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Discussion: Mahler: Symphony No. 5 - Zander

Posts: 13
Page: 1 2 next

Post by Castor November 12, 2009 (1 of 13)
A friend lent me this recording and I was surprised to find no centre channel. Is his disc faulty or is this really a 4-channel recording?

Post by wehecht November 12, 2009 (2 of 13)
Castor said:

A friend lent me this recording and I was surprised to find no centre channel. Is his disc faulty or is this really a 4-channel recording?

There is no center channel, and the booklet contains a couple of references to the possibility that any given Telarc surround disc may include either 4 or 5 channels depending on a number of vaguely articulated factors including the producer's judgement concerning what best serves the music. Frankly it's never much mattered to me as long as there's not a soloist who needs anchoring, and I hold this particular recording in very high regard.

Post by tailspn November 12, 2009 (3 of 13)
There is a Center channel, but it is recorded at -34dB relative to the front Left and Right channels. It's also a 5.1 channel recording to boot.

Unlike some others, I feel the Center channel is very important, and is a major contributor to the surround effect. Recording companies like BIS, Polyhymnia and Soundmirror, among others, record a real center channel at a level equal to, or just a few dB below the Left and Right channels. That produces a much fuller frontal sound field than a derived center image, whether electronically derived, or acoustically using the left and Right speakers.

It's something I've never understood. Why some producers/engineers play down the Center channel. Otherwise, it's a pretty OK sounding SACD.

Tom

Post by Castor November 13, 2009 (4 of 13)
Thanks Bill and Tom for your replies to my query.

You are right Tom, there is some centre channel sound, but I could only detect it (having read your reply) by turning off all the other channels and raising the volume to a very high level.
It seems pointless to me for a label to use the centre in this way.Exton is another culprit.

I enjoyed Zander's performance and particularly the discussion CD. Zander is an enthralling communicator, almost on a par with Lenny.

Post by rosenkavalier817 November 13, 2009 (5 of 13)
Slightly off topic, but I'm currently reading "The Art of Possibility," a book that Zander wrote with his wife. The book is about strategies for dealing with situations and people and looking beyond the everyday quantitative style of approaching life. The book contains several wonderful anecdotes of orchestral rehearsals, performances and classes with Mahler's music prominently featured. It's short, and a great read. Highly recommended.

Post by Cherubino November 13, 2009 (6 of 13)
rosenkavalier817 said:

Slightly off topic, but I'm currently reading "The Art of Possibility," a book that Zander wrote with his wife. The book is about strategies for dealing with situations and people and looking beyond the everyday quantitative style of approaching life. The book contains several wonderful anecdotes of orchestral rehearsals, performances and classes with Mahler's music prominently featured. It's short, and a great read. Highly recommended.

Some years ago I attended a performance of the Mahler 9th conducted by Zander. Before the concert he spoke for about an hour and related many interesting things about Mahler and the symphony he was about to conduct. If you have a chance to attend such an event, do try to go.

Post by tailspn November 13, 2009 (7 of 13)
Cherubino said:

If you have a chance to attend such an event, do try to go.

He teaches at the New England Conservatory, and usually conducts three or four concerts there at Jordan Hall. He's also the conductor of the Boston Phil, and conducts at least four concerts yearly between Jordan and Symphony Halls. He's a very approachable and nice guy.

Post by Cherubino November 13, 2009 (8 of 13)
tailspn said:

He teaches at the New England Conservatory, and usually conducts three or four concerts there at Jordan Hall. He's also the conductor of the Boston Phil, and conducts at least four concerts yearly between Jordan and Symphony Halls. He's a very approachable and nice guy.

Yes, and he answers his e-mails.

Post by wehecht November 13, 2009 (9 of 13)
tailspn said:

There is a Center channel, but it is recorded at -34dB relative to the front Left and Right channels. It's also a 5.1 channel recording to boot.

Unlike some others, I feel the Center channel is very important, and is a major contributor to the surround effect. Recording companies like BIS, Polyhymnia and Soundmirror, among others, record a real center channel at a level equal to, or just a few dB below the Left and Right channels. That produces a much fuller frontal sound field than a derived center image, whether electronically derived, or acoustically using the left and Right speakers.

It's something I've never understood. Why some producers/engineers play down the Center channel. Otherwise, it's a pretty OK sounding SACD.

Tom

Well, I guess I'm permanently off the roster of "golden ears" since I listened for a couple of minutes with my ear right against the center channel speaker and heard nothing, which, together with the equivocal liner note, was all I thought I needed to make the call. I guess it just goes to show that at least some of us ought to be humble about what we're absolutely sure we can detect by ear alone. Thanks for correcting my mistake.

Bill

Post by Disbeliever November 15, 2009 (10 of 13)
tailspn said:

There is a Center channel, but it is recorded at -34dB relative to the front Left and Right channels. It's also a 5.1 channel recording to boot.

Unlike some others, I feel the Center channel is very important, and is a major contributor to the surround effect. Recording companies like BIS, Polyhymnia and Soundmirror, among others, record a real center channel at a level equal to, or just a few dB below the Left and Right channels. That produces a much fuller frontal sound field than a derived center image, whether electronically derived, or acoustically using the left and Right speakers.

It's something I've never understood. Why some producers/engineers play down the Center channel. Otherwise, it's a pretty OK sounding SACD.

Tom

I find a centre channel speaker a complete waste of time & money, I was stupid enough to buy the KEF XQ50 mainly because my front speakers contain Kef units and I fell victim to the marketing propaganda that the centre channel speaker is the most important in a surround sound system.

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