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Re: [furt-l] R: Furtwangler La Scala's Ring

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  • TOM SIMONE
    The performance of the Vienna Phil in the 1954 Walkurie recording is one of the marvels of orchestral playing. As usual, early LPs are magnificent in sound.
    Message 1 of 7 , Oct 7, 1999
      The performance of the Vienna Phil in the 1954 "Walkurie" recording is one of the
      marvels of orchestral playing.

      As usual, early LPs are magnificent in sound. And as in a number of other studio
      recordings (i.e. 1951 Schubert 9 w/ BPO and 1954 Beethovn 5th with VPO), the
      performance has remarkable grandeur.

      Best,

      Tom Simone

      Mark Berry wrote:

      > On Thu, 7 Oct 1999, samir ghiocel golescu wrote:
      >
      > > > Fredric J. Einstein <feinstei@...> wrote:
      > > >
      > > >
      > > > Of course, my personal choice in Walkure is the 1954 studio recording on EMI
      > > > which is very difficult to get in the U.S. (it's an EMI "Special Import").
      > > > Beautiful and heart-rending third act. Fricka is portrayed very
      > > > sympathetically in the second act as a tragic and justifiably angry consort.
      > >
      > > Yes, yes and yes! And the way Furtwangler builds the famous "Ride", making
      > > all the repeated material sound "new" and organically motivated, was never
      > > surpassed. Think to Levine's vulgarity in the same music!
      > >
      > Is it noticeably better than the La Scala "Ring" in this respect (or any
      > other)? Or is it a matter of sound?
      >
      > With best wishes,
      >
      > Mark Berry.
      >
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    • TOM SIMONE
      This is an addendum. Or is it only a matter of sound? While a great Furtwangler performance can often survive mediocre tranfers, fine sound when available
      Message 2 of 7 , Oct 7, 1999
        This is an addendum. Or "is it only a matter of sound?" While a great Furtwangler
        performance can often survive mediocre tranfers, fine sound when available should
        not be shunned. Afterall, the quality of orchestras playing under WF almost always
        evoked a sense of awe by contemporaries.

        As I have written elsewhere, I believe that many of the magnificnet studio
        recordings have been downplayed because of a lack of access to excellent early
        copies.

        While there are many superb WF Beethoven 3s and 5s, the studio (i.e. recorded inthe
        Great Hall of the Musikverein) have an overhwelming depth, detail, and beauty of
        sound on early LP copies. However, as has often been mentioned on the list, EMI
        has seldom done justice ot the quality of the original tpaes on CD. The HMV (EMI
        later) 1952 VPO sounds leaden and grainy on the Great Recordings CD. Even the 60s
        LP on World Records of this performance lacks the air, beauty, and dynamism of
        early HMV of LHMV pressings.

        Some will think this mere retrograde thinking, but I have compared on very good
        equipment early, excellent LP copies to a number of CD transfers. Many of the off
        the air performances come through much better on CD because of access to official
        or early tapes that were not available to the LP "pirate" issues.

        But many of the HMV and DGG originals LPs have staggering sound. The 1954
        "Walkurie" is among those LP treasures.

        All the best,

        Tom Simone

        Mark Berry wrote:

        > On Thu, 7 Oct 1999, samir ghiocel golescu wrote:
        >
        > > > Fredric J. Einstein <feinstei@...> wrote:
        > > >
        > > >
        > > > Of course, my personal choice in Walkure is the 1954 studio recording on EMI
        > > > which is very difficult to get in the U.S. (it's an EMI "Special Import").
        > > > Beautiful and heart-rending third act. Fricka is portrayed very
        > > > sympathetically in the second act as a tragic and justifiably angry consort.
        > >
        > > Yes, yes and yes! And the way Furtwangler builds the famous "Ride", making
        > > all the repeated material sound "new" and organically motivated, was never
        > > surpassed. Think to Levine's vulgarity in the same music!
        > >
        > Is it noticeably better than the La Scala "Ring" in this respect (or any
        > other)? Or is it a matter of sound?
        >
        > With best wishes,
        >
        > Mark Berry.
        >
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        > * Send new posts to furt-l@...
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