Gramophone Editor's Choice - Qobuz or Spotify?

60 posts / 0 new
Last post
I have confirmed that MTT's

I have confirmed that MTT's version of West Side Story, at least, is available. Can't locate either of Parla's suggestions. On the whole, minor labels are less well represented than what we used to call the majors. I suspect there will be a shakedown amongst streaming companies in 2015, and those that survive will have access to a fuller catalogue. In the meantime, I can understand the likes of Simon Perry at Hyperion being a little wary.

Quite good but...

It is quite good that MTT's recording of West Side Story is available, Paul, but the original release is in demonstration quality SACD format. Although brilliantly recorded, it cannot surpass the superb/reference recording of Bernstein, on DG, with Te Kanawa, Carreras, Troyanos etc., which was released in SACD as well.

Parla

I know you're quite a SACD

I know you're quite a SACD fan, Parla. The differences relative to high resolution PCM are somewhat controversial, but either will give better results than straight 44/16. However 44/16 remains lots better than any lossy version, and is the standard at which the vast majority of listeners will be playing the disc. It'll certainly do me for listening to a recording I don't even own!

 

Talking of controversy, you'll be aware that Lenny's WSS recording is not universally loved, mainly because of the casting of major classical singers in roles that may not best suit them (actually, I don't mind it myself). How do you think the new MTT compares?

Oh, and PS, I don't think

Oh, and PS, I don't think Lenny's was recorded at any higher resolution than 44/16, so it's hard to see what SACD can possibly add in this case (I accept it can create better transfers from analog, but not CD standard digital recording.)

pgraber wrote:Talking of

pgraber wrote:

Talking of controversy, you'll be aware that Lenny's WSS recording is not universally loved, mainly because of the casting of major classical singers in roles that may not best suit them (actually, I don't mind it myself). How do you think the new MTT compares?

Indeed. Parla's taste here must be somewhat eccentric, to say the least. The Bernstein West Side Story is one of the most notorious recordings of all time. Many regard it to be an outright disaster. Others, less critical, see it as an expensive and somewhat curious vanity project that never really came off. The MTT version, on the other hand, seems to have been widely accepted as the finest recording of WSS by a long sea mile. But perhaps Parla hasn't had time to give it a good listen yet: it can't be easy knowing each and every recording in each and every remote nook and cranny of the repertoire.

On which grounds?..(Once more).

It's easy for anyone to call Lenny's recording as an "outright disaster" and the new MTT one as "the finest recording of WSS by a long sea mile", Jane. The issue is on which grounds (musical, recording, singing, stylish etc). If you have both recordings and you have listened to them extensively, then, let us know which are these grounds for the verdict you project. For the moment, I sense that you simply refer to certain publications/reviewrs' views (I don't think you read French, German...and a lot of American publications too.). I have, on many occasions, say that any publication or reviewer/critc's view is of indicative nature. One cannot rely completely on it.

As for me, the West Side Story is a monumental work of the American Music scene and I have grown with it. I know it very well and I have most of the existing recordings. Incidentally, I hapen to have met Lenny (mostly in the 70s) and I have a personal view of how brilliant, creative and unique he was in every thing that had to do with music. One thing that I will never contest is his authority, particularly on his Music.

For a detailed answer as for the pros and cons of the two recordings, I will respond later to the above posts by Paul.

Parla

 

parla wrote:Incidentally, I

parla wrote:

Incidentally, I hapen to have met Lenny.......

Absolutely priceless.

parla wrote:It's easy for

parla wrote:

It's easy for anyone to call Lenny's recording as an "outright disaster" and the new MTT one as "the finest recording of WSS by a long sea mile", Jane. The issue is on which grounds (musical, recording, singing, stylish etc). If you have both recordings and you have listened to them extensively, then, let us know which are these grounds for the verdict you project. For the moment, I sense that you simply refer to certain publications/reviewrs' views (I don't think you read French, German...and a lot of American publications too.). I have, on many occasions, say that any publication or reviewer/critc's view is of indicative nature. One cannot rely completely on it.

As for me, the West Side Story is a monumental work of the American Music scene and I have grown with it. I know it very well and I have most of the existing recordings. Incidentally, I hapen to have met Lenny (mostly in the 70s) and I have a personal view of how brilliant, creative and unique he was in every thing that had to do with music. One thing that I will never contest is his authority, particularly on his Music.

For a detailed answer as for the pros and cons of the two recordings, I will respond later to the above posts by Paul.

Parla

Watch it Parla! If you knew how intimately this kind of comments show you you would be more careful. It feels a bit like walking into your grandpa's room and find him wearing tights and suspenders while masturbating in front of the mirror... we are not meant to see that!

Bernstein's DG West Side Story

I know that Bernstein's DG recording of West Side Story has come in for some 'stick' compared with the old film soundtrack, his Candide too.  Both are considered too 'operatic' by the critics but I must say I love both those late recordings (so too it seems do the public who have bought copies in large numbers).  For me the film of West Side Story is wonderful (I'm old enough to have seen it when it first appeared), but for just listening it is not well enough sung for me. Ditto with Candide. I saw the National Theatre production in London some years ago - most enjoyable - but Bernstein's recording is just so much better sung. What singers!

It seems to be the fashion to knock Bernstein's recordings, especially his later ones, but I still remember hearing him live on several occasions during those years and the memories are still vivid.

Chris

Chris A.Gnostic

I suppose it depends what you

I suppose it depends what you mean about "singing", Chris. For me, that is the problem - especially Carreras, who puts the stress on all the wrong places. He is supposed to be an American, but obviously he sounds Spanish. In WSS, the ethnic and cultural identities are paramount. So to have Tony, above all, sound more latin than the Sharks is a bit of a problem. There's also a question of consistency: some of them sing "opera", but then Officer Krupke is done with a musical style Bronxy twang.........

Pages

Log in or register to post comments

Gramophone Subscriptions

From£67/year

Gramophone Print

Gramophone Print

no Digital Edition
no Digital Archive
no Reviews Database
no Events & Offers
From£67/year
Subscribe
From£67/year

Gramophone Reviews

Gramophone Reviews

no Print Edition
no Digital Edition
no Digital Archive
no Events & Offers
From£67/year
Subscribe
From£67/year

Gramophone Digital Edition

Gramophone Digital Edition

no Print Edition
no Reviews Database
no Events & Offers
From£67/year
Subscribe

If you are a library, university or other organisation that would be interested in an institutional subscription to Gramophone please click here for further information.

© MA Business and Leisure Ltd. 2019