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NP: Bruckner's 9th Symphony

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  • NP: Bruckner's 9th Symphony

    I've had this Reference Recordings HDCD disk (RR-81CD) for a number of years but haven't played it for a year or more for some reason. The Minnesota Orchestra was conducted by Stanislaw Skrowaczewski. It has 3 movements instead of the typical 4 in a symphony and is an hour long. Bruckner intentionally left it unfinished and never heard it performed before his death. The second movement is a Scherzo and Bruckner said this about it, "When they hear that they will be furious, but I shall not notice it; I will be in my grave." He was very religious person and he dedicated this symphony to God. Anyway, I played it last night on my Brioso speakers and for those of you that like classical music, the quality of this recording is absolutely superb. If your CD player doesn't have HDCD decoding, then you'll simply have to put up with it sounding only excellent. The performance quality is first rate. The sound is big and beautiful and dynamic, and even though others have tried to compose a 4th movement based on Bruckner's notes, they have been universally unsuccessful because the last movement, an Adagio, is a perfect conclusion (in the final few minutes the music is so descriptive you can visualize Bruckner depicting his soul rising to heaven).
    Paul

  • #2
    Hi Paul, thanks for the recommendation. I've got Bruckner's ninth on London label, Christoph von Dohnanyi conducting the Cleveland Orchestra. It would be interesting to compare to another performance and HDCD recording. I did a quick search and it looks like it is possible to rip HDCD discs to 20-bit 44k files. My digital playback could handle that but would convert and resample to 32-bit 48k, so comparison might not be valid. Anyway, it always good to get different interpretations of great works. - Cheers, John

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    • #3
      You're welcome, John. In all honesty, "Professor" Keith Johnson at RR always engineers extremely high-quality recordings, including those that RR produced before he invented and started using the HDCD process (he may have had a co-inventor). I have a number of RR cds and their older, non-HDCD ones sound very good. I'd much rather listen to a recording with excellent sound quality and a not so great performance quality than vice versa. Hearing an HDCD recording from a non-HDCD player will not likely leave you wanting.
      Paul

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      • #4
        Paul I am not familiar with HDCD, is it much different from SACD? Also who makes the players?

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Paul K. View Post
          You're welcome, John. In all honesty, "Professor" Keith Johnson at RR always engineers extremely high-quality recordings, including those that RR produced before he invented and started using the HDCD process (he may have had a co-inventor). I have a number of RR cds and their older, non-HDCD ones sound very good. I'd much rather listen to a recording with excellent sound quality and a not so great performance quality than vice versa. Hearing an HDCD recording from a non-HDCD player will not likely leave you wanting.
          Paul
          https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/High...atible_Digital

          I know no one is going to believe this story but here goes....I helped unload the equipment for the the first HDCD Recording ( DWS in the Meyerson Hall in Dallas.) including carrying the HDCD encoder to the monitoring room. Pflash Pflaumer took the top cover off off the encoder and carefully examined the hand tweeaked RF coils on the PCB and asked if I bumped at all while I was carrying it. I turned green and swayed on my feet for a few seconds and assured him I hadn't. I would never have gotten near it if I had know what I was holding. I still makes me nervous to think about it.

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          • #6
            Thanks, Paul. I dug out my copy and it's playing now.

            I've often wondered how much the HDCD format improves the sound over RedBook. I have an OPPO BDP-95 which does HDCD decoding, but I see that their newest flagship player, the UDP-205, does not.

            At any rate, I'm enjoying the disk again.
            Bill Schneider
            -+-+-+-+-
            www.afterness.com/audio

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            • #7
              Red Sox fans, don't forget Buckner's 6th (game 6) symphony at first base against the Mets!

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              • #8
                There aren't many CD players that include HDCD decoding being manufactured, but all of the Oppo players until recently did, and both of the players from Emotiva do, and I think there are a couple of others, possibly Rotel. You can read the link that Fred provided to better understand the benefits of HDCD. My players don't do SACD but I suspect it is better than HDCD. All players can play an HDCD disc and it will sound good even though it won't be HDCD decoded, whereas an SACD disc won't be playable unless it's a hybrid SACD that also has a red-book layer, either normal or HDCD.
                Paul

                Originally posted by Squidspeak View Post
                Paul I am not familiar with HDCD, is it much different from SACD? Also who makes the players?

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Paul K. View Post
                  You're welcome, John. In all honesty, "Professor" Keith Johnson at RR always engineers extremely high-quality recordings, including those that RR produced before he invented and started using the HDCD process (he may have had a co-inventor). I have a number of RR cds and their older, non-HDCD ones sound very good. I'd much rather listen to a recording with excellent sound quality and a not so great performance quality than vice versa. Hearing an HDCD recording from a non-HDCD player will not likely leave you wanting.
                  Paul
                  Hello

                  I haven't been lucky enough to hear one of these HDCD recordings and I don't have the playback equipment; however, there are some conventional/analogue recordings which sound pretty good to my ears. Telarc made some stunning CDs, for example.

                  Recently I discovered the "Mercury Living Presence" label and bought the Dvorak Cello Concerto by Janos Starker, Antal Dorati and the LSO: superb sound by any measure and a marvellous performance as well. The sound has almost too much dynamic range and the tuttis will test most amplifiers' limits.

                  Highly recommended!

                  Geoff

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    You're welcome. Is your copy of this 9th Symphony the same as mine from RR? The improvement of HDCD over standard Redbook is not "night and day" IMO, perhaps being just a bit "easier" sounding, especially in the highs. Still, the most important factors in the sonic quality of a CD are controlled by the recording engineer and the recording equipment.
                    Paul

                    Originally posted by williamrschneider View Post
                    Thanks, Paul. I dug out my copy and it's playing now.

                    I've often wondered how much the HDCD format improves the sound over RedBook. I have an OPPO BDP-95 which does HDCD decoding, but I see that their newest flagship player, the UDP-205, does not.

                    At any rate, I'm enjoying the disk again.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I have a number of Telarc CDs and they are all quite good, as are my Sony CDs which used the "Super Bit" recording process.
                      Paul

                      Originally posted by Geoff Millar View Post

                      Hello

                      I haven't been lucky enough to hear one of these HDCD recordings and I don't have the playback equipment; however, there are some conventional/analogue recordings which sound pretty good to my ears. Telarc made some stunning CDs, for example.

                      Recently I discovered the "Mercury Living Presence" label and bought the Dvorak Cello Concerto by Janos Starker, Antal Dorati and the LSO: superb sound by any measure and a marvellous performance as well. The sound has almost too much dynamic range and the tuttis will test most amplifiers' limits.

                      Highly recommended!

                      Geoff

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Paul,

                        Here's a scan of the front cover. From your description, I assume it's the same one.

                        I've been a fan of Reference Recording's products for a long time.
                        Bill Schneider
                        -+-+-+-+-
                        www.afterness.com/audio

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Yep, that's it and even though I can't see the back of your jewel case, it should have the same catalog number of RR-81CD that I included in my original post.

                          So, did you enjoy hearing it again? Are your impressions of it like mine or different? I only buy RR CDs anymore and I sure wish they would turn out a lot more new classical recordings. Heck, I'd replace every single classical CD I currently have with identical symphonies from RR if they'd produce them, numbering at least 250.
                          Paul

                          Originally posted by williamrschneider View Post
                          Paul,

                          Here's a scan of the front cover. From your description, I assume it's the same one.

                          I've been a fan of Reference Recording's products for a long time.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            When I was getting serious about sound reproduction equipment (i.e. better speakers, etc.) someone told me to try a Reference Recording disk. I did, and was immediately hooked on the quality of sound from them. Telarc had a good reputation and I already owned a great deal of their music, but I felt that the RR disks were even better. I do believe that the mastering plays a larger part of the perceived quality than the HDCD technology. It would be interesting to do an A/B test using the same disk on both types of players to hear how much the HDCD technology contributes.

                            In RR disks compared to the run-of-the-mill classical recordings, individual instruments are seldom muddied together, and there's a very 3D-ness to the sound. Since 1997, I have purchased nearly all RR disks available. I just checked my database of CDs, and I have 112 Reference Recording disks. You can tell that I continued to enjoy them.

                            Now the encouraging news is that I am hearing some better sounding classical CDs these days compared to ten years ago. Even the budget Naxos label has some surprises in their lineup - like Michael Daugherty's Metropolis Symphony (Nashville Symphony Orchestra), but Naxos is not uniformly excellent like RR tends to be.

                            What boggles my mind is how good some very old recordings can sound if engineered well. Reference Recordings has a live jazz disk called The Forward Look by the Red Norvo Quintet (RR-8CD) recorded in 1957 with portable equipment. Keith O. Johnson was the recording engineer. This recording sounds outstanding even today, and that says a lot about the man.
                            Bill Schneider
                            -+-+-+-+-
                            www.afterness.com/audio

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by williamrschneider View Post
                              In RR disks compared to the run-of-the-mill classical recordings, individual instruments are seldom muddied together, and there's a very 3D-ness to the sound. Since 1997, I have purchased nearly all RR disks available. I just checked my database of CDs, and I have 112 Reference Recording disks. You can tell that I continued to enjoy them.
                              112 discs from a single label? That is impressive and must be a testament to their quality.

                              I have an oppo bdp-83 and was unaware it could play HDCDs. Unfortunately it is no longer part my setup since going with active/DSP.

                              But sounds like getting RR discs would be worth it just for the "professor's" recording/mastering.

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