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Best Piano Recordings

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#61
I have heard this record. The mics are, quite simply, too close. This thread is supposed to be about recordings of the piano – an instrument which evolved to be heard at a considerable distance. Here, we hear very close piano mics softened off, a little, with the use of some artificial reverb. Likewise the drums, which sound as though the listener's head is a couple of foot in front of the kit!

We often criticize modern recordings for being "over-mastered" using techniques such as limiting to create a forceful (and loud) recording. Here, a similarly visceral result has been obtained, I think, by over use of very close mic techniques. A shame, because I feel the music would benefit from more "breathing space".
Generally speaking; classical recordings mic the piano from a distance and jazz recordings oftentimes put the microphones in the piano.

This critically acclaimed DXD solo piano recording from the ''One Mic" recordings series has it just right in my opinion.
The third release is Juraj Stanik's I Wonder which is a solo piano recording. This recording captures the richness of the piano and the natural room reverberation. It sounds just like a piano is sitting in the room in front of you. What more can you really want from a recording?
....It seems quite clear to me that Sound Liaison is on to something with its one mic technique and the Josephson mic in particular. All four have a natural sound, pinpoint instrument placement and a fantastic soundstage.
Joe Whip
 

Mike-48

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#62
One of my favorite is Scarlatti Piano sonatas by Yevgeny Sudbin on Chandos, if I'm not mistaken.
That's on BIS -- BIS 1508, and later, more on BIS 2138. Both are also available as downloads from eClassical.com, the latter in 24/96.

Also mentioned was Pierre Hantaï, the incredible harpsichordist. For a long time, his Goldberg Variations on Opus 111 have been my absolute favorite, and also his exceptionally vigorous Scarlatti. As I've gotten older, I've become less enamoured of his ferocious approach to some of the latter, though I can't fault the musician -- just my changing tastes. I still think his Goldbergs make up one of the very best versions on harpsichord -- I prefer them slightly to his later version on Mirare.

Going back to the thread topic -- Great Piano Recordings -- I find that some otherwise fine recordings seem excessively "clangy." Do others experience this? Or is it simply something odd about my system or -- more likely -- room acoustics?
 
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dualazmak

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#63
The entire "Stone Rose" album by Ola Gjeilo has beautifully recorded piano, recorded in the Sofienberg Church in Oslo, Norway.

View attachment 92491
I have this, and also his another nice album. The recording quality is just amazing...
WS00001003.JPG
 

dualazmak

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#64
Many famous piano teachers say "You should never play Fraincsois Couperin's Clavecin (Cembalo, Harpsichord) pieces with our piano!", but,,,

Iddo Bar-Shai plays Couperin so nicely; released in only CD format, but really wonderful recording and performance;
I especially like 19:59 Track-10 "La Misterieuse";

Highly recommend to buy the CD for amazing recording quality...
 
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dualazmak

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#65

Pluto

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#66
This critically acclaimed DXD solo piano recording from the ''One Mic" recordings series has it just right in my opinion
Well, if the web site demo clips are anything to go by, this is yet another example of that kind of solo piano recording that feels as though the listener's head is about 2m from the instrument; the seat too close to the band in a club. The imaging is impressively wide, simply because we are too close to this physically large instrument! We are too aware of the “thump” in the attack of the lower notes. I feel confident that this would have been a better record had the main microphone been a couple of metres further away and, perhaps, a bit more elevated to capture more of the sound reflected off the lid.

Call me cynical, but I'm highly suspicious of any record where they make a big point of telling you “one mic only” and go on to make an even bigger point of telling you what that mic is! Why should the listener care one jot about either of these facts?
 

Mike-48

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#67
Iddo Bar-Shai plays Couperin so nicely;
I do like his playing very much. Thank you for introducing me to an interesting young pianist! And I was pleased by the sound, as well.

As an aside, a dispiriting facet of many audio fora is that discussion of classical music centers on RCA Shaded Dogs and Mercury Living Presence recordings -- releases made > 50 years ago. No denying some wonderful musicians recorded then; still, this seems an obsessive fetishization of the LP. Music is a living art, and it didn't stop in mid-20th century!
 

dualazmak

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#69
Mao Fujita, the winner of 27th Clara Haskil International Piano Competition in 2017, plays Chopin, Liszt, Mozart and Schumann/Liszt; available max 11.2 kHz 1 bit DSD(DSF).
He also won the second prize at the Tchaikovsky Competition in 2019.

The recording quality and the performance have been top ranked in many HiFi reviews for the past 3 years in Japan (and in abroad I assume.)
I hope your web browser properly translate the mora.jp site into English, and you may purchase 11.2 kHz DSD album from here;
https://mora.jp/package/43000069/NYCC-27306d/
WS00001004.JPG


I just could find NAXOS.com site also;
https://www.naxos.com/catalogue/item.asp?item_code=NYCC-27306
 
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Robin L

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#70
I've got the Naxos set. The "Pristine" set has awful noise gating, really obvious. Over the headphones, one gets the impression that the noise ( that rises and falls depending on the treble content ) is in stereo, with a vague center image for the piano. I turned the Pristine transfer off after about two minutes. It was a relief to go back to the Naxos transfer. I've heard most remasters of this set. If my memory serves me well ( doubtful ), the EMI UK LP transfers, 1980ish, are the best. Naxos is second best. The unfiltered Pearl transfers are too noisy but the EMI CDs are worse, no-noised to death. But what I just heard from Pristine might be worse than that. Honestly, noise reduction software has to be more sophisticated in 2020 than what I just heard.
An update: Amazon music has the most recent transfers of Schnabel's Beethoven cycle. I think it's really close to the best we can get from the source material. The treble is as present as one can expect considering the age of the source materials, the background noise level is well controlled. The Amazon music site displays the new transfers with green covers in the old style of Angel's "Great Recordings of the Century".
 

Elk

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#71
I tend to prefer solo piano to it with orchestra, and I only have about 200 solo cds. The music on many of which is sublime. The only recordings recently that have startled me with their presence in the room are Stephen Kovacevich's Beethoven sonatas on EMI, and depending how closely I sit, either at the apex of an equilateral triangle or further back, the piano is either in the room or I am listening 10 rows back.
 

Kal Rubinson

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#73
Mao Fujita, the winner of 27th Clara Haskil International Piano Competition in 2017, plays Chopin, Liszt, Mozart and Schumann/Liszt; available max 11.2 kHz 1 bit DSD(DSF).
He also won the second prize at the Tchaikovsky Competition in 2019.

The recording quality and the performance have been top ranked in many HiFi reviews for the past 3 years in Japan (and in abroad I assume.)
I hope your web browser properly translate the mora.jp site into English, and you may purchase 11.2 kHz DSD album from here;
https://mora.jp/package/43000069/NYCC-27306d/
View attachment 108854

I just could find NAXOS.com site also;
https://www.naxos.com/catalogue/item.asp?item_code=NYCC-27306
I played it yesterday from the Naxos Music Library but it was PCM 16/44.1. The sound was OK but the performances were disappointing.
 

DDF

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dualazmak

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#75
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Kal Rubinson

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dualazmak

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#78
11.2 kHz? It must be some lo-fi version then ;)
But seriously, yes, I'm sure the recording quality is as amazing as the 16/44 version :)
Sorry for the typo; it is 11.2 MHz 1 bit DSF(DSD)!
 
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Mike-48

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#79
I listened to the first 4 tracks of this album this evening via Qobuz. I found the piano sound good, and the playing wonderful -- the most interesting take on the WTC I have heard. I applaud making selections of the performer's choice.
g2p8iovobfawb_600.jpg
 

Mike-48

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#80

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