Listening #127 List of the Month

Sidebar: List of the Month

Stink on Paper: 10 Awful Books about Music.

Donovan Leitch: Hurdy-Gurdy Man. The innocence of his music makes the self-inflation in Donovan's autobiography all the more jarring.
Stephen Davis: The Hammer of the Gods. An entertaining examination of Led Zeppelin, but apparently without basis in fact.
Robert Christgau: Grown Up All Wrong. An unwitting parody of the self-consciously hip rock critic at his worst.
Philip Hart: Fritz Reiner: A Biography. A sinfully dull, unrevealing book about a giant of 20th-century music.
Geoffrey Giuliano: The Beatles: A Celebration. Observations by a Beatles fan and former Ronald McDonald.
Pattie Boyd: Wonderful Tonight: George Harrison, Eric Clapton, and Me. The lightest of the lightweight rock memoirs.
Greil Marcus: Invisible Republic. Thick, dull sap that could've been boiled down to a 1000-word essay.
Johnny Sharp: Crap Lyrics. No writer this lame should risk writing a book with Crap in the title.
Bob Dylan: Tarantula. Twaddle.
Albert Goldman: The Lives of John Lennon. The fevered, libelous fantasies of an author who appears to have disliked music.

Timbo in Oz's picture

Interesting thoughts Art,

I recently began learning the basics how to do location recordings for a local community/ arts FM station.

We use a single stereo capsule mike -a Rode NT4 - or a pair of NT5 Rodes. the capulses in each  are the same. The NT5s tend to be used in a close spaced version of ORTF IE 110 degrees away/apart, but on a standard stereo bar.

I have a love of coincident/near coincident stereo recordings.

While it is clearly impossible to get the same effect as live, i think it behoves recorders / engineers to not futz with the sound any more than necessary. We are NOT musicians and ascribing creativity to us is plain hubris.

In the popular genres the continutation of close mono miking mixes - once stereo came long - is a great pity IMO. The brief blip of unplugged recordings was telling, but most people no longer get how distant simple miking sounds.

Multi-miking is lossy - before we get to the recording media.


killersax's picture

While I have not heard Martzy's LP, I have listened to some of these performances in digital transfers, and I'm afraid I just don't get why they eclipse all other performances. I'm not saying they're not good--I like them a lot--but these profound works have inspired many great performances by many great artists, each of whom has something unique and individual to contribute. My personal favorites are Szigeti, Szerying and Hahn, but there are many others. Why do we want to anoint a single performance as the one that puts all the others in the shade? One musician's accomplishment does not diminish others'. Is there a bit of elitism going on when a writer enthuses over a very expensive and rare recording (I almost said "wine") that the rest of us can't afford?