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  1. #1
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    Thumbs down Telarc Recordings Suck

    Am I the only one who thinks that Telarcs recording are utter trash? Dull, Murky, too quiet. The funny thing is that the cd insert included with telarc cd's claim how no eq's are used and there and no this and that here and there. These people should just stop making crap sounding recordings. I'll take an RCA Victor or an Analog EMI any day of the week over this overpriced/overproduced junk.

  2. #2
    In perfect harmony DarrenH's Avatar
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    I have only two:

    Carl Orff - Carmina Burana. Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. Robert Shaw conducting. CD-80056

    Vivaldi - The Four Seasons. Boston Symphony Orchestra. Seiji Ozawa conducting. Joseph Siverstein violin. CD-80070

    They both sound quite excellent to my ears. But then again, I'm not a classical music aficionado.

    Darren
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    Quote Originally Posted by DarrenH
    Vivaldi - The Four Seasons. Boston Symphony Orchestra. Seiji Ozawa conducting. Joseph Siverstein violin. CD-80070
    I think the first CD I bought almost twenty years ago was the Telarc CD-80070 Vivaldi: The Four Seasons, Silverstein / Ozawa / Boston Symphony Orchestra. I now have a couple others on CD and a whole slew on LP, but the only one I play with any regularity is the Telarc. For a 1982 DDD recording it is stunning. Recorded in Houghton Chapel, Wellseley College, Wellesely, Massachusetts straight from the microphones to the Soundstream Digital Tape Recorder. No transformers or electronic processing anywhere during production off the CD. Very nice. Haven't heard any recent DSD Telarc recordings on SACD, but most people say they are excellent. Might be better to list the recordings you don't like newbster so people have a better idea what you are talking about. As far as I'm concerned, in digital quieter is almost always better, unless they aren't taking the peaks to full level. Dynamic range is music.

  4. #4
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    There is a recording of Tchaikowsky's Nutcracker performed by Sir Charles Mackerras that is the one that comes to mind. It's a perfect example of an astounding performance horridly recorded. It's funny how Davey repeated the liner notes exactly, "straight from the microphones to the Soundstream Digital Tape Recorder. No transformers or electronic processing anywhere during production off the CD". Sorry but this recording sounds like a multi-miked mass of confusion.
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  5. #5
    Indifferentist Slosh's Avatar
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    The one Telarc I have sounds superb.

    I'm not much into classical but my parents have about 100 classical CDs so I do have some idea of what to look for in a good recording. My lone Telarc rec is Zander's Mahler's 6th SACD and it sounds amazingly realistic, especially the 5.1 channel SACD mix (assuming the speakers are properly placed with the correct delay settings and are not being fed more bass than they can handle and calibrated with an SPL meter...no one ever said multi-channel was easy ). I believe this is my only pure DSD disc and comes very, very close to my best LPs. The CD layer is excellent too but why would I listen to that at home? (I never listen to classical in the car)

    For me the music comes first. If it's well recorded so much the better but my problem with labels like Telarc and Classic Records is the vast majority of their stuff simply doesn't move me.

    I'll take lo-fi music I like over audiophile pap anyday

  6. #6
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    My advice is "Don't feed the Troll."

    Quote Originally Posted by Davey.
    I think the first CD I bought almost twenty years ago was the Telarc CD-80070 Vivaldi: The Four Seasons, Silverstein / Ozawa / Boston Symphony Orchestra. I now have a couple others on CD and a whole slew on LP, but the only one I play with any regularity is the Telarc. For a 1982 DDD recording it is stunning. Recorded in Houghton Chapel, Wellseley College, Wellesely, Massachusetts straight from the microphones to the Soundstream Digital Tape Recorder. No transformers or electronic processing anywhere during production off the CD. Very nice. Haven't heard any recent DSD Telarc recordings on SACD, but most people say they are excellent. Might be better to list the recordings you don't like newbster so people have a better idea what you are talking about. As far as I'm concerned, in digital quieter is almost always better, unless they aren't taking the peaks to full level. Dynamic range is music.
    Here's a list of newbsterv2's posts to date:

    http://forums.audioreview.com/search.php?searchid=772
    "Opposition brings concord. Out of discord comes the fairest harmony."
    ------Heraclitus of Ephesis (fl. 504-500 BC), trans. Wheelwright.

  7. #7
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    Pat D is our resident classical snob

    I posted about my experience with Telarc not because I was trying to start siht but because I was expressing an opinion. If Pat D can honestly listen to this recording of the Nutcracker and say that it was well recorded then so be it. I say listen for yourself and you decide.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Clark
    I get it now-Davey is a shill for Telarc! Here it's been right under my nose all these years and I didn't even realize until just now. I appreciate you pointing that out for me.

    I doubt I'd be a fan of telarc either, but it would have nothing to do with the sonics.

    Regards,
    jc

    I'm not saying anyone is a shill. I'm saying that when Telarc says that their recordings are good for whatever methods they used to record the event people simply will say yeah the music sounds great because they recorded it in such and such a way. People tend to repeat stuff they hear regardless of validity. I'm just tired of hearing about how great Telarc is when there are countless other labels making better sounding records regardless of cost.

  9. #9
    all around good guy Jim Clark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by newbsterv2
    It's funny how Davey repeated the liner notes exactly, "straight from the microphones to the Soundstream Digital Tape Recorder. No transformers or electronic processing anywhere during production off the CD". Sorry but this recording sounds like a multi-miked mass of confusion.
    I get it now-Davey is a shill for Telarc! Here it's been right under my nose all these years and I didn't even realize until just now. I appreciate you pointing that out for me.

    I doubt I'd be a fan of telarc either, but it would have nothing to do with the sonics.

    Regards,
    jc
    "Ahh, cartoons! America's only native art form. I don't count jazz 'cuz it sucks"- Bartholomew J. Simpson

  10. #10
    all around good guy Jim Clark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by newbsterv2
    I'm not saying anyone is a shill. I'm saying that when Telarc says that their recordings are good for whatever methods they used to record the event people simply will say yeah the music sounds great because they recorded it in such and such a way. People tend to repeat stuff they hear regardless of validity. I'm just tired of hearing about how great Telarc is when there are countless other labels making better sounding records regardless of cost.

    Now this is funny. Your reply to me is listed ahead of my original reply. According to the info provided by the software you responded to my post 4 minutes before I even posted. OK, maybe not funny, but certainly odd.

    Sorry you don't like your telarc disc, what else is there to say?

    jc
    "Ahh, cartoons! America's only native art form. I don't count jazz 'cuz it sucks"- Bartholomew J. Simpson

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Clark
    Now this is funny. Your reply to me is listed ahead of my original reply. According to the info provided by the software you responded to my post 4 minutes before I even posted. OK, maybe not funny, but certainly odd.

    Sorry you don't like your telarc disc, what else is there to say?

    jc

    Yes this new message board format sucks as well. There's not really anything else to say.

  12. #12
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    I've only heard a few Telarc recordings, and none on CD. However, I do have one on vinyl and I was pretty impressed with. It's a recording of the St. Louis Symphony in a hall I've been to many times and they really do convey the sound of the hall as I remember it. It's Bizet's Carmen Suite No 1 and Greig's Suite from Peer Gynt Op. 55, 46.

    Can't speak to their catalog as a whole, but just thought I'd toss that out there.

  13. #13
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    As I said, don't feed the trolls!

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Clark
    I get it now-Davey is a shill for Telarc! Here it's been right under my nose all these years and I didn't even realize until just now. I appreciate you pointing that out for me.

    I doubt I'd be a fan of telarc either, but it would have nothing to do with the sonics.

    Regards,
    jc
    I suggest you, Davey, Darren and others who actually own Telarc CDs to read the booklets to see if you can actually find the alleged quote newbster2v says is in there:

    "straight from the microphones to the Soundstream Digital Tape Recorder. No transformers or electronic processing anywhere during production off the CD."

    I don't think you'll find it. Nothing like that in any of my Telarc CDs. Davey's words are a paraphrase, not a quote. I'm not at all sure newbster2v has actually seen a Telarc CD, since he doesn't appear to know what they say.

    He may have gotten the picture from Amazon.com:

    http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/AS...315155-7690206

    I certainly wouldn't generalize about the label from just one CD as Newbster apparently does. Some Telarc CDs have great performances and some not, but the sound is practically always quite good to excellent.

    Bach, Organ Works. Michael Murray playing the Great Organ at Methuen. Telarc CD-80049. Contains a splendid recording of the Passacaglia in C.

    Brahms, Ein Deutsches Requiem. Shaw, Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and Chorus. Telarc CD-80092. Even TAS likes this one.

    Beethoven, The Five Piano Concertos. Rudiolf Serkin, piano; Seiji Ozawa, Boston Symphony Orchestra. Telarc CD-80061-5.

    Handel, Messiah. Shaw, Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and Chorus. Telarc CD80093-2. Another splendid recording.

    Rachmaninoff, Symphony no. 2. Previn, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. Telarc CD-80113. A very fine performance, perhaps not as good as Ormandy's classic, but with excellent sound.
    Last edited by Pat D; 12-06-2003 at 02:46 PM.
    "Opposition brings concord. Out of discord comes the fairest harmony."
    ------Heraclitus of Ephesis (fl. 504-500 BC), trans. Wheelwright.

  14. #14
    all around good guy Jim Clark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pat D
    I suggeste you, Davey, Darren and others who actually own Telarc CDs to read the booklets to see if you can actually find the alleged quote newbster2v says is in there:

    "straight from the microphones to the Soundstream Digital Tape Recorder. No transformers or electronic processing anywhere during production off the CD."

    I don't think you'll find it.

    Well right now I have a couple of Telarc Discs:

    Mozart Symphony no 40 in g minor +Symphony no.41 in C Major "Jupiter" cd # 80139

    and Dvorak Symphony no 7 in D minor, op. 70 overture, my Home, op.62 CD # 80173

    Also grabbed a Denon PCM CD, Mahler no. 6 co -1327 and co-1328 to compare sonic quality.

    Haven't listened to anything yet, Kansas is playing, and losing, to Stanford. We remain hopeful yet thankful we don't gamble. I also gained newly found respect for all the typing you do in refering to these classical CDs. I'm not sure I typed all the relevant info but it's a start.

    Regards,
    jc
    Last edited by Jim Clark; 12-06-2003 at 03:40 PM.
    "Ahh, cartoons! America's only native art form. I don't count jazz 'cuz it sucks"- Bartholomew J. Simpson

  15. #15
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    Cool Here's your proof

    Quote Originally Posted by Pat D
    I suggest you, Davey, Darren and others who actually own Telarc CDs to read the booklets to see if you can actually find the alleged quote newbster2v says is in there:

    "straight from the microphones to the Soundstream Digital Tape Recorder. No transformers or electronic processing anywhere during production off the CD."

    I don't think you'll find it. Nothing like that in any of my Telarc CDs. Davey's words are a paraphrase, not a quote. I'm not at all sure newbster2v has actually seen a Telarc CD, since he doesn't appear to know what they say.

    He may have gotten the picture from Amazon.com:

    http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/AS...315155-7690206

    I certainly wouldn't generalize about the label from just one CD as Newbster apparently does. Some Telarc CDs have great performances and some not, but the sound is practically always quite good to excellent.

    Bach, Organ Works. Michael Murray playing the Great Organ at Methuen. Telarc CD-80049. Contains a splendid recording of the Passacaglia in C.

    Brahms, Ein Deutsches Requiem. Shaw, Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and Chorus. Telarc CD-80092. Even TAS likes this one.

    Beethoven, The Five Piano Concertos. Rudiolf Serkin, piano; Seiji Ozawa, Boston Symphony Orchestra. Telarc CD-80061-5.

    Handel, Messiah. Shaw, Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and Chorus. Telarc CD80093-2. Another splendid recording.

    Rachmaninoff, Symphony no. 2. Previn, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. Telarc CD-80113. A very fine performance, perhaps not as good as Ormandy's classic, but with excellent sound.


    Ok Pat I hope this is all the proof you need. If you need anything else just let me know.
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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Clark
    Well right now I have a couple of Telarc Discs:

    Mozart Symphony no 40 in g minor +Symphony no.41 in C Major "Jupiter" cd # 80139

    and Dvorak Symphony no 7 in D minor, op. 70 overture, my Home, op.62 CD # 80173

    Also grabbed a Denon PCM CD, Mahler no. 6 co -1327 and co-1328 to compare sonic quality.

    Haven't listened to anything yet, Kansas is playing, and losing, to Stanford. We remain hopeful yet thankful we don't gamble. I also gained newly found respect for all the typing you do in refering to these classical CDs. I'm not sure I typed all the relevant info but it's a start.

    Regards,
    jc
    Long ago, when I was in High School, I had some room in my schedule one semester and I had the foresight to fill it with a typing course. I wan't too good at it, but what skills I did learn have been very useful all my life.

    I sure wish I had the money to buy every CD I might want, but I have to limit myself. The only Mozart CD I have with Mackerras and the Prague Philharmonic is "Eine Kleine Nachtmusik" and the "Posthorn Serenade," on CD-80108. This is a very fine CD and the sound is great.

    Oooh, and Mackerras' 40 and 41 is cheap, too!!!

    http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg...ce&s=classical

    Very tempting. I recently got Pinnock's superb Complete Mozart Symphonies box set, which is quite cheap now, though most of the earlier symphonies aren't such great works, though they're nice enough. For nos. 35-41, I have gone with conductors like Colin Davis, Leibowitz, Krips, and Hogwood. I'm not really looking for others, though Mackerras is supposed to be as good as any and better than most.

    I hope you enjoy the Dvorak, too. I've never heard Previn's Dvorak, but he is a good conductor.

    I have heard a little of Inbal's Mahler and it seemed very good to me, very well recorded. Denon is of my favorite labels, and they have made many quite fine recordings. They sure don't sound the same as Telarc ones--or London, Nimbus, Columbia, Sony, . . . .
    "Opposition brings concord. Out of discord comes the fairest harmony."
    ------Heraclitus of Ephesis (fl. 504-500 BC), trans. Wheelwright.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by newbsterv2
    Ok Pat I hope this is all the proof you need. If you need anything else just let me know.
    But that's not what Davey said, is it?

    Oh well, you did get some discussion of classical music going on this board. And, BTW, I may well be a classical snob! But I do read some of the posts here about other types of music to try and learn something.
    "Opposition brings concord. Out of discord comes the fairest harmony."
    ------Heraclitus of Ephesis (fl. 504-500 BC), trans. Wheelwright.

  18. #18
    all around good guy Jim Clark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pat D
    I sure wish I had the money to buy every CD I might want, but I have to limit myself. The only Mozart CD I have with Mackerras and the Prague Philharmonic is "Eine Kleine Nachtmusik" and the "Posthorn Serenade," on CD-80108. This is a very fine CD and the sound is great
    . . .
    I know what you mean. Didn't mean to lead you astray, I didn't buy these discs, I am fortunate enough to live in an area with an exceptional public library system. One branch is within walking distance and several others are withing 15 minutes of driving. I just grabbed these three at random, I have no idea what they are or if they may be any good by any standards. I have a hunch that I won't really care for them in the least, I just wanted to hear the recording quality to see what I could learn.

    I took that typing class too or I'd really be hosed. Just going back and forth between the CD and the keyboard is time consumming. Even if I had something to hold it with I never did do too great at typing without looking at the final product as I went along. I make enough mistakes as it is.

    jc
    "Ahh, cartoons! America's only native art form. I don't count jazz 'cuz it sucks"- Bartholomew J. Simpson

  19. #19
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    Talking

    Quote Originally Posted by Pat D
    But that's not what Davey said, is it?

    Oh well, you did get some discussion of classical music going on this board. And, BTW, I may well be a classical snob! But I do read some of the posts here about other types of music to try and learn something.
    Davey said.."....No transformers or electronic processing anywhere during production off the CD.". That's not VERBATIM next to what I scanned from my Telarc recording but come on. How accurate do you want it? I have heard enough classical recordings to know what sounds good and what doesn't. I've heard enough live music to know what it should and shouldn't sound like. It's one thing to have a variety of perspectives but when you have that "confused" and artificial sound comig through your speakers it's easy to spot and quickly annoy me. Avoid this recording at all cost. For $30 you can go with Gergiev and the Kirov on Phillips, which is a weeee bit on the fast side, and have ten bucks to spare for some other gem like Bach's Brandenburg Concerti performed by The Age of Enlightment. An excellent $8.99 dual cd set from your local Borders. On period instruments. Yummy.
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  20. #20
    Dubgazer -Jar-'s Avatar
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    I took classes with Jack Renner in college. I can attest to the fact that they seldom use more than a couple mics to record an orchestra. usually a cardiod ORTF pair in the middle and a pair of spaced omnis farther back. Sometimes they have an accent mic over a particular instrument if it's featured, but they do not multi-mic, multi-track like DG does. This is of course, as of the early 90's. Telarc may have changed their policies, but I doubt it. Their concept is to get the widest dynamic range possible. I would say that some of their recordings lack the "warmth" of other labels recordings, but that "warmth" is probably due to processing and mixing the those labels are doing themselves. For realism, Telarc does very well.. their way is one of many possible ways to record classical music. Not the only correct one by any means. If anything, I don't find Telarc recordings to be as engaging as others, especially in the softer parts.. but for the loud, bombastic sections that come in Walton, Mahler or Stravinsky, you'd be hard pressed to find recordings that pack as much bang.

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    Smile

    Quote Originally Posted by -Jar-
    I took classes with Jack Renner in college. I can attest to the fact that they seldom use more than a couple mics to record an orchestra. usually a cardiod ORTF pair in the middle and a pair of spaced omnis farther back. Sometimes they have an accent mic over a particular instrument if it's featured, but they do not multi-mic, multi-track like DG does. This is of course, as of the early 90's. Telarc may have changed their policies, but I doubt it. Their concept is to get the widest dynamic range possible. I would say that some of their recordings lack the "warmth" of other labels recordings, but that "warmth" is probably due to processing and mixing the those labels are doing themselves. For realism, Telarc does very well.. their way is one of many possible ways to record classical music. Not the only correct one by any means. If anything, I don't find Telarc recordings to be as engaging as others, especially in the softer parts.. but for the loud, bombastic sections that come in Walton, Mahler or Stravinsky, you'd be hard pressed to find recordings that pack as much bang.

    -jar
    To me the most important parts of the music are the quiet parts. I own a set of Magnepan MMG's that I've settled with over some time. These speakers don't give me the fireworks like the competition does but for me there is more to the music than the macro dynamics. Magnepan has a slogan that says, "when you want to get someones attention...whisper". The Maggies do that just right. Quiet parts are still completely comprehendable. When I listen to these Telarc recordings it's like "hey what the heck is the orchestra still alive?". Then the crescendo arrives and it sounds like a milkshake. I actually have an analog version of Petrushka on Phillips and while not as loud as I might like it is well balanced and seems to come from "blackness". Anyway to each their own enjoy your recordings

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    Cool Library GOOD.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Clark
    I know what you mean. Didn't mean to lead you astray, I didn't buy these discs, I am fortunate enough to live in an area with an exceptional public library system. One branch is within walking distance and several others are withing 15 minutes of driving. I just grabbed these three at random, I have no idea what they are or if they may be any good by any standards. I have a hunch that I won't really care for them in the least, I just wanted to hear the recording quality to see what I could learn.

    I took that typing class too or I'd really be hosed. Just going back and forth between the CD and the keyboard is time consumming. Even if I had something to hold it with I never did do too great at typing without looking at the final product as I went along. I make enough mistakes as it is.

    jc
    I have given so many CDs to our public library that my name is posted on a little plaque there, along with several others and the friends of the library! It's not a terribly big library as I don't live in a big city, but it has a pretty well chosen collection and a lot of good programs for children and adults They once consulted me for suggesting how to broaden their classical music collection at one time, and I did my best within my limitations. There are others who know more about music than I do, and there must be others with bigger collections, but I was willing to take the time. Some of the staff (including the City Librarian) have become friends or acquaintances. I sometimes have given discs I really like, sometime good discs that aren't to my taste. I don't give junk. I have also given a tape or so and a DVD, and will no doubt give some DVDs in the future.
    "Opposition brings concord. Out of discord comes the fairest harmony."
    ------Heraclitus of Ephesis (fl. 504-500 BC), trans. Wheelwright.

  23. #23
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    michael murray/ Telarc

    I have most of Michael Murrays recordings for Telarc including Bach at Metheun and I think I agree with the criticism. So much of recording organ music is centered on the problem of maintaining clarity without losing the atmosphere. The recording at St. John the Divine was recorded too close and ruins the 12 second reverb.

    dan

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    Quote Originally Posted by danw
    I have most of Michael Murrays recordings for Telarc including Bach at Metheun and I think I agree with the criticism. So much of recording organ music is centered on the problem of maintaining clarity without losing the atmosphere. The recording at St. John the Divine was recorded too close and ruins the 12 second reverb.

    dan
    So you think Telarcs are too close and clear whereas as Newbster2V thinks they are too murky! That doesn't sound like much of an agreement to me.

    You both generalize from a very few samples--he from only one CD and you from Michael Murray's organ recordings, maybe just one of them--you aren't too clear on that.

    Well, organs can be heard from near or far, and if you are closer up you don't get near the amount of reverb that you get down in the pews, and you can record them both ways. One of my best friends in university was a very good organist and so was my older brother's wife, not to mention some of my current friends.
    "Opposition brings concord. Out of discord comes the fairest harmony."
    ------Heraclitus of Ephesis (fl. 504-500 BC), trans. Wheelwright.

  25. #25
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    re: Michael Murray/ Telarc

    You are right- I am only talking about the organ recordings. I was referring to processes that Telarc may or may not use which changes the natural character of the recording. I like some of the Murray recordings, otherwise I would not have continued to buy them. But all organs are different and the acoustical properties of Saint John the Divine or Saint Sulpice are completely different from a concert hall (like Symphony Hall, Boston). This makes recording them difficult and depends on what qualities of the organ one wants to emphasize. These particular recordings are too close, especially in the more resonant churches, for instance take St. John the Divine. The state trumpets are 600 feet from the rest of the organ, so the listener is not just nearer or closer to the organ, but positioned between the organ. The echo in this church is closely associated with the sound of the organ and IMHO the micing was too close to be naturalistic.

    Another recording by Michael Murray which suffers from a different problem was done at the Bavokirk in Haarlem, Netherlands on its beautiful and famous 18th century organ. An organ from this time period would have a rather noisy or at least audible mechanism which one would hear at close proximity to the organ. This can be heard on other recordings of this organ. But you cannot hear it at all, even though the micing is very close.

    BTW here are my michael murray recordings:

    Bach at Hildesheim
    Bach at St. Bavo's
    Dupre Franck Widor
    Bach at Methuen
    Vierne Symphonies 1,3
    Bach in LA
    Ruffati in Davies Symphony Hall
    St. John the Divine
    Encores a la francaise
    Recital at Methuen (LP)
    dan
    Last edited by danw; 07-24-2004 at 04:14 PM.

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