Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Okay, just decided to pick up one of these new EMI Signature SACD releases.  While there are some that might argue that this is just another marketing ploy to repackage old material, I happen to find this a very attractive item.  For one, the SACDs come in a nice bound booklet case, full of illustrations including color photographs of the original front and back covers of the original LPs, color photographs of the original blue and silver Columbia SAX record labels, booklet notes, information about the remastering process, and other historic photos of the original production of the recording.  I love the original EMI/Columbia LP album covers from the late 1950s to 1960s ... beautiful artwork on laminated front covers.  On the left is the actual cover of the SACD purchase; below it you will find the cover art for the albums contained within.
 

As you can see, I went with the Philharmonia Orchestra recordings of the last six Mozart symphonies with Otto Klemperer.  I've been in a Mozart and Haydn symphony phase, rediscovering older and more recent recordings of the late Mozart symphonies as well as Haydn's Paris and London Symphonies.  As part of this musical re-exploration, I decided to add this set to my collection.  As much as I'd love to, I don't own these on LP, and I figured I'd go with the most recent incarnation of the recordings.  As far as I can tell after listening to the first SACD, the tape hiss appears to be relatively minimal, and the recording sounds very clear with good dynamics.  Repeated listening with comparison to other interpretations (Harnoncourt, Marriner, Bohm, etc) will hopefully provide greater appreciation for these.

If you happen to have any personal recommendations for Mozart symphony cycles, I'd love to hear your thoughts, so please feel free to leave a comment.



4 comments:

  1. Well time has passed and you've no doubt got several copies on vinyl. How do they and the vaunted SACD compare?

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  2. The SACD is not impressive to say in the least. I was truly disappointed, especially when I compared it to the vinyl. Even the EMI ASD reissues in the boxed set sound FAR BETTER. The SACD sounds too noisy (too much analog hiss) and has none of the warmth of the vinyl. I would skip these if I had to do it again and just look for the vinyl copies.

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  3. Gads. Thought an SACD would be competitive in some ways. I'll stay in vinyl hole some more.

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  4. I agree with the comments made here by "aqlam": the tape hiss on the 2012 SACD issue is too much to bear. I also ripped it to my collection in .DSF file formats (so I can listen using my Audeze LCD-4 headphones with my Chord Hugo TT DAC), and the hiss is so prominent that I need to keep the volume fairly low (lower than I would like).

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