As we move toward the release of new recordings in 2019, following up on our release of the amazingly successful and critically well-received album, The Orchestral Music of Nan Schwartz released on Divine Art (dda 25165) earlier this year – and which is currently placed in three separate categories for the 61st Grammy Award nominations – I have been researching how we carry out the planning, collaborative execution, and post-recording editing of records that we want to complete going forward whether with the Australian Discovery Orchestra or with other orchestras in Europe.
As part of this work, I have come across the work of Dr. Amy Blier-Carruthers from the Royal Academy of Music in the UK. This video presentation (ca. 30 minutes in duration) from a conference held at IRCAM in 2015 is quite informative. It’s rare to see complete conference presentations online available for free (without the rigmarole of signing up/signing in).
Dr. Blier-Carruthers attempts to unravel the dichotomy between perfection in performance (however this is defined) we strive for in recording sessions and the inevitable compromise that can ensue in loss of music-making in the pursuit of those idealogies around perfection. It’s courageous on all levels to pursue this because the commercial imperatives of releasing recordings that are not otherwise “perfect” in all respects is, in my view, currently insurmountable.
One of the incredible accomplishments in the making of the Nan Schwartz record was that it was made more possible to achieve both audio perfection and nuanced musical peformances, because Nan’s music is so well crafted and written.
This is most definitely not the case most of the time!
It’s in the academic domain, but I warmly recommend this video presentation, as above, to those of you interested in the fast-changing world of classical music recording.