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Customer Review

33 of 37 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Some obvious production blunders, 16 Feb. 2008
This review is from: Rachmaninov: Piano Concerto No.2; Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini (Audio CD)
I just can't believe DG has released this record with such obvious problems.
First, the piano is overstated - mics are probably way too close and as a result the piano sound is poor in terms of clarity throughtout the recording (except perhaps in the pp and ppp passages); in fact, it just doesn't sound like a concert Steinway, rather like a prep school babygrand.
Second, the orchestra sounds distant; it doesn't blend well with the piano.
Last but not least, Lang Lang's interpretation, whilst technically correct, is just disappointing: phrasing and articulation is not in the great masters style that we all know - it almost seems he lacks inspiration - it is rather a show off of his dexterity. This is unfortunate because I have seen Lang Lang live at the RAH, and he did a superb interpretation that day (plus his favorit Liszt encores !)
Any positives? ... let me just say that the orchestra sounds very fine (although distant) and is brilliantly conducted.
All in all, I just can't believe DG has released such a crippled record - Lang Lang should record it again it (with a decent producer), and this one should be recalled away from the market (and buyers like myself refunded). All these problems are exacerbated if you listen in two channels - multichannel helps by providing greater clarity to the piano - all in all 1 star in stereo; 2 in multichanel.
I guess I will keep this record as a case study of what can go wrong in top budget classical music recording.
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Showing 1-4 of 4 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 3 Feb 2011 09:09:22 GMT
Last edited by the author on 3 Feb 2011 09:09:55 GMT
You say this: "All in all, I just can't believe DG has released such a crippled record - Lang Lang should record it again it (with a decent producer), and this one should be recalled away from the market..."
I say this: Why can't anyone believe that DGG would release crippled recording? They most frequently do. They are not interested in bringing out to the market audible great recordings, rather, they relay on artist's names they can temporarily recruit and to hell with the rest (money, money...).
As for your comment that "Lang Lang should record it again it with a decent producer"... there is no decent producer who's taste will fall in line with DGG policy; cheap, quick, mediocre - something that will sound acceptable on the cheapest most undemanding playback systems... that's DGG motto and policy.

In reply to an earlier post on 13 Oct 2013 07:59:07 BDT
Michael F. says:
Judy,
Sorry I have seen your remarks this late. You are spot on. I still believe that Lang Lang could have wonderful records if the recording job was done with Linn, Lyrinx, Sony, Channel, Bis, or other fine SACD producer. Thanks !
Michael

In reply to an earlier post on 13 Oct 2013 09:52:32 BDT
Dream on Michael...
Those (relatively) small label recording companies wouldn't be able to afford (monetarily) one like Lang-lang.
Regards.

In reply to an earlier post on 24 Dec 2013 18:16:33 GMT
Last edited by the author on 3 Jan 2014 02:33:30 GMT
DG's target audience for this CD consists of Lang Lang fans, who are interested purely in him, not in the music, and certainly not in the orchestra. These fans already have difficulty coping with his CD recordings because most of their adulation is based on seeing him perform (rather than listening to him perform), and with the visual display taken away, DG knows it has to try to retain these fans' interest by shoving the piano down their ears at the expense of the orchestra.

The performances seem dull to me, but it's easy to misjudge the quality of a performance when it is misrepresented by artificial recording balances. Many times I have heard recordings which initially I thought were mediocre performances but which I have subsequently heard in a superior remastered version and therefore changed my opinion. Poor sound engineering balances and compressed dynamic range can subconsciously influence our assessment of a performance, far more than we realise.
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