Why I love analog, part II

I spent 6 hours last night at the house of the world's most recognized authority on the history of the recording industry. We listened to about 25 78s on his old Gramophone, made in 1905. He even pulled out an Edison record from the 1890's, and some Pathe stuff from the early 20th century, in the original (almost completely disintegrated) sleeves. Holding these things in my hand was incredible. We proceeded to listen through the history of recorded music. We heard British songs (he's British) about war rationing during both World Wars, cabaret pieces from the early 30's poking fun at "Schikelgruber", the only surviving recording of a real castrato, the first recorded jazz, original Reginal Kell recordings of the Mozart Clarinet Concerto, and more.

All that, and then we moved to LPs. His system is not a "good" one. B&W monitors, at least 20 years old sitting on the ground, some old technics electronics and turntable. And through this system, I experienced the most emotional powerful evening of music in all my 21 years. Hearing these historic recordings through the type of hardware that they were originally meant to be played on was a truly spiritual experience. It renewed my appreciation of music's representation of the human condition, and connected me in some totally new way with social history of the 20th century.

I had heard much of some of this music on digital transfers before, and it never felt like this.

We need digital to play back much of the excellent (and not so excellent) music of the last 20 years. For everything else, we have analog.
Unbeliveably well said - bravo!

As an aside, any recommendations for a favourite recording of the Mozart Clarinet Concerto?
Spoken like a true music lover.

The only thing wrong with your story, I was not there to share the experience (I am jealous) !
Yes, I identify. Much of my love of music come from these old recordings and ancient audio reproduction systems. Glad to see it transcends the "ages".
GOD,I loved this thread.Let's face it it's ALL in the software!!

My DAD used to collect and play Edison cylinder records.Took me,as a kid,to some real fanatics' homes.Somehow I never complained to him that I was bored in those strange places.Now I know why.
Congratulations on a wonderful experience. As much as I love having a fine audio system, I too sometimes find that when we don't have all the trappings and expectations of our fancy electronics, we are somehow able to connect with the musical message on a higher level. When it comes to music playback, sometimes less is definitely more.

I have suspected, Lousyreeds, that you are a reed player. I think your account above confirms that you are a clarinetist. As far as reeds go, I FEEL YOUR PAIN! Talk about a necessary evil.

Esoxhntr, there are many recorded versions of this greatest of concertos. Three stand out as classics:

Robert Marcellus/Cleveland/Szell, considered by many clarinetists to be the greatest recording of all. For an example of incredible clarinet tone, this is it.

Karl Leister/Berlin/Karajan, my personal favorite. Different kind of approach to the clarinet and to the music. More poetic playing than the somewhat "stiff" Marcellus. Somewhat lighter and more flexible tone.

Harold Wright/Boston/Ozawa, good example of the American school of clarinet playing. Great playing from the Boston Symphony, Wright's playing a little "pitchy" in spots. Great one, 'though.

You guessed it Frogman, I'm a clarinetist. I concur with all the above recommendations. Until yesterday, I would have picked Leister for soul and Marcellus for a perfect technical performance. Add Sabine Meyer in for good measure. Now, my favorite in essentially all categories is Reginald Kell with the LSO in 1940. Most musically alive performance I've heard, by far. He really plays it like a piece of classical era music, rather than with the ridiculously romantic style that most clarinetist imbue the piece with it because they're scared of it. Kell was the defining member of the British school of clarinet, but his recordings are not widely available.

We listened to a few Edison cylinders too. Amazing.
Well, what I sense from your post is that you love music and that you had a voyage of discovery that most audiophiles have never been on. How this turns out to be a pro analog thread is a bit curious since, for obvious reasons, merely going back in recorded history one can't help but arriving at an analog only world. Oh, certainly, the digital copy angle is there, but frankly if it were not for digital transfers a lot of old and rare music would not even make it to the ears of the overwhelming majority of listeners. I read your post as one of the most positive one's I have ever read on the joy of music itself, on the joy of discovery and, if there is one thing to be gotten from it, on how equipment fixation is beside the point. Had, by a twist of history, digital been invented first, you would still be mesmerized by old recordings presenting touching music. A great post with a skewed title. Sorry I missed part I. Wonder if Albert will get himself a Technics?
A young clarinetist from Rio, was seducing a bassoonist named Cleo, as she took off her panties, she said "no andantes, I want this allegro con brio".
Pbb, I was just trying to frame the experience in reference to a hysterical thread from a few weeks ago that I thought would catch people's eyes. You're absolutely right, the point is that you don't need perfect gear to enjoy music to the max. The other point was that you -need- to listen to both analog and digital to be able to experience recorded music in its complete history. Simply because so much of what's out there either hasn't been transfered to CD, or was never pressed in analog.
Pbb: "For obvious reasons, merely going back in recorded history one can't help but arriving at an analog only world."

That's exactly the point.
Elgordo: if you change "was seducing" to "seduced" you'll have the iambic pentameter/limerick thing going.
I'll second the recommendation for the Sabine Meyer recording. If I could sound like her for one day, I'd die a happy man!
Glad to see that we agree. The music is what moves people. Does not mean all equipment sounds the same or that one should not spend on equipment; merely that our priorities should not become topsy turvy. Regards.
Wonder if Albert will get himself a Technics?

PBB, I already did. A Technics 1520 open reel tape machine.
Perhaps we should frame this thread for future automatic inclusion into any digital v analogue debate. Lousyreedsl hit the ball right out of the park! A supurb reminder to us all.
I remember when CDs first came out and I went to my buddies house and listened to the Sony player his brother bought him. It was so bright it could cut a diamond. It sounded so bad I waited almost 20 years before buying a CD player for myself.

That is my story...

I prefer yours

Amazing story. It sounds like something hollyweird would make a movie out of someday. Pick that guys brains. I bet a lot of what he knows, is unknown by the rest of the world.

Albert, technics??? There goes your credibility!!!