Tuesday, August 5, 2008

One More Comment on Comparing Recordings

One more general comment on comparing recordings of symphonies:

If you go too long listening to only one recording of a favorite symphony, too often that recording becomes the default standard by which you judge all other recordings. It was arbitrary that it happened to be the first version you bought, and yet after several listens your mind starts to make that performance into the definitive performance. As a result, other equally well-performed versions sound less appealing only because they are different.

Try to avoid this. You want your ear to stay flexible and non-judgmental, so don't wait too long before branching out and getting alternate versions of your classical music favorites. You don't need twelve versions of each work--two or three at most will do. Every version you hear, as long as it's above a certain baseline level of performance quality, will teach you something new about your favorite symphony.

We'll be back shortly with our comparison of Brahms Symphony #1.

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