The Best Acoustical CDs or Records you know of

Discussion in 'Microphones (live or studio)' started by Thomas W. Bethel, Jan 4, 2005.

  1. Thomas W. Bethel

    Thomas W. Bethel Distinguished Member

    Dec 12, 2001
    Oberlin, OH
    Home Page:
    I have been listening to a lot of well recorded acoustic music CDs and records (you know those big black CDs with a small center hole <grin>) over the holidays and was wondering if others on this forum would care to give me their "favorite" listing of others that they thought were well done. Thanks

    Here are a couple to start off with...from my list of favorites: (Not in any order)

    Glass Bead Game - JMR-15 - John Marks Records

    Test Record 1- Depth of Image - CD7900 Opus 3

    Kronos Quartet - Pieces of Africa - 9 79275-2 Elektra Nonesuch

    Eric Bibb & Needed Time - Sprit and the Blues - Opus 3

    Appalachia Waltz SK68460 Sony

    The Lynne Arriale Trio- When you Listen - dmp CD-511

    Lee Ritenour Dave Grusin - Two Worlds - 012-157 960-2 Decca

    James Galway- A song of Home and American Musical Journey - 09026-638832 RCA

    Patricia Barber - Modern Cool - 7243 5 21811 2 4 Blue Note

    Mark Isham - Blue Sun- K67227 Columbia

    Test CD 4.1 - Depth of image-Timbre-Dynamics CD 19400 Opus 3

    The Mad Buckgoat - Ancient Music of Ireland - Dorian DOR-90279

    Appalachian Journey 7464-66782-2 Sony

    Short Trip Home SK60864 Sony

    Lynne Arriale Trio - The Eyes Have It - dmp CD-502

    Beck Ryerson dmp CD-521

    A Meeting by the River - Water Lily Acoustics - WLA-CS-29 CD

    Patricia Barber Companion - Blue Note - 72435-22963 2 3

    Lee Ritenour - This is Love - 31455 76432 Le Music

    I would love to know of others to add to my collection if you have the time to reply. Especially for me, Classical, Jazz, Folk and World Music selections would be most welcome but any and all are valid. Some of the best CDs I have in my collection were either ones I was given or recommended by friends that I had never heard or heard of before.

  2. FifthCircle

    FifthCircle Well-Known Member

    Feb 12, 2001
    Los Angeles, CA
    Home Page:
    Here are some of my favorites... Not all are perfect sonic recordings, but they are some great recordings. I guess the question is- when is the performance more important than the recording?

    Kronos Quartet- Black Angels

    Brahms/Mozart Clarinet Quitets, Mitchell Lurie and the Muir Quartet on Eco classics- An absolutely stunning performance and recording. IMO, the one that all others should be judged.

    Brahms complete trios- Beaux Arts Trio. on Phillips cheap duo label.

    Lauridsen- Lux Aeterna, LA Master Chorale. On RCM (what a choir is supposed to sound like)

    Barber- Complete Songs - Secrets of the Old w/ Cheryl Studer, Thomas Hampson, John Browning and the Emerson Quartet (DG)

    Arvo Part- Te Deum (ECM) another real favorite of mine- very well recorded and sublime music.

    Daugherty- Metropolis Symphony (Argo)

    Schubert-Lieder w/ Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau and Gerald Moore (DG)

    Shostakovich Symphony #1 and #7, Chicago/Bernstein (DG)

    Messiaen- Concert a quatre/Les Offrandes oubliees, etc... Orchestre de l'Opera Bastille, Myung-whun Chung (DG)

    Smetana- Ma Vlast Levine/Vienna (DG)

    Schwantner- Percussion Concerto, Evelyn Glennie/National Symphony/Slatkin (RCA Red Seal) (Velocities has a couple bad edits, though).

    Te Deum (ECM)

    I don't have many jazz on the list, as I loaned most of them out to a friend...

    One CD I recorded came out particularly well- that name I can remember :p Russ Reinberg- Blue Scarlet (w/ Larry Koonse, Dave Stone, and Ray Brinker). Sort of a period record, but played really well. (Westlake Publishing- available on CD Baby).

    There will be more...

  3. bap

    bap Member

    Nov 22, 2003
    Rachel Podger - Bach Sonatas & Partitas [solo] on baroque violin, Channel Classics

    Shaw conducting Poulenc Mass in G Major, Quatre Petite Prieres de St. Francois, Quatre Motets de Penitence, & Quatre Motets de Noel [his Faure and Dupre Requiems are lovely as well], Telarc

    All Baltimore Consort stuff, Dorian Recordings

    Chanticleer- Missa pro defunctis, Motets by Palestrina. Teldec

    Old Vox recordings of The Fine Arts Quartet playing Haydn, particularly Op. 76

    Aaron Rosand playing music of Pablo de Sarasate. Vox

    William Primrose and Rudolph Firkusny playing Brahms Sonatas for viola and piano

    Old recordings of Rudolph Serkin and George Szell - Brahms Piano Concertos

    Richard Goode - Beethoven Piano Sonatas

    Anything by Fischer- Dieskau/Moore

    I like many old recordings - Clara Haskill playing Mozart or Schubert, Walter Klien playing Brahms, Milstein, early Stern recordings, too many to mention.

    I generally listen to performances more than recording quality but am changing slightly the more I work with audio.
  4. John Stafford

    John Stafford Well-Known Member

    Oct 1, 2004
    Rachmaninov Concerto no.3 Andre Gavrilov piano/ Alexander Lazarev conducting (1976?). The second movement IMHO is one of the most amazing performances I've hever heard from a pianist.

    Murray Perahia playing the Beethoven Sonatas, esp. op.31 no.2.

    Maurizio Pollini playing Bartok Piano Concs.

    Mitsouko Uchida Mozart Piano concs.

    Penderecki conducting his own "Threnody for the Victims of Hiroshima"

    The HMV Greensleeves recording of Berlioz Requiem (can't remember any details, as it's a record I let a friend "borrow" many years ago). The Offertorioum on this version is UNBELIEVABLE!!!

    Black Sabbath, Paranoid. Oops! Sorry, you said acousitc :wink:

    John Stafford
  5. bap

    bap Member

    Nov 22, 2003

    With Jeffrey Tate conducting - I have the box set and they are indeed lovely. I still listen to Larrocha, Brendel, and Perahia play Mozart, but Ushida has to be my favorite. Next to Clara Haskill, that is.
  6. John Stafford

    John Stafford Well-Known Member

    Oct 1, 2004
    Completely forgot about Clara Haskill. She was wonderful.

    For a great recording, as well as a great performance, I love the old Decca version of Dido and Aeneas with Dame Janet Baker as Dido. This is a 1960s recording, engineered by mr. Decca Tree himself -Kenneth Wilkinson. As far as I know, this was recorded with Neumann M50s. Anyway, this is an amazing recording. Even CD can't stop this sounding great!

  7. DavidSpearritt

    DavidSpearritt Well-Known Member

    Jan 9, 2005
    Brisbane, Australia
    Home Page:
    Sheesh, where does one start. I love the Opus3 catalog, most of the RR catalog and only some of the Chesky stuff. Chesky unfortunately, generally, suffer from mediocre performances and performers, witness Rebecca Pidgeon (no voice) and Livingston Taylor (no voice) etc

    Here is some of my favourites, these are the jaw drop recordings from recent memory.

    Rachmaninov Symphonic Dances etc RR-96, Minnesota Orch, Oue, a Keith Johnson recording that will restore one's faith in what 44/16 can do.

    Bach, Oster Oratorium, Collegium Vocale Philippe Herreweghe, HM, HMC901513, this is so well recorded and such a superb performance, astonishing. I have never heard natural trumpet trills like this.

    Barbara Bonney, Fairest Isle, English Song, one of the great female voices and performers, superbly recorded.

    Any of the Opus3 Eric Bibb, also the Brahms and Mozart Clarinet Quintets.

    One recording I am completely humbled by, makes you want to throw the Nagra in the bin and opt out, is the EMI Verdi Requiem DVD from the Berlin Phil, Abbado, Georgiou etc. The sound is just perfect, the video production is perfect, the video quality, easily the best DVD I have ever seen. This is all round one of the most astonishing recordings I have experienced. Listen to Georgiou sing the libera me domine from track 19 onwards, if that doesn't move you then you maybe dead.

    End of gushing. :D
  8. Danielle

    Danielle Guest

    This comes out of nowhere, but I was wondering if anyone has ever come across with a recording of Bach's Solo Violin Sonata performed by Viola da Gamba?? Few years ago I heard it in a book store, but the CD cover was full of German I couldn't understand. I would really appreciated if anyone happen to have some info on it. Thanks and sorry for the side track!


  9. DavidSpearritt

    DavidSpearritt Well-Known Member

    Jan 9, 2005
    Brisbane, Australia
    Home Page:
    um, this is a joke right? Is that like Phil Harmonic? Speaking of jokes ....

    Q. How do you know you're being kissed by French Horn player?
    A. They have their fist up your rear end.
  10. Thomas W. Bethel

    Thomas W. Bethel Distinguished Member

    Dec 12, 2001
    Oberlin, OH
    Home Page:
    Yes the recording was probably done by an Irish Engineer Mic O'Phone and an Irish Producer Lav O'Lear and was on the "What Me Worry" record label.

    On the serious side I have recorded a number pieces for Viola da Gamba (FROM THE WEB: A viol is a bowed string instrument. Similar to the cello, the viol, or viola da gamba, is played between the legs (hence the name 'viola da gamba', literally 'leg-viol'). While it is not a direct ancestor of the violin, there is some kinship between the two instrument families) The viol first appeared in Europe in the late 15th century and subsequently became one of the most popular Renaissance and Baroque instruments. Viols were heard primarily in ensemble, or consort, music. Some of the different viol sizes include:

    Pardessus (high treble)



    Small tenor



    Violone (contrabass)

    Only the treble, tenor and bass viols were regular members of the consort.
    Some of the bass-pitched viols were specially tailored for particular repertoires:

    I did a lot of recording of August Wenzinger (prominent Swiss cellist, viola da gambist, conductor, teacher, and music editor) and we became good friends. I always remember him in a recording session after everyone was trying hard to figure out how to play a particular section and everyone giving very long explanations of just HOW it should be played. August turned to the group and said "don't forget we are playing music that at the time it was performed was the Baroque equivalent of MUZAK and was most likely played while others ate and got drunk.

    Hope this helps.

  11. JoeH

    JoeH Well-Known Member

    Jun 22, 2004
    Philadelphia, PA/ Greenville, DE
    Home Page:
    Go easy on Danielle, I think she's still learning.....we were all there, once! ;-)
  12. bap

    bap Member

    Nov 22, 2003
    I thought Thomas' reply quite clever and also informative.

    Almost all music used to be considered muzak except for church music. Read reviews by Corno di Basso [Bernard Shaw] to hear about the general ambience in concert halls in London as recently as the late 19th century. Hilarious!

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