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 Post subject: Re: "Di Quella Pira" by Enrico Caruso 1906
PostPosted: Tue May 29, 2018 11:42 pm 
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Victor V
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drh wrote:
Steven


As a practical matter, if a record turning at, say, 76 or 78 RPM plays at A-440, how much adjustment is needed to bring it down to play at A-435?[/quote]

A little calculation reveals that the difference in either case would be less than 1% (roughly between 0.84% and 0.88%).

Bill


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 Post subject: Re: "Di Quella Pira" by Enrico Caruso 1906
PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2018 12:00 am 
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Victor II
Joined: Fri Jul 08, 2016 1:49 am
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Location: British Columbia, Canada
[abbr=][/

Thanks, Bill,

I didn't think the difference would be very much, but I'm curious to find out if I can hear the difference!

Steven


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 Post subject: Re: "Di Quella Pira" by Enrico Caruso 1906
PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2018 3:58 am 
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Victor III
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F. Depero, "Grammofono", 1923.
Joined: Thu Feb 24, 2011 4:19 am
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Location: Italy
I also happen to own this aria but I wonder if it's the same take as the record is marked A3103. This record is part of the selection that I use for the WWI commemoration Il Suono Della Grande Guerra. In 2015 I did many careful listening tests to understand at which speed it is best played, and judging only by the truthfulness of Caruso's voice I marked down that it is best played at 78 RPM. Should it be played at around 76 instead? I agree that the tuba really stands out on this recording, it is particularly nice and amusing to listen.


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 Post subject: Re: "Di Quella Pira" by Enrico Caruso 1906
PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2018 8:10 am 
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Victor II
Joined: Fri Jul 08, 2016 1:49 am
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Location: British Columbia, Canada
Yes , your copy is pressed from original stampers, and there is only one take of Caruso singing this aria. It was recorded in the key of B, transposed down a semitone from the original key of C. At 78 it plays in a very bright-sounding B


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 Post subject: Re: "Di Quella Pira" by Enrico Caruso 1906
PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2018 5:34 pm 
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Victor II
Joined: Fri Jul 08, 2016 1:49 am
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Location: British Columbia, Canada
And I forgot to mention--that is a very nice 1909-1910 pre-HMV Gramophone label pressing you have. I actually prefer those and the earlier G&T and Pre-dog pressings over the Victor ones.
The Caruso records I have that were recorded during the 1906-1908 period are on those labels. Great pressings.

Steven


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 Post subject: Re: "Di Quella Pira" by Enrico Caruso 1906
PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2018 9:52 am 
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Victor III
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F. Depero, "Grammofono", 1923.
Joined: Thu Feb 24, 2011 4:19 am
Posts: 692
Location: Italy
Thank you! I'm indeed very happy to own this record, that by the way was pretty well kept its age considered, and that I've luckily found in the wild at a very reasonable price. I also agree that, despite being an acoustic recording, its rendition of the voice is absolutely remarkable. It has left open-mouthed many of my guests that were persuaded that gramophones had a feeble, crackling, distant voice... and other similar clichées.

Back to your previous question, the relation between RPM and pitch is linear. If the RPM are halved, so is the pitch: a 78 RPM listened at 39 RPM would emit a 440 Hz recorded sound at 220 Hz (that is one octave lower). So the same 440 Hz sound would be lowered in pitch at 435 Hz if the record is played at 77,1 RPM.

As commented earlier, I am not a trained and/or professional singer, however I could fairly easily tell that 76 RPM was not the correct speed for this record, and that a figure of about 78 RPM gave a much more natural sound, especially to Caruso's voice, but also the BPM seemed more reasonable. It is then likely that you will be able to tell the difference between 77,1 and 78 RPM.


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 Post subject: Re: "Di Quella Pira" by Enrico Caruso 1906
PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2018 4:18 pm 
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Victor II
Joined: Fri Jul 08, 2016 1:49 am
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Location: British Columbia, Canada
As commented earlier, I am not a trained and/or professional singer, however I could fairly easily tell that 76 RPM was not the correct speed for this record, and that a figure of about 78 RPM gave a much more natural sound, especially to Caruso's voice, but also the BPM seemed more reasonable. It is then likely that you will be able to tell the difference between 77,1 and 78 RPM.[/quote]

Yes I can hear about a quarter-tone difference in pitch between the two.

Steven


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 Post subject: Re: "Di Quella Pira" by Enrico Caruso 1906
PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2018 4:50 pm 
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Victor V
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Playing this record just now at a sprightly 78 RPM is enjoyable, but a tad thin sounding for Caruso's voice. I'm not sure of the 'correct' speed, if it's 76 or 77, but Ward Marston seems to have also chosen a speed of around 76 for his Naxos CD transfer. I trust his judgement.


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 Post subject: Re: "Di Quella Pira" by Enrico Caruso 1906
PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2018 4:54 pm 
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Victor II
Joined: Fri Jul 08, 2016 1:49 am
Posts: 223
Location: British Columbia, Canada
Wolfe wrote:
Playing this record just now at a sprightly 78 RPM is enjoyable, but a tad thin sounding for Caruso's voice. I'm not sure of the 'correct' speed, if it's 76 or 77, but Ward Marston seems to have also chosen a speed of around 76 for his Naxos CD transfer. I trust his judgement.


Thanks Wolfe--I just tried comparing Marston's Naxos transfer with my copy played at 78 and yes, I can hear a slight difference in Caruso's timbre. I have to agree with you--I think Marston got it right.
At 78 It does sound just a hair's sharp of B. Just enough to make a difference.
Perhaps on this recording the original tuning was in A-435 after all!

I've really enjoyed this discussion :)

Steven


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 Post subject: Re: "Di Quella Pira" by Enrico Caruso 1906
PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2018 6:03 pm 
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Victor O
Joined: Sat Feb 25, 2017 11:21 am
Posts: 83
My God!!! What a great recording!!! What a voice!!! Imagine what he would have sounded like on electrical recordings!!! My grandparents once heard him in concert and my Nonna said she could still hear him. Something she said she could never forget.


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