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Questions about my classical records

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Questions about my classical records

Postby terry-a » 10 Aug 2018 17:59

I enjoy Classical music while admitting that I know nothing about it. I have two or three collections on cd that have been played on occasion over the last 25 years or so. What you see in the photos here are a portion of a collection I received with a Thorens TD160 I bought in 2012. I've played one or two of these but otherwise they've sat on the shelf awaiting some attention.

What do I have here? Is there anything significant? Where should I start listening?

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Re: Questions about my classical records

Postby josephazannieri » 10 Aug 2018 20:35

Yo terry-a:

I have come into hoards of records several times. If you are unfamiliar with the pieces or the composers, you can just play them one by one and decide which ones you like the most. Assuming one disc per sleeve, you have about 40 minutes per disc, which means you can play 2 discs per evening. It will be an amusing project. You should play each one at least once. I am sure that you will find at least one that is really captivating. There is a collection of all 9 Beethoven symphonies at the left on the bottom row. I'd start there, because of the wide variety of music i n that set of symphonies. That set, which will take 4 or 5 hours to play, should have comprehensive notes. In fact, all the records will have liner notes that you can read, which will give information that will Help you pick the ones you want to listen to first. You may find a liner note description that fascinates you and induces you to pick that album first.

Alternatively, you can Google the artists and the record numbers and see if you can find reviews of individual artists. This will tell you the recordings that have good reviews. You can Google the conductors and find Wikipedia articles about them, which will often give discographies that will give info on the recordings. For example, here is a Wikipedia article on Herbert von Karajan, the conductor whose readily recognizable picture appears as the second from left on the top row of albums:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Herbert_von_Karajan. This one, unfortunately, does not have a discography in the article. However, you can look in Discogs, where most classical performers will be listed by name, with their performances. you can also Google the name with the word "reviews," as, "Herbert von Karajan reviews," and obtain information this way. Here is another example of a review of Karajan's work generally, with mention of particular recordings.http://newyorkarts.net/2008/05/praise-h ... scography/

When I first started collecting records in the a early 1960's, there was only one reference source, and that was the public library. You were restricted to the liner notes, which generally provide accurate historical information filtered through the uncritical acceptance of the note writer. Now, however, with the Internet, you can obtain more incisive reviews.

But anyway, go ahead and play them all. If it really stinks, you can always lay the record aside and play another one.

And good luck from the old record player and review reader,

Joe Z.
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Re: Questions about my classical records

Postby terry-a » 10 Aug 2018 21:01

Don't take this the wrong way because I appreciate your reply and I don't want to give the impression that I don't. Oh and thanks for the links!

I own over 1000 albums. I'm familiar with Discogs and use Google almost daily as I look for new music. I'm busy. Perhaps I'm taking a short cut by asking here rather than investing a bunch of time investigating and listening. I have an opportunity to play some of these now and I thought it would be nice to engage in a conversation here about these records. I suspect some will find this small collection interesting.

If someone familiar sees something special they think I should start with that's where I'll start.

I hope to play at least a couple of these this evening.
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Re: Questions about my classical records

Postby cats squirrel » 10 Aug 2018 21:57

for classical music (actually, 'classical' only refers to a period of music, like Baroque or Romantic periods). But if you are starting with 'classical' music. always start with Bach, and I would suggest the Brandenburg Concerti.

Also, I suggest to arrange your music in time order, so that music of a similar age can be grouped together. Then start at the earliest, and travel through time to the latest ones. That way you get a good understanding of music's development, and helps an individual to find similar music (of an age).

I like Baroque, late Romantic and some 20th century stuff, not so much the classical period.

They say a music student should start with Bach and end with Beethoven's late string quartets. I would certainly not disagree!

You have some very good quality music there, on good quality labels (with good bands and conductors). Enjoy. :D

ps if you want impact, go with the Berlioz, if you want to sit back and relax, try the Copland, you may recognise the main tune. 8)
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Re: Questions about my classical records

Postby terry-a » 10 Aug 2018 22:29

Thanks for your recommendations. The Brandenburg Concert, as well as the Archiv Production Toccatas, look unplayed. I shall play them tonight. The Complete Flute Sonatas may have been played once or twice if at all.

Should be fun.

Just saw your ps.

The Copland is one that I've listened to but that was a few years ago.

The Berlioz is another that looks to have been played only once or twice if at all.
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Re: Questions about my classical records

Postby cats squirrel » 10 Aug 2018 23:01

you can't really tell how many times they have been played, apart from the spindle marks on the centre of the discs. Most classical music lovers have decent equipment (not auto-changers) so the discs remain in good condition. Pop/rock records are a different kettle of swimmy things... 8)
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Re: Questions about my classical records

Postby terry-a » 10 Aug 2018 23:19

cats squirrel wrote:you can't really tell how many times they have been played, apart from the spindle marks on the centre of the discs. Most classical music lovers have decent equipment (not auto-changers) so the discs remain in good condition. Pop/rock records are a different kettle of swimmy things... 8)


This entire collection was originally owned by a friend. I'm basing my play count guess on the condition of the entire collection, the jackets, the inner sleeves, the sort of dust I see on the records that looks like what you might see when new rather than on what you might see after several plays.

There are no spindle marks. The booklets are crisp as if they have never been opened.

There are circumstances surrounding the history of this collection that I'm aware of that lead me to believe what I mentioned above is true.

The records that have been played show that they've been played. The records that look unplayed or seldom played stand out like a sore thumb.
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Re: Questions about my classical records

Postby cats squirrel » 10 Aug 2018 23:49

OK, fair enough. :)
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Re: Questions about my classical records

Postby terry-a » 11 Aug 2018 00:00

cats squirrel wrote:OK, fair enough. :)


I get what you're saying. I'm not saying with certainty that something hasn't been played, but some of these look unplayed and I think if you saw them you'd agree.

They had pop and rock and classical and a little country in their collection. In each genre some records were clean but obviously played, some were trashed, and some look like they were added to the collection but never played. These two Archiv Bach records look like the latter.

I paid $50 for 200 records plus $200 for the TD160. That was one heck of a deal. One of the best sounding records in the batch was a first press of Creedence Clearwater's first album. I also got a clean copy of Neil Young Harvest. There are others, but these two of the nicest playing records.
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Re: Questions about my classical records

Postby billshurv » 11 Aug 2018 00:18

You've got a direct to disc there in the set. These are usually good show off recordings. The rest of it from a scan is all standard stuff, nothing too challenging. The Archiv recordings should be very nice. If it were me I would start with those.
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Re: Questions about my classical records

Postby terry-a » 11 Aug 2018 00:41

billshurv wrote:You've got a direct to disc there in the set. These are usually good show off recordings. The rest of it from a scan is all standard stuff, nothing too challenging. The Archiv recordings should be very nice. If it were me I would start with those.


Thanks. I've cleaned the Telarc and will play it as well tonight.

So far the Brandeburg Concert is right there with some of my best sounding records. It's clean and dynamic, and the music is beautiful.

I'm pleased.
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Re: Questions about my classical records

Postby billshurv » 11 Aug 2018 01:40

You can't go wrong with Archiv stuff in my experience. The monos are superb as well if you find those.
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Re: Questions about my classical records

Postby Listenear » 16 Aug 2018 13:37

A nice collection. - Some are a bit dated recording-wise, but musically excellent. One standout, though not mentioned, is the Mozart Horn Concertos on Philips & the ACSMF - a superb recording in all respects. Just place the PU at the beginning & sit back. You won't be disappointed.

Another, also on Philips, is the Colin Davis of the Berlioz. As a teaser, play the 4th. movt. first, - "March to the Scaffold" - a real sizzler, particularly if you have good natural speakers, & play at full ROOM volume.

The Beethoven Triple & the Scheherazade are great pieces but they are on early DGG which have questionable recording quality but the music & musicians are brilliant. Glad you enjoyed the Bach, my favourite is No.1 but as a wind player, I could just be a little biassed !

ENJOY !
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Re: Questions about my classical records

Postby Slavikcc » 16 Aug 2018 14:33

poetryonplastic has a long but very informative YouTube video on classical music on records to look out for.

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Re: Questions about my classical records

Postby cats squirrel » 16 Aug 2018 15:08

Listenear wrote:A nice collection. - Some are a bit dated recording-wise, but musically excellent. One standout, though not mentioned, is the Mozart Horn Concertos on Philips & the ACSMF - a superb recording in all respects. Just place the PU at the beginning & sit back. You won't be disappointed.

Another, also on Philips, is the Colin Davis of the Berlioz. As a teaser, play the 4th. movt. first, - "March to the Scaffold" - a real sizzler, particularly if you have good natural speakers, & play at full ROOM volume.

The Beethoven Triple & the Scheherazade are great pieces but they are on early DGG which have questionable recording quality but the music & musicians are brilliant. Glad you enjoyed the Bach, my favourite is No.1 but as a wind player, I could just be a little biassed !

I wouldn’t pick tracks, p;lat the whole thing through, that way, the most played tracks don't wear out before the rest of them. Also, I'm sure the composer would not approve (although 'Classic FM' no doubt would!

As for the Brandenburgs, I prefer the 3rd and 6th, and I am a wind player, too.

Don't be put off by old recordings, even in mono. They all have something to give. Would you be put off by a tatty looking first edition book? :D

ENJOY !
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