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01/04/2014

24/48: Brahms. Double Concerto. Thibaud - Casals - Cortot - HMV 1929

Johannes Brahms:  
Double Concerto in A minor, op.102   
I: Allegro (1-4)  ~  II: Andante (5/6)  ~  III: Vivace non troppo (7/8)
16/44 FLAC  Mega Download          24/48 FLAC  

Jacques Thibaud, violin,  Pablo Casals, 'cello
The Pablo Casals Orchestra of Barcelona  conducted by  Alfred Cortot  
HMV  DB.1311-1314  (Album no.85)  Matrices: CJ 2156-2163 (IIA/I/II/II/I/IIA/IIIA/II)   
Recorded: 10/11 May 1929 - Olympia Hall, Barcelona.     

8 comments:

  1. A classic recording, in spite of the ancient sound. The first time I heard it, (in a Seraphim LP, wrong-end-of-the-telescope transfer) was dreadful.. This is a lot better, though clearly the orchestra is in over its head at times. But aren't Casals and Thibaud amazing? Thanks for this, among many other offerings.

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    1. Only did this out-of-curiosity as have lots of HMV albums of this period (including Thibaud, Cortot etc) - and the 'Pearl' LP transfer just appeared on Pablo's blog.

      Didn't listen to that, but this is an experiment; as although the orchestral sound is 'turgid', the frequency-range is quite wide - and this is a second attempt using more de-click (nearly '1 million' clicks removed - but with a wider range - compared to one with 600,000 - but that sloping-away @ 8kHz - as noticed there were Violin harmonics - at 10kHz - and now there is one evident @ 13kHz..but the 'noise-reduction' used simply damages the sound - but the shellac hiss/crackle noise is awful to start with (only a few traces of needle-wear are apparent here) - and the de-click was applied 'in reverse' of what I'd done before - as the initial edit had some strange faults (inconsistent frequency-range/clarity within a single disc side).

      I don't believe recordings such as this (which I may replace with another 'attempt') are worthwhile unless one has access to original metal-parts; shellac simply wrecks the sound-quality (as does the noise-reduction..)...especially if one attempts to extract a 'Hi-Fi' sound from the grooves..

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  2. The orchestra sound being what it is, this still sounds rather nice thanks to the sound of the solo-instruments and the detail in the transfer. Thanks for your efforts, once again!

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    Replies
    1. I'll maybe make a series of transfers of this using various 'methods' - but the de-clicking software does lend a 'heaviness' to the sound-picture (a lower setting allowed more background 'grunge' to be obvious) - and surface hiss is too prominent - but the solo instruments possibly sound 'better than usual'?!

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    2. Sure, you managed to prevent the de-clicking from damaging their tone rather well, i think, and certainly look forward to your further 'experiments'!

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    3. I hate the bloody things - but those probably came in a collection at under a penny each...
      If you use 'Foobar' you can see commercial transfers have barely half the frequency-range - so I'm not making the noise 'vanish' that way..

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  3. So good to hear this famous recording in such detail. Many thanks!

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    Replies
    1. As hinted, I'll try a few different transfers, as retain another with somewhat less 'de-click' - and less treble extension - but want to reduce the 'heaviness' in the sound - that noise-reduction causes - and hopefully lower the surface 'hash' - but am a bit pressed-for-time to engage in experiments...

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