President's Message
April 2006

1.  V28n1 of the BAS Speaker has been published. It contains 2 meeting summaries: Brad Michel, recording engineer for Harmonia Mundi by John S. Allen and Klaus Peter on preamp and amp design by David Hadaway. The high performance, low cost, Oppo DVD player is reviewed by Joel Cohen. Also an extended review of the Smyth Research headphone system by Alan Southwick, and industry news by David Weinberg. 35pp

2.  The recent discovery of Beethoven's complete sketches for his 9th symphony during spring cleaning at the Ansfelden Institut in Upper Austria has caused quite a stir in the musical world. A completion of the full version by Viennese Beethoven scholar Hans Besserwisser, based on the sketches, is almost 3 hours long and "a confident realization of Beethoven's wishes, unhampered by commercial realities. The expansive treatment of the themes, almost to Brucknerian lengths, could lead to a reassessment of his place in musical history and raise his standing as a composer." Obviously such a lengthy piece would not have been viable for public performance in the theater, but present day listeners can appreciate the extended work on CD in their homes.

A recording by the Wiener Tonkunstler Orchestra under Fritz Schreiber will be released this fall. Some are skeptical. Roland Sechter, a London Times music critic, calls it "a cynical attempt to sell CDs to all the people who already own the piece in its original form. And who is to say there won't be a still longer version next year?" Extras include Beethoven's running commentary on performance practice, deciphered from what was once thought to be eraser smudges in the manuscript margins, alternate takes of the main themes, as well as a blooper track of discarded sketches. NYT 1Ap06

President, Boston Audio Society

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updated 8/6/06