Customer Review

19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Whose remastering?, 21 Aug 2012
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This review is from: Complete Beethoven Piano Sonatas (Audio CD)
I bought this set, attracted by the reasonable price, and have been pleased by some of the sonatas. But there is a great variation in the quality and level of sound on these discs and I realised that the excellent reviews of the original DG release were not reflected in the quality of the Regis discs. These wonderful recordings do sound very bit as good as these reviews suggest - but only in the DG remastering. The original LPs are out of copyright and so can be converted to CD by anyone interested in doing so. The excellent DG remastering is copyrighted. So I suspect that the Regis set is derived from old records and not remastered anywhere near as well as the DG issue (maybe DG have access to exemplar discs?). I do not think that this is a release under licence so much as an independent and less well-done job. So at a price the Regis set gives you some good recordings, but the quality is inconsistent: I certainly regret not going straight for the more expensive, but beautiful sounding, DG set.
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Comments

Tracked by 3 customers

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Showing 1-9 of 9 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 17 Sep 2012 17:55:15 BDT
Malx says:
Peter: have you done a direct comparison between the sets and if so would you regard the difference as 'significant'. I understand that any judgement will be subjective but nonetheless would appreciate your thoughts.

In reply to an earlier post on 17 Sep 2012 19:10:33 BDT
I have indeed listened to both sets - and there really is a great difference. The DG mastering is truly superb - it is hard to believe the sonatas were recorded (mainly) in 1951! I have many sets of these sonatas, and this one is now a very firm favourite, and the sound is fuller than the later stereo cycle by Kempff. The Regis set has a very different sound - it is inconsistent, but much of it is truly disappointing. Regis seem to have used a noisy set of records!
Thanks for asking - I cannot recommend the DG set too highly - it is wonderful, as is the mono recording made by Kempff with van Kampen of the piano concertos.

In reply to an earlier post on 17 Sep 2012 21:08:38 BDT
Last edited by the author on 17 Sep 2012 21:10:31 BDT
Malx says:
Thanks for your comments Peter, I will wait tilll the funds are available to buy the DG set (so many CDs on a very extensive wish list!). You say you have, or have knowledge of a good number of Beethoven sonata sets, do you know the Peter Takacs set? If so what are your thoughts.

Regards, Malx

In reply to an earlier post on 17 Sep 2012 21:43:37 BDT
Peter Takacs is new to me! The others I know are Kovacevich, Ashkenazy, the 2 Barenboims, Richard Goode and Schnabel. Of those I love the sound of Barenboim's first (EMI) recordings. HJ Lim - well, I bought it but it quickly palled - the piano sound is very hard and LOUD.

In reply to an earlier post on 18 Sep 2012 10:13:54 BDT
Last edited by the author on 18 Sep 2012 10:15:05 BDT
Malx says:
Takacs is an American music professor who has spent many years studying the Beethoven Sonatas and has by all reports put together a decent set of recordings in very good sound. If I'm honest the cost of the set tends to put me off trying it.
I too have the first Baremboim set along with Schnabel, an almost complete set of Glenn Gould, very different! and a set I would recommend trying, Guldas second set: recorded in decent sound with beautiful playing if not as introspective as I believe Kempff to be. I would say his style is best suited to the Hammerlavier rather than say op109/110. The Gulda is currently my preferred set, I bought it from Amazon De at a very reasonable price coupled with the piano concertos.

Posted on 3 Feb 2013 05:49:08 GMT
Octave says:
Thanks, Peter, for drawing attention to the transfer issue. I just recently got the DG edition, thanks in part to your review. Prospective buyers might do some bargain shopping on Amazon MP (UK and US) and elsewhere, as I got my new copy for ~US$32.

I'm only once through the box, but the performances are stunning; I don't feel that it's a redundancy to have the mono set and the later stereo set. Anyone considering one or the other would be fine purchasing either, but at gunpoint I know I'd go with the mono cycle.

In reply to an earlier post on 3 Feb 2013 09:32:05 GMT
Last edited by the author on 3 Feb 2013 09:33:28 GMT
Thank you, Octave, for letting me know! Reviews are very often about opinions, but I thought this was an important factual issue.

Posted on 23 Mar 2013 14:59:41 GMT
I completely agree. Inconsistent, with some awful sound. The performances are matchless.

Posted on 11 Apr 2014 14:30:07 BDT
Last edited by the author on 11 Apr 2014 14:39:48 BDT
It would have been pleasant to see a
sticker or stamp which say "from original master"
(if this is the case) printed on the cover of the cd's,
when a reissue is being released.
An unwritten rule.

If it's not from the original source, maybe a sticker,
with a drawing of a person, covering his/her ears, and
the text : "not for audio freaks"

:-()
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