This English Stereo Treasury pressing (on an odd looking Orange label, with handwritten stampers I have never seen before) has a SUPERB side two and side one is almost as good! The original release is London CS 6101 and I doubt most copies of it would sound this good.
This is Classic Old School Decca sound, rich and smooth with an exceptionally wide and deep soundstage. All the instruments are clear and have good texture, which is what one rarely hears on the most early pressings, which tend to be thick and dark. A little more top and this side two would have earned the full Three Pluses.
Side one earned a grade of A+ to A++. It actually has more top end than side two but lacks that side’s richness and fullness (two qualities we prize highly here at Better Records. The Blueback copy we had in our shootout captured that sound beautifully).
Side one is transparent and dynamic and the timbre of the instruments is mostly correct, just lacking some richness in the lower strings and weight to the trombones.
If you want to hear some exciting French orchestral music played by one of the great orchestras under the direction of the amazing Jean Martinon, you will have a hard time finding a record that delivers the goods better than this one.
Overture: La Carnival Romain
Overture: Benvenuto Cellini
Overture: Beatrice and Benedict
Overture: Le Corsaire