Friday, 28 June 2013

Antonio Cesti - La Semirami



Antonio Cesti (1623-1669)



La Semirami, dramma musicale in 3 acts



Marinella Pennicchi, soprano (Lucrino)
Susanna Anselmi, mezzo-soprano (Semiramide)
Silvana Manga, mezzo-soprano (Iside)
Jeffrey Gall, alto (Nino)
Gianpaolo Fagotto, tenor (Clitarco)
Ian Honeyman, tenor (Arsace)
Wolfgang Holzmair, baritone (Ireo)
Michel Verschaeve, baritone (Eliso)
Harry van der Kamp, bass (Creonte)
Gregory Reinhart, bass (Feraspe)

Choir and Orchestra of the Tiroler Landestheater

recording: 1990, Tiroler Landestheater, Innsbruck
[Festwochen der Alten Musik Innsbruck 1990]

period instruments
bitrate: 128 kbps
(Thanks to the original uploader.)

(01)    act 1 (part 1)
(02)    act 1 (part 2)

(03)    act 2 (part 1)
(04)    act 2 (part 2)

(05)    act 3

download (new link):


  1. I'm glad to know that there's another classical music lover. But I have to say that who loves classical music also needs quality. Your blog will be more popular if you post your material in FLAC, because mp3 is not good, and 128 bitrate is the worst quality of all.

    1. Thank you for your comment.
      I share your feelings regarding the quality. If I rip a CD, I always go for FLAC. In the case of live recordings there is mostly little to choose. I download from radio channels which are available at the internet, and their bitrate ist mostly 128 or 196 at best. Only a couple of channels offer 256 kbps. In the case of a live recording there is mostly no alternative.
      Moreover, the quality of radio transmissions is not comparable to what is actually recorded. Transmissions are heavily compressed as a sound technician once explained in a newsgroup. He insisted that FLAC quality is nonsense as far as radio recordings are concerned. In his view radio transmissions are never better than 256, often worse. Even so, my own recordings from the radio (digital broadcasting) are mostly at least 256 kbps.

  2. Welcome to the world of blogging! :)
    Saw your request for feedback on MIMIC, so here it goes. One point of seemingly eternal confusion among most people who share stuff they got from digital radio (webstreams, satellite or terrestrial signals), mostly via discussion groups, is that they often don't say whether they offer recordings or captures. I think it would be good idea to clarify this issue for your blog.
    What I mean is that they don't say if they used a recording program to save the output of the sound card or made a direct, bit-identical copy of the incoming stream from the radio station (or, in the case where the source is a listen-again service, managed to download the programme as a file).
    The difference is that one can record from the radio at any bit rate one likes, but the sound will never be better than that of the original source. Many people offer their own recordings at, say, 256 kbps, but the radio station's web stream may only have offered 128 kbps, so this is still 128 kbps quality (actually a little less because of the artefacts introduced by the second mp3 compression procedure applied during recording on the computer, plus any "sound colouring" introduced by the signal processing by the sound card) - but the recipient has no easy way to see that.

    1. ...
      On the other hand, if the recipient knows the offer is a capture, then the sound quality can be judged before downloading from the information on bit rate supplied.
      If the offer is a re-recording, then it would be useful to say so and state what the original bitrate was, if known.
      That's not to say that a 128 kbps source should be recorded off the sound card at 128 kbps to be "true to the original" or something. The higher the bitrate of the re-recording, the smaller the deterioration of sound quality due to the second compression step (the first one having been applied by the radio station prior to broadcasting). One needs to find a balance between mimimising the recompression artefacts and inflating the file size. The upper limit here is saving the re-recording as a FLAC file: no artefacts from re-compression (though there may still be "colouting" by the sound card) but a huge inflation of file size.

    2. Thank you for your input. I'll try to understand what you mean which isn't that easy as I have little technical expertise and I am not a native English speaker. I think I have at least some idea of what you mean.
      Just an example to see whether I understand you right. I listen to a classical channel on the internet. I make a connection via this site: which indicates that the channel's webstream is 128 kbps. I make a recording with Audacity, save it in wave format and then - after cutting announcements and fading out the applause - I convert it into an mp3 file. From what you write I gather that it doesn't make sense to convert it to a file with bitrate 256, as the original is only 128.
      (If you wish you can reply at my e-mailaddress:

    3. Not quite. It does make sense as it adds less additional compression artefacts than saving it from wave at, say, 128 kbps, and with "only" a 100% percent inflation in file size, which I personally regard as a good compromise.
      The main point is that when stating the bitrate in a post, it should say that the original bitrate was 128 kbps, and 256 kbps is just the bitrate of the re-recording off the webstream.

      Ideally, one should try to capture the original stream directly, which is relatively easy if it is a "naked" mp3 stream ("Shoutcast"), but more complicated when the audio stream is packed inside a Flash stream, which is often the case these days.
      Shoutcast-compatible streams can be captured with Streamripper for Winamp and edited with Mp3DirectCut, both of which are free tools. Then the mp3 file you end up with is exactly as good as the original stream, at no inflation of file size and no danger of "colouring" by the sound card at all. You will need to find the URL of the stream to enter into Winamp first. It will not work with audio players that are built into webpages.

      Dealing with audio streams that are delivered inside a Flash stream is a lot more complicated.

      The easiest way to get at the streams in their original format is often by using a listen-again facility. In many cases, the bitrate is as good as for the original web broadcast, and as an added bonus there is no danger of drop-outs as these are almost always delivered as files, not as streams, and can often be captured with DownloadHelper or similar tools for Firefox.

    4. PS. The links that provides can be entered into Winamp (via right-clicking and copying the "link location", as Firefox calls it, and pasting the URL into Winamp), and I suppose most of the mp3 streams listed will work with Streamripper for Winamp.

      Other sites that provide URLs and technical specifications of the streams are and (Not all of these lists will be up to date all of the time.)

      (Please remove the empty comment below - I accidentally missed the Reply feature.)

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  4. Oh, god! All of this is hard for me to understand. I'll dl it and just listen - if I don't like the quality, I'll delete it later, if I find a better quality sound. Thanks for the sharing.

  5. This is actually a portrait of Giovanni Legrenzi.