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Discussion: Richard Strauss: Also sprach Zarathustra, Ein Heldenleben - Reiner

Posts: 7

Post by Julien May 1, 2008 (1 of 7)
On the stereo mix the sound is awfully compressed and after many tries I just cannot listen through it. Not only is the sound compressed (nearly every creshendo is stopped at some point in the middle, if it was compressed in a less obvious way it would be better), but the sound quality itself is worse than a well made mp3 I'm not exagerating. Such a shame given the outstanding quality of most Living Stereo releases. I just hope the three channel version is completely different!

Post by fafnir May 1, 2008 (2 of 7)
Julien said:

On the stereo mix the sound is awfully compressed and after many tries I just cannot listen through it. Not only is the sound compressed (nearly every creshendo is stopped at some point in the middle, if it was compressed in a less obvious way it would be better), but the sound quality itself is worse than a well made mp3 I'm not exagerating. Such a shame given the outstanding quality of most Living Stereo releases. I just hope the three channel version is completely different!

Regrettably,there is no three channel version. These were Reiner's first CSO recordings in 1954 and they were done in 2-channel only. The sound is, as you state, not good. This recording is of historic interest only - the performances are quite magnificent, and this recording despite its faults is adequate to convey that. It still sounds better than any issue of these recordings I have ever heard, going back to the initial mono vinyl release in 1954.

Post by Julien May 1, 2008 (3 of 7)
fafnir said:

It still sounds better than any issue of these recordings I have ever heard, going back to the initial mono vinyl release in 1954.

Ok thank you.

Post by Claude May 2, 2008 (4 of 7)
Hearing the recording after having read the raving 5 star reviews on this site must come as a huge disappointment. I don't agree that the SACD sounds "worse than a well made mp3" (not sure what that means exactly), but this very early Living Stereo recording clearly shows technical limitations, while still being acceptable and very enjoyable.

Post by Peter May 2, 2008 (5 of 7)
I think it sounds wonderful provided you keep your expectations realistic for 1954! Are there better sounding recordings from that date?

Terrific performances, though I still like Krauss's ASZ a lot, on Testament in pretty awful sound (1950).

Peter

Post by threerandot May 2, 2008 (6 of 7)
I will be reviewing this soon. I think the sound is very good given the vintage. There are of course other RCA LS recordings with better sound.

Post by Julien May 2, 2008 (7 of 7)
Claude said:

I don't agree that the SACD sounds "worse than a well made mp3" (not sure what that means exactly)

We are psychologically indulgent with old recordings, but if you make a "high rez" mp3 from a recent say Pentatone recording, you still should have a greater dynamic range than this SACD. And the sound quality might even be closer to the real thing.

Closed