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ziloo
February 26th, 2007, 10:27 AM
As always, Carlsson has included an entertaining signature note to his
posts:

Too many pieces of music finish too long after the end - Igor Stravinsky (1882-1971)

To this line one can add that:

But there are even more pieces of music that finish too long after
the beginning - ziloo

:biggrin:

CP/M User
February 26th, 2007, 08:38 PM
I don't -get- it, though if this is mean't for Carlsson I don't see why you couldn't PM it.

Don't suppose anyone knows why Compact Discs (CDs) go for about 76 minutes? It's all to do with Beethoven's 9th Symphony and squeezing it onto One CD, though Phillips didn't want CDs to go for this long (typical).

carlsson
February 27th, 2007, 12:00 AM
The original spec said 74 minutes, and the claim about Beethoven's 9th has been disputed from different sources. I've read some other, more technical explanation about the disc should have a certain diameter and the amount of music to fit depended on the physical dimensions.

I suppose what Stravinsky meant was that other contemporary composers didn't know when to finish off their works. They kept composing repeats and variations until a piece you otherwise may have appreciated highly would become boring. Also, for orchestras playing a piece more than once, the shorter the piece is, the more likely that the orchestra will play it.

Ziloo's extention of the idiom sounds to me more like he doesn't like a piece of music to start with, and wishes it immediately silenced.

CP/M User
February 28th, 2007, 08:53 PM
carlsson wrote:

The original spec said 74 minutes, and the claim about Beethoven's 9th has been disputed from different sources.

Sounds difficult to dispute something like that when Sony were the ones to say this about Beethoven's 9th!

I only really start noticing the 74 minute CDs with the Burnable CD-ROMs.

What beats me is why did they extend CDs to 80s minutes?

I've read some other, more technical explanation about the disc should have a certain diameter and the amount of music to fit depended on the physical dimensions.

All I know is a CD starts from the same position - from the centre out, perhaps is all about how far the Laser light can move out.

carlsson
February 28th, 2007, 10:57 PM
The thing is that almost all modern recordings of the 9th symphony finish in c:a 70-72 minutes. During the WW2, there was some recordings made in Nazi Germany which went on for 73-74 minutes, but they appear to be exceptions to the rule. It would be rather shocking to hear that the nominal length of a CD was determined by a 35-40 year old recording from the second World War... ;-)

Already in the late 80's there were professionally engraved CD's that extended towards 77 minutes or more, although not all CD players were able to replay them. For that matter, there are 800 MB (90 minutes?) and perhaps even bigger recordable CD's these days, but I think that is the theoretical limit.

Here are a few links to read on further:
http://www.snopes.com/music/media/cdlength.htm
http://tafkac.org/misc/cd/cd_length_skeptical.html
http://tafkac.org/misc/cd/cd_length_karajan.html and so on

Vlad
March 1st, 2007, 04:56 AM
I might as well add this while I'm thinking about it.

“Truly there would be reason to go mad were it not for music.”
-Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky

CP/M User
March 2nd, 2007, 12:27 AM
carlsson wrote:

The thing is that almost all modern recordings of the 9th symphony finish in c:a 70-72 minutes. During the WW2, there was some recordings made in Nazi Germany which went on for 73-74 minutes, but they appear to be exceptions to the rule. It would be rather shocking to hear that the nominal length of a CD was determined by a 35-40 year old recording from the second World War... ;-)

More likely it was something done in the 60s which determined what the length of CDs would be. The 9th Symphony Album (which is also German) done in 63 (which includes an Overtune done in 1966) runs for just under 76 minutes! It makes me wonder why such an established piece of music should vary in time though - I mean nearly 6 minutes of music is an awlful lot of sound!

I would definitely say though that there were compromises because there are 60s albums which go over 80 minutes (which obviously as a result are still on 2 CDs) - still a number of albums (e.g. The Who's - Tommy) have been squeezed onto 1 CD! :-D

CP/M User.

carlsson
March 2nd, 2007, 01:09 AM
Heh. Just look at The Planets by Gustav Holst. There are several dozens of recordings through the times, and not two recordings are of the exact same length. Some conductors want to play a piece a bit faster, some want to play it slower with more power. The first movement in that suite is Mars, the Bringer of War. In modern times, most orchestras play it in between 7:10 and 7:30, some take as much as almost eight minutes to play it. When Holst himself conducted the London Philharmonic Orchestra (if I recall correctly) in the 1930's, he finished off that movement in 6:12, a full minute faster than anyone else has performed it.

Who is right? The composer, who perhaps conducted at extra high speed to fit the recording media (78 rpm shellac records in that age), or the modern conductors who study the score and put personal evaluation to it? After all, the idea of a conductor is to give your own interpretation of the work, not just act like a human metronome.

CP/M User
March 3rd, 2007, 11:42 AM
carlsson wrote:

Heh. Just look at The Planets by Gustav Holst. There are several dozens of recordings through the times, and not two recordings are of the exact same length. Some conductors want to play a piece a bit faster, some want to play it slower with more power. The first movement in that suite is Mars, the Bringer of War. In modern times, most orchestras play it in between 7:10 and 7:30, some take as much as almost eight minutes to play it. When Holst himself conducted the London Philharmonic Orchestra (if I recall correctly) in the 1930's, he finished off that movement in 6:12, a full minute faster than anyone else has performed it.

It might be okay to change the tempo in some 60s pop song by simply changing the timing to make it longer or shorter (if possible). But something dealing with Orchestras and Conductors I would consider timing is a big deal. Anything which follows a Beethoven, Mozart or any number of classical conductors from different periods of time is different in my book. I would suspect that even in Beethoven's time it was documented how long something like his 9th Symphony should actually run for. To change the length would be like changing the music hence producing something Beethoven wouldn't want.

Who is right? The composer, who perhaps conducted at extra high speed to fit the recording media (78 rpm shellac records in that age), or the modern conductors who study the score and put personal evaluation to it? After all, the idea of a conductor is to give your own interpretation of the work, not just act like a human metronome.

By that line of thinking though it should be noted that the conductor's name should be put in frount of the Composer. Hence "Fred Bloggs" interpretation of "Beethovens 9th Symphony" - to state that is indeed Beethovens 9th Symphony remains to be seen. Wikipedia maybe able to suggest what the actual length is - with the times for the individual compositions. Could it also be possible that the Recording of Beethovens 9th Symphony has added additional music - for example it includes an Overtune, did Beethoven have an Overtune in his composition? Perhaps not, which would reduce that composition dramitically under 70 minutes.

CP/M User.

DimensionDude
March 4th, 2007, 04:16 PM
On the subject of different times for the same piece of music...I have Tomaso Albinoni's Adagio in G Minor on two different CDs.

CD 1 is all by the same musicians, I Musici. Length of the piece is 9:16 .

CD 2 is by various orchestras, Adagio is performed by Radio Symphony Orchestra Stuttgart. Length is 8 : 08.

CD 1 is much more expressive. Tempo changes, very melancholy strings. The pipe organ is great, with interesting voice selections.

CD 2 performance is more wooden. Inflexible tempo. A false start for one of the violin players. Strings sound lifeless. The redeeming quality is the pipe organ. It's slightly out of tune so there are interesting harmonics in the chords.

Kent

carlsson
March 5th, 2007, 01:30 AM
I'm unsure if they gave an exact metronomization back in Beethoven's days and before that. That is unlike the technological, perfect world we live today where composers certainly write a figure in the score for the conductor to use as a guideline.

Generally, it is said that "classic" music was played much differently when it was newly written several hundred years ago. If you search, you can find a few recordings made in the very early 1900's and compare them with modern recordings or live performances of the same work. You will find tempo, intensity, musicality and so on remarkably different. Yet those recordings made in e.g. 1910 doesn't have to reflect how the same work was performed in 1780.

Of course the work still is Beethoven's 9th symphony, but right below the title the orchestra and conductor are mentioned on CD covers. Music is said to be the most abstract of all arts, as it doesn't exist in physical form other than indirectly. We all have individual interpretations of e.g. paintings, which are physically available in front of our eyes. Then just imagine how much room for interpretation there is for something that only exists for the moment, as invisible sound waves.

CP/M User
March 9th, 2007, 12:40 AM
carlsson wrote:

I'm unsure if they gave an exact metronomization back in Beethoven's days and before that. That is unlike the technological, perfect world we live today where composers certainly write a figure in the score for the conductor to use as a guideline.

One things for sure, the sound accomplilshed is perhaps more advanced than Stereo, in what sort of thetre would this have been played in because it's all critical for the effect archieved. Anyway we're going into the relm of the human ear. My Dad always said to hear classical in a hall is different from a Stereo CD!