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Re: [ARSCLIST] Aren't recordings original sources?

I spoke to Hardwick once on the telephone, c. 1987. He told me that he had to do some CD work from tape copies because of time pressure. With respect to special pressings I note that many if not most of the originals in the original LP great performances series (in the late '50s and early '60s) are supposed to have been destroyed in the mistaken belief that it would never be possible to improve on the tape copies made at that time.

With respect to "Bryan" Crimp, I remember being disappointed at the lifeless and thin sound of the Gigli box sets. Then I remember playing one of the records, the wartime Carmen duet, from a cassette tape that I had made a few years earlier with a horrible Lenco, My cassette was vastly superior to the LP transfer.

Then there is the original Record of Singing set with its horrendous errors of pitching. I sold my copy for 850 USD and then three weeks later was able to buy the second edition, mastered by Hardwick, for 35 quid. One thing is Hardwick's favour was his ability to cut an LP himself. (Of course, there is an ethical question about EMI reissuing a limited edition.)

I am not a great fan of Hardwick's work (or that of "Jack Seaman") as I indicated, but I do think the Battistini set is quite good.

Steve Abrams

----- Original Message ----- From: "George Brock-Nannestad" <pattac@xxxxxxxx>
To: <ARSCLIST@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Tuesday, October 21, 2008 6:07 PM
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Aren't recordings original sources?

From: Patent Tactics, George Brock-Nannestad


I thought that Keith Hardwick had fortunately been forgotten - his shoddy
work really messed things up during his "reign". Bryan Crimp was just as good
as Anthony Griffiths - his Patti, Melba, and Rosenthal on LP were school
examples of good transfer work of its period. The nearest equivalent to
Hardwick's work is precisely to spell Bryan Brian.

It is so long ago, but Hardwick had a knack of boosting - sharply - the
region around 4,500 Hz, and I would agree - with a hearing disorder stemming
from a naval career giving you a dip in that range it would be the only thing
he could do to get back the impressions of his youth. The rest of us
suffered. The proof of my assertion is easily obtained: make a Long Term
Average Spectrum of an original and a hardwickized version and subtract the
two spectra.

And Hardwick did not work from old tapes for his LPs, he had pristine vinyl
pressings made and kept the unplayed ones (you would never just press one
after having gone throught the trouble of metalworks) for his own collection.
Harwick's earlier work for smaller labels (EPs) was, relatively speaking,
much better for their time.

I rarely denigrate performances, people do the best they can, but some
results are directly misleading and hence unethical. To use an expression
borrowed from Sean Davies to cover the present case: Hardwick suffered from
delusions of adequacy.

Kind regards,



I strongly disagree. The transfers of Brian Crimp which followed were even
worse. EMI transfers were mainly rubbish until Keith Harwick returned to
the fold. However, he seems to have put everything through a Packburn. His
work on CD was mediocre, to say the least. He was forced in many cases to
work from old tapes (presumably made by Griffiths) rather than original 78s.
With regard to Andrew Walters work noted by Don Cox, I would say this is
variable. Not in the same class as Obert-Thorne and Marston, neither of
whom are really state of the art.

Steve Abrams

----- Original Message ----- From: "Robert J Hodge" <rjhodge@xxxxxxx>
To: <ARSCLIST@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Tuesday, October 21, 2008 3:21 PM
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Aren't recordings original sources?

And I still consider Anthony Griffith's transfers for HMV- especially Sir Edward Elgar's performances reissued on LP, to be first class!

Without Exception, And Second To None!

Unflinchingly Yours,

Bob Hodge

-----Original Message----- From: Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List [mailto:ARSCLIST@xxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Don Cox Sent: Monday, October 20, 2008 4:21 PM To: ARSCLIST@xxxxxxxxxxxx Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Aren't recordings original sources?

On 20/10/08, Clark Johnsen wrote:

> Quite so. But in my view there was another, earlier golden age,
> roughly 1928-1936. Many of those records sound superb, when rightly
> reproduced -- such as they never have been, in my experience, either
> on LP or CD.
The transfers of jazz recordings from that period done by JRT Davies for
labels such as Frog, Hep, and Retrieval sound superb on my equipment.
Especially the Victors.

I haven't heard quite such good transfers of any classical material,
although Andrew Walter at EMI has done a few very good ones recently for
the "Great Recordings of the Century" series.

Don Cox

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