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06-02-2004 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,295
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 1
Post ID: 42
Reply to: 42
Mravinsky/Leningrad from 1960 with a Japanese twist.

The Mravinsky’s and his orchestra trip to Austria in 1960 and this recording of the last 3 Tchaikovsky’s Symphonies are well known. I am sure any of us have a number of Italian pressed box-sets with 3 records of this performance. Yes, the Mravinsky’s 1960 First Movement of the Forth Symphony is not as near interesting as the Koussevitzky’s with Boston, the Mravinsky’s 1960 First Movement of the Fifth Symphony is not the Georgiev First Movement with Vienna and the Mravinsky’s 1960 First Movement of the Sixth Symphony is not the Mravinsky’s 1956 First Movement. However, it is quite good compilation of the Tchaikovsky’s last symphony, probably one of the best out there. Also, with this set you get the absolutely untouchable and superb Third movements of the Forth Symphony, Second movement of the Fifth Symphony and last movement of the Sixth Symphony….

Anyhow, Leningrad always was kind of violently sounding orchestra. Their horns were always too hot and too presumptuous, their string group never had a tonal nobility of Vienna, Prague or Berlin, and their woodwinds always were too sunk. The Mravinsky’s RX-like conducting techniques with his almost anal-retentive ascent to minuteness in music also did not help to hide the misery of the Leningrad’s tonal deficiency. So, we always listened it ”as is” noticing for yourself: ”What do you want, this is the Leningrad Philharmonic…”

At the beginning of this year I bought a CD set of the Mravinsky/Leningrad from 1960 as a part of Dig’s  “The Originals” series mastered and manufactured in Japan. “The Originals” always (well not always but frequently) were very much different CDs and they do edit the ordinal source to make it sound what form their point of view would be “musically better”. The definition of this “better” is purely a subject of their judgment and most of the time I do appreciate what they did or what they intended to do. The “The Originals” new release of Mravinsky/Leningrad 1960 trip is very much toward to the same end: they DID ALTER A LOT form what was at the original performance, still preserving the initial performance’s intention.

I would not go into the depth analyzing what they did. I would say only that it was very noble and very tasteful attempt and I encourage you to get this performance: it will not be a duplicate of what you have on analog but it will be very much altered, I would say more civilized, version. I did detect some “audio” problems at the very top where the highs sound too synthetic and too genetic as far as I concern but … who cares!

The box-set might be bought only in Japan and it is not available anywhere else. (Do not ask me why). Go to my Links Section and you’ll find in there quite useful Japanese-English translator, that after a 10 minutes of a sympatric humiliation will let you to order the music.

here is the the source to buy the box-set...

Rgs,
Romy the Cat



"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
06-02-2004 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
clarkjohnsen
Boston, MA, US
Posts 289
Joined on 06-02-2004

Post #: 2
Post ID: 43
Reply to: 42
Re: Mravinsky/Leningrad from 1960 with a Japanese twist.

That Italian set was notable too for having been pressed with vacuum-tube technology, nor did it exhibit the usual DGG over-miking and mixing. In short, the good sound reinforced the good performances.

Any comments on the earlier mono Mravinsky set?

cj

06-02-2004 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,295
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 3
Post ID: 44
Reply to: 43
Re: Mravinsky/Leningrad Mono

I do not know any Mravinsky’s  mono sets. I have individual mono records of him doing 4, 5 and 6 symphonies.

He did the Pathétique in 1949 and 1956, both were certainly mono. The performance from 1956 I consider the ultimate Pathétique. The “quietly of sound” in there much less, the “mixing” is more chaotic and the Leningrad orchestra sounded in there like a wild bush of sounds with lost attention to details, minuteness and particulars, but still with the Mravinsky’s tempo, balance and still yes… the articulation. With this blurred and not refined Sound there is a lot of room for imagination and for finishing of those hazed sentences… Contrary to this in the stereo recording from 1960 there was too much intention to say instead of invitation to listen.

BTW, what I like in aforementioned Japanese release that they did balance it slightly less “audio aggressive”.

Mravinsky did also 5 symphonies in 40s, that I did not heard, and 4th and 5th symphony in 50s. I do not particularly appreciate them as I have heard better performances.

Rgs,
The Cat


"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
Page 1 of 1 (3 items) Select Pages: 
   Target    Threads for related reading   Most recent post in related threads   Forum  Replies   Views   Started 
  »  New  The Yevgeny Mravinsky Film..  Mravinsky biography book....  Musical Discussions  Forum     9  41005  04-29-2006
  »  New  Tchaikovsky’s “Pathetique” Symphony..  Tchaikovsky 6th and my first meeting with LPO...  Musical Discussions  Forum     2  12137  10-14-2007
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