dynamic range -the good and bad?

so dynamic range in a given recording is limited by many factors,correct? And I have read many many threads that make dynamic range sound very ideal, correct? ok, that said, I thought I had a decent surround sys setup, marantz reciever and enegry take speakers. Assumed I had good dynamic range, and maybe I do. But I just set up my new 2 channel (extremly modest) system. Threw is some classical and now I notice something I havent before. The soft passages are queit so i turn it up and the louder passages are to loud!!! Is this normal? Guess it could be my room, the cd, or equipment but is this a common problem?
Not unusual.

Well recorded large scale classical pieces are among the toughest for many systems to reproduce accurately.
That is the nature of classical - its like that in a concert hall also. Very low followed by louder passages.
are classical recordings using the same compression these days as radiorock? The cd was from the 70's, carlos klieber on sacd playing beethovens 5th. very dynamic but scratchy IMO. Do you guys ride your volume control or let it be, I let it be because I have no remote!!!!!!!!!!
Use of compression will vary from recording to recording. In general, more extreme use of compression is more common in rock/pop CD recordings.

If you have not been to a live symphonic concert recently, go to one if you can as a reference. It can be an ear opening experience.

Very old recordings newly mastered to CD should not sound "scratchy" under good operating conditions. Many actually sound very good, often better than ever, when properly mastered to CD.

well by scratchy i was thinking the classical disc had a hiss to it on some tracks, scratchy to me really would be some of the horn work on kind of blue!!!!!
Hiss on some older recordings is not uncommon.

Never heard a recording that was inherently scratchy though. When something sounds "scratchy", there's usually another reason....something not going quite right during playback.

There are various masterings to CD of Kind Of Blue. I have a fairly standard issue CD copy from the 90's and it sounds outstanding overall. There is some hiss, but otherwise its like the ensemble is playing live in my room. Definitely not "scratchy".
Ive got a remastered version of kind of blue, on some of the tracks when the horns get really loud and going, they break up, same in my car, through my ss sys, aand my portable with grados! sounds like i need a new version!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
The soft passages are queit so i turn it up and the louder passages are to loud!!! ...is this a common problem?
Unless you're joking (which is fine), this is what's called wide "dynamic range"; i.e. the distance between the quiet and the loud passages.

That's a solution -- not a problem! That's what music is like: sometimes loud sometimes not.
To my knowledge there isn't a single classical recording that has been compressed. That's why classical CDs or LPs usually require the volume knob to be turned up so you can hear the very soft parts, and then, the very loud parts really hit you, just like in a concert hall. Recording standards are much higher for classical—the music, musicians, and listeners demand it.
Slightly off the main topic: Whats the best issue of Kind of Blue on CD?

Dynamic range is GOOD.

The death of dynamic range on modern recordings has made audiophiles an endangered species...
Glowplug, the "scratchiness" you're hearing is likely the analog tape hiss. Comes with the territory on well-remastered analog recordings. As does dynamic range with classical recordings--while there might be some slight compression and gain-riding done by some labels, it is nothing like what you'll hear in pop music recordings, which are often compressed to better be heard on a car radio rather on a killer stereo rig.
There may be more going on than just the recording. Some equipment, mostly speakers, do not produce dynamics in a linear fashion to the input level, so that the speaker may not respond in the same proportion to a small signal at a given frequency than 1), it may respond to a larger signal at the same frequency or 2), and more commonly, at another frequency. For instance, if a speaker is voiced to boom and sizzle, the mids may be recessed making a solo harder to hear but when the orchestra kicks in the high and low frequencies overwhelm. The better the speakers, the easier to hear through the entire performance at various volume levels even when the overall dynamics actually improve. Here’s a review that touches on this point. Just one more thing that makes this hobby so fascinating.

Pacific_island_audio...I question your suggestion that no classical recordings are compressed, although I agree that, unlike pop music, it is subtle.

A manual form of compression called "gain riding" is surely done, and when multiple microphone signals are mixed some gain adjustments are made. One practice which bothers me is to boost a soloist to unreal volume. If I turn my volume up so that the orchestra sounds right the soloist is louder than a real instrument can play.
If I turn my volume up so that the orchestra sounds right the soloist is louder than a real instrument can play.

That is my experience too. It is one of the reasons recorded music sounds like recorded music and not live music. I like Telarc because they tend not to over emphasize the lead instruments as much as some "audiophile" labels do.
It does sound like many recordings of concerti have the soloist separately and more closely miked. This changes the perception of presence, not only making the soloist sound louder than would be in person, but also sound closer relative to the orchestra.

Of course, there are times when the dynamic range is greater than the recording medium's capabilities, think the canons on the 1812 Overture. Older analog recordings didn't have the dynamic range possible with digital (especially high resolution formats 24/96 or DSD) which required some gain riding to avoid clipping or to keep the quietest passages from being swamped by tape hiss. My previous post was overstated, I stand corrected. Fortunately, digital recording does allow for much less of this, if any, and good recording engineers take advantage of the extend dynamic range.

Shadorne: I have opened the Drum Improves from the Sheffield Lab CD to view the spectrograph. It's interesting to note they have allow an occasional transient to clip.
Listened to a few choice parts of my 90's vintage standard issue Kind of Blue CD today.

Significant hiss in the background and a few spotty rough edges that sounded somewhat scratchy from time to time, but overall sounds very full bodied, textured and lifelike.

I think you just have to live with the hiss and rough edges on this one. Its noticeable but does not interfere with the overall performance and impact. Kind of adds some natural atmosphere that reminds you that this was recorded almost 50 years ago now, so its practically an antique. What a classic piece though!
Remember- a lot of different factors go into a classical recording. First, each conductor is going to have a different vision as to how the piece should sound. I have heard Beethoven's 9th some 15 times live. Sometimes there simply is a difference in the dynamic range of the live performance because that is fitting with that conductor's view. Classical music is somewhat different in that respect than, say, rock and roll. I have the Stones doing Sympathy for the Devil, but I would not think of trying to find any other group doing that tune. Yet, I have many different versions of most classical pieces that I own. Another factor is the acoustics of the hall. For many years I attended concerts at a hall known for its acoustics, built in the 1800's. Music sounded different in that hall than other ones I have been in. The live experience of classical music is quite different from the recorded version - I think Von Karajan's thoughts on the matter are interesting -his focus was on studio versions - the live performances were something that he had to do in his position as lifetime direktor of the Berlin Phil. but his focus was on perfecting the studio recording - he put it as people come to the opera or the orchesteral performance for social reasons as much or more than the music, and often to find the mistakes, weaknesses etc of a performance. People at home are not looking for the perfect music. One great thing about the live recording though, is listen to Furtwangler conducting Beethoven in 1942 (mono - sound is awful but performances are incredible) and you hear people coughing etc. Kind of eerie when you stop to think who those people in the front row were.
Someone in a recent AA post referred to this problem as "gain chasing". He contended that the better the system, the less it compels one to "gain chase" with very broad dynamic range recordings. Interesting concept.