'Versailles" CD with pianist Tharaud on Erato

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'Versailles" CD with pianist Tharaud on Erato

Post by Lance » Mon Feb 03, 2020 2:19 am

Here is a stunning album of 78+ minutes on Erato [53864]. The disc features all-French music by Rameau, De Visée Couperin, Royer, Duphly, D'Anglebert, D'Anglebert/Lully, Lully/Tharaud, and Balbastre. The stunning soprano, Sabine Devielhe sings on one track, and Tharaud is joined by pianist Justin Taylor on one track. This is a thoroughly satisfying disc to hear in one sitting. As always, the pianist's execution, tone, and coloration is first-class. What is amazing is that these pieces were composed on instruments with a much lighter touch and are highly virtuosic compared to the much heavier touch on today's pianos. Tharaud comes through with flying fingers and impeccable musicianship.

"It's with true passion that Alexandre Tharaud approaches these masterpieces of the French baroque. He, better than anyone, reveals their unexpected colour and expressive power. This programme pays homage to composers who laid the foundations of French music, highlighting the subtle ties linking them to distant successors such as Saint-Saens, Debussy and Ravel."
Lance G. Hill
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When she started to play, Mr. Steinway came down and personally
rubbed his name off the piano. [Speaking about pianist &*$#@+#]

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maestrob
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Re: 'Versailles" CD with pianist Tharaud on Erato

Post by maestrob » Mon Feb 03, 2020 11:20 am

Sounds like a wonderful disc, Lance. I see it's reasonably priced on amazon, with glowing reviews. Thanks for the alert! :D

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Re: 'Versailles" CD with pianist Tharaud on Erato

Post by slofstra » Tue Feb 04, 2020 7:50 pm

Just a brief comment on this. Not long ago I noticed that some of the CDs I wanted to purchase were getting close to $30 in price.
Long story, but I ended up with Tidal's high definition streaming service (MQA - 96 kHz 24 bit when decoded).
I'm a fan of Tharaud, and have a number of his CDs. But for this one, I went to my TIDAL player, entered a search string and with a couple of clicks I'm listening to this album in better than CD sound.
The short version of the story - read about here, 10 seconds later I'm listening in high definition sound.
Lately, I've been wondering about all my CDs and the amount of space they're taking up.

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Re: 'Versailles" CD with pianist Tharaud on Erato

Post by slofstra » Tue Feb 04, 2020 8:55 pm

I'm almost all the way through. This is a very impressive CD. I don't know of anything else quite like it. I suppose these pieces should be played on a fortepiano, and I think the trick is to retain some of the flat dynamics of that instrument while adding some colour, but not too much. There is less attack on each note on the piano and they sound more rounded off and less tinkly than on a fortepiano. The trills are played very fast, as fast as they would be on the older instrument, and I think that's important. At various moments I think I don't like the sound of this especially the lower notes. And it is miked a bit on the close side.
Yes, very different. Perhaps only Tharaud could pull this off as he emphasizes precision over expression. At least, that is my impression of his other CDs, especially his Chopin.
I was listening to a Lully track as I wrote most of that, but we've now moved on to a piece by Balbastre, whoever he is, and it is pure delight.

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Re: 'Versailles" CD with pianist Tharaud on Erato

Post by Rach3 » Wed Feb 05, 2020 8:45 am

slofstra wrote:
Tue Feb 04, 2020 7:50 pm
Lately, I've been wondering about all my CDs and the amount of space they're taking up.
I am also concerned about future availability of quality cd players at reasonable prices.I retain my old diamond needle lp turntable/speakers as I cannot afford to replace all my lp's with remastered cd's ( but my turntable is on its last legs ). Some cd's not as good quality sound as the lp's anyway, and of course many of my lp's never made it to cd. I have a couple cd's that " bronzed " ,but I believe confined just to a few from one manufacturer years ago.Computers these days dont seem to have burners to make your own cd-r's.

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Re: 'Versailles" CD with pianist Tharaud on Erato

Post by maestrob » Wed Feb 05, 2020 11:09 am

Some thoughts on technology.......

1) I don't want to deal with the sonic limitations or the fragility of LPs, so I buy only CDs and have found no better or more reliable sound source.

2) I'm a collector, so I want a physical product that I can hold in my hands and read about in liner notes.

3) Good turntables for LPs are still easy enough to find, which tells me that CD players will be around as long as I need them.

4) Streaming services are all well and good, even if they have "better than CD" sound quality. I believe in supporting the artist by buying his/her CD(s). That's just me.

5) While it's true that computers don't come with CD burners any more, external drives are still available for cheap and they work fine.

Signed: Your friendly dinosaur!
:wink:

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Re: 'Versailles" CD with pianist Tharaud on Erato

Post by slofstra » Thu Feb 06, 2020 2:14 pm

Rach3 wrote:
Wed Feb 05, 2020 8:45 am
slofstra wrote:
Tue Feb 04, 2020 7:50 pm
Lately, I've been wondering about all my CDs and the amount of space they're taking up.
I am also concerned about future availability of quality cd players at reasonable prices.I retain my old diamond needle lp turntable/speakers as I cannot afford to replace all my lp's with remastered cd's ( but my turntable is on its last legs ). Some cd's not as good quality sound as the lp's anyway, and of course many of my lp's never made it to cd. I have a couple cd's that " bronzed " ,but I believe confined just to a few from one manufacturer years ago.Computers these days dont seem to have burners to make your own cd-r's.
It's funny that you're concerned about CD players, but I think that the concern is justified. I have a 15 year old Arcam CD-73 and also an Oppo BDP-95. The latter is capable of playing SACDs and has high end DACs so that you get all of the sound on that kind of disc. But ... the Arcam CD player does the best job on CDs. When it went on the fritz a year ago I looked for a new CD player, and they weren't to be had, at a reasonable quality and price point.
I did find someone to fix the CD-73. My advice is to find out the make and model of the laser transport in your CD player, so that when the time comes it can be repaired. My repairman warned me that some of the Chinese knock-offs aren't very good, and some are, so that's another concern.

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Re: 'Versailles" CD with pianist Tharaud on Erato

Post by slofstra » Thu Feb 06, 2020 2:19 pm

maestrob wrote:
Wed Feb 05, 2020 11:09 am
Some thoughts on technology.......

1) I don't want to deal with the sonic limitations or the fragility of LPs, so I buy only CDs and have found no better or more reliable sound source.

2) I'm a collector, so I want a physical product that I can hold in my hands and read about in liner notes.

3) Good turntables for LPs are still easy enough to find, which tells me that CD players will be around as long as I need them.

4) Streaming services are all well and good, even if they have "better than CD" sound quality. I believe in supporting the artist by buying his/her CD(s). That's just me.

5) While it's true that computers don't come with CD burners any more, external drives are still available for cheap and they work fine.

Signed: Your friendly dinosaur!
😉
It is nice to have a physical object, not to mention liner notes, and track details that aren't buried on a menu. However, is it $30 worth of nice?
The low artist royalty that streaming services pay is a concern to me. I personally think that the random streams should be included in the subscription price, but any album downloads should cost a dollar or two, to match the royalty on a CD.
At least TIDAL pays the artist double what Spotify pays.

maestrob
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Re: 'Versailles" CD with pianist Tharaud on Erato

Post by maestrob » Fri Feb 07, 2020 10:29 am

However, is it $30 worth of nice?
I've only paid that kind of money once, for a Korean CD of Alexander Melnikov playing Mozart & Prokofiev. Mostly, if amazon's prices are unreasonable (and they can be, especially with box sets), I shop around. Many times I find Presto Classical to be highly competitive.

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Re: 'Versailles" CD with pianist Tharaud on Erato

Post by slofstra » Mon Feb 10, 2020 3:02 pm

ONLY $168.06 for the Monteverdi? I don't get the eight cents part. Is that to make it look more attractive and, perhaps, a better "bargain." It's like the usual $16.99 trick … why not just call it $17 and save the space of two additional digits? For a while I was acquiring some CDs from Canada but they seem to have substantially raised their prices to equate to the US dollar. Can't blame them for that. My visits to Toronto a few years ago found true bargains and A&A and Sam the Record Man. Time continues to change everything!
maestrob wrote:
Fri Feb 07, 2020 10:29 am
However, is it $30 worth of nice?
I've only paid that kind of money once, for a Korean CD of Alexander Melnikov playing Mozart & Prokofiev. Mostly, if amazon's prices are unreasonable (and they can be, especially with box sets), I shop around. Many times I find Presto Classical to be highly competitive.
I'm quoting Canadian dollars, so that's part of the problem. I just had a look and the Ehnes CDs that originally triggered the switch are back in the low 20s.
Just for a laugh take a look at this listing for Monteverdi/ Herreweghe.
https://www.amazon.ca/s?k=monteverdi+he ... nb_sb_noss

I would like to stress with a streaming service, how nice it is to be able to get everything instantly. There's really no point to collecting anything. It's there when you want it. I read about the Tharaud CD here. It sounded like something special. And then instead of clicking around for half an hour for a decent price, and waiting for a shipment, a couple of clicks, and I could hear the CD for myself. And comment on it, not much later.
However, if I wasn't annoyed by the high CD prices I never would have gone to streaming and downloads.

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