Grieg / Peer Gynt / Fjeldstad / LSO – Our Shootout Winner from Long Ago

Reviews and Commentaries for the Music of Edvard Grieg

Reviews and Commentaries for Peer Gynt

This commentary is from 2005. It is unlikely that the pressing we liked at the time, a Stereo Treasury pressing of the famous Fjeldstad performance, would come anywhere close to winning a shootout these days.

Our Commentary from 2005

This is overall the best sounding pressing of the Fjeldstad / LSO we have ever played, with BETTER than Super Hot Stamper sound on both sides. For those of you who know your Londons, when you see the label on this LP you will no doubt be shocked: This is the last pressing in the world that one would expect to sound good. 

Of course we here at Better Records don’t give a sh*t about any such conventional wisdom / collector bias. We like audiophile quality sound and we don’t give a damn where we find it. Up against the competition this copy was superb in practically every way, excelling with orchestral size, weight and energy like virtually no other.

This is to be expected from a recording of its renown. What was not to be expected was the actual pressing that delivered those sonic qualities

We’ve loved the Blueback pressings in the past; this time not so much (too crude and opaque with jello for bass).

Side One

A++ to A+++, better than Super Hot, very clean and clear with an extended top (the kind you hear on very few Golden Age pressings). It’s slightly dry and could use a bit more weight at the start, but about halfway through it becomes fuller, bigger and richer. Great energy too, especially in the final movement. A touch more Tubey Magic and this side would have earned the full Three Pluses.

Side Two

A++ to A+++. Transparent, with good top end extension, as well as space and clarity. No smear, so the textures of the strings and brass are excellent as well. The percussion is especially clear. We had a side that was a bit more Tubey Magical, so we took a half plus off of this copy’s grade.

The last movement has some Wagnerian touches; the sound at the end of this copy is bigger, more clear and more spacious than practically any other we played. The overall sound in the climax is lively and exciting without ever crossing the line into hi-fi-ishness. This is the mark of an exceptionally good record!