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Bizet: Carmen (Bernstein, 1973) Quadraphonic Blu-ray Audio from Deutsche Grammophon

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McCrutchy

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McCrutchy

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Interestingly, this recording appears to be the same one that was remastered and released by Pentatone in 2014, as part of their recently defunct Remastered Classics series of Hybrid Multichannel SACDs.

Supposedly, the recording has been "remastered in 96kHz/24-bit audio from the original quadrophonic tapes" and the Blu-ray will "[contain] the complete opera in 24-bit audio in 4.0 Surround Sound", so the question is, have DG newly remastered the opera, or are they just using the remaster prepared by Pentatone in 2014?

I suppose we'll see soon enough.
 

humprof

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Interestingly, this recording appears to be the same one that was remastered and released by Pentatone in 2014, as part of their recently defunct Remastered Classics series of Hybrid Multichannel SACDs.

Supposedly, the recording has been "remastered in 96kHz/24-bit audio from the original quadrophonic tapes" and the Blu-ray will "[contain] the complete opera in 24-bit audio in 4.0 Surround Sound", so the question is, have DG newly remastered the opera, or are they just using the remaster prepared by Pentatone in 2014?

I suppose we'll see soon enough.
They don't waste any time, do they? (I thought this was still in print at Pentatone.) I can't imagine they remastered it again, after Jean-Marie Geijsen & Polyhymnia did such a superb job. Anyway, it's a great recording and a fine mix by Thomas Mowrey. Don't see any reason to buy it a second time, but I'm glad DG sees merit in keeping it out there.
 

MCDave

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They don't waste any time, do they? (I thought this was still in print at Pentatone.) I can't imagine they remastered it again, after Jean-Marie Geijsen & Polyhymnia did such a superb job. Anyway, it's a great recording and a fine mix by Thomas Mowrey. Don't see any reason to buy it a second time, but I'm glad DG sees merit in keeping it out there.
Perhaps if the blu-ray has an accompanying video of the performance, it might be worth it, but since it's a quad mix I assume it's a studio recording. Yes?
 

humprof

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Opera News says:
The recorded sound (from the Manhattan Center, not the Met Opera House as the booklet states) remains boxy and stratified in this remastering.
I disagree with the "boxy" remark--but yes, that presumably means there's no video, unless DG has come up with a separate recording of a live performance. (By the way: Pentatone says that DG spent $275,000 on the sessions--a truly colossal sum for a classical recording in 1972.)
 
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McCrutchy

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Opera News says:
The recorded sound (from the Manhattan Center, not the Met Opera House as the booklet states) remains boxy and stratified in this remastering.
I disagree with the "boxy" remark--but yes, that presumably means there's no video, unless DG has come up with a separate recording of a live performance. (By the way: Pentatonesays that DG spent $275,000 on the sessions--a truly colossal sum for a classical recording in 1972.)
What a terrible "review" of the Pentatone SACD from Opera News. Mr. Braun devotes literally this single vague sentence to the actual product, and makes no effort to even mention (much less listen to) the quadraphonic mix, or even to compare the remastered stereo mix to the previous LP, cassette or CD releases. Assuming he received a full retail release, he also fails to note anything about the packaging or the included libretto, as well. Newspaper reviews of CD issues from the 80s and 90s had more useful information in three sentences than Mr. Braun managed in three paragraphs. I can only hope he didn't receive a review copy for free, but I wouldn't be surprised if he did.

No wonder Pentatone eventually gave up Remastered Classics if that review is indicative of the attention they received from the music press.
 

humprof

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What a terrible "review" of the Pentatone SACD from Opera News. Mr. Braun devotes literally this single vague sentence to the actual product, and makes no effort to even mention (much less listen to) the quadraphonic mix, or even to compare the remastered stereo mix to the previous LP, cassette or CD releases. Assuming he received a full retail release, he also fails to note anything about the packaging or the included libretto, as well. Newspaper reviews of CD issues from the 80s and 90s had more useful information in three sentences than Mr. Braun managed in three paragraphs. I can only hope he didn't receive a review copy for free, but I wouldn't be surprised if he did.

No wonder Pentatone eventually gave up Remastered Classics if that review is indicative of the attention they received from the music press.
Yeah...that was not one of the reviews that Pentatone quoted on their blog.
 

kap'n krunch

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"Lenny Baby"...well...too bad I can't stand opera...I'd even put aside my intense dislike for Lenny ....at least it's REALLY good news that now DG is getting into the MCH game...can't wait for the Karajan releases...thanks
 

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Unfortunately, while DGG recorded a lot of operas, by all accounts this is one of the few where the rears are used in a discrete fashion - most DGG quad recordings are just stereo with ambiance according to Thomas Mowrey. I'd be shocked if this wasn't Polyhymnia's transfer done for the 2014 SACD, especially seeing as Polyhymnia has been doing these new transfers as well for DGG.

I'll admit I'm a little worried that this is the second quad release from DGG - most people who would really want this already have the Pentatone release, which is very much in print, and unless you specifically want this on blu-ray instead of SACD, I don't see the perks. The Pentatone version also includes the libretto in a digibook packaging. I hope they don't have poor sales and then conclude that there's no demand for surround releases.

A little video about this recording from Pentatone.
 

kap'n krunch

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Unfortunately, while DGG recorded a lot of operas, by all accounts this is one of the few where the rears are used in a discrete fashion - most DGG quad recordings are just stereo with ambiance according to Thomas Mowrey. ......
Oh, man..that sucks!!
So Karajan's Quads were mostly reverb in the rears???
(I ask cause I haven't ventured into any of them , although I may be confusing them for his EMI Quads!)
 

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Opera News says:

I disagree with the "boxy" remark--but yes, that presumably means there's no video, unless DG has come up with a separate recording of a live performance. (By the way: Pentatonesays that DG spent $275,000 on the sessions--a truly colossal sum for a classical recording in 1972.)
And I believe thats why Bernstein left Columbia Records for DGG as CBS wouldn't commit to spending that an
Unfortunately, while DGG recorded a lot of operas, by all accounts this is one of the few where the rears are used in a discrete fashion - most DGG quad recordings are just stereo with ambiance according to Thomas Mowrey. I'd be shocked if this wasn't Polyhymnia's transfer done for the 2014 SACD, especially seeing as Polyhymnia has been doing these new transfers as well for DGG.

I'll admit I'm a little worried that this is the second quad release from DGG - most people who would really want this already have the Pentatone release, which is very much in print, and unless you specifically want this on blu-ray instead of SACD, I don't see the perks. The Pentatone version also includes the libretto in a digibook packaging. I hope they don't have poor sales and then conclude that there's no demand for surround releases.

A little video about this recording from Pentatone.
Thanks for sharing, ubertrout. I also have Scott Joplin's Treemonisha on the remastered Pentatone series and it, too, has discrete rears [although to be honest, I was not enthusiastic about this recording.....in all fairness, I should probably listen to it again with fresher ears].

Gratifying that Pentatone chose to transfer the DGG/Philips master tapes 1:1 to digital without any artificial sweetening [EQ tampering] only engaging Dolby Noise Reduction decoding which explains the ultra quiet background.

I would imagine Michael Dutton utilizes the same philosophy when transferring those classic QUAD Classical/Popular masters to SACD [1:1].

I have some of the newly remastered Decca BD~A discs from Universal and they're ambience, only, in the rears but extremely well done and very highly recommended and the prices are more than fair.

Actually, because of the uber real estate available on BD~A vs. SACD, am elated that they're releasing these QUAD/Stereo treasures in this format.......but those redundant RBCDs which accompany them.........add so much bulk to the digipaks.
 
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ubertrout

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Oh, man..that sucks!!
So Karajan's Quads were mostly reverb in the rears???
(I ask cause I haven't ventured into any of them , although I may be confusing them for his EMI Quads!)
No-one has heard the Karajan DG quads, really, except for the Beethoven 9th and Mozart Requiem on SACD (and DVD-A for the Requiem), which are quad with phony center channels. As I recall they're pretty much just ambiance but I should listen again. Thomas Mowrey in his comments here said he was the only DG producer doing active rear channels. The DTS CDs are all EMI recordings.
 
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ubertrout

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And I believe thats why Bernstein left Columbia Records for DGG as CBS wouldn't commit to spending that an


Thanks for sharing, ubertrout. I also have Scott Joplin's Treemonisha on the remastered Pentatone series and it, too, has discrete rears [although to be honest, I was not enthusiastic about this recording.....in all fairness, I should probably listen to it again with fresher ears].

Gratifying that Pentatone chose to transfer the DGG/Philips master tapes 1:1 to digital without any artificial sweetening [EQ tampering] only engaging Dolby Noise Reduction decoding which explains the ultra quiet background.

I would imagine Michael Dutton utilizes the same philosophy when transferring those classic QUAD Classical/Popular masters to SACD [1:1].

I have some of the newly remastered Decca BD~A discs from Universal and they're ambience, only, in the rears but extremely well done and very highly recommended and the prices are more than fair.

Actually, because of the uber real estate available on BD~A vs. SACD, am elated that they're releasing these QUAD/Stereo treasures in this format.......but those redundant RBCDs which accompany them.........add so much bulk to the digipaks.
Treemonisha was also a Thomas Mowrey recording as I recall. For me the issue is more the music than the recording - Joplin was a great composer of piano miniatures but he lacked the skill to produce a coherent opera. However, that recording has been added to the National Recording Registry, so what do I know? https://www.loc.gov/programs/national-recording-preservation-board/recording-registry/complete-national-recording-registry-listing/

Which Decca BD-As? I wasn't aware of anything they'd released in surround, just lots of stereo sets.
 

4-earredwonder

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No-one has heard the Karajan DG quads, really, except for the Beethoven 9th and Mozart Requiem on SACD (and DVD-A for the Requiem), which are quad with phony center channels. As I recall they're pretty much just ambiance but I should listen again.
The von Karajans are strictly ambience in the rears and it's crystal clear why DGG/Philips never released these QUADS on CD~4 commercially choosing to keep them locked away in the vaults. Imagine buying into this new technology in the early 70's with the horrendous hardware [and software....vinyl at the time was sorely lacking] only to hear ambience, only, in the rears with all those vinyl related nasties swirling around, as well.

I do believe RCA and Columbia were the only two classical labels doing discrete rears....probably, IMO, to not only show off the new technology but to compensate for the 'steering' problems associated with their subpar decoders.
 

4-earredwonder

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Treemonisha was also a Thomas Mowrey recording as I recall. For me the issue is more the music than the recording - Joplin was a great composer of piano miniatures but he lacked the skill to produce a coherent opera. However, that recording has been added to the National Recording Registry, so what do I know? https://www.loc.gov/programs/national-recording-preservation-board/recording-registry/complete-national-recording-registry-listing/

Which Decca BD-As? I wasn't aware of anything they'd released in surround, just lots of stereo sets.
I stand corrected, ubertrout.

DGG is releasing 5.0 recordings on BD~A. Example: https://www.amazon.com/Beethoven-Symphonies-Blu-ray-Audio-Combo/dp/B073VFGBFX/ref=pd_sim_15_6?_encoding=UTF8&pd_rd_i=B073VFGBFX&pd_rd_r=HQ6G37JFVG2NH4HB2T02&pd_rd_w=8mkO5&pd_rd_wg=ZVtgK&psc=1&refRID=HQ6G37JFVG2NH4HB2T02

All the Decca BD~A sets so far are stereo only [but actually decode exceptionally well via the DSP mode on my pre/pro.]

Regarding Treemonisha....I found the libretto unengaging [almost simplistic] and the music uninspired as well. I do know that Joplin's original libretto/sheet music was destroyed in a flood and it was reconstructed for this performance which might explain its inclusion in the National Recording registry. Historically significant?
 

ubertrout

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I stand corrected, ubertrout.

DGG is releasing 5.0 recordings on BD~A. Example: https://www.amazon.com/Beethoven-Symphonies-Blu-ray-Audio-Combo/dp/B073VFGBFX/ref=pd_sim_15_6?_encoding=UTF8&pd_rd_i=B073VFGBFX&pd_rd_r=HQ6G37JFVG2NH4HB2T02&pd_rd_w=8mkO5&pd_rd_wg=ZVtgK&psc=1&refRID=HQ6G37JFVG2NH4HB2T02

All the Decca BD~A sets so far are stereo only [but actually decode exceptionally well via the DSP mode on my pre/pro.]

Regarding Treemonisha....I found the libretto unengaging [almost simplistic] and the music uninspired as well.
Not to get too off topic, but the libretto for Carmen is almost comically dumb itself - I just can't understand it well enough to notice, and the effect is different in translation. The music, on the other hand...it's overplayed to the point of cliche, but only because it's almost perfect as a musical work.

But yeah, Treemonisha is just awkward and clunky. Worth hearing once though.
 

McCrutchy

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Did anyone pick this up? Because the back cover says:

"Remastered for Blu-ray Audio in 4.0 Surround Sound/Remastering ℗ 2018 Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, Berlin"

which, rather curiously, must mean the remaster is new for 2018, unless I am missing something.

 

markshan

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I wish that everything that has ever been released in surround on SACD or DVD-A would be re-released on Blu. Then we wouldn't all have to have fits over legacy players.
 

humprof

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Did anyone pick this up? Because the back cover says:

"Remastered for Blu-ray Audio in 4.0 Surround Sound/Remastering ℗ 2018 Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, Berlin"

which, rather curiously, must mean the remaster is new for 2018, unless I am missing something.

I would guess it just means that as of 2018, DG has now registered the copyright for the 2014 remaster that they previously licensed to Pentatone. As someone else (me?) stated earlier in this thread: there would be absolutely no reason to have remastered this yet again when Jean-Marie Geijsen already did such an exquisite job the first time 'round.
 
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