The eternal question: Why does a digital recording sound much better, when played from vinyl, compared to the CD? Indeed, this is fact on almost all recordings. But in this case, Telarc used the full benefits of the master tapes (“only” 16 bit & 50 kHz its time), that were played in the full range, not beeing reduced to 44.1 kHz for the CD-norm. Compare this rip with the rip I posted with Maestro Karajan: both are beautiful performances, but when the HiFi-sound becomes a Hi-End-sound, you remain speechless and want to hear it again and again. Enjoy! Take care in the 2nd Part, after 7 minutes, when the “famous” eleven drum hits come to your ears.
You are warned: take care of your amp and (more) of your speakers. Don’t play it too loud, until you know, how loud you can get it. Telarc’s timpani and bass drum are terrific!
Composer: Igor Stravinsky
Orchestra: Cleveland Orchestra
Conductor: Lorin Maazel
Number of Discs: 1
DR-Analysis: DR 17
Size: 1.23 GB
At his best Maazel was a brilliant conductor, and he always showed strong interest in Stravinky’s works. He recorded this three times (to my knowledge), the other two being with the Bavarian Radio Symphony and the Vienna Philharmonic. His reading did not change much over the years; the main difference between these being in terms of sound quality. Telarc was known for its fine-sounding digital recordings, but this is still early digital. In some cases that means unpleasant “digital glare,” but not here. Mostly there’s just a slight fuzziness or an extra edge to instrument likes trumpets or woodwinds that detracts slightly from the realism, but it’s still pretty listenable.
Maazel finds plenty of power and energy, though it’s possible he is surpassed by one or two other conductors. Yet he presents the score with great clarity and rhythmic force, and despite its episodic nature, he manages to keep a firm and continuous line going through both the first and second parts. Tempos are well-chosen, though there is one strange part in Part II where for several measures he slows the tempo drastically. Not something you’d notice unless you’re very familiar with this piece, and not a problem (for me), though some purists may object to this personal touch.
As you know, that’s where the orchestra bellows out 11 times, led by the tympani and bass drum. Every other conductor takes these hair-raising crashes at about 2 to 3 beats per second. Not Maazel. He takes you vigorously through the crescendo. And then it seems as though he just stops! 1 second, 2 seconds of dead silence except for some fading echos.
Then come the 11 loudest, deepest, most dramatic terror-filled blasts that could possibly exist among all of the recorded Rites. Each pulse is delivered as a separate thing.
The rest of the ballet is nearly as superior. Huge sonic impact, perfect sound. I think Telarc must have placed a microphone INSIDE the bass drum!
Even the liner notes are good, like the quote from Aaron Copland; “With Stravinsky one senses that the place of each note in each melody and chord has been found for it only after a process of meticulous elimination, and the place found is usually so unexpected and original that one can imagine the notes themselves being surprised at finding themselves situated where they are…”
Maazel’s ear for orchestral balances is sometimes praised, and I wonder whether what I hear here is related to that or to Telarc’s microphone placement. There’s a slight tendency for subsidiary voices to be pushed back further than usual–fluttering, trilling woodwinds that usually have equal prominence with the main “melody” instrument are now clearly accompaniments instead. This is a slightly different way of hearing this, and different from the way it’s usually done now, but it works in its own way.
Overall, one of the better ‘Rites’ you’ll hear. Highly recommended!
Analyzed Folder: /192k Stravinsky – Le Sacre Du Printemps – Maazel_dr.txt
DR Peak RMS Filename
DR17 -0.22 dB -22.75 dB A Part I – The Fertility Of The Earth.flac
DR17 -0.23 dB -23.49 dB B Part II – The Sacrifice.flac
Number of Files: 2
Official DR Value: DR17
- Composed By – Igor Strawinsky
- Conductor – Lorin Maazel
- Engineer [Sound] – Jack Renner
- Orchestra – The Cleveland Orchestra
- Photography By [Cover] – Tom Russo
- Producer – Robert Woods
- RCM: Okki Nokki (L’art du son, Clearaudio’s Diamond Cleaner)
- TT: Vintage (1982) Yamaha PX-3
- Cartridge: Sumiko Black Bird
Cartridge: ZYX 50R Bloom
- Phono amp: Audio Research SP15 own tube phono section.
- ADC/DAC: RME Fireface UC
- Pre Amp: Audio Research SP15
- Finals: Opera Consonance 9.9 Mono (Tube)
- Speakers: Dali Helikon 400
- Connections: MIT Terminator, Audioquest Emerald, Audioquest Quartz
A few words about the way i’ve been cleaning vinyl records and post-processing rips, since summer 2017: After washing and recording the vinyl, I use a kind of mixed cleaning of the rip, which consists of mostly manual rather than automatic de-clicking, (the latter only on unimportant passages, such as end of the groove, beginning and end of the songs, applause, speaking). I often leave the rips almost rough, de-clicking only the silences between the tracks. Never de-noising or/and EQ, as unfortunately some do. I prefer to hear a bit of quiet noises of the clean groove, that contain something of the music, rather than generate clinically clean files that may, eventually, sound a bit dead. If you do not agree, do not download my rips and buy instead digital files or CDs.
When I listen to music I “don’t hear” any noise: I enjoy the music 😀
I do not make rips for headphones!
- Software: iZotope RX 5 Advanced, Adobe Audition CS 5.5, Twisted Wave 1.18
- Very careful de-clicking with iZotope, significant clicks manually removed, never de-noising
- Wave 32/192(32/384) —> Flac 24/96 & 24/192: Twisted Wave 1.18
- Artwork: Sony Alpha 350, Epson Perfection V750 Pro, Photoshop CS 5.5
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