Yes, it was still possible to record classical music properly in 1980, though few labels managed to do it
A SUPERB performance from Salvatore Accardo, certainly competitive with the best we have heard
Yes, it was still possible to record classical music properly in 1980, though not many labels managed to pull it off. (Londons from this era are especially opaque and airless. We find them as irritating and frustrating as most of the Heavy Vinyl releases being foisted on the audiophile public today.)
The orchestral passages are rich and sweet, the violin present, its harmonic colors gloriously intact. This is still ANALOG, with the better copies displaying much of the Tubey Magic of ’50s and ’60s vinyl without as much compressor distortion (the Achilles’ heel of so many of the great recordings from the Golden Era).
And the fairly quiet Dutch vinyl here is a refreshing change from the notoriously noisy vintage pressings we suffer through every week (ah, but we don’t mind, the sound is so good!).
We audiophiles are fortunate indeed that a violinist of Accardo’s skill and taste recorded this piece for Philips at a time when their recording technology was still capable of capturing the sound of his violin in rich, warm, sweet, clear ANALOG.
Accardo is an accomplished performer of the works of Paganini, but those recordings are on DG and we would not expect them to be of acceptable audio quality for our customers. We will investigate further of course, as Paganini’s works for violin are some of the most sublime in the repertoire.
Cisco Heavy Vinyl
In our listing for the Cisco record with Milstein we noted:
“Some of the sweetest violin tone on Heavy Vinyl you will ever hear. For modern vinyl this one gets a very high recommendation. The domestic originals we’ve played have been uniformly awful so pick up this Cisco pressing if the price is right, assuming you can stand the lack of ambience and resolution that Heavy Vinyl consistently suffers from. We have not played this record in many years and would probably like it much less now than we did at the time of its release.”
Which is a roundabout way of saying that there is practically no chance we would prefer the Milstein to this Accardo recording. The Cisco is a good record for what it is, especially if you can get one for under fifty bucks or so. The Accardo is a great record and worth the hundreds of dollars we would ask for a top copy, assuming you have the kind of stereo capable of resolving the information found on these vintage pressings (and nowhere else it seems).