I’ve just attend an impressive demonstration of some “3D” recordings given by German producer Werner Drabinghaus. The playback system supplements the modern home theater surround configuration with four additional speakers placed high up in a room (in the present case, some 5 meters up in the Gasteig’s “Black Box” venue) on the right and left, front and rear. The results were quite stunning, particularly from recordings where some of the instruments and choirs are placed on risers or a cathedral organ is high above the congregation. Most interestingly, the additional speakers increased the sense of both staging and imaging along with the vertically expanded aural canvas. Drabinghaus is on to something big, especialy given that good quality surround speakers and amplification are a relative bargain, standards that include elevated speakers are beginning to find standardization (including Blu-Ray playback) in the consumer audio community, and multichannel formats are beginning to get traction among the download community.
Okay, so perhaps I exaggerate, but…
He was a giant of the music world, and a particularly important figure in Germany’s postwar era. There’s a terrific biography/obituary at The Telegraph. EMI’s new SACD release sporting high-definition transfer of his four groundbreaking early HMV LPs of Schubert lieder with the incomparable Gerald Moore arrived at my office last week; these are among the most important classical recordings of the postwar era.
LUCERNE FESTIVAL hereby announces that on 8 August as well as on 10 and 11 August, Claudio Abbado will conduct Beethoven’s Incidental music to “Egmont” and Mozart’s Requiem. For artistic reasons, this program replaces the originally scheduled Eighth Symphony by Gustav Mahler.
Professor Andrea Vicari was clear and diplomatic in a letter to the editor published a few days ago in the Guardian. Vicari was replying to a suggestion from Guardian writer that musicians play without pay for the honor of being associated with the games.
I would have been a bit less polite…
I hope the Cleveland Orchestra and New York Philharmonic look into this, not only for the potential savings but a solution to numerous troubling aesthetic and interpretive issues (although I’d advise the management of the NYPhil to avoid trying that last setting for both liability reasons and high repair costs). Hat tip: David Atkins.
After the Worst Air Travel experience Ever® (bottom line: never fly Alitalia), I’ve hit the ground running at MIDEM, and had a terrific breakfast with occasional partner in crime the music biz Todd Landor and musichi‘s CEO/inventor/metadata genius Philippe Watel. If you’re a serious classical music geek or computer audiophile who loves jazz, you know what a pain int the butt it is to find music on Amazon, iTunes, and most other services. Philippe may have hit on a solution – and a cool new player for your media center or netbook! More to follow the middle of next week; stay tuned…
What a shame: Von heute auf morgen (via Boulezian) reports that Thomas Quasthoff, one of my favorite singers, has abruptly announced his retirement from the concert stage, cancelling all forthcoming appearances. The baritone cited health reasons for the decision; thankfully, he will continue to teach. And Quasthoff threw in this zinger when he confirmed the story to news.at: “Moreover, in my view the classical music industry has become superficial. One gets the impression that there is no one left except David Garrett.” Ouch
“Thousand dollar fine”? In this very rare case, I’d support the death sentence, but, failing that, I’ll settle for the proposal Tim Smith floats in the last three paragraphs of his coverage.
UPDATE: Amanda Kell has more details and perspective.
While I was taking a break from typing up my review of Tuesday’s superb Messiah at Avery Fisher Hall, I learned that Anthony Amato — founder of the little tiny New York City opera company that could, the Amato Opera — died yesterday at the age of 91.
UPDATE: WQXR has published an obituary.
UPDATE 2: Here’s the NY Times “The Local” obituary.