Classical Music for Aficionados

I would like to start a thread, similar to Orpheus’ jazz site, for lovers of classical music.
I will list some of my favorite recordings, CDs as well as LP’s. While good sound is not a prime requisite, it will be a consideration.
  Classical music lovers please feel free to add to my lists.
Discussion of musical and recording issues will be welcome.

I’ll start with a list of CDs.  Records to follow in a later post.

Berlioz: Symphonie Fantastique.  Chesky  — Royal Phil. Orch.  Freccia, conductor.
Mahler:  Des Knaben Wunderhorn.  Vanguard Classics — Vienna Festival Orch. Prohaska, conductor.
Prokofiev:  Scythian Suite et. al.  DG  — Chicago Symphony  Abbado, conductor.
Brahms: Symphony #1.  Chesky — London Symph. Orch.  Horenstein, conductor.
Stravinsky: L’Histoire du Soldat. HDTT — Ars Nova.  Mandell, conductor.
Rachmaninoff: Symphonic Dances. Analogue Productions. — Dallas Symph Orch. Johanos, cond.
Respighi: Roman Festivals et. al. Chesky — Royal Phil. Orch. Freccia, conductor.

All of the above happen to be great sounding recordings, but, as I said, sonics is not a prerequisite.


I also once was out phase when I auditioned new speaker wire.  After unhooking the sample cables I mistakenly rewired the original and didn’t notice until the order of the new cable came in a few weeks later.  I had the vague feeling that something was off without being able to figure out just what 

Since bringing my speakers into phase (even with only one subwoofer!) the sound is maybe 90% better. It’s really hard to believe the difference.

Not only that, it’s changed the equation between analog and digital. Now analog is sounding palpably better than digital.


Some people argue that there is no sonic difference with systems being wired out of absolute phase.

But, with music like classical (and a lot of acoustic jazz), where: all the musicians are playing at the same time, in the same acoustic space, and the recording engineer took good efforts to capture the spatial cues, the ambience of the acoustic space, the musicians position within it, etc., there is a definite difference. 

And of course, you are pointing out exactly where those differences are: soundstage, imaging, etc. 

The human auditory system evolved to be able to discern interaural time differences between our ears as low as 7-10 microseconds. We leverage this ability when we hear soundstage and imaging on our audio systems. 

This is what gives us (and our ancestors) the ability to tell if a snapping twig in a forest is in front or behind us, about how far, etc., in case it is a predator.

Our auditory system is better at this when to initial waveform of the noise is rising, not falling. So, when our systems are in correct absolute phase, sounds are rising when they should be, and falling when they should be. And we hear that difference in our audio systems as better imaging and soundstage. 

I would guess, that people that don't think there is any difference, are listening to music that was recorded in a studio, with: overdubs, panning, delay, use of multiple mono mics on each instrument, etc. So, any hope of hearing natural spatial cues, has been masked by all the studio effects. 

ITD PubMed



Thanks simonmoon’s avatar

for this article every audiophile must read...


«Microsecond differences in the arrival time of a sound at the two ears (interaural time differences, ITDs) are the main cue for localizing low-frequency sounds in space. »


ITD PubMed