Baroque Violin and Recorded Acoustics

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Church

If the music was composed with dry or wet in mind, I believe recording as such would be satisfactory.

Violin various acoustics.

I have these recordings you mentioned I.O., but I cannot say that they really bother me. Perhaps, my hi-end system provides the sound big and spacious enough and the space I listen too is suitable, in some ways, to absorb reverberation (no high ceiling, uneven wall surface, enough carpets etc.).

The three recordings you mention are fine ones and I do not have major complaints about them. The H.M ones are not the best in the field anyway. Eggar is not the strongest exponent of the harpsichord, while Manze has a rather "thin" (too baroque) sound. On the other hand, R. Podger's latest release, the "Guardian Angel" is a SACD and is intended to be listened with the appropriate source and equipment to provide the necessary ambience and sound. In my room, she sounds O.K. and her violin is as solid and strong as ever. By the way, her recording of Bach's Sonatas with T. Pinnock is old enough (one of her earliest recordings). It is in a rather "flat" and close recording, very well balanced (at least in my system) and, at any rate, this is one of the very best recordings of these Sonatas.

For the Haendel Sonatas, you may try two different recordings on DHM: one with R. Minasi and the Musica Antiqua Roma or the one with Julia Schroeder, C. Dangel, D. Caminiti and G. Paronuzzi, where they perform the Sonatas with a rich continuo and th violin sounds more balanced and "natural".

For Pandolfi, you might find much "healthier" and richer the recording of Gunar Letzbor and Ars Antiqua Austria, on Arcana.

In any case, this issue is more a personal story rather than a general one. I guess it depends, to some extent, to your personal settings for listening and less on the recordings themselves, which, however, as "products" have their own features and limitations.

Parla

janeeliotgardiner wrote:

janeeliotgardiner wrote:

 

I used to be one of those people who deliberately avoided "older" recordings, but I am gradually come around. They seem to be far more characterful and "natural".

As far as I can see, modern recording processes seem to be all about taking the natural acoustic out of the equation altogether. They dangle so many mics over the orchestra, just about every instrument gets it own personal one. Then they mix and match at will. Turn up the flute there, turn down the cellos there........I read on an acoustic-related site the other day that the San Fransisco Symphony Orchestra use 78 microphones for a typical recording!

In contrast - though I could be wrong; someone else will know more - I presume chamber recordings are done much more in the old style: two or three mics on tripods, which allows the natural acoustic to come into play.

 

Taking note of Jane's comment it seems to me that the BBC now does that with the Proms. Listening to them in the last year or so I find the sound much drier and sometimes too close with little sense of the Albert Hall's ample acoustic - compared for example to CD issues of Prom recordings from years ago. Has anyone else noticed this?

 

Decca started out with 3 microphones later moving to 5 whilst Mercury were famous for always using just 3.

 

It is of course a personal matter as Parla says & one's own listening room acoustics will come into the equation.

 

Nick

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