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Orchestral Atmosphere, April 12th, 2013

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3 Comments on Orchestral Atmosphere

  • Donald Denniston on 04.12.2013 at 9:38 am

    Having grown up two blocks from Symphony Hall I am very VERY aware of its acoustics. The other two halls (in the world) are the Musikverin in Vienna and the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam. Symphony Hall is also a very difficult to make recordings because of the reverberation. In the old days with RCA Victor, the balconies were draped down to cut the reverberation. During the Munch area, recording choral works (Berlioz “Requiem,” “Romeo et Juliette” (also with Ozawa), the norm would be to have the orchestra on the floor with the chorus on the stage. With Erich Leinsdorf (Wagner’s “Lohengrin”, Menotti’s, “The Death of the Bishop of Brindisi, Beethonven’s 9th and others the chorus remained on stage with the orchestra. This same practice was also used for Ozawa’s “Damnation of Faust” (Munch’s 1954 stereo recording of the same work as well Ravel’s “Daphne et Chloe (1954/1961)orchestra on floor (removing the first couple of rows of seats on the floor). These days the orchestra does a lot of “live” recordings (Levine/Ravel “Daphne,” Mozart Symphonies, etc). In the second balcony there is a seat where former Music Director/Conductor Seiji Ozawa called the best place to sit. No matter where you sit, the sound is going to be a bit different! Even when the hall restored the seats the material had to be EXACTLY the same as the original! The hall use to be painted a different color during the “Pop” but they soon found out later that altered the acoustics so everything had to be repainted back the original scheme. Symphony Hall replaces the old Boston Music Hall. Symphony Hall is the first hall in the world to be built according to the laws of acoustics (Dr. H. Sabine/Harvard University) with a reverberation time if I remember correctly as 2.5

  • Alan Dynner on 04.12.2013 at 3:37 pm

    What a fantastic picture! I didn’t know that photographer Michael Lutch could fly!

  • paula brochu on 04.12.2013 at 4:03 pm

    Interesting piece. And always a treat to see Michael Lutch’s work.

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