This London pressing has Super Hot Stamper sound on side two, the Violin Concerto side. Here the violin sounds superb — rich, sweet and natural. The brass on this side is HUGE, which is a bit shocking for a later London from 1971. Once you get past the ’60s, the sound of most Londons is opaque and flat (which describes perfectly far too many Londons with Solti at the helm), but not so here.
The stage is as deep and wide as any vintage Golden Age recording we’ve played recently, and we’ve played plenty.
The grade we settled on was At Least A++. It might get better if you had a dozen copies to choose from, but then again it might not. As it is, it is pretty darn hard to fault. The violin is perhaps not quite as immediate as on, for example, the best Ricci Londons, but it’s still quite clear and present.
Not as good, about an A+, musical and tonally correct but a bit flat and recessed. It’s transparent, not opaque, but doesn’t open up the way side two does.
It’s actually quite wonderful, very original and interesting, which is something I was not expecting. Richter is of course superb on the piano. And the album contains over an hour’s worth of music! That’s value for money.
Concerto for Piano and Orchestra
Concerto for Violin and Orchestra