Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Schneider Quartet Haydn, Op.51, The Seven Last Words by the

The Schneider Quartet recorded the first complete cycle of Haydn string quartets for The Haydn Society in the early and mid fifties, and thus made all of them available on record for the first time. This alone, and the fact that they have gone unreleased on CD, would justify the present post. But there is much more. Alexander Schneider, 1st violin; Isidore Cohen, second violin; Karen Tuttle, viola; and Madeline Foley, cello, have bequeathed to us some of the finest Haydn performances on record. If latter day tastes prefer a less full-blooded approach to this and other classical era composers, these performances nonetheless are right up my alley.

Why this historically important set has not been issued on CD is something that has baffled me for a while. I've been told the original tapes have been lost, but surely pristine LPs would work to bring the recordings into the digital age and make them known to a new audience. This and subsequent posts from these recordings are all from LPs, in good but not pristine condition, in my personal collection. I hope to renovate and post as many as I have, but, unfortunately, I do not have them all, and a complete digital issue of them is a pressing (no pun intended) need.


Monday, December 28, 2009

Brahms Clarinet Trio and Horn Trio, BSO Chamber Players

This is my favorite recording of the Brahms Clarinet Trio and the record also contains a very lovely reading of the Horn Trio by the Boston Symphony Chamber Players in what, for me, were still its glory days. Harold Wright, Jules Eskin, and Gilbert Kalish strike just the right balance in the Clarinet Trio, and the engineers did not make the fatal mistake of overmiking the clarinet, which, despite the name of the piece, is no more important than the other parts. The "dialog" between the cello and clarinet in the slow movement is breathtakingly beautiful. There are many fine recordings of this work, but for me this old LP, unavailable on CD, contains a performance that gets everything right. I'll confess up front that Harold Wright has always been one of my favorite clarinetists.

The sound of the recording is natural, and I hope I've managed to keep that in renovating the file, which had a significant amount of noise from the source LP. It sounds good to me, but, I'd love to hear what you think.

Sorry, but the FLAC files to download are all archived in .rar format. It is a much more efficient way for me to post them and takes up considerably less space. The MP3 files are posted in a standard .zip archive. Also, the Jewel case front and back will have to be downloaded separately, since I foolishly forgot to put them in the zipped archive. I haven't quite got the routine for this down yet, but things should improve.

Clarinet Trio FLAC link Clarinet Trio MP3 link

Horn Trio FLAC link

Horn Trio MP3 link

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Dave Van Ronk: Songs for Ageing Children

I don't know why this beloved album is so hard to come by, and seems not to have been put on CD, but here it is in a renovation from a well used LP. There are moments of minor distortion that were in the grooves of the LP I had available to me, but it sounds surprisingly good, all things considered, and it will do the job until a better quality transfer from the original source becomes readily available. Posted in two parts as flac files compiled into a .rar archive and, for those who wish it, not wanting to deal with WinRAR or FLAC files, a single zipped archive of 320kbps MP3 files.


Songs for Ageing Children link 1

Songs for Ageing Children link prt 2

Link to zipped MP3 files

Bloch Piano Quintet, Fine Arts Quartet, and Frank Glazer

OK. I have a substantial record collection, nothing compared to my oldest friend, but, still, 7,000 or so LPs, bought erratically over the years, but usually with certain performers in mind, and mostly classical, although one of my first posts will be of Dave Van Ronk's "Songs for Ageing children". I can't promise anything systematic about how or when things will go up, or what will be posted, for that matter. As I have time I'll try to post LPs that I am very fond of that seem not to have made it to CD, things that are hard to find. Thus today I'm posting the Bloch 1st Piano Quintet in the Fine Arts Quartet recording with Frank Glazer on Concert-Disc. This excellent recording has been unavailable for a long time, and if present offerings match it, as I understand the Kocian Quartet recording does (I haven't yet heard it), it's nonetheless hard for me to imagine that this Fine Arts/Glazer performance has been surpassed.

After recording to my hard-drive with DartPro, I did light filtering to clean up clicks and obvious noise. I'm not a professional sound engineer, but I listen closely and think the renovated file sounds pretty good. WinRAR and FLAC Frontend are programs you'll find helpful if you decide to avail yourself of these renovated sound files in the FLAC format and uploaded in .rar archives. Let me know what you think.

Flac files have been rezipped and newly posted, as it seems the archive was corrupt.

Link to all Files