Bach, Rachmaninov recordings?
Nov 24, 2008 at 4:37 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 3

JayW

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Hello head-fi'ers.. The itallian site offering a binaurally recorded version of Tocatta and Fugue in D minor has wetted my appetite for some good "audiophile grade" Bach recordings, and perhaps some Tchaikovsky or Rachmaninoff. Can anybody suggest some excellent recordings of these composers? Binaural would be amazing but I have yet to find any, so anything with good production should do. I've picked up several CDs of these composers and I've found the production on each to be marginal at best, so I'm hoping someone here can recommend performances/pressings that sound good via headphones.
 
Nov 25, 2008 at 11:26 AM Post #2 of 3

Henry Flower

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Zenph have a binaural recording of a re-performance of Glenn Gould's Goldberg Variations: Amazon.com: Bach: The Goldberg Variations 1955 Performance: Zenph Re-performance: Glenn Gould, Bach: Music . Opinion is divided as to its merits.
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Nov 25, 2008 at 9:13 PM Post #3 of 3

ukrneal

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Quote:

Originally Posted by JayW /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Hello head-fi'ers.. The itallian site offering a binaurally recorded version of Tocatta and Fugue in D minor has wetted my appetite for some good "audiophile grade" Bach recordings, and perhaps some Tchaikovsky or Rachmaninoff. Can anybody suggest some excellent recordings of these composers? Binaural would be amazing but I have yet to find any, so anything with good production should do. I've picked up several CDs of these composers and I've found the production on each to be marginal at best, so I'm hoping someone here can recommend performances/pressings that sound good via headphones.


Well, there are some very good recordings to be found (although tastes may differ):

Bach:
Stokowski's Symphonic Bach (v I and II): Orchestral versions of his music, I particularly like vII, and in excellent sound. This is on Chandos and conducted by Bamert.

Tchaikovsky:
Here is one of my favorites.
Symphonies 4-6: The best version is with Mravinsky. But the sound is old. If you want something in more modern sound, the Jansons is popular and sounds good, but I have always felt they are too restrained in comparison to Mravinsky; Bernstein is great (and in good sound), but a bit extreme (particularly tempos, so probably not a first choice); Markevitch (good, but sound may be a let down); Gergiev is in good sound (but I think he is all pinash with too little substance); Pappano (pretty good); Gatti (I liked his 5th a lot, and in good sound); and Karajan (pretty good sound, although older (just the orchestra produces a very rich sound) and interpretation). I would choose from the last three for you I think (although Mravinsky is otherwise a first choice if you can stand a hint of age - his 5th is just on fire). Gatti is probably the safest for you in terms of sound and quality (although they can be a bit more expensive, hence my longer list). The most famous are probably Mravinsky, Markavitch, and Jansons in that order. I didn't inlcude Szell or Ormandy for sound reasons.

Swan Lake: Dutoit conducting on Decca. Good version. Excellent sound.

Nutcracker: Mackarras on Telarc. Very good, again with outstanding sound.

Rachmaninov:
A Window in Time: This is a piano recreation (using actual piano rolls) of Rachmaninov himself playing some of his music. Very intriguing as it gives you an idea of what Rachmaninov would sound like today (you can read all about how it was done in the booklet), with excellent sound.

Symphonies: Ashkenazy is good on a twofer (sound is decent, but may not be ideal for you). I also like Pletnev on DG for Symphony no 2, in a bit of a controversial recording (not everyone likes), but good sound. His version of the piano concertos are solid and may be inexpensive as well. The Previn is also recommended, but I think the sound may be more of an issue. I don't have a recent issue, so maybe someone else will comment.

Symphonic Dances/Isle of the Dead: Ashkenazy is excellent. He also has a version with the symphonies and this together (3 discs I think). The sound is good, although I believe this was recorded in the 70's. His Isle of the Dead is a desert island piece (pun intended)!


I listen via Senn 580s and a Total Bithead Amp off my computer. Listening to the last one as I type and loving it.
 

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