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Discussion: Strauss: Four Last Songs, Wagner: Prelude & Liebestod - Runnicles

Posts: 4

Post by Windsurfer December 20, 2006 (1 of 4)
Polly Nomial's review is very astute! - Saying:

"For all the unmannered but compelling interpretations offered, it is a disc that I am loath to return to my player on any frequent basis because of the recording itself. When it is purely orchestral, the sound is well balanced and rounded with a fine amount of detail being naturally present in the MCH presentation. However, there is a "halo" of reverberation that accompanies Brewer's lines which is most unnatural and a real discomfort to the ear upon repetition."

I listened to this wondering what the heck is wrong here. Is it me? No it is this peculiar "halo" of reverberation accompanying Brewer's lines

What a shame! ... and I bought it primarily for the Four Last Songs.

Post by brenda December 20, 2006 (2 of 4)
Windsurfer said:

Polly Nomial's review is very astute! ....."there is a "halo" of reverberation that accompanies Brewer's lines which is most unnatural and a real discomfort to the ear upon repetition." I listened to this wondering what the heck is wrong here. Is it me? No it is this peculiar "halo" of reverberation accompanying Brewer's lines. What a shame! ... and I bought it primarily for the Four Last Songs.

I know what W and PollyN mean, there is a bit of a ring and a wash around Brewer's voice, but it really is a personal thing as I don't find it either too distracting or too unpleasant at all. In fact, it could be said to be a natural reflection of the reverberance of the recording venue. I agree that it's not a 5 star recording (though I note that other reviewers have given it 5 and I can understand their point of view, - the dynamics are splendid) but I do think that John (Polly) has been WAY, WAY too severe on this occ. There is no way this is only a one or 2 star recording, John (IMHO only, of course) - just compare it to discs that have only been given one or two stars by you and others, for example. To everyone else, by all means audition as John suggests but my guess is that about half of all site users will like the sound and another half dislike. I would have given the 4 songs a solid 4 and sound either 3.5 or 4, depending on varying listening circumstances, but either way, on the + or "like" sound of neutral. As for the orchestral segments of the disc, which is the majority of playing time, sound gets a five. B

Post by akiralx December 21, 2006 (3 of 4)
I found the vocal sound on my Stax earspeakers absolutely fine, very pleasing like the rest of the disc, I have to say.

Post by Polly Nomial December 21, 2006 (4 of 4)
brenda said:

I do think that John (Polly) has been WAY, WAY too severe on this occ. There is no way this is only a one or 2 star recording, John (IMHO only, of course) - just compare it to discs that have only been given one or two stars by you and others, for example.

Perhaps - I will amend the review to state that the orchestral sound per se is fantastic (one of the most realistic Telarc recordings - i.e. not too bass heavy) but the manipulation or errors in mastering really mark it out in a most dubious way.

Regards

PN

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