Sunday, July 10, 2016

John Adams - Harmonium - Sergei Rachmaninov - The Bells - Renee Fleming, Soprano - Karl Dent, Tenor - Victor Ledbetter, Baritone - Atlanta Symphony Orchestra & Chorus, Robert Shaw - Telarc 1996

Hello everyone. Life has been busy and full of enough sh!t to keep me practically unable to be online whatsoever. Here and there when possible I have been going through a lot of discs that I have stored still at my parents house, as they are considering moving. I am trying to decide whether or not to bring them to my apt. (pretty lousy option, I have a few thousand discs there) or if I should simply convert them via iTunes over the summer and then possibly sell this portion of my collection. A "1st-world problem"  if ever there was one. This is one such disc that I randomly encoded to Apple lossless and zshared to myself; I should have brought a flash drive but oh well. I recall this being a fine recording of both Adam's pseudo-choral symphony "Harmonium" and Rachmaninov's "The Bells". I prefer to hear the Rachmaninov sung in Russian as I think it has much more impact but it is beautiful all the same.

Again I've encoded the music as Apple lossless thus there are two uploads. Lossless m4a is still significantly smaller than flac files, but should you want lossy there are many apps that will convert easily.


Part 1:


Part 2:



Paul Terry said...

Mmmmm I have to agree with you about preferring it in Russian. It seems like a force fit in some places, which is the main culprit in translating sung parts, IMO. There is likely going to be the best flow of words to melody in the original. You can always read the text if you want to know what they're saying. Actually, I'd probably manage to get the words wrong if they're sung in English, anyway!

Nico said...


Tzadik said...

Hey Paul

I have a few wonderful readings of "The Bells" and while this recording cannot hold a candle to the original Russian chorus that really is needed, this is at least a 'novelty' in a sense.

And at the same time, this is all rather ironic really; "The Bells" is after all, one of Edgar Allan Poe's great poems (ermm and English all the way - Mr. Poe was born in Boston, MA and spent time in several places, including New York - specifically The Bronx! (or da' Bronx... where he wrote "da Bells"). I don't know if you know much about Manhattan and it's boroughs but it always amuses me that Poe wrote such gloriously dark, macabre stories with such an urban backdrop: overcrowded apartments, peddlers in the streets, the sounds of crowds, industry, life.. So Rachmaninov uses the Russian translation of the poem then (yes, duh), which was 'translated' (and reworded quite a bit!) by a Russian poet whose name I know not off-hand.

Anyway, Rach's music remains intact with it's particular brand of lovely, being Rach - and it is a plus to have the sonics that Telarc is known for. Still, this is a 4th choice at best due to the English...or, do we need to learn to embrace Poe's "stateside pen"? In this case I think not :)

The Adams here is entirely successful I think...agree?


Tzadik said...

You are welcome Nico!