Music and Recording Features

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Kalman Rubinson  |  Apr 02, 2006  |  First Published: Jan 02, 2000  |  0 comments
I had been with Stereophile only six months and feared my tenure was over—I thought I was losing my hearing. There was pain, ringing, and stuffiness. I couldn't listen to anything.
John Marks  |  Feb 19, 2006  |  0 comments
Mark Wilder, senior mastering engineer for Sony Music Studios, looked expectantly from John Atkinson to Bob Saglio to me and asked, "Are you ready?" As it had been my inquiry that had resulted in this mind-boggling, once-in-a-lifetime, peak-experience get-together, and as no one else was speaking up, I replied, "As ready as we'll ever be."
Art Dudley  |  Oct 30, 2005  |  0 comments
What is best in music is not to be found in the notes.—Gustav Mahler
John Atkinson  |  Oct 23, 2005  |  First Published: Nov 23, 2005  |  0 comments
"I can't make out the words."
John Marks  |  Aug 28, 2005  |  0 comments
A Love Supreme: The Story of John Coltrane's Signature Album
by Ashley Kahn; Foreword by Elvin Jones. New York, Viking Books, 2002; hardcover, 260 pages, 9" by 8". $27.95.
John Marks  |  Jun 26, 2005  |  0 comments
Morten Lauridsen's magisterial work for chorus and orchestra, Lux aeterna, appears in a fresh new recording, in truly excellent sound, on England's Hyperion label. The vocal ensemble Polyphony is accompanied by the Britten Sinfonia; both are led by Stephen Layton. Better yet, in addition to the CD-only version, there is a separate SACD/CD hybrid release (Hyperion SACDA67449), meaning that it is backwardly-compatible with CD players. Furthermore, the SACD layer contains a surround-sound program in addition to the stereo one.
Kalman Rubinson  |  Nov 29, 2004  |  First Published: Nov 27, 2004  |  0 comments
For months now, I've been beating the drum for full-range center-channel speakers, to reproduce recordings with a true center-channel signal. There are many reasons for this.
John Marks  |  Sep 21, 2004  |  First Published: Sep 01, 2004  |  0 comments
Flowers in the Dustbin: The Rise of Rock and Roll, 1947-1977
by James Miller
New York: Fireside/Simon & Schuster, 1999. Paperback, 8.5" by 5.5", 416 pp. $15.00. ISBN 0-6848-6560-2.
George Reisch  |  Jul 25, 2004  |  First Published: Jul 01, 2000  |  0 comments
Art and commerce are butting heads once again, now that England's popular Brit Awards include a category for classical music. Last month's inaugural nominees included some highbrow names (Rachmaninoff, Bryn Terfel), but leaned heavily on such "crossover" artists as Paul McCartney for his orchestral forays, and classical violinist Kennedy (formerly known as Nigel Kennedy) for The Kennedy Experience, his CD inspired by Jimi Hendrix. Classical sales are still down, and record companies, one suspects, are latching onto quasi-classical popular works to boost the sector's profile. For traditionalists, of course, this shows that classical music is falling further into the cultural black hole of all things Madonna, Spice Girls, and McDonald's. They're pissed—in the American sense, that is.
John Atkinson  |  Jul 18, 2004  |  First Published: Aug 01, 2004  |  0 comments
The upbeat is the most magic moment in classical music making. Before the conductor brings down his baton for the downbeat, anything and everything are possible in the musical journey that is about to begin. And the upbeat to Mozart's sublime Clarinet Concerto that conductor Robert Bailey was about to give in London's Henry Wood Hall last November gave me an extra frisson—as producer of the recording sessions, I would have to pronounce instant judgment on everything I was about to hear.
John Atkinson  |  Feb 29, 2004  |  First Published: Mar 01, 2004  |  0 comments
When Cantus's artistic coordinator (and Stereophile reader) Erick Lichte phoned me in the summer of 2000 about my recording this Minnesotan male-voice choir, it didn't occur to me that I was entering a long-term relationship. But just as sure as 16-bit digital is not sufficient for long-term musical satisfaction, my first Cantus CD led to a second, and now a third. (All available from this website). For Deep River, I traveled to Sioux Falls, South Dakota, where the city has spent millions of dollars to transform the downtown high school into a gloriously warm-sounding, state-of-the-art performing arts center.
John Marks  |  Sep 28, 2003  |  0 comments
Let's start with some music—three discs I recently have been using to evaluate equipment as well as listen to for enjoyment. They are as contrasting in style as one could hope for, but all on an enviably high musical plane. (Space considerations compel brevity approaching that necessary to sell screenplays to producers at cocktail parties, footnote 1)
Art Dudley  |  Sep 21, 2003  |  0 comments
In the town where I grew up there were two places to buy records: a family-owned department store and the local Woolworth's, both long gone. The first record I ever bought, the 45rpm single of Roger Miller's "King of the Road," came from the former in 1965. I was 11 years old.
Robert Baird  |  Mar 16, 2003  |  0 comments
"Where can you go in the world anymore where you can be in any kind of atmosphere other than the post-media, post-consumer world that we live in now—one that's available and that's musically rich? So it's very attractive in that way."

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