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Discussion: Janacek: Violin Concerto, The Ballad of Blanik, Taras Bulba - Ehnes, Gardner

Posts: 8

Post by Lute May 4, 2015 (1 of 8)
I've enjoyed Vol.1 by Gardner and the Bergen Philharmonic. Looking forward to Vol.2.

Here's a review from the Guardian...http://www.theguardian.com/music/2015/apr/23/janacek-orchestral-works-vol-ii-cd-review-bergan-philharmonic-edward-gardner

Post by Chris May 4, 2015 (2 of 8)
Lute said:

I've enjoyed Vol.1 by Gardner and the Bergen Philharmonic. Looking forward to Vol.2.

Here's a review from the Guardian...http://www.theguardian.com/music/2015/apr/23/janacek-orchestral-works-vol-ii-cd-review-bergan-philharmonic-edward-gardner

I have so far only listened to it a couple of times.My first impression is that I prefer this Taras Bulba over Pentatone's coupled with the Glagolitic Mass.
Mainly because of clearer more natural balancing and generally realistic SQ than Pentatone's "fuzzy" everything closeup,multimiked softer version.
Jánacek with a bit more bite is the feeling I get.
Percussion,and there's quite a lot of it in Taras Bulba, seems to have a softening filter over it from Pentatone compared to Chandos's more real metallic sheen.
I have heard quite a lot of live percussion the last couple of weeks.
Regarding the rest I have to listen more times to really form an opinion. But it has already whetted my appetite for the 1st album in this series too.
I have most of the works on that release on SACD/Tudor/Nott. But that one is also curiously soft compared to how this music sounds live, or Mackerras's versions of these works imho.
I still like Abbado's old DECCA LP version of the Sinfonietta though.

Post by Lute May 5, 2015 (3 of 8)
Chris said:
I was just doing a comparison of Gardner's and Wit's recordings of the Sinfonietta on Janacek: Glagolitic Mass, Sinfonietta - Wit. It's interesting that they have almost the same playing time, but Gardner's interpretation is more dynamic. The times of the movements give a hint...fast ones are brisk, slow ones are longer in Gardner's compared to Wit's. This does give more bite as you put it. I don't think either of these will be displacing Abbado's or Mackerras's, but that's another discussion.

I know you usually listen in stereo, but I wanted to compare their surround mixes. I think by now you know I'm a surround freak. I listen to a lot in stereo and mono, though. So, no "gate community" between us, right? ;-) Anyway, both Chandos and Naxos sound good in multichannel. But I agree with you, Chandos has a natural bloom to theirs that's very attractive. So, Gardner has the edge IMHO.
Btw, I always enjoy reading your posts about hall ambience. I'm all for aggressive surround. But like you, I do love hall ambience and resonance done right!

Post by Chris May 7, 2015 (4 of 8)
Lute said:

I was just doing a comparison of Gardner's and Wit's recordings of the Sinfonietta on Janacek: Glagolitic Mass, Sinfonietta - Wit. It's interesting that they have almost the same playing time, but Gardner's interpretation is more dynamic. The times of the movements give a hint...fast ones are brisk, slow ones are longer in Gardner's compared to Wit's. This does give more bite as you put it. I don't think either of these will be displacing Abbado's or Mackerras's, but that's another discussion.

I know you usually listen in stereo, but I wanted to compare their surround mixes. I think by now you know I'm a surround freak. I listen to a lot in stereo and mono, though. So, no "gate community" between us, right? ;-) Anyway, both Chandos and Naxos sound good in multichannel. But I agree with you, Chandos has a natural bloom to theirs that's very attractive. So, Gardner has the edge IMHO.
Btw, I always enjoy reading your posts about hall ambience. I'm all for aggressive surround. But like you, I do love hall ambience and resonance done right!

With no live concerts since monday,but Holst's Planets and Strauss's Also sprach Zarathustra tomorrow night, I have had plenty of time to listen more to this release.
And as Castor says in his glowing review the rest is also basically "vintage" Jánacek.

After my favourite Taras Bulba I might add that the unfinished violin concerto particularly,is interesting indeed.
Unlike the Guardian reviewer who most probably only has heard the rbcd layer of the disc,I don't find the violin steely.
And as usual I wholeheartedly agree with Castor's glowing review.
Volume one is already on my shopping list.
PS "no gated community between us"
Money no object I would also go mch with 5 identical electrostatic speakers and a powerful amping and an mch DAC as an alternative to stereo only.

Post by Johnno May 25, 2015 (5 of 8)
After enjoying volume 1, I decided to buy this volume and it is equally enjoyable - except that I'm not sure what is happening to my system near the very end of Taras Bulba. It's as if notes from the organ were beating and producing a series of diffference tones because my right channel Acoustat SPECTRA 6600 electrostatic made some most unmusical noises for a few seconds.

To say that I found it disturbing would be an understatement and I've never experienced that before. The rest of the disc is fine and while a lot of the music was unknown to me (that certainly doesn't include Taras Bulba, which I've known for decades) I enjoyed it all.

Post by Chris May 26, 2015 (6 of 8)
Johnno said:

After enjoying volume 1, I decided to buy this volume and it is equally enjoyable - except that I'm not sure what is happening to my system near the very end of Taras Bulba. It's as if notes from the organ were beating and producing a series of diffference tones because my right channel Acoustat SPECTRA 6600 electrostatic made some most unmusical noises for a few seconds.

To say that I found it disturbing would be an understatement and I've never experienced that before. The rest of the disc is fine and while a lot of the music was unknown to me (that certainly doesn't include Taras Bulba, which I've known for decades) I enjoyed it all.

I have never heard the Acoustat SPECTRA 6600 speakers but judging from images online they seem to be both big,really BIG,and true full range electrostatics without separate bass elements as my more humble Martin Logans.
But my ML's cope quite well with this recording. There is a lot of really deep bass at the end of Taras Bulba though.
Maybe your full range panels don't go deep enough for the organ?
That is one of the really good things with mine although they are not always seamless around the crossover point.
But they play louder than full range electrostatic speakers I have heard.
I would like to hear this recording via Gryphon Pendragons though.
Those giants planar panels and 8 8" basses per channel priced around 249k aus dollars per pair and weighing in at 200kg each compared to my "little" MLs at 50 kg each,are the most impressive speakers I have ever heard.
They are the only speakers that I have heard that seem able to cope with anything you feed them.
The only problems with them the price,the size, and the fact that many multimiked recordings will sound terribly artificial via them.
I listened to a lot of very expensive speakers recently in Singapore and the only speakers that really beat the crap out of my MLs with recordings I know well,were the Pendragons.
I heard both box speakers and horn speakers that cost a lot more than my electostatics but none that had the effortless pure midrange and treble of electrostatic or planar speakers.

Post by Euell Neverno May 26, 2015 (7 of 8)
Johnno said:

After enjoying volume 1, I decided to buy this volume and it is equally enjoyable - except that I'm not sure what is happening to my system near the very end of Taras Bulba. It's as if notes from the organ were beating and producing a series of diffference tones because my right channel Acoustat SPECTRA 6600 electrostatic made some most unmusical noises for a few seconds.

To say that I found it disturbing would be an understatement and I've never experienced that before. The rest of the disc is fine and while a lot of the music was unknown to me (that certainly doesn't include Taras Bulba, which I've known for decades) I enjoyed it all.

May possibly be your player, rather than speakers. My Arcam player quite noticeably distorts playback from one (and only one) SACD in several places. The manufacturer kindly inspected the disk for defects and found none. No one else seems to have had the problem with that disk.

Post by Chris May 26, 2015 (8 of 8)
Euell Neverno said:

May possibly be your player, rather than speakers. My Arcam player quite noticeably distorts playback from one (and only one) SACD in several places. The manufacturer kindly inspected the disk for defects and found none. No one else seems to have had the problem with that disk.

His speakers do look like very very capable speakers indeed, with much larger electrostatic panels than my ML's. I have only played the native pcm 24/96 stereo masterfiles via two of my DACs: Benchmark DAC 2HGC and Hugo.
The Janacek actually sounds like two different recordings via the same amplification and speakers. Hugo delivers more resolution and hall ambience and the Benchmark sounds fuller and warmer but also a bit bloated and and exaggerated in the bass.
I still suspect that frequency limitations of the electostatic panels could be the culprit in Johnno's case.
To do 30hz cleanly electrostatic panels need to be even bigger than the already very large Acoustats he has,I think.
ML's CXL ART full range electrostatics without woofers don't really go below 40hz.
I could not find any specs for Jonno's Acoustats online,but my hybrid ML's are within +/- 3dB between 29hz and 23khz if I remember correctly.

The mighty Gryphon Pendragon by the way,goes down to 16hz in the bass and up to 40khz in the treble.
The only ML speaker that might rival the Pendragon for its money is probably their new bargain priced Neolith.
Priced at "only" 80k US dollars per pair they seem like a true bargain compared to the Pendragons.
I would first need to get a living room at least 60-80 sqm large before even contemplating anything much larger than the quite big speakers I now have.

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