This Decca reissue is spacious, open, transparent, rich and sweet. Roy Wallace was the engineer for these sessions from 1955 to 1961 in Geneva’s glorious sounding Victoria Hall.
It’s yet another remarkable disc from the Golden Age of Vacuum Tube Recording, with the added benefit of mastering using the more modern cutting equipment of the ’70s, 1972 to be exact. (We are of course here referring to the good modern mastering of 40+ years ago, not the mediocre-at-best modern mastering of today.)
The combination of old and new works wonders on this title as you will surely hear for yourself on both of these superb sides.
We were impressed with the fact that it excelled in so many areas of reproduction. The illusion of disappearing speakers is one of the more attractive aspects of the sound here, pulling the listener into the space of the concert hall in an especially engrossing way.
Thread It Up and Just Hit Play Already
What might be seen as odd — odd to some audiophiles but not to us — was how rich and Tubey Magical the reissue can be on the best copies.
This leads me to think that most of the natural, full-bodied, smooth, sweet sound of the album is on the tape, and that all one has to do to get that vintage sound on to a record is simply to thread up the master on a good machine and hit play.
The fact that nobody seems to be able to make an especially good sounding record these days makes clear that in fact I’m wrong to think that this approach would work. It seems to me that somebody should be able to figure out how to do it. In our experience that is simply not the case today, and has not been for many years.
The master tapes were about fifteen years old when this record was mastered. Compare that to a current cutting which would be made from approximately fifty year old tapes. Perhaps that explains it. Or not. It’s all speculation. We don’t really feel the need to have reasons for why the records sound the way they do. We hear the differences and that’s good enough for us.