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"Di Quella Pira" by Enrico Caruso 1906
http://forum.talkingmachine.info/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=35778
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Author:  Lucius1958 [ Tue May 29, 2018 11:42 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: "Di Quella Pira" by Enrico Caruso 1906

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

Author:  Viva-voce [ Wed May 30, 2018 12:00 am ]
Post subject:  Re: "Di Quella Pira" by Enrico Caruso 1906

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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

Author:  Marco Gilardetti [ Wed May 30, 2018 3:58 am ]
Post subject:  Re: "Di Quella Pira" by Enrico Caruso 1906

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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Author:  Viva-voce [ Wed May 30, 2018 8:10 am ]
Post subject:  Re: "Di Quella Pira" by Enrico Caruso 1906

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

Author:  Viva-voce [ Wed May 30, 2018 5:34 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: "Di Quella Pira" by Enrico Caruso 1906

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

Author:  Marco Gilardetti [ Thu May 31, 2018 9:52 am ]
Post subject:  Re: "Di Quella Pira" by Enrico Caruso 1906

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.

Author:  Viva-voce [ Thu May 31, 2018 4:18 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: "Di Quella Pira" by Enrico Caruso 1906

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

Author:  Wolfe [ Thu May 31, 2018 4:50 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: "Di Quella Pira" by Enrico Caruso 1906

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.

Author:  Viva-voce [ Thu May 31, 2018 4:54 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: "Di Quella Pira" by Enrico Caruso 1906

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

Author:  Marty Bufalini [ Fri Jun 01, 2018 6:03 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: "Di Quella Pira" by Enrico Caruso 1906

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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