Topic: Restored Recording S.Rachmaninoff+PhiladelphiaOrch Rach Conc No.2
This historically acclaimed recording is offered in high resolution field stereo, and virtually noise-free for the first time in almost 90 years. To hear the mono restoration click here: https://youtu.be/YG3DvGZ1qiQ
This was one of the noisiest recordings from the early Electronic Period, an effort to address this is long overdue. The present version is the culmination of an engineering project that began in 1965, when I first heard this recording on original 78s. I fell in love with the music and the performance, but was frustrated by the fidelity, which concealed details in the performance.
I obtained the early LP edition, which sounded even worse than the 78s, and began my first analysis of what I was hearing and asking why it sounded that way. That was the beginning of what was to lead me to a career in sound engineering. At the age of 13, I listened to the recording at half-speed and declared: "I'm gonna restore this recording someday!"
Fifty years and a recording career later, that promise has been fulfilled. The earlier posting on YouTube is the result of establishing time align and acoustic flat. No effort was made to go beyond that. The present posting is the result at full audio recovery, peeling away the patina of noise, sweeping the sound into full definition field stereo, and revealing the full bandwidth potential of the original. No reverb or acoustic enhancement of any kind have been used, the sound is 100% natural. This, for the first time in eighty-six years, is what the recording system actually picked up at full harmonic resolution.
The performance is a true marvel. It is the result of one of the most contentious recording sessions in history; as Stokowski and Rachmaninov feuded over the interpretation. An old feud that started at the first attempt to record these two superstars with the same piece. They couldn't pull it off. The earlier release has no 3rd movement, because the two men simply could not agree on how to play it. The '29 session covered two days, in the first day the arguments were so difficult that members of the orchestra had to seperate the two men to keep them from coming to blows. The tension in the first movement from that day is palpable and present on the recording, and it is wonderful. On the second day the two Great Egos struck a bargain: Stokowski called the shots in the second movement, Rachmaninov lead in the third movement. It was a brilliant compromise. Stokowski's "adagio sostenuto" has never been surpassed. As for the third movement, the triumphant joy of the finale is just as palpable. One can only imagine the feelings of all involved as the final side was turning on the cutting system. As they reach the coda there is an overwhelming feeling of euphoria in the performance as one of the most difficult recording sessions in history comes to a successful outcome.
The rest is history. Few recordings from any genre have endured in popularity over time as this gem. In terms of musicianship and quality of performance, it is still one of the greatest musical moments ever captured on record.