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Ken Kessler Article In Christopher Ward Watch magazine

Discussion in 'audio' started by PeteVid, Apr 3, 2022.

  1. marshanp

    marshanp ellipsis addict

    caretaker, when you found things to cherish in music as a child, you were a different person. I had similar experiences.

    I don't think that attributing the rarity of such experiences in adulthood to the means of reproduction makes much sense. I have found that that musical "wow" moments have become steadily rarer and more treasurable as with the passing years I have gained an ever-bigger collection of them... but they haven't stopped happening altogether - and I haven't heard anything purely analogue in decades.

    If you fancy seeing whether one of my recent discoveries rings your bell, try the Piano Trio by Babajanian:

    https://www.prestomusic.com/classical/products/8908876--burning-through-the-cold

    PS I'm streaming it right now... a masterpiece, largely unknown in the West...
     
    the caretaker likes this.
  2. adamdea

    adamdea You are not a sound quality evaluation device

    Now don't be so warm and lovely, you'll make it difficult for me to be mean.
     
    the caretaker likes this.
  3. the caretaker

    the caretaker pfm Member

    Have you listened to adamdea's Vegh 132? It's a marvel..in my opinion..but I liked quattro italiano first..so there is always space for ones first love..couldn't agree more that hifi is there in the service of music.no science or golden ears needed, just a open heart or a closed one? Music will pry it open..always has..so whatever our personal views are, be it cables or measurements..we all get that feeling of being transported into somewhere arcane..which only music can do..all we need is to listen..how cool is music..
     
    camverton likes this.
  4. the caretaker

    the caretaker pfm Member

    Lol...brilliant!
     
  5. adamdea

    adamdea You are not a sound quality evaluation device

    I can't take the credit for this piece but please pm me your address.
     
    the caretaker likes this.
  6. the caretaker

    the caretaker pfm Member

    I will listen bit later..at the moment placebos new album has all my attention!
    Marsh, mate..I have to process what you wrote..then I'll try and answer it..but thankyou for that piece of music..
     
  7. the caretaker

    the caretaker pfm Member

    Think you can take credit for recommending it..its quite something..how have I missed this? Can you give me a reccy for the goldberg variations please..
     
  8. camverton

    camverton pfm Member

    I’ve just checked and yes, I have a recording of the Vegh along with 18 other versions :eek: of op.132. I haven’t listened to it lately so will give a spin, or should that be a button press on JRemote, soon. The thing about the slow movement, in particular, is that it is impossible to put into words the extraordinary journey through it and the way it searches out its last questioning phrases. The great photographer Edward Weston once said something like “If you could explain a Bach Fugue you’d explain away its very reason for existence”.
     
    the caretaker likes this.
  9. the caretaker

    the caretaker pfm Member

    Yes it's quite extraordinary the journey...have never heard anything like this in music..Mahler 9 last movement is not really similar..its fantastic in many respects but its a long goodbye..but the ' song of thanksgiving to the diety from a convalescent in the Lydian mode ' is something else..i think when the angels speak to us mere humans its unbearable..how can us humans with all our failings hear such joy? So Beethoven transcribed that into something we all can relate to..they say when you get to heaven..your heart opens like a door and everything is there to see..bad and good..I wonder if this music is a little like that? When it finishes..does it really finish? I need a few moments to compose myself..close my heart back up again and go out into the world...one day I won't go back.. ill stay with Beethovens music and then perhaps I'll understand..when I'm old and about to give up the ghost, I so hope this will be the last thing I hear...
    Sorry to be maudlin...its Beethovens fault..
     
    marshanp and camverton like this.
  10. marshanp

    marshanp ellipsis addict

    You are a perceptive listener, caretaker, and much more articulate in describing the experience than I will ever be.

    On the basis of what you have written above... if you don't know Bruckner's 9th symphony, dedicated to "the beloved God", you might like to give it a hearing (Eugen Jochum, Dresden Staatskapelle is the recording I would suggest). Its Adagio third movement contains visions of hell and, ultimately, heaven. To complete it was beyond poor ageing, alcoholic Bruckner... but the three movements which he did finish are somehow perfect and complete in themselves. It could have been the greatest symphony ever written. For some listeners it is just that.
     
    the caretaker and camverton like this.
  11. ssimon

    ssimon pfm Member

    So how does it compare to the Spotify version?
     
  12. adamdea

    adamdea You are not a sound quality evaluation device

    Harpsichord or piano?
    Hewitt or Tureck for piano. Probably the latter in your case.
     
    the caretaker likes this.
  13. topoxforddoc

    topoxforddoc pfm Member


    Coming back to the OP. KK is absolutely correct. Of course, you have to qualify this by referring to music recorded before the mid-late 80s. After that, pretty much all the major studios moved to digital, as it was easier and cheaper.
    But listening to a 15 IPS production master tape is better than vinyl and better than any digital remaster, assuming that the tape is in good condition and doesn't have dropouts, print through or even worse sticky shed syndrome (mostly newer Ampex 456 etc). The tape machine has to be aligned correctly too, in just the same way that you would want to set up a turntable/arm/cartridge correctly. It's just that you need to think about lining up a tape machine pretty much every time you play it, if you want to get the very best out of the R2R tape medium.

    [​IMG]

    PS: I have to declare a conflict of interest with KK. I was his saturday boy at Canterbury Hi-Fi in the late 70s-early 80s, before KK went full time into journalism. That's why I like Decca cartridges and valve amplifiers.
     
    Snufkin, G T Audio, camverton and 2 others like this.
  14. the caretaker

    the caretaker pfm Member

    Piano..harpsichord? Horrid noise..
     
  15. camverton

    camverton pfm Member

    For most of my years on this planet I’d have agreed with you. Then I really got into the Bach Keyboard Partitas played on the piano before sampling Trevor Pinnock playing them on the harpsichord. What a revelation! Mind you, Pinnock is a very fine musician and his performances made so much sense and much to my surprise I no longer found the harpsichord sounding like those cats copulating on a tin roof as naughtily said by Beecham. I do think that the harpsichord demands the finest digital playback to sound good; the transients and timing have to be spot on. If you can bear it try Manhan Esfahani’s recording of the Bach Toccattas for a really fulsome sounding harpsichord. Such is the recording quality that when I play one of them I almost expect to open my eyes at the end and see him taking a bow!

    Now then, the Vegh Quartet in op.132. Just listened to it and whilst a fine performance in many ways it just didn’t transport me to a state beyond the world and omy own imagination. In fact I found it rather earthbound, although that might in part be down to the muddled recording in the bass registers. I see that I bought it in 1988, and some of those early CDs weren’t very well mastered for the new medium. It just goes to show that we all respond to different things, whether in music or the way it is reproduced.

    Not wishing to stray too far off topic @topoxforddoc has reminded me that one of the best sounds at the 2016 Scalford Show was from reel to reel tape into iirc large Rogers monitors.
     
    the caretaker likes this.
  16. the caretaker

    the caretaker pfm Member

    I'm still the same person 'inside' and I recently had a wow moment with that wonderful Vegh 132..I may try and get the vinyl of it..I listened to the piano trio..it was ok I suppose..it had the composer playing the piano, I don't much care for oistrakh' s playing..scratchy and it made me feel a bit anxious! Lol..music reminded me of some black and white film score a bit..ill look for a more modern recording,..
     
  17. the caretaker

    the caretaker pfm Member

    I used to use a harpsichord piece to test my hifi as a callow youth..I find nothing in it nowadays..percussive drone..in my opinion..lol I'm such a pleb..sorry!,
    reasons I can think of why you weren't transported by the Vegh? Are this..
    Dyspepsia or you have sold your soul to the devil! Hope old nick didn't pay in roubles?
    I can't think of any other reason? Oh..unless you feel resentment towards adamdea's exquisite taste in music? Hahaha..I actually find this hard to believe...I going with old nick and his roubles..lol
     
  18. the caretaker

    the caretaker pfm Member

    That's very kind of you..stroking my vanity? But it's nearly 3 am..im tired ( up with reflux..gaviscon helping ) I think ill be more receptive to being stroked tomorrow or is that today? Lol..but being serious, who needs words when the music speaks so clearly? Music just needs a listener..words though need a listener and a speaker..then you get someone else who disagrees with those words..starts gobbing off..then a crowd appear to see such fun! Before you know it..its forum..a hifi forum! Handsome and sophisticated mods appear to control those gobby chaps who just cant keep their necks in...see what those words do? Just cause trouble..we all need to listen more and talk less..yeah right!
     
  19. Jim Audiomisc

    Jim Audiomisc pfm Member

    I found it an example of the kind of 'misdiagnosis' that medics all too often inflct upon their patients. The reality is that an 'MD' isn't a scientist or an engineer. Some of them are lethal. cf some of my web pages where they - more than once - nearly led to the death of my wife. And they failed to diagnose my medical problem for *over a decade* whilst barring any real investigation.
     
    herb likes this.
  20. Jim Audiomisc

    Jim Audiomisc pfm Member

    The problem is that virtually all the 'analogue' versions we may have heard that have been produced in the last c40 years have been though digital processes. This includes many 'more modern' LPs because of factors like digital delay in the cutter, and also digital hidden away in mixer desks, etc.

    So the reality may be that 'analog' *alters* the sound in a way you, and others, like.

    Example of this may be Radio 3 FM. It is level compressed and the FM process alters the result in various ways. Yet it sounds very good if you can pick up a good signal with a decent tuner.
     
    the caretaker likes this.

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