Thursday, July 11, 2013

Keeping the Listener in Ignorance

Regardless of any questions about the quality of interpretation in the performances being collected for Mercury Living Presence: The Collector's Edition, I have to voice one complaint on behalf of any listener who would like to know a thing or two about the music being performed. One of the things I liked about the old Mercury vinyls was that they always had useful liner notes. Those were, for the most part, preserved when those recordings migrated to CD. Unfortunately, they are entirely absent from these recent box sets. Apparently, the assumption was that listeners would only be interested in the "living presence" effect, rather than in the music itself. This makes for a real loss, particularly when the text of vocal music is at stake. Mercury really ought to set up a Web site from which this valuable information may be retrieved.

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