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Mozart: Symphonies Vol. 2 - Böhm

Mozart: Symphonies Vol. 2 - Böhm

Universal (Japan)  UCGG-9148/51 (4 discs)

Stereo Single Layer

Classical - Orchestral


Mozart: Symphonies 22-41

Berliner Philharmoniker
Karl Böhm (conductor)

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Comment by Contrapunctus - December 27, 2018 (1 of 6)

FedEx is expensive but delivers also extremely fast - so I received this new SACD-edition of Böhm/Mozart symphonies today. This set uses an Emil-Berliner-Studios-remastering from Nov. 2018. I compared the 1st movement of the 'Paris' Symphony (No. 31, D major) with a 24/192 download (the Blu-ray edition and the corresponding 24/192 downloads use the same remastering = MSM-Studios). For the following means: EBS = this SACD edition; MSM = Blu-ray & 24/192 downloads

EBS: clean and direct sound. As usual, without any additional sound-processing (e.g. reverb). Passages with tremolo in the strings appear quite crisp and sparkling.
MSM: Overall sound is remarkably emphasized on the lower frequencies. Timpani appears quite pronounced. It seems to me that MSM did some additional sound processing, because I can notice a discreet reverberation which isn't present on EBS.

I won't go so far saying that EBS sounds 'better' than MSM, but at least to my ears a bit more natural and pure. MSM offers a very 'comfortable' and warm sound but lacks - in my opinion - a bit of clarity.

(This is a personal and subjective statement. Other listeners may come to different conclusions.) - See also the comments for the Blu-ray Editions.

Comment by Gordon Lilley - April 6, 2019 (2 of 6)

Contrapunctus, is the EBS worth the almost 10x the price of the Blu ray audio

Comment by Athenaeus - April 9, 2019 (3 of 6)

Well... Contrapunctus is saying the sound quality of these two releases is comparable. One's choice should then be guided by considerations other than sound quality: is your sound system geared towards SACDs or Blu-rays? what format(s) do you want your music collection to be in? which direction do you want to give to the music industry with your purchases? etc. For my part, I'm going to buy the SACD version, even though it's more expensive, because my system is built around an CD/SACD player and a turntable. Plus, I'm reluctant to add another format to my collection when I've already got three (i.e. CD, SACD and vinyl). Lastly, I feel like Universal is trying to get us to jump on a Blu-ray bandwagon in the hope we will somehow all want to renew our music collections with Blu-rays, when a lot of these are just superficially remastered re-releases of the same old music. This is not a trend I wish to encourage.

Comment by Contrapunctus - April 10, 2019 (4 of 6)

Answering your question, Gordon Lilley, I just can subscribe Athenaeus' comment wholeheartedly. Personally, I don't want to support Universal's product policy. Most annoying to me is Universal's tendentially mediocre remastering work. In contrast to some Japanese companies (e.g. Universal Music Japan LLC, Tower Records, Esoteric) Universal seems to assign remastering work not to the 'best' studios but to the more 'inexpensive' studios.

Comment by Gordon Lilley - April 10, 2019 (5 of 6)

My system is equally suited to both so the difference would have to be more than subtle to tempt me into paying almost 10x the price of the blu ray.

Comment by Gordon Lilley - November 14, 2019 (6 of 6)

I did breakdown and buy the second volume. The sound is quite pleasing overall but the recordings dating from 1960 and 1962 sound quite dated to me, unfortunately, this includes most of great symphonies. Decca's recording from the early 60s were streets ahead of DG's. Oddly, the booklet lists the recording dates inside the back cover but not all symphonies in this volume are in the list. I have no idea why. I have not heard the Blu-ray audio disc, so I do not know how it compares in audio quality.