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PREZIOSA - New series at MDG

MDG Preziosa, a new name, a new series...?

That’s right, I would like to present recordings which are very important to me

personally, some of which date from the early days of the MDG - Musikproduktion

Dabringhaus und Grimm label. Many of them were never released as CDs because

they date from the time when the vinyl record was the technical benchmark. After

much research, we decided to use the biographies from the first edition. These

are undoubtedly musical gems, but there Reimund Grimm and

Werner Dabringhaus 1977 is something else that will accompany this

series: the recordings hold a lot of memories, they are testament to special episodes

and fascinating anecdotes, which were no fun for us at the time, but may bring a

smile to your face today. Have fun listening and enjoy!


Rossini Mass - „a little recording”

This, our first recording together, was

only meant as a test case: our recording

equipment was going to prove itself at a

concert. It barely fitted into the old VW

Beetle, despite the fact that the back

seat had been removed and the mixing

console was on the passenger’s knees. An

acquaintance of Reimund Grimm had asked

if we could “just make a live recording”

of Rossini’s Petite Messe solenelle for his

choir. -

What we couldn’t anticipate: the

sound of the Bachchor Gütersloh, the four soloists, the acoustics in the abbey church

of Marienfeld, the bizarre mix of two grand pianos plus harmonium, the fervent conducting

of the choirmaster Hermann Kreutz... everything came together straight away in

the sound check to create a musically and sonically thrilling event.

And suddenly we wondered whether the work might be longer than the Revox

tape we had with us... it had to be “extended”. Due to a lack of professional

adhesive tape, we quickly removed some used scotch tape from a choral folio, stuck

the two tapes together with it and trimmed the edge of the tape with a pair of pliers. It

was clear that this join would definitely be audible when passing the recording head.

The concert began, it developed a very special magic and was of course extremely

exciting for us.The inevitable happened: the work was nearing its end, the tape

was too short - and lo and behold, exactly in the general rest shortly before the end,

our taped joint rumbled past the recording head. That was close!

(By the way: we don’t know who the photographer was who accompanied the

“Cum sancto spiritu“ – ironic or what? – with an endless series of photos (SLR). And

we have never seen his pictures).

Rossini Mass - at that time

It took two whole years before those responsible for the Bach Choir were able to

decide on a release. For reasons of cost, two LPs were put together in a single sleeve, the

cover was not yet adorned with any logo, just a peaceful rural scene with the abbey

church in the background... “Anyone who was there in the abbey

church of Marienfeld on November 7, 1976, went home convinced that they had

witnessed an event of the highest musical and performance quality” declared FonoForum

magazine. “This superior achievement is due to the greater and astonishingly

extensive audibility of the sound and lack of distortion, as well as the audibly advanced

vocal skill and beauty of sound of the Gütersloh choir... Kreutz conducts Rossini’s

mass by building up the musical fabric in sweeping, intoxicating manner, all suffused

by ‘tempo giusto’.” And Stereoplay summed up: “My

favourite record... what particularly won me over: there is no unnecessary use of

microphones and mixing desks – resulting in excellent spatial three-dimensionality.”

“Résultat : une approche neuve, élégiaque, troublante, et, pour nous, une

heureuse surprise.” (Diapason)

Rossini Mass later

Of course, we were both constantly tempted to release the Mass on CD. Unfortunately,

a playing time of just under 94 minutes is just right for a double LP, but

technically impossible to achieve on one CD, even to this day. So it always remained

a pipe dream...

Rossini Mass recently

After the very sudden death of my business partner Reimund Grimm in 2020, I took over

his car. Acquainting myself with the radio, I came across “MEDIA” - and what should I

hear from the loudspeakers? Our Rossini ...

Werner Dabringhaus

Translation: J. & M. Berridge


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