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Grieg: Complete Symphonic Works - Aadland

Grieg: Complete Symphonic Works - Aadland

Audite  21.439 (5 discs)

Stereo/Multichannel Hybrid

Classical - Orchestral


Grieg: Complete Symphonic Works

Camilla Tilling (soprano)
Tom Erik Lie (baritone)
Herbert Schuch (piano)
WDR Sinfonieorchester
Eivind Aadland (conductor)

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Comment by hiredfox - August 2, 2019 (1 of 10)

Interesting that they have issued this 5-disc series as a box set, they have been out of the SA-CD game for some time. Can assume it was not a very big seller and they are trying to clear old stock in a new sleeve?

Many will recall there was also an excellent survey released on BIS in the early days of SA-CD, some discs of which were (allegedly) recorded in DSD before financial constraints dictated that BIS would pursue the PCM route.

As I recall there is not a clear favourite as one might have expected with such an extensive survey of works. Forced into a choice, I'd probably have gone for the BIS set but we have both anyway. The BIS cover art is "to die for". Essential to have a Grieg survey in any collection.

Comment by Ben Leggett - August 26, 2021 (2 of 10)

This set is a fantastic deal at retail - $12 a disc, excellent performances, great multichannel, and unlike some of the discs in the BIS Grieg set, none of these are 44.1khz PCM files mastered to SACD - all of the DSD waveforms extend past 44.1khz.

I think these performances and recordings are overall better than the ones on the BIS set - to the point where I got rid of the BIS Grieg discs I had.


Highly highly recommended.

Comment by DYB - August 26, 2021 (3 of 10)

I have both this and the Bis sets and they are both quite good. Hard to choose between them, to be frank. Perhaps I marginally prefer Bis, but this one is excellent also. Grieg is often reduced to the Piano Concerto and Peer Gynt (suite, not even the complete work), but his entire orchestral output is magnificent and belongs in any library.

Comment by hiredfox - August 29, 2021 (4 of 10)

IIRC Audite recordings were quite low resolution (48/24 comes to memory) even lower than BIS at the time but please correct me if that is wrong.

Comment by Ben Leggett - August 29, 2021 (5 of 10)

Correct, all of these Audite disks are at least 48/24.

Many of the BIS Grieg SACDs (for instance this one: Grieg: Holberg Suite, Music for Strings - Ruud) are clearly just upconverted 44.1 when you look at the waveform - meaning practically speaking they're identical to Redbook.

All the Audite Grieg SACDs are 48/24, the BIS Grieg SACDs are half 44.1 and half not - it's a technical point, but the Audites are all high res and the BIS are not. Either way I like the Audite performances better.

Comment by Contrapunctus - August 30, 2021 (6 of 10)

I'm not sure if ALL recordings are 24bit/48kHz. Looking at qobuz for example, volume 4, which contains the symphony and the piano concerto, is only 24bit/44.1kHz.

Comment by Ben Leggett - August 30, 2021 (7 of 10)

Went back and checked Vol IV - you're correct that the version Audite uploaded to Qobuz is only 44.1, but the SACD (like the others in the set) clearly extends past that, indicating that it was probably also mastered from 48khz PCM - it doesn't have the telltale 44.1khz cutoff/brickwall.

(22.05 in this MusicScope graph scale is 44.1, 44.1 = 88.2, etc) https://i.imgur.com/RU67Ku1.png

I've not checked every track - but I've checked every disk in the Audite set, and they're all better than 44.1.

Comment by Tony Reif - August 30, 2021 (8 of 10)

I'm not convinced that 48K in itself offers better sound than 44.1. The digital filters are almost as steep, the sharp cutoff at 24K only allows through another 2K of overtones. The question is difficult to resolve as you'll have a hard time finding files that only differ in which of those sample rates is used. But, 24K/44.1 is clearly better than 16/44. Aren't those Grieg SACDs 24 bit originals?

Comment by Ben Leggett - August 30, 2021 (9 of 10)

"I'm not convinced that 48K in itself offers better sound than 44.1." Fully in agreement. It doesn't matter at all. It comes down to recording and mastering - pick the release that sounds best to you, always. Out of curiosity I'm going through my collection and inspecting what I have, because the format interests me. I want people to understand that if they (for instance) don't listen to multichannel music, for some releases the stereo RBCD might be exactly as good as the stereo SACD - simply being in DSD format doesn't improve sound, there are just great recordings and great masterings.

Comment by Gilbert Burnett - September 1, 2021 (10 of 10)

Ben, that is an interesting task you have set yourself. I know that quite a lot of SACD's originate from 16/44.1 or 24/44.1. I often look to see what master has been supplied to Qobuz for streaming or sale but I am aware this does not always give the definitive answer. If you have it in your collection it would be interesting to see what the sacd of Rachmaninov symphony 1/Feltz looks like as it got glowing praise for the recording but Qobuz only has 16 bit master. Also what about labels like Capriccio, CPO, Membran and even some Harmonia Mundi? There is a further issue in that some DACs seem to perform better/are optimised with/for DSD streams as opposed to PCM depending on filtering etc. In one of my set ups pcm files which are a multiple of 44.1 seem to sound better than multiples of 48 so that 16.44.1 can sound better than 24/48. I wish it were not so complex a subject!