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High Rollers
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Everything posted by mikeymad

  1. On a Saturday Night J.M. Clifford 2021 https://album.link/i/1577912216 Example: Newer country artist. New to me. I liked it. Original songs and nicely presented. Extra:
  2. From the same site - Maybe I should use Maths: https://arstechnica.com/science/2020/01/the-math-of-brewing-a-better-espresso/?itm_source=parsely-api
  3. I guess if you are a car guy - you have to learn to do this. or
  4. I thought it was hilarious that you could just stuff a whole human in there.
  5. J.S. Bach: Three Or One - Transcriptions by Fred Thomas Fred Thomas, Aisha Orazbayeva, Lucy Railton 2021 https://album.link/i/1584781648 Example: Just letting Bach flow over me tonight. No real critical listening, I have to back off from that for a little bit. And this did the trick nicely. As it says it is mostly trios and sometimes solos from Fred. If you like some pretty and mellow and pretty-mello Bach, this works well.
  6. It didn't come up in my initial Tidal search - they need a better search engine for classical. so: Paris Hilary Hahn, Orchestre philharmonique de Radio France, Mikko Franck 2021 https://album.link/i/1547821040 – It would have made it into the cut of the 17+ that I listened to, out of the 50ish that I started with. Pacing is a touch slow, but makes up for that, with a bit more dynamics and expression. The attack on the violin is one of the most aggressive. I felt that they had something to say, and was not happy about it. The recording is very well done, even though the orchestra is presented more of one big lump rather than players with Hilary pushed up front. A part of the aggressive nature leads to the touch of screechiness that I mentioned in some of the ones in the list. I don't have a lot of tolerance for high register screech. I would place this in the Isabelle van Keulen, James Ehnes area of my list. Very good, just not as enjoyable to me as the higher ones. - thx Dusty But I really like listening to this work now, so if there are any others out there that I have missed, please let me know. I would be happy to discover it. And hopefully TIDAL continues to realize that they need to update their search to be better with classical. Also this morning: François Couperin: Les Apothéoses Jordi Savall 2021 https://album.link/i/1578273334 Example: I appreciate this French Baroque work. I discovered Jordi Savall back in the day with the All The Mornings of the World soundtrack (Tous les matins du monde). I could do without the introduction of each piece, I don't speak French anyway, so it does me no good. Ed: Sick as well - Get better y'all
  7. Some results. I have made a complete pass using my Marantz model 40n -> Stax SRD-7 -> Stax SR-007 setup. It has been fascinating. I have grown to appreciate the work. It didn’t get tiring even after 40+ listenings. I found that I really appreciate a good recording/mastering, but the performance has to rule them all. Here are my thoughts on my preferences in ascending order. Prokofiev: Violin Concerto No. 1, Violin Concerto No. 2 & Violin Sonata No. 1 Neeme Järvi, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Lydia Mordkovitch, Gerhard Oppitz 2009 https://album.link/i/1656559337 – The performance borders on the screechy a lot in the first movement. The lead is pushed forward, and in the higher registers can be a touch harsh, not all the time, but enough to be distracting to me. I am not saying that my Prokofiev has to be pretty, but I have to be able to follow your story. The dynamics and pace were all there. And the third movement was pretty sublime. Prokofiev: Violin Concertos Nos. 1 & 2; Five Melodies Anne Akiko Meyers 2010 https://album.link/i/398214615 – We played a bit with the shrill at the opening of this one. There are some nice dynamics, but the upper registers of the violin were not as controlled as I would have liked. There seemed to be a little bit of a veil over the recording, slightly muted, I played with the volume and it was the recording. Anne has the techniques down, the transitions from playing, to plucking to strumming were seamless, that does not happen for all of these performances. There is just a slight harshness in their playing that pulls this away from a really great performance for me. Prokofiev & Nielsen: Violin Concertos Liya Petrova 2018 https://album.link/i/1434309960 – A Very nice recording. Performance was strong and consistent. The dynamics of the recording were slightly compressed that stole some of the power out of the bigger moments. Overall a nice balance of the orchestra and lead, but Liya does get lost a bit in the third movement, when it is very important that she be pushed forward. The pacing was comfortable, just enough to keep the action moving. Prokofiev: Violin Concertos Maria Milstein, Phion Orchestra, Otto Tausk 2023 https://album.link/i/1656675394 – Unknown artist, label, orchestra, conductor, new recording. Here we go. I liked it. The pacing is slightly slow, but they do some good things with it. Nice balanced recording, slightly violin forward. Overall good performance with some character and highlights of understanding of the work. Great dynamics. Prokofiev: Violin Concertos Nos.1 & 2 / Tchaikovsky: Sérénade mélancolique Leila Josefowicz, Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal, Charles Dutoit 2001 https://album.link/i/1452220126 – I wasn’t initially into this performance. It had a nice balance in the recording, but it seemed just too slow without the lift of expression. But there was something there. The violin sound was fuller, almost like it was being played on a viola. This kept me intrigued and listening for more. The performance is a little sloppy here and there. But Leila finished so well that it still gets an honorable mention. Prokofiev: Violin Concertos Nos. 1 & 2 - Stravinsky: Violin Concerto in D Major Cho-Liang Lin, LA Phil 1992 https://album.link/i/401535446 – Almost too balanced? Full bodied recording, delicacy and weighty. In the end was it a little too perfect? Maybe. This Sony recording is very good, and it seems to me that the performance is almost note perfect. I think it gave me a really good basis of what prokofiev wrote, without interpretation. I know that this is not fair, and I feel bad, because everything is done so well, but if I am not pulled into the interpretation, there is not much I can do. Prokofiev: Violin Concertos Nos.1 & 2 / Stravinsky: Violin Concerto Kyung Wha Chung, André Previn, London Symphony Orchestra 1990 https://album.link/i/1452190869 – This gets a lot of points for just being what it is, Chung, Previn, LSO, Decca. I am pretty much all in from the start. It did deliver on most points. The recording was done very well, with great space and dynamics. The only thing that pulled me out of the recording was Chung not creating the flow that I wanted and felt from others. There were times when I was presented with a note, and then another note, and they didn’t seem to be connected. Also there seemed to be a disconnect between bowing, plucking and strumming. This work has them all and they need to be seamless to have the work come together. Glazunov & Prokofiev : Violin Concertos - Elatus Anne-Sophie Mutter, Mstislav Rostropovich & National Symphony Orchestra 1997 https://album.link/i/80023300 – The sleeper in the group. It shouldn’t have been with Anne-Sphonie and Rostropovich at the helm. I guess that there is less to complain about than to shout about. It is well recorded and wrapped up in a nice sounding package. Enjoyable, but I was never quite drawn all the way in. Prokofiev: Violin Concerto No. 1 - Walton: Viola Concerto - Vaughan Williams: The Lark Ascending Isabelle van Keulen, NDR Radiophilharmonie 2018 https://album.link/i/1438420362 – One of the slowest recordings, but it does not feel that way. Isabelle has a lovely way of hitting the notes and then bringing in the vibrato, to get the attack then body and warmth comes in. A good modern recording, with a nice soundstage and balance from solo and orchestra, with dynamics. I felt that they had something to say. Some performances are slow because the performer cannot keep up, I felt like Isabelle wanted to show me some of the passages that are so pretty that I had missed them. And I was thankful. James Ehnes Plays Prokofiev James Ehnes, Gianandrea Noseda, BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, Amy Schwartz Moretti, Andrew Armstrong 2013 https://album.link/i/1608385372 – A darker brooding performance and take on the work. And it works. Well recorded by Chandos. Balanced from front to back. Fast when it is fast and melodic when it needs to be as well. Prokofiev: Violin Concerto No.1 / Sibelius: Humoresques Op.89; Violin Concerto Ilya Gringolts, Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra, Neeme Järvi 2004 https://album.link/i/1452182124 – There is a focus on subtleties and dynamics from Ilya. Not too surprising coming from DG. Almost a perfect recording. You are placed in the fourth row, and you are rock solid there with the orchestra laid out in front of you, with Ilya a few feet in front of them, very nice. The pacing is quick, but not fast. It gives a lot of movement to the work. We are going somewhere, and I think I want to follow. Prokofiev: Violin Concertos Nos. 1 & 2 - Violin Sonata No. 2 David Oistrakh 2004 https://album.link/i/696929966 – A historical recording - 1954 - Conductor – Lovro Von Matačić - London Symphony Orchestra. David is the father of Igor Oistrakh, we will get to that in a bit. The recording does not have the dynamics of the others, and there is hiss. A great performance? - absolutely. Technical abilities in spades, and a lightness on fast passages that really shines in the third movement. It falls short just because of some of the sonics. Prokofiev: Violin Concerto No.1 & 2 Gil Shaham, London Symphony Orchestra, André Previn 1996 https://album.link/i/1452224616 – LSO, Previn, DG. Okay Gil, let’s do this. I really liked the pacing. The recording is detailed and clean. I like that Previn has different approaches based on the performer. Feels like a collab between them. Gil wanted to run, and he can run, and LSO was right there to follow. This was not that high on my list until this final listening. It might have needed a full system to really have it come to life and make me pay attention just that little bit more. I didn’t listen to these together to start with, and it was when I was about 3 minutes into the first movement, I started to think, wow this one really does sound a lot like the great performances release. Well a quick discogs search later, and yup. They are slightly different masterings of the same performance. Prokofiev: Violin Concertos Nos. 1 & 2 Isaac Stern 2019 & Prokofiev: Violin Concertos Nos. 1 & 2 Isaac Stern, The Philadelphia Orchestra, Eugene Ormandy 1983 https://album.link/i/1522244483 – Just a great recording. The power and balance are all on display. Isaac attacks when he needs to, and relaxes into the melody when it is warranted. The orchestra and Ormandy are right there to support everything he is doing. It sounded more like jazz, that they were listening to each other and playing off each other. It is a 1965 recording and does not have the inky black background levels. But as far as pure listening - it is a pleasure. The second movement is almost too fast, but Stern can hold it together. For streaming the 1983 Great Performance version of the 1965 recording is the one to pick. Prokofiev: Violin Concertos Nos 1 & 2 Itzhak Perlman 1982 https://album.link/i/1025523737 – The subtlety and phrasing is just amazing. A master playing a masters game. Does he drop a few notes? yeah, and no shits given. Itzhak has such a flow that it is hard to keep up with him sometimes. But when you do it is a beautiful ride to be on. The recording is a little violin forward, for reasons, but still a good recording. Prokofiev: Concerto for Violin and Orchestra No. 1 in D Major, Op. 19 (Digitally Remastered) Sergei Prokofiev 2014 Tidal link - https://tidal.com/browse/album/36944865 (I am not sure where else you can find this) – Then there is Igor Oistrakh (son of David above) paying something very different. This is so far beyond anything else in the list that it should be a new category. Variations of Prokofiev’s Violin Concerto? It is hard to explain what this recording does for me. It builds tension, it releases it, it makes me marvel at virtuosity, it lets me peer into the music like never before. Does it sound good? Luckily, yes it does, not great but good enough. Apparently Prokofiev was not the biggest fan of his readings, but he got over it. Way back when I did my first pass of all these, this recording stuck out to me and had me saying wow more than once. Others play trills, Igor plays bird songs. My favorite version, even if I may listen to Itzhak more in the long run. So no one has read this far - but I will have three of these in rotation. Itzhak is just so good, Stern for power, and Igor for the pure fun of the music. It was a fun ride. None of these are bad at all. Remember that these were my top selections from around 50 total recordings. Not planning on another marathon anytime soon, but you never know.
  8. I started listening to the Surrender book. I am not sure that counts here. It is like 20 hours long though.
  9. Happy Birthday Al -- All the Many Cheers...
  10. 22 Years Selina Moon 2022 https://album.link/i/1601909384 Example: I saw Selina on a Tiny Desk recently. I thought the music was nice and very pretty voice. So, I checked out her 2022 release. Just a 30 minute album, but a nice set. The example is one of the highlights. I will follow to see what she does going forward.
  11. In the beatbox music scene there is so much emphasis on battles. Hiss from this 4some going on to win the BBU22 competition. This is a good example of what could happen if there is a colab. I could see more of this coming forward if this gets traction. Ed - link just in case you want to see how it works just as music - https://song.link/i/1661507267
  12. Just a couple Irish lads trying to break into the business. I wish them well.
  13. Man cannot live by Prokofiev alone: Unknown Pleasures (2019 Digital Master) Joy Division 1979 https://album.link/i/1476702180 Example: Just simple goodness.
  14. So, I have made some progress on my project (Re: Prokofiev Concerto #1): I have made a secondary pass for all the above, plus a new one that I found - which is a good one: I didn't start an elimination process yet. But I did get rid of two of them because there was a flaw in the streaming version. For some reason, at least on TIDAL, they are jacked up. Not that these are bad performances or recordings, but as soon as the issues were present (a buzzing in one, and strange warbling dropouts in the other) I knew that I would not turn to them again. And they were not at the top of my list either. For the rest of them, I have put them in my initial ranking order, and I am going to make a final pass. Starting from the lower rankings and work my way up, I will make my final adjustments from there. I have also been going up the listening chain as well as I continue to refine my selections. I started with just my JBL Tune 125 bluetooth earbuds, running either off my laptop or phone. They worked well. For this current batch, I used my ETY-ER4 running out of the Alienware M17 AMD, which I have discovered has a very good headphone out. The final listening sessions will be running my full desktop rig - HEOS -> Marantz model 40n -> Stax SRD7 -> Stax SR-007. So I am going for increasing levels of resolution to dig deeper. I have not posted much in here - but this is the reason why. Back to work.
  15. Or it is time for the HC Breville Mafia to kick in to action.
  16. Just a quick check and Vitron IS food safe.
  17. I have the same issue with my tank not sealing when I remove it from the machine. And you are right. I found no way to replace the little o-ring on the valve, and nobody sells it either. It is possible that it's leaking to the inside and causing issues there as well. Good luck with the repair, or if you send it in.
  18. .. I'm not crying and scared, you are...
  19. So I started a project. I was listening to an Album in my queue: Prokofiev: Violin Works Tianwa Yang, Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra, Jun Märkl 2021 And I was not too enthralled with it. Not that it was bad, but I was never drawn in by the performance or recording. It got me thinking. I have not used the streaming service for one of the main things that it could be very good at. Listen to every version of Prokofiev Violin Concerto #1 that they have. After some searching I ended up with about 47 versions. I set about a task earlier today to listen to them and find versions that like. I started by listening to just the second movement. Some I could reject right away because of the recording quality. This is suppose to be something that I enjoy, so even a good performance could have been rejected because I probably would never go back and listen to it. I was able to eliminate a pile in that first pass and I have narrowed it down to the following 18 that I will do a deep dive on. The nice part is that I don't have a real bases, a standard, for this work (like I do for the 2nd concerto). I don't know/think I will listen to all of these completely. Some sounded just interesting enough to make it to this round. We will see how it flushes out. Some, like the Perlman (upper right) and Stern (lower left) are front runners and sounded fantastic. When I was first playing all the versions, I tried not to look at who was performing before I started playing as to not be too influenced. And some really surprised me, and some major ones got dropped very fast. So, I will be listening to these and narrowing it down a bit, and then I may have some fun with the final 8 or something. March Madness bracket time.
  20. I really enjoyed this set this morning. Added albums to my listening queue
  21. One more listen today of note - there have been others - not of note. Songs from Rainbow Hill Ben Crosland 2018 https://album.link/i/1441414140 Example: There is a lightness and delicacy to his writing and playing that I find attractive. It almost has a Ghibli feel to some tracks. He seems to do different things and projects, the piano based work I have liked the most.
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