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Discussion: Shostakovich: Symphonies Nos. 1 & 6 - Jurowski

Posts: 5

Post by GROOT GELUID April 20, 2006 (1 of 5)
As I am the balance engineer of this recording I would like to respond to Johnno's suggestion that there is not the same effort into making the stereo sound as good as into making the surround sound good. That is not the case. And we at Polyhymnia, when we make SA-CD recordings, bring in almost all cases a full surround monitoring set up. In which we also take great care of the stereo re-production. We do make two recordings now and spend time to get the surround right as well as the stereo, judging both during the recording. This is different from before (when we did stereo only), but with the DSD recording system we always use a minimum of 8 tracks so that we can choose different mike set ups for stereo and surround. Sometimes the same tracks are used but mixed differently, but always both formats share the same careful approach to quality. In this particular recording we worked in the Studio 5 of the Cultural broadcasting company in Moscow, a venue we make a lot of recordings the last few years, both for Pentatone and Caro Mitis. This recording took place in the same period as the Jurowski RNO disc of Tchaikovsky and Stravinsky, and a similar microphone set up was used.

Although I do not want to say that Johnno misjudges the stereo sound, I cannot but wonder if his critic of the stereo is not influenced by the fact that he heard this recording in surround first. ("despite the fact that, overall, that(stereo) system would have better technical specifications than my friend's system (surround)"). As it is my experience that certain aspects he refers to in the sound, will never be reproduced as well in stereo as they can be reproduced in surround. With a well set up surround system and well recorded surround recording you can always beat the sound quality of a well recorded stereo recording. And though I feel very strongly about this and also enjoy the greater fidelety that surrounds offers me during recordings I still always try very hard to also make the stereo sound optimal. By the way we just returned from yet another group of sessions in this Studio, Shostakovich Symphonies 5 and 9 with Kreizberg and RNO and Tchaikovsky's Violin concerto,Valse-Scherzo and Serenade mélancolique, played by Julia Fischer, RNO and Kreizberg (to be coupled with works for violin and piano by Tchaikovsky) for Pentatone. And a recording of Haydn with Alexei Utkin and the Heremitage Chamber Orchestra, with the hobo concerto and the symphonia concertante for violin, hobo, bassoon, cello and orchestra for Caro Mitis. All of these recordings I enjoyed because of the great playing and of the fact that the acoustics of this studio is marvellous and can bring these different works to life in just 'the right way'. (Took great care in the stereo sonics too!!)

Post by Jonty April 21, 2006 (2 of 5)
Thank you for taking the time to explain. As a stereo only listener I appreciate the care you take.Keep up the good work.

Post by Johnno April 23, 2006 (3 of 5)
Thank you for your comments, Groot. I only made the remarks after being so impressed with the sound of the Tchaikovsky Suite No. 3 and Stravinsky's "Fairy's Kiss" Divertimento and having played both discs again recently, my opinion sadly remains unchanged. Both discs were played through the same equipment, yet I continue to notice major differences between them. The Tchaikovsky/Stravinsky has a richness and immediacy that the other disc appears to lack. Indeed the sound is tremendously exciting. There is also a wonderful ambience about the first disc, too, that I missed in the Shostakovich.

I should add that I first heard the Tchaikovsky/Stravinsky disc through my friend's multichannel setup after he had purhcaded the disc in a store in Wellington. I did not receive my copy for another week or so (in conjunction with the Shostakovich 1/6 and 11) when I ordered mine on-line -- after being so impressed with it.

I will most certainly persevere with both Shostakovich discs.

Post by Julien March 10, 2007 (4 of 5)
This is the very best MC I've heard, alongside with the Latry at Notre Dame SACD. And this one is even more impressive, because you have a full orchestra that sounds just perfect. Russian National Orchestra at its best, genius conductor, and Pentatone at its best (or should I say Polyhymnia?).

Six stars.

Post by sunnydaler April 30, 2011 (5 of 5)
5'16" into the first movement of No. 1: those two strokes are designated for cymbals and bass drum. here, the bass drum sounds rather light. compare this with that from 2'10" into the last movement.
anyway, I'm having much fun out of this performance. Modern without lack of depth or expression, and more exciting and refined than Petrenko, Rattle or Gergiev. In a few places, however, lower strings could play with more intensity(e.g. at the opening two bars of the second movement and 3'33" into it).