Mendelssohn & Prokofiev / Concertos / Heifetz / Munch – Our Shootout Winner from 2011

More of the music of Felix Mendelssohn (1809-1847)

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A distinguished member of the Better Records Orchestral Music Hall of Fame

This BETTER than Super Hot Stamper (A++ to A+++) White Dog pressing has DEMO DISC QUALITY SOUND on side one for the Mendelssohn concerto! It really has the Breath of Life. On top of that it’s quiet, playing mostly Mint Minus, something that we don’t run into too often with fifty year old Living Stereo pressings! Now I see why Harry Pearson put this record on his TAS List. Most copies do not sound remotely as good as this one on side one. (Side two is a step down; it would almost have to be.)  

And the performance by the Boston Symphony under Munch is the best we’ve ever heard. The orchestra is on fire with passion for this music.

Side One

This side one has the magic that is missing from most other copies (perhaps the Shaded Dogs specifically?). The violin is superb of course. No violin concerto recording can be considered to have the real Living Stereo sound if the violin isn’t right, and fortunately this violin is very very right, with the kind of rosiny texture and immediacy that brings the music roaring to life right in your very own listening room.

A little congestion in the loudest passages kept this one from earning our full Triple Plus grade. The tuttis are a problem, but that’s nothing unusual for a Living Stereo record. In every other way it is superb.

Side Two

Side two earned a grade of A+ to A++. Side two, the Prokofieff side, has amazing bass that I’ve never heard on this recording before.

But the violin is harder and thinner and slightly smeary compared to side one, and compared to other great Heifetz recordings. The sound is quite good, spacious and pretty clear, but not in the same league with the amazing side one here.

Classic Records — Let’s Try and Forget The Sound

Classic Records ruined this album, as expected. Their version is dramatically more aggressive, edgy and smeared than this pressing. In fact it’s just plain awful, like most of the classical recordings they remastered.

TRACK LISTING

Side One

Mendelssohn: Violin Concerto in E Minor

Side Two

Prokofieff: Violin Concerto No. 2 in G Minor