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About Hugo9000

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  1. I was thinking recently that I'd like to convert some of my favorite recordings to 78 RPM discs that can be played on a wind-up Victrola, so I can still listen to them after WWIII (next year?).
  2. Anthony Rolfe Johnson, tenor Souvenirs de Venise Graham Johnson, piano with Felicity Lott, Ann Murray, Richard Jackson, Hugo D'Alton Anthony Rolfe Johnson is wonderful on this charming and lovely recital album. Beautiful tone and phrasing, as always. I wish he'd recorded albums of songs by R. Strauss, Rachmaninov, and more Hahn. I will always treasure his Handel recordings, which is how I first became acquainted with his marvelous artistry. (Helios is Hyperion's budget reissue line, and as far as I know they still aren't on any streaming platforms, so if anyone is interested, you can hear brief samples on Presto Classical and buy the CD or a download if you prefer.)
  3. There are a few members on AudioKarma who collect cassettes. You might find someone there who would be thrilled to take them off your hands. At least one or two also collect 8-track tapes, in case anyone has any of those to offload as well. lol
  4. George Frideric Handel Brockes-Passion Richard Egarr/Academy of Ancient Music Magnificent! Streaming this while I await my CDs that are on their way from the U.K. (U.S. release isn't until later this month according to Amazon, but it was released in Europe yesterday. Presto Classical has it in stock, as does Amazon UK (much better price at Presto).
  5. Richard Wagner Parsifal Placido Domingo Jessye Norman Levine/Metropolitan Opera Orchestra & Chorus Some of the late Jessye Norman's most beautiful recorded work, even if Levine's pacing is too slack. Very nice sound, and the orchestra plays beautifully.
  6. In memory of Jessye Norman. Richard Strauss Vier letzte Lieder Orchesterlieder Jessye Norman Kurt Masur/Gewandhausorchester Leipzig
  7. In addition to Atmos, Sony's 360 Reality Audio is coming to Amazon Music HD: https://www.engadget.com/2019/09/26/echo-studio-360-reality-audio/ That sounds like it would be more interesting to more people than MQA on Tidal. lol Amazon could of course f*** it all up in the delivery and user experience. Edited to add that back in January, Sony apparently stated they wanted 360 Reality Audio on other streaming services such as Deezer and Tidal, so there's that, I guess. I've never heard of Deezer outside of people mentioning it here, whereas everyone I know in the real world is at least aware of Amazon, and everyone I know other than my mother has some kind of Amazon account already. lol Second edit: Count me out on the Sony headphone app. You have to take good resolution photos of your ears to share with Sony, who will then sell them to "security" companies or the NSA or Mossad or whomever. As if facial recognition wasn't dangerous enough without detailed photos of our ears. It's well known that identification of individuals by unique ear shape has been possible for decades. (It was one of the ways in which that woman who claimed to be Anastasia was shown to be a fraud, before DNA testing was available.) Make sure your tinfoil hat covers your ears, people!
  8. I think it's largely a matter of taste with The Sixteen and the reverberant sound field. On the one hand, it masks the number of members of the ensemble, but it makes the blend a little more homogeneous which I think a lot of people like with a choir. Also, someone sitting in a pew will hear this more distant sound, and I think that's also part of their intent. It's more "otherworldly" when you can't localize the source of the sound, which goes along with the spiritual intent of the genre (IMO of course haha). Or perhaps it's just how I view it, as I think they tend to match my preferences for these glorious works. Although I have more recordings of The Tallis Scholars than The Sixteen. Both ensembles have tended toward a similar sound, I think. Usually, I just let the sound and the experience wash over and envelop and fill me and don't analyze closely what I'm hearing with this type of music. I'll have to listen for those aspects the next time I get out my favorite recordings from them. At one time, there were a lot of the same singers involved in both groups, and a few were also part of the Choir of The English Concert. I recall noting a few of the same names recurring in my CD booklets for those groups years ago when I was first introducing myself to Renaissance polyphony (mostly Palestrina at first, having read Giuseppe Verdi's letters praising him as the father of Italian music. Verdi and Rachmaninov were my first great loves in music.). Early music instrumental ensembles in the UK also shared many of the same members. I'm sure it helped them to survive in the 1980s when there wasn't as much demand or interest in "period practice" attempts and the large-scale "romanticized" interpretations were still more popular/prevalent. Now the groups probably all have distinct membership, other than the occasional soloist.
  9. It's not necessarily anything nefarious on the part of Amazon even if the Qobuz outage were related. It could be a failure from the additional taxing of the overall AWS system from interest in Amazon's new HD Music service. That said, I took the question to be in jest as well, FWIW.
  10. I wonder what happens if someone does the 30-day free trial of Amazon Music Unlimited, and then tries to do the Music HD trial right away. I wondered about the bit in the wording of the 90-day trial offer: "This 90-day free trial offer is a limited time offer. This offer applies only to the Amazon Music HD Individual Plan and the Amazon Music HD Family Plan and is available only to new subscribers to Amazon Music Unlimited." I thought they meant that if you were a current subscriber of the existing music service, you couldn't get the free trial of the new service (they do other promos sometimes for people who have never tried Prime, for example, or if it's been over a year or whatever). They should just come out and say that you'll be paying the $7.99 as a new subscriber to Amazon Music Unlimited, while receiving the Music HD service at no additional charge beyond that $7.99 subscription for the length of the trial. They should realize that ambiguous wording can lead to confusion and disappointment and/or anger.
  11. @Moosbrugger There are two great recordings with Birgit Nilsson as Isolde, and among more recent recordings, I recommend either of the Nina Stemme recordings. If you want Jon Vickers as Tristan, there is the recording conducted by Karajan where he is partnered by Helga Dernesch as Isolde, or there is a video with Jon Vickers and Birgit Nilsson. These are probably all on the major streaming services if you want to listen before buying. If you buy downloads, make sure it's gapless first (don't ever buy opera downloads from Amazon haha). Someone might come along to suggest some old 78 RPM recordings with a classic cast from an ancient era, but I don't think that serves newcomers very well. My recommendations are all recent enough (stereo era at least haha) to have been recorded in good sound. The Nilsson recordings have recently been remastered for release on Blu-ray audio versions (they also include the CDs, as you can see from the cover art below). The two Nina Stemme recordings are from 2005 (studio recording with Domingo) and 2012 (live recording). The Birgit Nilsson recordings I recommend: Or two choices with Nina Stemme (I prefer the one with Domingo, beautifully conducted by Antonio Pappano): I found these on youtube if you don't have any streaming subscriptions: The Stemme/Domingo/Pappano is the most gorgeously romantic recording of this opera ever! And I don't care if the older Wagnerites hate it because of Domingo or out of loyalty to the greats of old like Nilsson or Flagstad or whomever haha! The wonderful Nilsson/Solti recording: The second recording with Nina Stemme: Hope this helps! Listen first on Qobuz or Spotify or another streaming service if you can, or check the youtube links otherwise before buying the CD sets.
  12. The second paragraph reads like satire to me. Perhaps he's been trolling everyone, and no one realizes it. I can't decide if that would be very gratifying or very disappointing to have brilliant satire go completely unrecognized. I hope he won't object to the use of two entire paragraphs in that quote, but at least a link was provided. lol
  13. Sorry for the off-topic comment, but the Benchmark gear looks great! Luckily for me I can't decide if silver or black looks best, so my bank account is spared haha! (Not that the prices aren't great for the performance level of the equipment and the level of product support and customer service!)
  14. It's too late to edit a previous post to add this: Copyright and "Fair Use" may not be (probably isn't? lol) the relevant issue in the case of these actual or hypothetical recordings. If it's an unpublished master, that is materially different from whatever mixing was approved for publication by the rights holder, then presumably it would be governed by whatever contract was made at the time of recording and the terms under which he was permitted to retain the master tapes (if analog) or an exact copy of the master (if digital). I'm talking here of "master" being the session tapes/mic feed/whatever, and not "master" in the sense of the highest resolution of the original approved final mix, although if even that final mix has never been published in that resolution, it would presumably be protected by the contract and not just by the copyright which allows fair use exceptions once a work is published. "Master" seems to be used in both senses, at least colloquially, of the unprocessed session tapes in however many tracks being the "master," and in the sense of the approved final mix being the "master." (Of course, if the "crown jewels" are the unprocessed session tapes before any mixing/eq/other processing, then 24/192 releases of the approved final mix still wouldn't be giving away those "crown jewels," and the record companies still have endless new releases they can push in the future as long as they continue to protect the unprocessed original session materials haha! So that "crown jewels" argument in favor of MQA is kind of beside the point in that way as well as being risible if MQA is in fact better than the master as some posit. lol) Not to argue on behalf of JA haha (as if he or anyone else would care what I write lmao), but in the interest of fairness, the issues are probably his actual contract with the rights holder and whatever it allows, and possibly any NDA (if there is one) that might be attached to the MQA-processed versions of those files. I do at least try to be precise and fair and not just long-winded. And of course, none of this negates the possibility that certain people use these issues/discussions as distractions/obfuscation from whatever behind-the-scenes machinations are really at work here. Beware the hand of the éminence grise. haha
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