Many thanks for this beauty to our friend Booksaregood
Concerto in D-Minor After Marcello, BWV 974
Italian Concerto, BWV 971
French Ouverture, BWV 831
These are exceptionally fine readings by James Weaver, but the star of this show is the Wolf harpsichord. The sound captured here is simply the best and most beautiful harpsichord I have ever heard. It is a mystery why it is so difficult to record or capture the harpsichord qua instrument, as opposed to “ye olde” social statement, with its essence sounding pin-pointy lovely, without clatter.
Recorded 7-9 December 1987 in the National Museum of American History, Washington D.C.
# Composer: Johann Sebastian Bach
# Performer: James Weaver
# Vinyl (1987)
# Number of Discs: 1/6
# Format: Flac
# Label: Smithsonian Collection Of Recordings
# DR-Analysis: DR 12
# Size: 2.15 GB
# Scan: yes
# Server: FileFactory
Though Landowska was a great musician, her cotton-gin that she played seems to have forever skewed sane priorities as to what these great old instruments should sound like. That is assuming that one wants them to sound beautiful to begin with, to help enable beautiful readings like Weaver’s. You have to wonder with some recordings if they were meant as some sort of noise de-sensitivitzation experiment. And there was a period in the radical phase of the old-instrument craze, when orchestras seemed devoted to playing mostly out of tune with harsh vibrato-less scratching, when the continuo instruments they got alongside were indistinguishable from a vaguely melodic snare-drum drilling in the back of the orchestra. This instrument is, thus, the polar opposite of that. It has all the appropriate ice-sculpture loveliness and articulation, but with a gorgeous sheen to the sound, and zero clatter. What a pure pleasure, truly! They got the recording incredibly right as well. In addition, one should say that though Weaver has a lot of competition for the performance of the Italian Concerto, I am not sure he does for the French Overture. I don’t think I ever heard such a a convincing performance, either on harpsichord or piano. The first movement especially is blessedly free from the over-frenchified melodrama of virtually all other performances, where it seems Bach is being forced into a Procrustean bed of heady Couperinism. That strange and mistaken interpretative sense which has swallowed many, many performances, even of Coupterin’s own music ironically, whole. Thankfully what we get here is just great Bach, played on a Divine instrument.
Analyzed folder: /192k JSB – 3 Works For Harpsichord – Smithsonian Collection Box (6LPs)
DR Peak RMS Filename
DR13 -0.43 dB -16.27 dB E1 Concerto In D-Minor After Marcello – BWV 974 – Allegro.wav
DR12 -5.54 dB -20.98 dB E2 Concerto In D-Minor After Marcello – BWV 974 – Adagio.wav
DR12 -3.43 dB -17.90 dB E3 Concerto In D-Minor After Marcello – BWV 974 – Presto.wav
DR12 -2.77 dB -17.46 dB E4 Italian Concerto – BWV 971 – Allegro.wav
DR13 -6.17 dB -21.52 dB E5 Italian Concerto – BWV 971 – Andante.wav
DR12 -2.39 dB -17.38 dB E6 Italian Concerto – BWV 971 – Presto.wav
DR13 -5.58 dB -20.31 dB F1 French Ouverture – BWV 831 – Ouverture.wav
DR12 -7.84 dB -22.52 dB F2 French Ouverture – BWV 831 – Courante.wav
DR12 -6.17 dB -20.93 dB F3 French Ouverture – BWV 831 – Gavotte I and II.wav
DR12 -7.82 dB -21.93 dB F4 French Ouverture – BWV 831 – Passepied I and II.wav
DR13 -6.59 dB -22.22 dB F5 French Ouverture – BWV 831 – Sarabande.wav
DR12 -7.48 dB -21.79 dB F6 French Ouverture – BWV 831 – Bourree I and II.wav
DR13 -5.45 dB -20.36 dB F7 French Ouverture – BWV 831 – Gigue.wav
DR12 -2.38 dB -17.58 dB F8 French Ouverture – BWV 831 – Echo.wav
Number of files: 14
Official DR value: DR12
- RCM: Okki Nokki (L’art du son, Clearaudio’s Diamond Cleaner)
- TT: Vintage (1982) Yamaha PX-3
- Cartridge: Sumiko Black Bird
Cartridge: Audio Technica AT 33 E MC
- Phono amp: Pro-Ject Phono Box RS
- ADC/DAC: RME Fireface UC
- Pre Amp: Vintage (1979) Luxman L-55A
- Finals: Opera Consonance 9.9 Mono (Tube)
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If You hear some clicks and pops here and there, Who cares?
Id rather have a few light anomalies instead of destroying the music.
Enjoy the music, not the ticks & pops.
I tend more and more, in the last time, to de-click with an automatic setting between 0.7 and 1.2 so you can say, my rips are like half rough rips.
- Software: iZotope RX 4 Advanced, Adobe Audition CS 5.5, Twisted Wave 1.9
- Very light de-clicking with iZotope, significant clicks manually removing, no de-noising
- DR-Analisys before converting to Flac
- Converting Wave -> Flac: Twisted Wave 1.9
- Artwork: Sony Alpha 350, Epson Perfection V750 Pro, Photoshop CS 5.5
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