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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

March 23, 2014 at 6:12 AM

Seattle Symphony’s long history of recordings

The article about Seattle Symphony recordings would have been even more interesting and relevant by telling more about our local recording history [“Seattle Symphony launches its own recording label,” seattletimes.com, March 19].

For example, with the expertise of Glenn White, a local acoustics specialist with a UW physics degree plus experience at Boeing, there were very high-quality recordings of the Seattle Symphony and other organizations by and after 1967 (and perhaps even earlier).

Face it, that’s a half-century legacy right there. With the arrival of the CD era in the 1980s, the Seattle Symphony recorded and disseminated many more examples of its fine work, on Naxos and perhaps other labels. I recall the Symphony choosing composer Berwald over Beethoven, to carry out the concept your article indicates, making available some great music new to many people, rather than settling on the umpteenth re-issue of a famous symphony or concerto that many listeners already had.

The difference now, according to your article, is in releasing music on “its own (the Symphony’s) label,” and the technology differences for producing, packaging and listening.  It seems to me that it matters less whether the recording studio is a separate room, or is integrated into the hall’s technical equipment racks or area.

The Seattle region, including the University of Washington’s main campus, owes much to the earlier leadership by people such as Mr. White, and listeners everywhere owe much to musicians and technicians.

Larry Fogdall, Seattle

Comments | More in Arts, Music | Topics: Seattle Symphony

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