Thursday, March 17, 2011

Magnificent Capturing of the Piano Sound - Thirty Years Ago...

Allow me to preface this blog by stating that I am not criticizing, merely commenting:
When I take note of how so many of us listen to music through loudspeakers that are millimeters in size, wrapped around our ears; I ask how many of us DO get back, at least occasionally, to loudspeakers that are some three or four feet in height?
This question encountered me yesterday, when I came across a cassette, recorded in the mid-eighties, and in Dolby "C" sound, of Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue and Concerto in "F."
The gifted pianist Andre Previn was soloist in both compositions, and both the sound and the performance were absolutely riveting. What I had forgotten about was the quality of the piano sound by way of the old Dolby technology - actually, it is as thrilling an aural print of any piano recording that I possess; beautifully well-rounded and highly etched at the same time.
For some reason, I had, as well, on the same cassette, two compositions by Liszt, magnificently performed by the great Cuban Jorge Bolet.
I immediately transferred this cassette to CD format, for the sake of convenience. I would imagine that all of these performances are on CD; if not, they should be, and MUST be listened to at room-sound level to receive the impact of both the scintillating separation of the instruments in the Gershwin performances, let alone the superb realism and presence of the piano.
And now, we are witness to a renaissance in the sales of the LP, primarily due to the reviving of interest in hearing music as we once did, before we donned our earphones upon the appearance of the Walkman - remember?
And so, the pendulum DOES inevitably move the other way...

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