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I bought the HDTT remasterings of Sibelius 4,5,6&7, as I’ve known these in probably every other guise since the early 1970s and was curious to hear the differences that the new treatments might give. I compared them to the DG CDs already in my collection: full price AAD from the mid-80s, and Galleria ADD mid-price from the 90s. The later DG Originals 2-disc set I discarded as soon as I heard them, 20 years ago, as these sounded over-processed and washed out. I was amazed by how DIFFERENT the HDTT editions sounded. The HDTT remastering has made the soundstage much more immediate – no longer am I hearing from the middle of the hall, I’m now standing at the conductor’s side! This brings in more detail – including some vocalising from HvK, something I’ve never heard before on any of his many recordings. Another slight downside is the loss of some ambient detail. The wide open, panoramic soundstage, typical of DG/Karajan recordings from the 1960s, is diminished and the recording venue sounds somewhat smaller and less reverberant than before. I wouldn’t want to make too much of this as the dynamic range is still there and instrumental detail is as vivid as ever. There’s some pre-echo in places, probably due to print-through on the source tapes. So then, as with most remastered recordings, you get pluses and minuses and in the final analysis the sound will be down, as ever, to personal taste. Also, I listened via headphones so changes in sound tended to be enhanced. In a few sample listens through loudspeakers, the ‘downsides’ were reduced. I would recommend that you give these a try; at HDTT’s reasonable prices you can’t go too far wrong.
Rightly recognised as a landmark performance in top sound.
One of the great performances in excellent, remastered sound. Thanks.