Wednesday, November 28, 2007

LPs were like the force of gravity


'Folksingers, jazz artists and classical musicians made LPs, long-playing records with heaps of songs in the grooves - they forged identities and tipped the scales, gave more of the big picture. LPs were like the force of gravity. They had covers front and back, that you could stare at for hours.' - Bob Dylan writes in his Chronicles Volume One.

'Hi, I wanted to let you know some exciting news today from Deutsche Grammophon (DG), a division of Universal Music Group, who will become the first major classical record label to make the majority of its huge catalogue available online for download with the launch of its new DG Web Shop. (http://www.dgwebshop.com/

As the world’s leading classical music recording company, Deutsche Grammophon will launch its DG Web Shop on Wednesday, November 28th, enabling consumers in 42 countries to download music at the highest technical and artistic standards. This global penetration includes markets where the major e-business retailers, such as iTunes, are not yet available: Southeast Asia including China, India, Latin America, South Africa, and Central and Eastern Europe including Russia. Almost 2,400 DG albums will be available for download in maximum MP3 quality.

Best, Kristina Weise at Cohn & Wolfe'
- who are "a strategic marketing public relations firm dedicated to creating, building and protecting the world's most prolific brands."

Call me old fashioned. I like the tangible. You could certainly stare at the LP sleeve above. or the record label here, for hours. Which is more than can be said for the new DG Web Shop logo. The photographer of the Hanson LP sleeve is Christian Steiner, who has photographed many of the world's great musicians. Steiner is an accomplished performer himself as his biography recounts:

'Steiner, after graduating from the Berlin Hochschule fur Musik, won several national competitions in Germany and it was one of these awards which first brought him to New York to further his piano studies. He comes from a long line of musicians. His father was a member of the Deutsche Oper Berlin, and his brothers were members of the Berlin Philharmonic.

Steiner made piano recording with RCA-Reader’s Digest, and was a guest soloist with orchestras in Berlin and New York; more recent engagements at the keyboard include performances with the Berkeley Symphony under Kent Nagano, and with the National Symphony or Mexico. He also performed chamber music with members of the Berlin Philharmonic Octet and recitals with his late brother Peter in Europe and the USA.

Among the singers he has collaborated in recital are Jessye Norman and Carol Vaness. In addition, Steiner is the artistic director of The Tannery Pond Concerts, a summer chamber music festival in the Berkshires.'


Less happy images here, from another celebrated photographer.
Again thanks to our son for the 'joiner' on the record sleeve. Any copyrighted material on these pages is included as "fair use", for the purpose of study, review or critical analysis only, and will be removed at the request of copyright owner(s). Report broken links, missing images and errors to - overgrownpath at hotmail dot co dot uk

8 comments:

Scott said...

You could certainly stare at the LP sleeve above. or the record label here, for hours.

Well ... speak for yourself. :-)

I still play LP's, but I have little nostalgia for them. The larger covers did give scope for some lovely stuff, and also for some dreck. And I have no nostalgia for ticks and pops.

I am a customer of several download sites, and my major complaint so far is that it's just too easy and potentially ruinously expensive.

Garth Trinkl said...

I just reread your important Siegfried Lauterwasser posts.

They made me recall the odd-angled, undercover photojournalist photos that Hungarian-Jewish photographer Martin Munkacsi made in Potsdam-Berlin, in January of 1933, when the Nazis staged a ‘High Prussian’ ceremony showing Hindenberg appointing Hitler as Chancellor.

These powerful, inexplicable photos were on display at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art this past September; and, before that, at the new photography museum in Hamburg, Germany.

I wasn’t able to find any of Munkacsi’s Potsdam 1933 ‘Coronation’ photos
on the Web, which struck me as somewhat sad given their importance and mystery.

I hope that a photo researcher can rectify this.

*

Less seriously:

http://www.philipglass.com/images/recordings/symphony-no8.jpg

LP Retro?

Garth Trinkl said...

Hindenburg

Checked, but not corrected, earlier.

Sorry.

Pliable said...

Scott, I came to your comment from working on a documentary about David Munrow at Future Radio.

Not all of Munrow's music has been released on CD. So we had LP tracks transferred to CD, which were then encoded as WAV files, which will become an audio stream. We hope to have a podcast so this will mean porting the WAV files to MP3.

I will also do an article about the programme, so the LP sleeves are being scanned as JPGs for uploading On An Overgrown Path.

Wasn't it Olivier Messiaen, who when asked which colour of the rainbow he would choose, said he would choose them all?

Scott said...

Not all of Munrow's music has been released on CD. So we had LP tracks transferred to CD, which were then encoded as WAV files, which will become an audio stream. We hope to have a podcast so this will mean porting the WAV files to MP3.

I will also do an article about the programme, so the LP sleeves are being scanned as JPGs for uploading On An Overgrown Path.


Interesting. I have a fair bit of Munrow, almost all on LP (and much in big boxes). A very remarkable musician, and I look forward to reading more about this project.

About 2 years ago, I was at a concert in Toronto with Daniel Taylor and James Bowman. Lots of Purcell and such. I asked Bowman to sign a CD which I'd bought at intermission, and commented to him that I'd seen him in Toronto in the early 70's as part of the Early Music Consort (Munrow, Bowman, Oliver Brookes, and James Tyler on that occasion). A good memory, and a pleasure to be able to speak to Bowman 30-some years later about it.

Pliable said...

Email received:

Dear Pliable,

Talk about nostalgia: I've downloaded Bohm's studio recording of Der Rosenkavalier from the DG site. A bit expensive at 33.99 Euros, but the convenience is huge. And the sound quality is amazing (especially as this is a 1959 recording). I've always wanted to have this again, even though I've got EMI's GRotC Karajan version on CD. Bohm doesn't have Schwatzkopf, of course, but everyone else is amazing: Rita Striech, Imgard Seefried, Fischer-Diskau, and above all Kurt Bohme (who can get all the low notes, unlike Edlemann who had sing some of the alternate higher notes -- check out Ochs' Act 1 exit!). And the booklet and cover artwork (including the original LP artwork) is in high-res PDF, so I can gaze at the front and back as much as I want!

But here's the point: I miss the original format in which I had this recording: 7 1/2 IPS reel-to-reel from Ampex! Ha!

Best Regards,

Michael Richards

Pliable said...

Thanks for that Michael.

The first track on the Munrow programme I mentioned above is the madrigal, Hark all ye. Our source was reel to reel tape!

No clicks and pops on that. Although I have to say that the LP transfer we made of Munrow and John Turner playing sopranino recorders in the third movement of the fourth Brandenburg with Sir Adrian Boult and the LPO is clean and very sweet.

As above, I choose them all.

Don Cox said...

Are we really doomed to hear nothing but MP3 files for ever? I would have thought that by now, as more people are on high bandwidth, we could at least have full CD quality. Really in the 21st century, they should be selling nothing less that SACD quality._____I would never pay for an MP3 file. (I don't like LP clicks either.)