My only copy of the 1812 Overture is with the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra conducted by Constantin Silvestri. The playing and the sound stage is very well "lit". All it lacks is a large sounding band at the end where it appears that the brass were merely doubled. The cannons are clearly distorted gun shots.
The best live performance I heard was in the 60s with the LSO, Albert Hall Organ, cannons, brass bands etc conducted by Boris Brott who treated it as a serious symphonic work and drew sumptuous playing from all concerned. It was much slower than usual and very threatening or tragic sounding in the early stages.
Now Boris Brott is a blast from the past. Was he not with the BBCWSO years ago.
Originally Posted by Chris Newman
Yes, he was there and before that with the Northern Sinfonia from almost his teens. He currently works mostly in Canada and California. He certainly has been around and appears to like studying.
Originally Posted by barber olly
Hi, Waldhorn, My double CD "A Portrait of Constantin Silvestri" on the Royal label fails to mention the Band of the Royal Marines. Naughty them. And fancy leaving you out!! It has a popular selection: 1812, In the Steppes of Central Asia, Capriccio Italienne, Night on a Bare Mountain, Marche Slav, Polonaise from Evgny Onegin, R-K Scheherazade with Gerald Jarvis (excellent), Finlandia, Sorcerer's Apprentice, Ravel's Pavane.
So it was your first official professional gig! Wow.
I heard Silvestri and the BSO, quite often in Dorking and London. At one concert they played his own Three String Pieces and Tchaikovsky's
Symphony No 7 (I kid you not...a reconstructed piece from drafts). Some of the recordings suggest he liked tinkering with the orchestra to get magical effects in the stereo spread. In Cap Ital and the Sorc. App. the percussion players pop up from different places on the floor. For example a xylophone mid left will be answered by one on the right. I guess it was the days of Decca's Phase Four and whatever EMI called their gimmicky quadraphonic discs.
When I was a schoolboy a bored friend and I sneaked up to London to see what was on one Sunday afternnon at the Festival Hall. Turned out it was the first time I ever heard CS and the BSO. First time I ever heard DSCH as well....Symphony No 10. We found Mravrinsky's LP on 7s6d Saga discs at WHSmith bookstall at Victoria on the way home. Great day out.
Studio Two. (Half a Decca!!)
Originally Posted by Chris Newman
Studio 2 were stereo, not quadraphonic, but they not as tasteless as Decca Phase 4, which were sometimes as imcompetent as the sound balances in amateur musical theatre productions.
As far as I remember, quadraphonic EMI LPs didn't have any special name(s). I may have one or two still, though I never wasted money on quad equipment.
Now, just hang on a minute! The CD version of Dorati's 1812 is not the first to use real cannons. Dorati made an earlier mono recording using cannons in 1954. I still have this recording on a 7 inch 45 r.p.m. EP disc. The stereo remake used the same cover artwork, which may have caused some confusion. There isn't a great deal of difference between the performances, but the bells do sound different.
"not as tasteless as Decca Phase 4,"
which label produced one of the most beautiful, atmospheric and 'sonically believable' recordings ever, of Debussy's 'L'Apres-midi d'un Faune' conducted by Stokowski. An amazing 'amalgam' of two live concerts by the LSO, 24 hours apart, in the very disparate acoustics of London's RFH and RAH, ostensibly to celebrate and commemorate - in 1972 - the 60th anniversary of 'Stokie's' debut concert with the LSO in 1912.
Last edited by waldhorn; 22-09-11 at 22:56.
That wasn't a proper Phase 4 recording, made in a studio with a microphone to every music stand and then manipulated to show orchestral detail that would never be heard in the concert hall. The dynamic compression was something else - almost as though no-one had a better system than a Dansette.
Originally Posted by waldhorn