- Aug 15, 2020
- Southampton, UK
On the latest issue of the Sound on Sound magazine there is a piece about the legendary Decca recordings of Wagner operas from the 50s. I found the following very interesting and wanted to share with the members.
The new transfers of Decca’s Ring recordings demonstrate that, in the hands of an expert technical team, tape recording in the 1950s and early ’60s offered amazingly high fidelity. In particular, the recorded bandwidth far exceeded that of any contemporary playback system. “When I’m de‑noising, I can see all the frequencies in the spectral editor,” says Philip Siney. “When the percussion gets going, the harmonics go way above 20kHz. There’s a line whistle from the television at 45kHz that’s clearly visible! And on the bass side, I was surprised because I haven’t had to add anything at all. What’s fed to the subwoofer is completely how it was off the analogue tape. The frequencies go down to 20Hz, it’s incredible. And at the time, they were listening on Tannoy Canterburys. They wouldn’t have heard any of this!”
“You can hear all sorts of thumps from Solti on the rostrum,” adds Dominic Fyfe. “And the street that the Sofiensaal was on had trams that ran up and down. If it got in the way of your musical appreciation, we’ve taken that out. But other things, studio noises and so on, we’ve not gone over the top in just removing everything.”