Friday, May 30, 2008

Andre Bocelli Romaza & Amore

My first encounter with Andrea Bocelli was in the year 2000 when I as posted to Cambodia. There are not much leisure activity in Phnom Penh, so music and watching DVD movies were the major activities.
I remembered having my set up using the Mini Houston and a pair of Dali Menuet II Speakers. The set up was cheap and simple, but the joy of listening to music was truly an enjoyment. There is no hifi forum then and there was no audiophimes club in Phnom Penh but listening to music was peaceful and trully a joy.
In Hong Kong, however, the hifi scene is very mature and complicated with many audiophiles with very expensive gears as well as much activities in the various forum. However, with much people, activities inevitably bring much jealousy, conflict and "issues"..
I have stopped participating in the various forum as it is more of a place "dominated" by a few a few individuals and group rather then a place for genuine sharing and allowing differences in views and opinion to prevail. After all, listening to music is only a hobby and there can be many views and perceptions...
Con Te Partiro....Time to Say a good song to summarise my feeling toards the forum..
Enjoy music : )

Puccini La Boheme & Turandot

After a long hard week of walking, I have spent the morning listening to Puccini's La Boheme and Turandot!

1. Puccini - Turandot / Sutherland · Pavarotti · Caballé · Ghiaurov · Krause · Pears · LPO · Mehta

2. Puccini - La Bohème / Freni, Pavarotti, Harwood, Ghiaurov, Karajan

Borodin Polovtsian Dances & Symphonies 2 & 3

Another of my favourite Ansermet conducted music!

Friday, May 23, 2008

Rimsky-Korsakov: Scheherazade for orchestra Op36; Russian Easter Festival Overture Op36

Rimsky-Korsakov: Scheherazade for orchestra Op36; Russian Easter Festival Overture Op36.

This is one of my favourite as it was being conducted by Ansertmet..

Anton Bruckner No 7

From what I have read in the net, Karajan ended his recording career with this CD.
Karajan was one of my favorite conductor, and this is definitely the best 7th symphony of Bruckner.
With Karajan's interpretation and and the magical tool of the Wiener Philharmonic pretty much assures us of the great sound.
The 7th is reputedly the "easiest" and "smoothest" symphony for any one new to classical music. The composer's long phrases are so beautiful and it is great symphony when one needs to unwind after a hard days work! There are some symphonies may sound too "heavy" for one to digest..

Music for enjoyment!

The purpose of music is to help one relax and de-stress. Listening to classical music could also help one to be more refined and cultured.
However, there are audiophiles who has forgotten the objective of hifi, i.e. the presentation of music and to help one to be more refined and be a better person..
At some of the Hifi forum, one can easily see very offensive remarks made by audiophiles with narrow minded.
Recently, I was being "attacked" by an audiophiles for raising the subject of clones hif equipement. I have no problem if one do the clone as a DIY project. However, there are some Chinese companies who produced kit set and sell them using the various existing companies brand registered trademarks ..which I find a bit not very right...
For companies such as Western Electric, who are no longer in production , my guess is that maybe the trade mark licenses has already been expired?...

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Orff: Carmina Burana

This is evening, I took out Orff Carmina Burana. It was very musical and for those who are not familiar with the classical music, you would often find the usic very familiar as many part of this music have been often "extracted" out to be used in the various TV commercials sound track! Perhaps that is the power of classical music?!

Som background information from the net:
Orff is most known for Carmina Burana (1937), a "scenic cantata". It is the first of a trilogy that also includes Catulli Carmina and Trionfo di Afrodite. Carmina Burana reflected his interest in medieval German poetry. Together the trilogy is called Trionfi, or "triumphs". The composer described it as the celebration of the triumph of the human spirit through sexual and holistic balance. The work was based on thirteenth-century poetry found in a manuscript dubbed the Codex latinus monacensis found in a Bavarian monastery in 1803 and written by the Goliards; this collection is also known as Carmina Burana. While "modern" in some of his compositional techniques, Orff was able to capture the spirit of the medieval period in this trilogy, with infectious rhythms and easy tonalities. The medieval poems, written in an early form of German and Latin, are often racy, but without descending into smut.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Anton Bruckner Symphonie no 9

Yesterday, I went to my favourite CD shop and got myself an early version of the Anton Bruckner no 9, incomplete symphony. Even though Bruckner has not completed his Ninth Symphony, that has not stopped any maestro and orchestra from attempting to master what is perhaps one of the composer's greastest works. The three movements that Bruckner completed are just so magnificent!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Clone amplifiers vs Original

The Hifi world is getting smaller and smaller as less and less people is coming into the hobby and more and more of them are moving into AV or MP3 & MP4.

To make matter worst, in Hong Kong, there is a trend of "cloning" amplifiers. Previously, there are DIYers who used the schematic and built their own DIY amplifiers which is very positive in nature!

Now, there are "advancement " as they are people literally copying and building Kit set even using name such as Pass Lab, Matisse Reference.. What happended to copy right?

We can copy the design, circuit to DIY but to put the name of the company? Perhaps the Chinese companies doing these kits set should just leave out the "name" of the brand and just leave it as anonimous? However, there are many who have bought the "replica" hifi chassis from China with all the printed brand name and logo and when fully assembled, it will look identical to the genuine one. Its the same as the fake LV bags copying the desgn and logo...

For the record, I have sold away my clone WE preamplifier ...

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Gustav Holst : The Planets

The Planets Op. 32[1] is a seven-movement orchestral suite by the English composer Gustav Holst, written between 1914 and 1916. The Planets is the most-performed composition by an English composer.

Mars, the Bringer of War
Venus, the Bringer of Peace
Mercury, the Winged Messenger
Jupiter, the Bringer of Jollity
Saturn, the Bringer of Old Age
Uranus, the Magician
Neptune, the Mystic .

Even though the music was composed during the 1914-16, it still sound very modern and relevant today..stars wars music....
There are two stars missing..The Earth and...

Monday, May 12, 2008

Devil's dance Cd

Franz von Suppe

Last night, I have spent quite some time listening to Franz von Suppe's light Cavalry. Many of Suppé's operas have nearly sunken to oblivion, with the exception of the overtures, particularly Leichte Kavallerie (Light Cavalry).

For those who feel that classical is boring and will make you fall asleep, you can try listening to Suppe's light Cavalry, conducted by my favorite Karajan!

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Simon Rattle Mahler No 9 with German speakers

As I have decided to stop my Lowther project, this morning I have hooked up my Western electric amplifiers with my German made KSP215k speakers. The magical thing about the KSP215k is that they have a cellulose dust cap which gives the extended high frequency response. The Ball Ball speaker cabinets were made by a company called Veb Statron around 70's (the space age era) for using the ksp215k at home. I know the drivers will be able to maximise to its optimum if I have used it in a larger cabinet. However, I like the idea of keeping everything in its original stage, I have decided to use it as it is.

I have the Karajan Mahler No 9 which was great and Simon Rattle is different and is better in a number of smaller details..

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Classical Music appreciation

I have been listening to more and more classical music lately. I was a violinist when I was in my primary school but I have stopped since going into Secondary school.
Nevertheless, I have started to appreciate classical music more and my favorite composers are Mozart, Beethovem, Bizet etc... For those who want to start appreciation of classical music can start with the books which talk about the various composers and their music! Really interesting bedtime reading!
Enjoy music! Enjoy Life!

Monday, May 05, 2008

No more speakers

After receiving the sad news last night, my mood for speakers search has been drastically reduced.

I have decided to stop my search for Lowther speakers project.. : (

Mozart Requiem

Yesterday evening was a sad night after I heard the news that my University classmate John has passed away as a result of sickness.

As a respect to my old friend, and for all the laughters that we have shared during our NUS University's days, I would like to dedicate The Requiem Mass in D minor (K. 626) by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart to John.

The Mozart Requiem was composed in 1791. The requiem was Mozart's last composition, and is one of his most powerful and recognized works, not only for its music, but also for the debate over how much of the music Mozart managed to complete before his death, and how much was later composed by his student Franz Xaver Süssmayr.

Despite debate about how much of the music was Mozart's, the Requiem has taken a prominent place as one of Mozart's most important works.

Here is to you John! Rest well!

Sunday, May 04, 2008

The Search for Lowther cabinet

The search for Lowther cabinets is a tough one as I have very little infomation on where to start. It is difficult as most of my friends either played with fullrange speakers, LS3/5a or Tannoy. Have to do some research..

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Mahler Das Lied von der Erde (Otto Klemperer & Bernstein)

Tschaikovsky, Mozart, Bizet & Beethoven have always been my favourite composers. Recenly, I was introduced to the great Mahler.

This Mahelr CD Lied von der Erde conducted by the great Otto Klemperer and the other by Bernstain are wonderful! As a Chinese, one will b glad that Li Bai, one of the great Chinese poet's poem has been one of the inspiration for the music.

While working on my Lowther speakers project, lets enjoy the Mahler CDs! Cheers

Friday, May 02, 2008

Hifi Book

I have helped my friends to buy the hifi book and a copy for myself. While it is a good attempt, the book can be seen as a history book of hifi and collection of catalogue and most of the photos are old valuable advertisement.

Since there are so many collectors of vintage gears in Hong Kong, Alan could easily borrow some real photos for the book? In addition, it will be beneficial to the reader if the book could mention the sound charateristics of the various amplifiers and the various perfect match as well. Just my 2 cents of comments.. A good attempt!

: )

Lowther speakers

Recently my hands become itchy again as I was offered an opprtnity to get apair of vintage Lowther PM4a speakers. I have herd so much about the Lowther speakers and has avoided it as these are difficult speakers to tame.

However, I have heard from my friend David's place once and I must say that the Lowther is one nice pair of speakers with a class of its own.

To buy or not to buy? In the end, I leave it up to fate as I have told myself I am able to sell my Tannoy 12 inch gold, it means that I should get the pair of Lowther. If not, I will just stick with the good old Tannoy!