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

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Soundfield

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Its not on topic, but does anyone know of a good Quad mix and performance of Handel's "Messiah". Its a piece of music I have loved ever since I was taken to a performance of it by my late father, I must have been about 13, so a long time ago!

There was one quad recording of Messiah back in 1976 – the fabled “John Tobin Performing Edition” which was effectively a private recording and was advertised thus quoting favourable reviews of the day:

Handel Torbin LP advert.jpg

Here’s my mint copy which cost me about £25 not all that long ago:

P1010318.JPG


but they are fairly scarce and generally go for silly money - there is one on ebay at the moment for £371 (!). Remarkable that they should have chosen to record this in QS; there is an interesting technical note in the booklet:


Scan017small.jpg



The whole enterprise was obviously a labour of love and must have cost a fortune – I wonder if they ever recovered their costs?
 

regnaD kciN

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Oct 31, 2013
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Which Decca BD-As? I wasn't aware of anything they'd released in surround, just lots of stereo sets.
Decca recently released a CD/BD set of Solti's 1971 Tannhäuser in surround, although it appears to be a 5.1 remix of the 4.0 master.
 

regnaD kciN

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I have not heard the Planets/Zarathustra in quad for about 48 years now, but I remember it very well. This was one of our first quad recordings in Symphony Hall, and it was made with ambiance only in the back channels. I was a co-executive producer (with Karl Faust), but, as such, cannot claim credit for the spectacular mix, which belongs solely to the late Günter Hermanns.

As far as other quad recordings are concerned, I would love to see the complete Ravel with BSO/Ozawa come out in quad on Blu-ray, as well as the BSO/Ozawa Berlioz Damnation and Fantastique (even though they're already on SACD from Pentatone), and the Russo Street Music and Three Pieces for Blues Band with Corky Siegel and Ozawa/SanFrancisco. And the Fiedler/Boston 1812 Overture, with cannon to left of you, cannon to right of you, and cannon behind you as you ride into the Valley of Death (with apologies to Alfred, Lord Tennyson).
If you're still watching this thread, Mr. Mowrey, do you recall if the MTT "Winter Dreams" Symphony from the same year was recorded in quad? That, along with the Steinberg Planets, were two of my most-listened-to albums of 1971, the year when I first got hooked on classical music as a teenager. I'd certainly love to hear what that sounds like in surround as well!
 

regnaD kciN

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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.
Of course, there's the issue that Geijsen's remaster was, as I understand it, to native DSD for Pentatone's SACD release. This would imply that it would have to have been converted to 24/96, which most audiophiles I know would consider a downsampling to a lower-resolution format.

I have my share of questions concerning this. It's known that, back in the mid-late 1990s, Polygram had a massive project to transfer all their DG/Phillips/Decca/Archiv/Argo/L'Oiseau Lyre/etc. master tapes to 24/96 digital at Emil Berliner Studios for archival purposes. (Their many CDs touted as "24/96 remastered" were produced from these digital archival files.) It was never clear to me whether this just included the stereo masters, or whether they transferred the quad master tapes as well. If so, isn't it possible the Blu-Ray is being sourced from this native 24/96 master rather than the Pentatone DSD?

Furthermore, everything I've read about Pentatone's release of this project speaks of their efforts to transfer the quad master tapes. Did they also do new DSD transfers of the stereo master tapes, or are those just DSD upsamplings of the Berliner Studios 24/96 masters?

Finally, I admit to be greatly amused by the ad copy for the new DG set, which brags about how it features the recording in "as-yet-unheard 4-channel Surround Sound" -- as-yet-unheard if you completely ignore the existence of the Pentatone, that is...
 

Thomas Mowrey

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Jean-Marie Geijsen explains here ...


... that "These recordings are as good as they are and there is no need to change anything, so we keep our fingers off."

The "exquisite job" of making this surround recording was done 48 years ago. Mr. Geijsen kept his fingers off and simply transferred it to DSD in 2014. Four years later someone (maybe he) transferred it to Blu-ray for the DG release. The point is, both the Pentatone SA-CD and the DG Blu-ray are simply digital replicas of the original surround masters, exactly as I left them in DG's Hannover post-production studios in the spring of 1973.
 

Thomas Mowrey

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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?
Yes, it was a studio production, recorded in ten sessions during September and October, 1972 at the Manhattan Center in New York and post-produced (editing and mixing) over the following five months at DG's pp studios in Langenhagen, near Hannover.
 

fizzywiggs41

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Looks like a fine recording Thomas.

I'm certain it'll sound great in quad .

@Thomas ;
Sorry to change the topic a bit , but I recently read an article about .....likely the very first quad broadcast .
It was a "Scheiber encoded " demo at a New York hotel someplace in downtown New York in May 1970.

Did not indicate what music selections were played though.

The article was a mention in Men In Hifi , by Harry Maynard and can still be found via American Radio History.(sorry I don't have a link)
Now , immediately you came to mind and I of course wondered if you got to attend ?

Anyways it's a cool rather historic quad article worth reading. :)
 

Thomas Mowrey

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Apr 20, 2015
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Looks like a fine recording Thomas.

I'm certain it'll sound great in quad .

@Thomas ;
Sorry to change the topic a bit , but I recently read an article about .....likely the very first quad broadcast .
It was a "Scheiber encoded " demo at a New York hotel someplace in downtown New York in May 1970.

Did not indicate what music selections were played though.

The article was a mention in Men In Hifi , by Harry Maynard and can still be found via American Radio History.(sorry I don't have a link)
Now , immediately you came to mind and I of course wondered if you got to attend ?

Anyways it's a cool rather historic quad article worth reading. :)
Peter Scheiber, the inventor of matrixed quadraphony, was my partner in Audiodata, a company which he and I founded in September, 1969, to exploit his invention. Originally he owned 85% and I owned 15%, although both our shares were diluted as other partners came in. There are a lot of contemporary magazine articles about early quad development at Thomas Mowrey Archive Quadraphonic.info™ Articles, Manuals and Quadraphonic and Surround Sound Information including one in TIME magazine about demonstrations we did at that time. I was not at the broadcast demo you mentioned, however, as I was already working for Deutsche Grammophon in May of 1970 and was producing several Boston Pops records that month.
 

humprof

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Dear Thomas: since this thread long ago strayed from its nominal topic, I won't feel too embarrassed about changing the topic yet again. But I was re-reading your piece on the front page of your "archive," and after hearing the San Francisco Symphony's recent recording of Henry Brant's "The Ice Field" (recorded in Dolby Atmos but only released in a binaural version), I couldn't help wondering about your experimental 1969 recording of Brant's "Angels and Devils." I'm assuming that this recording eventually wound up--in a stereo mixdown--on the Eastman Ensemble's 1993 CD of works by Hanson, Benson, and Brant. But do your multitracks still exist? Was the quad version ever released?
 
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Thomas Mowrey

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Apr 20, 2015
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Hello,

I've also wondered whatever might have happened to the quad tapes (half-inch, 4-track) that we made of "Angels and Devils" at Eastman in 1969. The woman who is director of Eastman's (now quite extensive) recording department might know. Her name is Helen Smith, and her email address is hsmith@esm.rochester.edu. You might write to her and ask if they still have them in their archives. I would write to her myself, but I visited her at Eastman a couple years ago (see photo) and then I wrote to her but I didn't receive any reply. M
Eastman S Tom & Helen.JPG
aybe you will have better luck! All the best - Tom
 
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