PAUL HIGGS: Pavane – ‘….. he has to be in the top 5 Pianists anywhere …..’

Out resident jazz expert Tony Andrews writes ….. The primary incentive for me to write these reviews for this magnificent website is to help redress the balance between those who achieve shear musical genius and the musical mediocrity currently hyped up by the craving for “Celebrity Status” We seem to be obsessed by being a […]

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Channa Vithana / The triumph of marketing over mediocrity? Part #3 (of 4): Van Morrison. Channa Vithana takes a view, and supplies evidence.

Previously What about Van Morrison? Yes, I think he is a triumph of marketing over mediocrity.Yes, very much so. He’s boring, old and curmudgeonly in a way that has destroyed any semblance of the brilliance from his early years in the dazzling 60s rock & roll group Them. I really liked the sharp, slightly sinister […]

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A daily dose of Hughes; Jimmy Hughes aka James Michael Hughes – “Sound Quality Ceases to be an Issue – and (Almost) Nobody Notices… “

Hi-Fi Nerds have long been the butt of jokes. Our obsession with sound quality is seen as something suspect and even perhaps slightly unhealthy. Almost fifty years ago the comedy due Flanders and Swann wrote A Song of Reproduction which affectionately (?) ridiculed the man whose sole interest was high fidelity sound, and ‘…never did […]

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A daily dose of Hughes; Jimmy Hughes aka James Michael Hughes – Beethoven’s Kreutzer Sonata – Three Decades of Sonic Progress Wiped Out.

A few days ago I compared Itzhak Perlman’s 1975 Decca recording of Beethoven’s Kreutzer violin sonata with the 1961 set on DG played by Wolfgang Schneiderhan – both on CD. As always, the Perlman recording sounded fabulous; big and full, with beautiful depth and spaciousness, yet plenty of body and presence. The piano tone was […]

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A daily dose of Hughes; Jimmy Hughes aka James Michael Hughes

Falling Sales mean No New Recordings That’s why it’s become more or less impossible for record companies to make new classical recordings. Certainly, the big-budget productions – major operatic projects or big symphonic cycles – are now (almost) a thing of the past. It’s sad. But really you can’t blame the record companies for not […]

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A daily dose of Hughes; Jimmy Hughes aka James Michael Hughes – “No Mono Please, We’re a Hi-fi Shop.”

Back in the ‘70s, when I worked in hi-fi retail, I bought the EMI 3LP reissue of Otto Klemperer’s mono Beethoven recordings from the 1950s. I then made the mistake of playing one of the discs in the shop. Bad move. Customers and staff started pulling faces at the ‘poor’ quality of the sound. And, […]

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A daily dose of Hughes; Jimmy Hughes aka James Michael Hughes

“You can’t possibly listen to that – it was recorded 10 years ago… “ There was a time when every major new technological breakthrough rendered the whole back catalogue of older recordings obsolete – or so it seemed. Once you’d heard stereo, mono seemed flat and lifeless, completely lacking in spatial clarity. At last, it […]

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A daily dose of Hughes; Jimmy Hughes aka James Michael Hughes – “Better Sound – Where Did It All Go Wrong, George?”

At some point – and it’s hard to say exactly when – a significant majority began to lose interest in sonic upgrades and technical improvements. It’s my belief the process began sometime in the late 1980s, though the trend would not become obvious until the early ‘90s. CD certainly rejuvenated the hi-fi market in the […]

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