Norman Lebrecht on shifting sound worlds
This just floated in from Youtube…
Serendipity find. I already knew the Brahms Hungarian dance no1 cylinder recording form 1889, but I did not know he recorded a SECOND cylinder!! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tYYkSCJuCCw&hd=1 Rolf
Best transfer so far for the Hungarian dance no1 from 1889 is (in my opinion) this one:
You can hear him improvising there!
We know that’s not real, right?
The film sure looks like Puccini. The sound does not sound like it could be real. Puccini looks to be in his forties here, so it was some time before his death. Although sound on film did exist in some form at that time, it is highly unlikely that he could have been recorded with that technology at that time, as it was highly experimental and not readily available until 1923. The sound also sounds like a bad modern digital recording, Not sure why the Brahms cylinder (which is certainly real) entered in the discussion. But it is nice to hear that the transfers keep getting better.
I agree with Warren Cohen – the sound is too clear for the technology of the day.
The audio for this silent film excerpt of Puccini is definitely not him playing the piano. A living composer tried to match music to Puccini’s hand and finger movements for a film about the composer produced in Italy several years ago. It is also not a new addition to the videos of Puccini on Youtube, which have been there for years.
Much funnier is “Toscanini Eats the Orchestra,” which is an option at the end of this Puccini clip — ESSENTIAL LISTENING!
Author, novelist, broadcaster, cultural commentator.
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More Lebrecht @ normanlebrecht.com
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