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What are you currently listening to?

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Author Topic: What are you currently listening to?  (Read 74550 times)
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« Reply #3480 on: May 12, 2022, 07:36:50 pm »

The best recording of Bizet's masterpiece ever,imho! The sound quality of this 1911/12 complete opera recording,the first to include the dialogue (or the version with dialogue) before 1950,might be a problem for some,however. A great cast,though,who perform this masterpiece with great enthusiasm,considering the 'technology' that was afforded them. All it needed was that little bird in Wilma Flinstone's washing machine in the cartoon. It's just so strange to imagine the world outside the studio while they were recording. No horseless carriages (or at least,hardly any) just the sound of hooves,the whinnying of a horse,street vendors advertising their wares,no mobile phones or loud thudding beats from passing vehicles! Ah,bliss! Smiley Smiley Smiley Spare a thought for the music fan who had to get through the pile of cylinder's! Allot of hand cranking & one arm with a bicep like Popeye!! The transfer's,on this 2 cd set,by the world leading expert Ward Marston are superb! The booklet notes & photos,provided with this set are a delight & model of their kind.

NB: In case anyone reading this is thinking of ditching their stereo recordings in favour of this. It's been deleted & sellers are asking eye watering prices. Just so you know! Grin

I'm not so old that I actually remember cylinders but there are certain pieces which I first heard on 78 RPM shellac recordings and which I can never hear even now without anticipating the side breaks. One such that springs immediately to mind is Saint-Saëns' Danse Macabre which I got to know through a Decca 78 of the Concertgebouw Orchestra conducted by Charles Münch and where the side break came at letter G in the score!

However, not wishing to get slapped down for going off on a tangent, on the subject of Carmen my go-to recording is Beecham with Victoria de los Angeles, Nicolai Gedda and Ernest Blanc and I know I am not alone in this. All right, 1959 is not 1911 but who's complaining? Grin
Maybe,the best recording circa 1911/12?! Grin  As a self confessed bit of a fan,I think I'd choose Beecham! And no,you're certainly not alone in your go-to choice! I think Cluytens 1950 recording is also very good. And if you like mono it has the advantage of electrical recording. I just thought I'd give the 1911/12 a plug because it is very good (even Musicweb discounted it from their survey due to it's sonic limitation's) & since the recording was begun only 36 years after the premiere (& with the Paris Opéra-Comique) it's as about as close to the prime source & a truly authentic sound as it get's! So,a genuinely important aural document! Just their luck they didn't invent electrical recording,at least,15 years earlier! Sad Grin

NB: Unbelievably,the 1911/12 set isn't actually the first 'complete' recording! There is an earlier one from 1908,with Emmy Destinn,in German!! Shocked
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