In my recent survey of 'Winterreise' I remarked in passing upon the not entirely inapt background noise of birds chirping through Ian Partridge's 1987 recording - always a hazard if a quiet church is chosen as a venue - just as one invariably hears the sound of accelerating Vespas in EMI's recordings made in Roman churches in the 50's.
In a previous review on Amazon I mention "an obvious edit right at the end of the second movement in the Fifth when the acoustic dips slightly and you can hear someone talking quite loudly in the background, evidently unaware or uncaring of the fact that snippets from rehearsals might be needed for later remedial work."
Just before Callas comes in stage in the live recording of her 1958 "La Traviata" on some issues, what I call "a mild curiosity is still audible. Just after the overture has begun, you can hear Callas warming up quietly in the wings, accompanying the orchestra!"
I find such slips and blips rather reassuring, reminding us that these are the works of human beings going about their daily lives, whereas I would happily strangle that inevitable eejit who must be the first to bray "Bravo" at the end of a performance which is being recorded live.
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