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Re: The Joy of Downloading Classical Music
Posted by Martin Walker on January 6, 2010, 12:44 pm, in reply to "The Joy of Downloading Classical Music"
Patrick and John - my problem with downloading is precisely what Patrick mentions in connection with continuity: I do not want to be listening to Max's Taverner and get a little sound lacuna with a jerky hop to the next track. I have a modern string quartet on my hard disc that was legally downloaded for free in MP3 chunks: it does exactly that. I will buy the CD when it becomes available again... The review Patrick links to says nothing at all about this downloading facility. (Taverner, by the way, can also be downloaded from Amazon.de for €7 - not a big difference and an amazing bargain - if it can be listened to without hops & jumps....)
My other point is: as with the example you give of Toscanini's Beethoven, it may not be really worth doing in any case. Critics have been saying for decades that a) the sound quality of T's Studio H recordings is lacking in resonance b) that these versions from the late 40s and early 50s were on the whole T's most rigid and least illuminating interpretations of the works, easily surpassed by the NYPO, BBCSO (where the sound is more natural if marginally less clear) and '39 NBCSO recordings in interpretation, and what I have heard is consistent with that - the point being that one needs to be pretty well informed about what one is downloading: you can sell off CDs you no longer like, the same is not true for downloads...
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