Liszt, Enesco, Smetana / Rhapsodies – Stokowski – Classic Records Reviewed

More Franz Liszt’s music

Rhapsodies – Stokowski


Sonic Grade: F

Hall of Shame pressing and another Classic Records LP debunked. (The cover is clearly the original Living Stereo cover by the way.)

The lower strings are wonderful on the original — wall to wall, with that rosiny texture we love. I wrote at the time — this is twenty or so years ago — that the Classic pressing took that rich, dark sound and brightened it up, naturally ruining it in the process. Cellos and double basses just don’t sound like that. On the best pressings of LSC 2471 their timbre is Right On The Money. Of course, that’s is the real thing, not some audiophile rebutchering. 

Now if you’re a Classic Records fan, and you like that brighter, more detailed, more aggressive sound, the original is probably not the record for you.

We don’t like that sound and we don’t like most Classic Records. They may be clean and clear but where is the RCA Living Stereo Magic that made people swoon over these recordings in the first place? Bernie manages to clean that sound right off the record, and that’s just not our idea of high-fidelity, sorry.

Further Reading

…along these lines can be found below. What do we love about the LIVING STEREO Hot Stamper pressings we offer on the site?

The sound of the individual instruments is reproduced with as much fidelity to their timbre, size, and location as possible, providing the closest approximation to the experience of sitting in the concert hall one can reasonably expect from a recording.

The top is not boosted, the bottom is not bloated, the midrange is not sucked-out. This is what we at Better Records mean by “Hi-Fi”, not the kind of Audiophile Phony BS that has been passing for Hi-Fidelity for more than thirty years.

We have a new section: The Better Records Hall of Fame for Orchestral Music.

We have a section for all the Classical Records we have reviewed on the site to date.

We also have a section for all the Heavy Vinyl Classical Records we have reviewed on the site.

Finally, we have a number of Commentaries specifically addressing issues we’ve encountered when playing classical recordings that may be of interest to you.