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Posts posted by Deepak

  1. 9 hours ago, Peter Friedman said:

    The Buchbinder box is my top favorite. The sound quality is excellent as well

    I agree that the Serkin box is a fine choice, but for a set of the complete Beethoven sonatas, the Buchbinder box is worth consideration.




    Peter- since you own Lucchesini's cycle I am very surprised you find Buchbinder's RCA superior? I would love to read more about why you think this. I heard Buchbinder's RCA a while ago and it didn't stand out in my mind. Interestingly I see that Buchbinder has recorded this cycle three times! I am not sure anyone else has done that besides Alfred Brendel and Takahiro Sonoda.

    I have been re-listening to Lucchesini's 109-111 over the last few weeks and these are to me some of the very finest late Beethoven interpretations I've ever heard. He is a master of tempo (I find I am nearly always agreeing with his tempo choices, except for the opening movement of the Hammerklavier) and really drawing everything out in these final three sonatas. Along with his tremendous dynamic range, powerful left hand articulation, and tone all qualities that really lend themself to that celestial quality of late Beethoven.


    28 minutes ago, JSngry said:

    Thank you. I will keep an eye open for them. Bartok (and Beethoven) quartets are a (very) slowly unfolding project of mine, and new names are always welcome.

    You're welcome. Ramor aren't what I would consider a first choice. They are more sentimental, romantic performances and there are some intonation issues now and then with both violinists. I am quite fond of Bartok's String Quartets (for me Beethoven and Bartok's are the greatest string quartet cycles), so I am always looking for alternative interpretations.

    My first two choices for complete Bartok sets are Hungarian Quartet (still in print on DG) and Tatrai.

  2. On 7/21/2019 at 5:58 PM, T.D. said:

    Thanks again, will take into account.

    Adding to my frustration, Amazon's search engine has recently gone to hell. Search for Russell Sherman's cycle seems to redirect to one by Bernard Roberts, and the customer reviews thereof refer to several different sets (incl. Nat,  Badura-Skoda)! Hard to trust them either. No wonder I've been going more to discogs or even eBay of late...


    That combining of releases that have similar name is absurd. I was looking for a certain Bartok String Quartet cycle for a long time and Amazon had it listed for a few bucks, of course clicking on purchase took you to an entirely different quartet's recording of those works!

  3. 35 minutes ago, T.D. said:


    Thanks very much! Sherman has been on my "radar" because it's been praised by some reviewers whose tastes seem kind of parallel to mine. 

    I gave my father the Heidsieck set some years ago, but he apparently lent it out and never got it back. Now that he has Alzheimer's there's nothing to do in that connection.

    Re. Distler, his reviews show technical grasp,  but he's trashed many recordings I like. I listen to a lot of modern-ish music, so some of it could be down to conservatism. I have a feeling that in core repertoire he'll basically repeat "received values" and never recommend anything off-the run.

    Heidsieck and Sherman are both sets I'd buy in a flash at "the right price". Heidsieck was included in an EMI 50-cd Beethoven super-budget box, but that's oop and now hard to find. Unfortunately, some Amazon offerings are by the notorious momox from Germany, who I'm reluctant to trust with a significant order.

    You're welcome, and I completely understand about Momox Shop, I'm going through a nightmare with them now. It baffles me how they can treat customers so poorly in these times of declining music sales.

    I don't know if you have any Rudolf Serkin, to me this is one of the easiest "no brainer" bargain sets of Beethoven, I can't think of a better way to spend $15 if you don't have it :) I can't say anything about the sound quality though, all my Serkin CDs pre-date that set and I completed my collection with the big Sony box of his. Serkin makes my list of the truly elite Beethoven interpreters. From all the live recordings I've heard of him, he is one that played as well live as in the studio. Though he never recorded a complete cycle and a few sonatas in that box have superior performances not available in it (from what I can tell that set is his newest recordings and officially approved), even his "lesser" performances (almost comical to say that given his high level of interpretation even on them) are wonderful.

    And you get a full complement of the piano conerti, the ones on that box with Ormandy are great.


  4. T.D. - since you mentioned Heidsieck and were looking for a more eccentric set this is definitely one that is at the very top of my list in interpretation.

    I was not that impressed with Pienaar, his interventions don't bring anything new to the table for me. They seem superficial and done for the sake of recording a cycle to be different. Whereas Heidsieck and Sherman's usually (more below on Sherman) sense.

    I'll copy and paste what I posted to GMG after hearing Sherman's cycle:

    I've now made it through Russell Sherman's cycle. I remember hearing it a while ago on Tidal streaming, listening to it in order and immediately being turned off by it as at least for my tastes the Op. 2 sonatas were really, really off putting to me. And then reading one of Jed Distler's reviews where he gave one of the discs a comically bad 2/10 rating; it just didn't have me interested in hearing more. I am sort of puzzled why Jed Distler felt the need to slam it to that extent when he often extols the virtues of Schnabel.

    Fast forward to a few weeks ago I came across these for cheap and then decided to complete the set. Besides the Op. 2 sonatas which I'm still not a big fan of I think this is an extremely interesting cycle. Sherman's tremendous dynamic range, tonal color and his obsession with really bringing out the voices makes for a very interesting non-reference cycle. If you can look past his sometimes reckless use of rubato, tempo stretching, the little pauses he takes, etc. What I have founds helps is "listening to them from afar" instead of honing on these things, with that frame of mind Sherman has some tremendous ideas. This will be one of those great cycles I'll be enjoying for years, I think the way he breaks up the sonatas by volume was very well done as this isn't a cycle I'd want to listen to from start to finish but instead focus on in the order he presents them.
    These were some sonatas I listed after someone asked for some recommendations:
    The Pastoral Sonata is a real high point. Others are 10/3, an unusual Appassionata, 109 and Op 90. Op. 110 is also good.

    If it came down to a choice between Heidsieck and Sherman it would be a tough choice. Sherman has more sonatas where he goes too far with his idiosyncrasies like the Op. 2 sonatas, in that regard Heidsieck is more consistent. Heidsieck's recordings of the final 3 sonatas are also some of the finest I have ever heard (along with Lucchesini's).
    Either way these are two cycles that I absolutely would not want to be without and will be enjoying them for decades to come. Jed Distler trashed one of Sherman's volumes and it's one of his reviews I feel could not be further from the mark.
    Since you mentioned Jed Distler in a later reply, I have found he writes in a strictly objective style. If you play piano you will immediately understand what he is saying. I want more than from a reviewer; tell me about the pianist's realization of the works, their insights, their "depth" of interpretation (sorry hate to use that word). Having said that I find his tastes lean from the conservative to the ultra conservative when it comes to interpretations. I'm often left scratching my head in many of his 8-10/10 artistic quality ratings that are nothing more than fairly straight forward, very well played recordings. On a true scale of 5 being average I would be marking these recordings far lower. Truly great interpretation goes beyond merely playing the notes at written tempi markings, accents, etc. Even something as simple as allegro con brio appassionato should tell an interpreter that much. Fortunately most of the great pianists know this already.

  5. On 1/3/2019 at 11:33 AM, Larry Kart said:

    Several years ago, after a good deal of comparative listening and somewhat to my surprise, I settled on the Guarneri (RCA), now o.o.p. OTOH, the last time I looked, their early, middle and late LP sets can be found on Amazon at modest prices; CDs, I dunno. Their later Beethoven traversal on Phillips I haven't heard.

    Thanks Larry. I'm currently sampling Prazak, I initially wrote them off after just hearing selected movements, but I think they warrant more listening now.

  6. Besides Vegh, Quartetto Italiano and Budapest I am interested in exploring some other complete sets of Beethoven's string quartets. Are there any that can hang with those three? Or any individual CDs (or smaller sets) that are just as good.

    I have heard Takacs and Emerson, IMO not for me.

  7. If anyone has this CD box set of Andrea Lucchesini's Beethoven piano sonata cycle they would be looking to sell please send me a message, it will be quicker than just replying here since I'll get an email notification. Thanks!

    Edit: how about offering $320, would really like to hear this exceptional cycle!

  8. On 8/23/2016 at 10:00 PM, Jay said:

    What does this mean?  Are you saying that Music Matters has past practices that one should be skeptical about or Blue Note, the label?  I am not aware of any past practices of Music Matters that would give rise to this.

    Forget the Hoffman board, just do a search here regarding MM reissues.

    How about two huge complaints from the 33 rpm series

    Music Matters saying that "print through" is present on the Midnight Blue tape. It's not, it's a pressing issue and you can hear the pre-echo exactly once every revolution. There is no other version of Midnight Blue that has the groove pre-echo including the SACD or hi-res download that came out within years of MM's reissue. Or any other commonly available CD. Music Matters didn't want to scrap a bunch of vinyl and recut it again.

    The gross distortion found on Blakey's cymbals on Somethin' Else. Not present on any other version.

    Edit: I thought of another one, their dreadful sounding reissue of Newk's Time which Joe Harley says due to Sonny walking around the studio. These are drop outs/damage on the master tape that they were trying to fix, anyone that has listened to this reissue can clearly hear this. Years later Bernie Grundman would confirm it in a video.

  9. From Music Matters website


    This is to announce that we have taken our last walk through the vaults, selecting the final titles for this incredible series to close out the season with a real flourish. What a lineup! We've got 13 titles, handpicked from the best of the best, and one lost master tape that was finally found after thirty years. If they were a baseball team we would compare them to New York's "Murderer's Row" in 1927, Brooklyn's "Boys of Summer" with the '52 Dodgers, or the great "Gas house Gang" from the '34 Cardinals. So here they come, our "Big Blue Machine" from the depths of the Blue Note Vault, one last time, one last game, and then gone forever.


    They aren't spelling it out that it is the Wahoo master tape that was found which is what leaves me skeptical given some of their past practices, but it is one of the titles in their latest reissues.

  10. Wayne Shorter "EtCetera" (LT999 series) will be curious to see how this compares to the old Connoisseur version I of my favorite Shorter records..

    +1 one of my favorites as well. Did you end up comparing the LT999 to the Conn CD?

  11. First is Gil Melle's Complete Blue Note recordings (double CD set). This is an Amazon in demand CDR, being OCD I ended up getting the factory pressed version as well which turned out to be digitally identical. The only difference is there is a barcode on the CDs.

    Condition is all around excellent, (purchased new)

    $20 shipped in the USA.

    Second item is Gil Melle's Complete Prestige recordings (double CD set). This is a factory pressed version. Condition is also all around excellent and was purchased new.

    $40 shipped in the USA


  12. I did a search through Google and couldn't find any threads on this. I'm looking for some free jazz that "swings". I realize this is subjective, but I have an open mind and will go with your interpretation.

    Some examples for me that swing- Air's Air Time, Ornette Coleman's Free Jazz, This Is Our Music, Don Cherry's Complete Communion. Julius Hemphill Dogon AD, Horace Tapscott The Giant Is Awakened, Sonny Rollins East Broadway Run Down. These are just some off the top of my head.

    Thumbs up to Homefromtheforest for giving me the idea to start this thread :tup (from discussion on another site).