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New Versus Old. July 18, 2000

New Versus Old

July 18, 2000, writes:

>It seems that the powers that be in Classical Music

>recording made their target audience people who

>don't like Rock and Roll, rather than people who

>actually like Classical music.

>A similar criticism can be made for Jazz recordings

>after 1956. Both genre's seem to

>lose the intensity they had prior to the advent of

>Rock Music. Instead they become Lullaby music.

There are plenty of people who prefer mono to stereo (which was in the birth canal in 1956). Me, I love stereo, and prefer it to mono. But I also love many 'historic' classical recordings, as my sagging shelves holding 1000+ classical 78s will testify to. Performance practice has changed, in some cases for the better, in some cases not. Ditto for recording techniques. I also suspect that there are many listeners who equate old, distorted, "historic" recording quality with quality. Part of it might be that what you must fill in with your imagination makes the performance seem even better, like a photo of a scantily clad woman as opposed to a Hustler centerfold. I also think that the distortion and overload that goes with fortissimo sounds on many old 78s gives some listeners a jolt of excitement and makes it seem like the performance is even more powerful than it would sound like if it were clearly recorded on tape in the stereo era. Kinda reminds me of a (sort of) conversation I had with a "music lover" who was 14 y/o when I was 13 y/o, who told me my love for the Beatles was immature, since nothing of any value had been composed since 1900. I'm off to groove on some Harry Partch lullabies.

Dave Royko

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