A question for FMF

November 22, 2007 at 04:51 PM · When can we expect to see Julia Fischer's website up and running again? Also, have you any more news on what we can expect after her move to Decca?



Replies (24)

November 22, 2007 at 05:45 PM · Her web site will be up within a few days; I am just testing all the features right now.

As soon as I will have firm facts around the Decca story I'll publish them asap. Right now: no comment.


November 23, 2007 at 08:48 AM · Meanwhile I've prepared two test sample pages, here and there. I'd like to know your impressions on the content and functionality, a bit less also on the design (looks). Feedback on the design is a bit less important because it will change almost for sure in the final version.


November 23, 2007 at 10:06 PM · There's certainly a huge difference in the sound quality between the low mp3 and high .ogg. It seems that the bit rate of the mp3 is 96kbps? Maybe that's excessively low for mp3? Perhaps you could mention that bit rate on the page somewhere.

November 24, 2007 at 01:49 AM · At this discography page low MP3 runs at about 106 kbit/s (variable) and the high OGG at about 155 kbit/s (variable), whereas the medium WMA is 128 kbit/s (constant). I did a lot of double-cross, blind testing with recording engineers, musicians, normal listeners at many more different bit rates and with other compression algorithms even (e.g. AAC [I-Tunes] and MP2 [the one all of us are using with DVB-T, DVB-S and DVB-C]). The results were impressively unanimous: with the current sound material for this page there was no bitrate at all at which MP3 could compete with high OGG. So why increase the MP3 rate for the media samples?

Plus I try not to promote MP3 and WMA too much, because OGG (Vorbis) is not only of better quality but it's a totally free format: no hidden or open license fees, bringing the cost for software and/or hardware players as well as for sound sample producers down. WMA I had to include because some "original" Windows XP, 2000, ME and 98 PCs cannot play MP3 or OGG without additional software like e.g. Winamp.

Now the "Media Samples" column is pretty crowded already so I was thinking the listeners who are interested in actual bit rates know how to find these out using their player software anyway. And the listeners who are not interested wouldn't need this space consuming information.


November 24, 2007 at 03:35 AM · Interesting, I couldn't play the OGG. It said something like "Windows could not open this program." Oh well.

November 24, 2007 at 06:12 AM · Ray,

as I wrote before: For playing OGG sound files you need additional software like e.g. Winamp (for basically any Windows version) or the Windows Media Player 11 (for Windows XP).


November 27, 2007 at 09:25 PM · I'm wondering what others are experiencing when playing the .ogg files on the Discography page. I'm on Mac OSX with Firefox and I've downloaded the Firefox Plugin for .ogg, VLC and Ogg Drop X. If I double-click on the .ogg links on the Discography page the music plays but gives a black screen with "(no video)" in small in the centre. For the moment I need to quit Firefox or go to another site altogether to stop the music playing. To use the VLC controller I need to right-click and copy the link then paste into File/Open Network. However after using Ogg Drop X to create a .ogg file on the local disk, the VLC opens automatically on double-clicking this file.

November 29, 2007 at 02:48 AM · The behaviour you are describing seems to be O.K. to me and is a similar to what you would see with Firefox on Linux. You may also just download the .ogg file and play it with QuickTime according to the Mac OS X instructions here.


November 29, 2007 at 03:51 AM · Hi, Frank, I do have the Windows Media Player II and XP. Shhh. don't tell anyone, my grown kids say I'm computer challenged at times.

December 2, 2007 at 04:43 PM · It's been great to discover Ogg Vorbis thanks to this thread - the sound quality really is impressive for the bit rate. I haven't yet found a freeware application that will compress/convert Sound Designer 2 files to .ogg. I use MOTU's Digital Performer 5 to record, and sd2 is the native file format. There's always the option to compress in two stages via aiff, but presumably there's an audible difference compared to a one-step compression? I'm curious to know whether the .ogg recordings on the Discography page were compressed from the CD or from the original 24bit/192khz (or whatever) recording.

December 15, 2007 at 11:18 PM · Any updates yet?

December 15, 2007 at 11:57 PM · "There's always the option to compress in two stages via aiff, but presumably there's an audible difference compared to a one-step compression? "

Convert, export, or save as the sd2 file to an uncompressed format that you can convert to ogg, e.g. wav, then convert that to ogg. Shouldn't be any extra losses then. In other words, if step 2 is to an uncompressed format, no problem.

January 5, 2008 at 10:25 PM · Things have been quiet on this thread for a while - I hope both FMF and JF are well?

January 6, 2008 at 06:20 AM · We are well, thanks, especially JF. Here is some "proof" from Frankfurter Rundschau, 04.01.2008:

begin quote

Arno Widmann did not spend this New Year's Eve ironing at home, he went instead to the Frankfurt Oper to see the sensational Julia Fischer: "Before the break in the New Year's concert, she played one of the most glittering highlights in the violin repertoire, Camille Saint-Saen's 3rd violin concert, opus 61 from 1880. And after the break she sat down at the piano to play a perhaps yet more difficult piano concert in A minor, opus 16 by Edvard Grieg from 1868. I cannot promise but it is highly unlikely that something like this has ever existed before. But one thing is certain, no-one who has ever played both instruments in a concert, can ever have done so as freely, as confidently, as surely,as inspiringly as Julia Fischer. Otherwise we would have heard about it."

end quote

I am otherwise still busy solving some last technical issues around the schedule section of the new home page. It should be on air any day now.


January 6, 2008 at 10:38 AM · Hi,

I read in the site of the Frankfurt Oper that the concert of the 1st of January was recorded for Unitel Classica. Is is possible to know when it will be broadcast.

January 6, 2008 at 11:28 PM · Hi,

after Julia's unique 010108 concert I had a chance to talk to the JDPhO people at their CD desk (i.e. Young German Philharmonic Orchestra) about this very question. There's no definte release date in view, but they recommend to keep an eye on their homepage and the News link there.


For those who understand German you'll find all the Reviews of the Frankfurt and Wiesbaden newspapers there as well, from which FMF quoted.

Would it be possible for you Mr. Fischer to get some echo from the St. Petersburg press upon Julia's historical "Double" with the StPPO last Friday, maybe an excerpt translation from the Russian which you master...? I know you're very busy but still...and we are reeeealllly looking forward to your finished masterpiece.

Greetings and salutations,


January 7, 2008 at 12:00 AM · "Arno Widmann did not spend this New Year's Eve ironing at home..."

I want to read more Arno :)

January 10, 2008 at 12:21 PM · Olivier,

the broadcast has not been scheduled yet, I' keep you informed.

Meanwhile here is the review (in English) of the News Years "double" concert in the Frankfurt Old Opera. It has been repeated two days later in Russia (St. Petersburg) with Glazunov instead of Saint-Saëns' Third Violin Concerto; no reviews yet.


January 10, 2008 at 08:40 PM · Julia played here in St. Louis with the SLSO recently and got very good reviews. Since then the local classical station, KFUO, has been playing her recordings somewhat frequently.

You can listen to KFUO anytime at classic99.com

Just click on "Listen" and click on "Playlist" to see what is being played and upcoming pieces also.

January 10, 2008 at 09:29 PM · Ray, Thankyou for posting the address to that website! I love it!

January 12, 2008 at 08:12 PM · Franck-Michael,

Thank you for giving us information about TV broadcast. Have you any idea about the broadcast of the Saarbrücken concert (Brahms double).


January 31, 2008 at 04:28 PM · Now, FYI, you will get most of the relevant information from the new version of Julia Fischer's homepage (English section) again.

I will put up more information soon; the German part should be fully online within the coming four weeks or so.

The biggest functional improvement resides in the "Schedule" section, which is tightly integrated with Google Calendar and Google Maps now: just click on one of the entries and you will see.


February 1, 2008 at 12:40 AM · Foobar2000 (www.foobar2000.org), a free an open-source audio plays OGG (and MP1, MP2, MP3, MP4, MPC, AAC, FLAC, Ogg FLAC, WavPack, WAV, AIFF, AU, SND, CDDA, WMA). It's well worth checking out.

March 20, 2008 at 10:00 AM · Any news on Julia's plans for the recording studio? It seems suprising to me that there has been no news from Decca after signing such a major artist - she is not even listed on their rosta of artists.

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