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Discussion: Mahler: Symphony No. 8 - Bernstein

Posts: 5

Post by Luukas April 25, 2015 (1 of 5)
Has anybody heard this on surround?

Post by JohnProffitt April 25, 2015 (2 of 5)
Luukas said:

Has anybody heard this on surround?


Post by Luukas April 25, 2015 (3 of 5)
Any comments about the sound?

Post by Ad Rhenum April 26, 2015 (4 of 5)
The three front channels offer a full and rich sound, the center sounds as either a seperate recording or as a good mix of right and left. The sound from the back channels are relatively silent and sound as some kind of echo, with sometimes a remarkably long delay.

There aren't many latin characters in the booklet, but the following information is interesting:

Producer: John McClure Engineer: Hellmuth Kolbe
Recording: Walthamstow Assembly Hall, London. April 18~20, 1966
Mastering, Echo and Organ Synchronisation at the Stadtkirche, Winterthur, Switzerland
Re-issue Producer & DSD Mastering Engineer: Andreas K. Meyer

On wikipedia a page on Hellmuth Kolbe can be found, and an "Im Memoriam" on

quote: "he ... designed the first 3-channel recording consoles and recorders for Columbia (1960); and did research on quadraphonic recording with Ben Bauer (mid-60s)"

Quote from wikipedia: "... Mahler's 8th symphony with Leonard Bernstein and the London Symphony Orchestra in 3-track stereo (1820 April 1966 at Walthamstow Assembly Hall, Waltham Forest, East London), after a televised performance in London, with added reverberation from the Grossmünster, Zürich"

Post by JohnProffitt April 26, 2015 (5 of 5)
What Sony Japan produced is a 5.0 surround SACD with the Front Left - Center - Front Right channels from the original analog master, and the Surround Left and Surround Right digitally synthesized.

The result sounds very fine in 5 channel surround playback, certainly the best sound ever extracted from this recording IMO.

The pipe organ was dubbed in ("synchronized") for the original mid-1960s analog master tape, which as mentioned was 3-channel. The digitized 5.0 surround master for the Sony SACD is, of course, a much later product.