Thursday, November 26, 2009

ピアノ録音の修復 - Art Tatum

今回はジャズピアニスト、アート・テータムのPiano Starts Hereというアルバムが出たので新旧比較で聴いてみた。僕はこのアーチストについて詳しくないが、非常に魅力的な演奏で、グールドの時より満足度は高かった。ひとつにはオリジナルが1933年とか1949年の録音で状態がかなり悪いことも影響していると思う。楽器の音だけを拾うような昔の録音に対して、「再演」は5.1チャンネル録音なので響きは豊かだし、まろやかさが加わるとその分タッチはやや遠目に甘く感じてしまう部分もあって、これはグールドの場合にも共通して言えることだと思う。ただ、How High the Moonなどは同じ出典の演奏なのにまるで別物と言えるくらい違った聞こえ方をして、鑑賞の楽しさはグッと増したように思う。

Zenph challenges the restoration of old piano recordings. They convert the original (analog-recorded) sound into MIDI data and try to match its touches and dynamics with the original performance. Then a MIDI-equipped grand piano is brought to the premise where the original performance took place and they make the recording of the automatic piano play. They named these processes a re-performance. I introduced Glenn Gould’s debut album Goldberg Variations a while ago, and to me it was not 100% agreeable, but I still support such an effort as valuable technological challenge.
This time, a new album titled “Piano Starts Here” by Art Tatum was released, so I gave it a try through one-to-one comparison of the old and the new recordings. I am not totally familiar with this jazz pianist, but the re-performance sounded to me more satisfying than Gould’s case. The original tracks were recorded in 1933 and 1949 therefore the audio quality was rather poor, and it surely contributes to the resultant impression. While the original recording picked mostly the instrument only, the re-performance was taken in 5.1 channels with richer dimensional energy and added mildness of the instrument's sound. It could give an impression that the touches are heard more indirectly and thus less sharp. This seems to be a common character with Gould’s case, too. On the other hand, the track of “How High the Moon” for example sounded like a totally different animal despite its same origin, and the enjoyment of listening was actually much enhanced. Fortunately or unfortunately, because I am not associated with Tatum’s art in depth, the re-performance was absolutely an impressive “performance” of the artist to me.

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