Walter: Bruckner - Symphony no.9 (FLAC)
Walter: Bruckner - Symphony no.9 (FLAC)

Composer: Anton Bruckner
Orchestra: Columbia Symphony Orchestra, New York Philharmonic
Conductor: Bruno Walter
Audio CD
Number of Discs: 1
Format: FLAC (tracks+cue)
Label: Sony
Size: 345 MB
Recovery: +3%
Scan: no

# Symphony No. 9 in D minor (“Unfinished”), WAB 109 (various versions)
Composed by Anton Bruckner
Performed by Columbia Symphony Orchestra
Conducted by Bruno Walter

# Te Deum in C major, for soloists, chorus, orchestra & organ, WAB 45
Composed by Anton Bruckner
Performed by New York Philharmonic
with David Lloyd, Frances Yeend, Mack Harrell, Martha Lipton
Conducted by Bruno Walter

A comment on the latest remastering

Sony has touted its DSD remasterig as though it represents a significant step ahead of the last technnology, which was 96Hz/24-bit, which in turn was an advance over 20-bit SBM (if I have them straight). To a music lover like me who dabbles in audiophile sound, the proof is in the listening. So I bought this latest rendition of Walter’s classic 1959 Bruckner 9th and comapred it with the 1988 budget version, on Sony’s Odyssey line, always their standard for rock-bottom cheapness.

The sonic differences aren’t all that dramatic. Some tape hiss has been cleaned up, the overall timbre is more mellow, the strings (always thin-sounding with the Columbia Sym.) are marginally smoother. But the original LP was good, and various reissues on CD have been good as well. I was comfortable listening to both CDs, which isn’t true with Karajan’s recordings from the early Sixties, for example, where each new upgrade on CD has brought a marked improvement. Unless you are a stickler for the very best sound or happen to want the generous filler here, the Bruckner Te Deum, I think you can keep any previous incarnation of this performance and be well satisfied.

P.S. — Some audio researchers claim that once a digital recording crosses a certain low threshold of bits, added improvements aren’t discernible to the average listener. In other words, an MP3 downloaded from iTunes satisifes most ears in comparison with CDs professionally manufactured and sold in stores. The point is worth keeping in mind when confronting new remastering technology.

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