The SACD title "The Nordic Sound" on the 2L label.
This is one of the highest quality recordings I've heard.
Great choice!!!!. I love that SACD/BR-Audio, especially the track "North Country" by Ola Gjeilo.
You'll have to roll your own. I did. "Cream Live at the Royal Albert Hall 2005" DVDs.
I ripped the audio out of the DVDs, which meant that I ended up with very large .wav files, then converted them to FLAC files. You could also create a DVD-Audio only disk afterwards as the original disks number two. With no video it will all fit on one DVD-R.
Sounds amazing. Very little compression, great dynamics and the sound stage is incredible! When the audience is clapping, one can single out most individuals and if you had a nerf gun you could take them out it's that precise.
The CDs are OK but this way is so much better.
Diana Krall: When I look into Your Eyes
Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald
James Taylor: JT
Norah Jones: Come Away With Me (love it- should get in SACD)
Diana Krall: The Look of Love
Angels and Airwaves: We Don't Need to Whisper
Evanescence: Origins (I love Amy Lee's Voice)
- Cowboy Junkies -- Trinity Session Revisited
- Shirley Horn -- You Won't Forget Me
- Paul Simon -- You're the One
- Talking Heads -- Stop Making Sense
- Diana Krall -- The Look of Love
- Beck -- Sea Change
"Ramirez: Kyrie, Mercedes Sosa, Misa Criola". Notice the extention of the bass drum in a good room, and the crisp voice.
"Keith don't go, Nils Lövgren, Acoustic Live". Ahhhh. The guitars, the vocals...and my childhood friend is in the band
"Motherless Child, Blind Boys of Allabama, Spirit of the Sentury". Voices!
"Anthem Without Nation, Nitin Sawheny, Beyond Skin". Deeeep bass. Voice!
"Stimela, The Dowry Song, Hugh Masekela, Hope". Great live recording.
"A Case of You, Live, Diana Krall, Live In Paris". Spatial soundstage.
"Fever, Ray Charles, Natalie Cole, Genous Loves Company". A little "dark" in the soud perhaps, but the soundstage is exeptional on a decent rig.
That's from the top of my head... My current playlist is now well over 200 tracks (that's about 15 hrs) that span from good to great to insanely good -both in terms of sound qualitywise as well as musically engaging.
Barry Adamson - Back to the Cat
Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds - Murder Ballads
Beck - Sea Change
Fiona Apple - Tidal
Bob Dylan - Blonde on Blonde
Yonder Mountain String Band - Live at the Fox Theater, Boulder, CO
Jack Johnson - Sleep Through the Static
While Dianna Krall is quite pleasant to look at, I find her music flat, dull and soulless (my opinion, I don't treat it as fact). Everytime I go to any retailer, that's always what they want to play.....
This sums it up well.....
Radiohead - Kid A
Grizzly Bear - Veckatimest
Bonnie Prince Billy - The Letting Go
Jeff Buckley - Grace (non remastered version)
Ray Charles - Come Rain Or Come Shine (just that song)
Wilco - Being There
Beethoven - Largo from Piano Concerto No. 3 in C Minor, Op. 37 (on Linn Records)
Aimee Mann - Lost In Space
Grant Lee Phillips - Mobilize
Beck - Sea Change
Super Furry Animals - Rings Around The World
Ryan Adams - Easy Tiger
Gillian Welch - Time (The Revelator)
Emmylou Harris - Wrecking Ball
Kings Of Convenience - Declaration of Dependence
Terry, Hubbard & Gillespie - Alternate Blues
BOP TILL YOU DROP-RY COODER-WARNER BROTHERS CD 3358-2
BEETHOVEN SYMPHONY #9- PETER MAAG- ORCHESTRA DE PADUA ET VENETO (THE ULTIMATE RECORDING OF THE 9TH-INCOMPARABLE)-ARTS CD 27248
SOUND OF AUSTRIA; ALPINE FOLK MUSIC-DORIAN 80116
OPUS 3 TEST CD #4 AND #5
TOMAS ORNBERG'S BLUE FIVE WITH KENNY DAVERN-OPUS3 CD-8003
THE CIVIL WAR; ITS MUSIC AND SOUNDS; FENNEL AND THE EASTMAN WIND ENSEMBLE-MERCURY 432591
JAZZ--RY COODER-WARNER BROTHERS CD 3197-2
THE KING OF INSTRUMENTS-VARIOUS PIPE ORGANS-DELOS CD 3503
DAVE BRUBECK; TIME OUT AND GONE WITH THE WIND CD'S
THE NITTY GRITTY DIRT BAND (AND MANY OTHERS)-VOLUME 2-MCA UVLD-12500
ANY OPUS 3 CD OR LP
This is really a very interesting thread, I hadn't noticed it till now. I did not go through all posts, however from a random reading, I saw some very interesting discs.
I would like to place my opinion (I should rather say: "my preferences") here, based of course on my musical background, cultivation and - consequently - culture, developed through the musical listenings of mine for more than 5 decades.
These preferences correspond, not only to the quality of the recordings, but also to the music events themselves. Besides, there would be no meaning to have a quality recording, if the music was just - excuse my wording - crap.
Initially, a smal introduction about Greek music, which comes first in my preferences.
Greek music has had several periods. The most important one was from the late 50s till the late 70s. We call it the period of the "Artistic Popular Music". The Artisitic Popular Music had to be distinguished from the common Popular Music.
Greek Popular Music started at the beginning of the 20th Century, when large masses of Greek population migrated from the west coast of Turkey, a traditonally Greek territory, called Ionia. Those Greeks had their own long music tradition and they carried it, among with a lot of other cultural characterisitics to the mainland of Greece. Popular music was then developed throughout the whole 20th century, in parallel with Greek folk music, but it remained most of the time in the dark, as it was never officilally recognized. Its main characterisitics were:
- Short poemic lyrics, usually speaking about love, the everyday worries and troubles of the people and their "blues"
- Singing of the lyrics by a man or woman, in a long-drawling voice.
- The accompanying instruments were mainly string instruments, violin and lute (this is similar to balalaika, but larger and it has more bass) and then lyre (this is an instrument, similar to violin, but it rests on the thigh/leg of the player, not on the shoulder, like the violin) and finally the Bouzouki. The Bouzouki was actulally introduced later and very often was used in conjunction with the violin and some shorts of drums.
The Artistic Popular Music was somehow "invented" and created by two great Greek composers, both of which used the traditional Popular Music as their basis and inspiration, but then they made their own school, which swept the musical events in the country (and much more beyond the country borders) like a storm and afterwards became extremely well known worldwide. These two composers had a parallel life, each one with his own class, sometimes collaborating together, but never competing one against the other.
The first, well known all over the world, mainly of his music to the film "Never on Sunday", is the late Manos Hatzidakis. A great composer, who has made thousands of music works, presented either in albums or in single 45rpm discs. Also, a composer of film music, dressing with his music more that 80 films.
The second is Mikis Theodorakis. He is also well known to the world, mainly with his music to the films "Zorba the Greek", "Phaedra", "Serpico" and "Z", but also well known for the composing of the poem "Axion Esti" (word-by-word it means: "It is Worthy", but the meaning is much more than that) of the Nobel prized poet Odysseus Elytis. His work is also huge, thousands of songs and discs, almost in every format. He did not only composed Artistic Popular Music, but also Classic and other formats.
From those two composers, I can (hardly) select two works, mainly for their music.
From Manos Hatzidakis my mostly beloved work is his instrumental work: "Giokonda's Smile". I was lucky one to get it in vinyl, when it was recently re-issued by the producing company. It is a wonderful orchaestral work, where the music flows and flies, and the recent re-issue is very well recorded.
From Mikis Teodorakis, who takes the first place in my heart, between these two equals, I choose of course his magnificent oratorium "Axion Esti". I also have it in vinyl, although it is from its first issuing in the early seventies, but I keep it well preserved. Its recording is not very special, it reflects the means and the limited technology, available then, during the production of the disc. However, its unique execution, especially because it was recorded live in a a large theater, with the vocals of Gregoris Bithikotsis (Theodorakis's most significant singer), the chorus of Thaleia Byzantiou and Theodore Dimitrief as the chanter. From this disc, I can only offer you the picture of its cover and a link to one of most significant music parts, named: "Temples to the scheme of the Sky". Here they are:
And the link with the music. I susggest for someone, who may be curious enough, to open it and listen carefully to the music:
Apart from the above, I consider the following as first class music pieces and recordings:
Telarc's Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture SACD and DVD-Audio discs, with Erich Kunzel & Cincinnati Pops Orchestra
Bedrich Smetana's Ma Vlast (My homeland), containing the extraordinary piece: Die Moldau (The Moldava River). I have it in vinyl, with the Chech Philarmonic Orchestra, conducted by Vaclav Neumann. It is a wonderful recording, but most of all, a wonderful piece of music art.
Have a nice afternoon.
What is the most realistic sounding piano recording you've heard?
By that, I mean a CD or SACD that, when played on a good/great sound system, is realistic enough to be mistaken for a real piano by a blindfolded listener?
The closest thing I've found so far is this: Art Lande's While She Sleeps, Piano Lullabies
When I close my eyes, played back at medium volume, it actually sounds like someone playing a real Steinway in the room, except it sounds like the room is larger than my listening room. The tone, reverberations and harmonics, it's all there. The one thing about the recording that spoils the illusion for me somewhat is that the pedals are too audible.
I have 2 Diana Krall CD's/SACDs, but personally speaking, with my eyes closed, there is no way I could be fooled into believing that someone was playing a real piano live. It's simply a good recording of music with someone singing and playing a piano, but there's no doubt that it's a recording.
Until the Art Lande SACD, I could never be sure if it was simply an inadequacy of my system that resulted in me never being able to believe that I was listening to a real piano being played live, but hearing this album was a revelation.
It struck me especially when I stepped out of the room the second time I was listening to it; even hearing it through the doorway, it actually sounded like there was someone playing a real Steinway live in the room, except that the recording made it sound like the room was bigger than the room my system is actually in. It actually sounded even more realistic hearing it through the doorway because I could no longer hear the pedaling. It sounded exactly like my friend's parents house with him playing on the Steinway in their Great Room.
It got me thinking about this article regarding the Steinway Lyngdorf Model D speakers:
and this particular paragraph
When the Steinway Lyngdorf System D was ready for its first unveiling in Moscow, the stage hosted five Model D Steinway grands. At the sides were the loudspeakers, in the front seats was the full management of Steinway & Sons. Ten talented young pianists opened the concert with quattre main works. The second part of the score was played above the keys where the electronics of Model D playback took over. Nobody in the audience noticed the playback half or in this case the hand sync until the pianists gave a show of hands whilst the music continued. That's when the Steinway Lyngdorf system received a standing ovation from those present. When Peter recounted this anecdote a twinkle appeared in his eyes.
I realized that this required not only a system capable of realistically reproducing the sound of a real piano (or in that case, pianos plural?), but also a recording that realistically captured the sound of a piano being played.
So let's hear your recommendations folks. What have you heard that's realistic enough to potentially make a person believe they were hearing a real piano being played right there in front of them?
Trinity Sessions by Cowboy Junkies
Mendelssohn String Quartets by Emerson String Quartet
The Coryells by Larry Coryell and Sons
Friday Night in San Francisco
Keb Mo' by Keb Mo
Yo Yo Ma's Soul of the Tango
Marcus Roberts' Portraits in Blue (his take on Gershwin)
Schindler's List OST - John William's score and Itzhak Perlman on solo violin
Fiona Apple's When the Pawn
Sarah McLachlan's Solace
Maura O'Connell's A Real Life Story
Fairground Attraction's The First of a Million Kisses
Alicia Keys' Songs in A minor (especially track one, for an exceptional blend of R&B with Classical piano)
Royal Crown Revue's The Contender
Zubin Mehta's Richard Wagner excerpts with the New York Philharmonic
Seal - Seal
Track 9 - Violet is especially pleasant.
Violet is one of my favorite songs by Seal. Both the original and the acoustic version are great
In the court of the Crimson King -- King Crimson HDCD
Avalon -- Roxy Music SACD
Rajaz -- Camel HDCD
Stimela --Hugh Masekela CD
Talking Timbuktu -- Ali Farka Toure @ Ry Cooder CD
Love is the thing -- Nat King Cole SACD
Swinging at the fences -- Big Phat Band CD
Orient and Occident -- Jordy Savall @ Hesperion XXI SACD
The Rosary Sonatas -- H.I. Biber -- Andrew Manze @ Richard Egarr CD
Easter Oratorio -- J.S. Bach -- Bach Collegium Japan SACD
- Dire Straits - Brothers In Arms
- Norah Jones - Come Away With Me
- Dire Straits - On Every Street
- Tracy Chapman - Tracy Chapman (1988 album)
- Tears For Fears - The Seeds of Love
- Natalie Merchant - Ophelia
My God man, he has a 1803!
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