know the least, although the later C19th orchestra has never really been my thing.

I've so often joked about no good music made between JS Bach and Anton Webern that I get what you say. I was literally a teenager in the '90s when I last enjoyed romantic era music. Hence my surprise at suddenly developing a very serious case of Bruckner fandom.
 
I am delighted to see St. Florian mentioned on a UK wie board. Just shows how great this board is. I grew up 10kms away from the beautiful monastery of St. Florian, the place where Bruckner is buried right below the magnificent organ. I remember being completely fascinated as a kid by the wonderful depth of sound, the sheer volume of the lower tones that that wonderful instrument could produce.
And I've visited the crypt. I was a great fan of Bruckner in my youth, now 40 years later I think him mainly too longwinded and the obvious OCD counting repetitive, though individual movements still can hit me hard (the 8th Adagio.....! ). The dynamics in some movements are also problematic for me, reminding me that he was by profession an organist with only a limited number of dynamic levels available.

In fact because of this thread I last night listened to the 4th and 8th from the Gielen set.

I came to the great romantics through listening to rather complex progrock in the early 70ies, but my tastes have scaled down to mainly smaller scale ensembles, early music, chamber music, lieder, baroque opera..... I find the heavy stuff anyway mostly fit for the concert halls where they can make a strong impression (I miss the concert hall, my Bergen Philharmonic is a very strong orchestra), even though having decently heavy rigs for home listening.
 
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If you've got any, now might be the time to dig them out and have a listen to whatever's on them, accompanied by a glass of something in his honour:
He was also involved in the 'invention' of the CD. And it's hard to argue with his statement cited in today's The Guardian.
“Nothing can match the sound of the CD,” he had told the Dutch newspaper NRC Handelsblad. “It is absolutely noise and rumble-free. That never worked with tape … I have made a lot of record players and I know that the distortion with vinyl is much higher. I think people mainly hear what they want to hear.”
 
Distortion is good if it is the right distortion. Valves, turntables have significant amounts of lower order (i.e. musical) distortion. This can make for very nice listening, compensating for (or hiding) other weaknesses in this technology of reproduction. Digital systems and transistors have minuscular amounts of various forms of high order (i.e unmusical) distortions which in good equipment are virtually indetectable, at least to my ears. The joy of avoiding rumble, high cost players and cartridges, dust and tube switching for me have always far compensated for the joys of listening to low order harmonic distortion.

Anyhow, the cost of getting high quality sounds from digital/transistors are significantly lower than for tubes/turntables, and far more practical. OTOH, if your interest are in tweaking and the equipment, tubes and turntables can be wonderful. I don't have the time for it, and also prefer to spend my money elsewhere.
 
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Distortion is good if it is the right distortion. Valves, turntables have significant amounts of lower order (i.e. musical) distortion. This can made for very nice listening, compensating for (or hiding) other weaknesses in this technology of reproduction. Digital systems and transistors have minuscular amounts of various forms of high order (i.e unmusical) distortion which in good equipment are virtually indetectable, at least to my ears. The joy of avoiding rumble, high cost players and cartridges, dust and tube switching for me have always far compensated for the joys of listening to low order harmonic distortion.

Anyhow, the cost of getting high quality sounds from digital/transistors are significantly lower than for tubes/turntables, and far more practical. OTOH, if your interest are in tweaking and the equipment, tubes and turntables can be wonderful. I don't have the time for it.
A pretty fair summation of my view Odd. And my attitude.

I went a little further in going with active speakers and cutting out further messing around with amplifier/preamplifier/gain structures but that may be a step too far for many....
 
A pretty fair summation of my view Odd. And my attitude.

I went a little further in going with active speakers and cutting out further messing around with amplifier/preamplifier/gain structures but that may be a step too far for many....
I haven't gone that far but am getting rather fond of integrated amps.

In problematic rooms active speakers and room correction would be a very sound (sic) solution.
 
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I haven't gone that far but am getting rather fond of integrated amps.

In problematic rooms active speakers and room correction would be a very sound (sic) solution.
Yes, although my room turns out to measure quite well. There are additional benefits to this approach.

Yes, I agree that integrated amplifiers can be a surprisingly useful solution, particularly the beefier versions. I see your Hegel amps are doing very well in the market these days.
 
Though I have to admit to having some Conrad-Johnson and other stuff in my man-cave. But the important thing is to see the gear as a means to an end, not the goal in itself. At least I do. But Hegel, Sonus-Faber Elipsa and a Pioneer PD-70AE looks very clean and sound amazing in the living room - my significant other doesn't object too much at least.
 
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Though I have to admit to having some Conrad-Johnson and other stuff in my man-cave. But the important thing is to see the gear as a means to an end, not the goual in itself. At least I do. But Hegel, Sonus-Faber Elipsa and a Pioneer PD-70AE looks very clean and sound amazing in the living room - my significant other doesn't object too much at least.
Absolutely!.Hence my desire to get to a point where I have an i-pad for controlling everything via Roon, feeding files through a switching device (primarily to allow me to use headphones) into a pair of active speakers. Hardly anyone would have heard of the names of any of it, unless they came from the audio pro world (RME, Dutch&Dutch). You can see nothing in my room other than furnishings, a couple of cloth covered cabinets and a pair of speakers on stands.

I could play around with various frequency response curves and so forth, but I haven’t done so because it’s unnecessary.

Back to the music......
 
Listening to Reicha, A: L'art de varier, Op. 57 with the pianist Ivan Ilic on Chandos. Such an interesting and experimental composer from the time of Beethoven (for those who don't make the connection).
 
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Two interesting and I think quite moving non-classical approaches to Dido's Lament, by Jeff Buckley in a live performance, and Alison Moyet
I get a little upset at how relatively ignored Purcell is in the country of his birth, especially his musical dramas (proto-operas). I'm constantly ignored by Gus, though they did allow for a Faerie Queen a few years ago at Glyndebourne. The Austrians really get Purcell (the French too) and we saw a stimulating King Arthur (Purcell's finest work) in Vienna in 2019 (Theater-a-d-Wien, not the Staats). I'm always on the lookout for a Dido production, but never see one. I know its a short piece, but so are many others.
 
This, for me, is the definitive performance of this Schumann masterpiece. It cannot be played better, and I am in awe.


It's certainly true that she plays with a brilliance, address, total aptitude and fluency that is more or less untouchable. Though I think nowadays she might concede that some of her tempi are exaggerated it would as always be churlish to gainsay such vertiginous command, which is not to say there haven't been some perspectives at least equally as worthwhile. She is in my view absolutely right not to incorporate the fantastically beautiful posthumous variations, which completely destroy the architecture of the piece.
 
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