Posted by Gary Press on September 25, 1999 at 15:23:51:
In Reply to: Re: Re: New York Philharmonic posted by Andy Bryan on September 25, 1999 at 09:07:36:
The Bruckner 7th and Franck D Minor recordings date from the very beginning of Maestro Masur's tenure. I attended the performances of the Franck and noticed that the brass in general was almost inaudible..particularly the tuba. I believe this was part of Masur's way of rebalancing the orchestra to his specifications. He has restored a wonderful sound to the string and wind sections and has gradually begun to unleash the brass once again but only a little at a time. It was admittedly frustrating to go to the NYP concerts and hardly hear any brass, since I had arrived in NY at the tail end of the Mehta years and had heard first hand how phenomenal this brass section could sound.
I am not a big fan of the Teldec engineers though. Often the sound is flat and muffled. One glaring example of bad engineering is the Respighi Pines/Fountains/Roman Festivals recording that NYP did with Sinopoli on Deutsche Grammophon. I was at those performances and they were the ultimate in inspiration. The Fountains left me speechless! But on the recordings, the brass sound is placed so far in the background that it hardly resembles the performances at all. Very, very disappointing.
The opening night performance the other night represents what I think is the completion of the overhaul of the orchestra's sound. Now with the additional foundation of a lush and vibrant string section, Masur has given the brass the "green light", as it were. Some of the better Masur/NYP recordings include his Shostakovich 13, Bruckner 4 is very good, and...yes...Dvorak New World Symphony.
Again, I was so happy to hear this great orchestra sound top notch again. The entire orchestra sounds better than they ever have!