Beethoven / Kreutzer & Spring Sonatas / Rubinstein – Our Shootout Winner from 2010

This Red Seal may be a reissue, but the sound is absolutely STUNNING on side two. The immediacy of the violin was simply in a league of its own, leaving all others in the dust. Add to that some of the sweetest, richest, most “rosiny” violin tone we’ve had the good fortune to hear, tonality that is as close to perfection as imaginable, and you have yourself one helluva great sounding work for piano and violin. The performances are extraordinary as well, as you might imagine from the likes of Szeryng and Rubinstein.

RCA is famous for its chamber recordings, which tend to be quite rare for some reason. Let’s be honest: we did not conduct this shootout with a dozen copies of the album. It would take us five years to find that many clean pressings. We had exactly three as a matter of fact: a shaded dog, this red seal, and the Cisco Heavy Vinyl reissue of LSC 2577 (admittedly a different recording) from a few years back.

However, that said, we’ve played dozens and dozens of good violin recordings. We have no problem recognizing good violin sound when we hear it. Don’t be fooled by the lack of Hot Stamper classical listings on the site. The vast majority of killer classical records never make it to the site; they go directly to our best customers, customers who want classical recordings that actually sound good. not just the kind of Golden Age Recordings that are supposed to.

How They Break Down

First up, the Shaded Dog. Tubey-Magical, of course, that goes without saying. Also crude, veiled, recessed and a bit smeary. Old tube cutting equipment was helping the sound in some ways, hurting it in others. This is the kind of sound most audiophiles would expect to hear on an original Shaded Dog; most would probably be pleased with such a pressing.

But once you’ve heard the record cut right, that sound just will not do. Side two was perfection on the red seal pressing.

Side one was not in that league however, with sound earning a grade of A+ to A++. 3-D and very “real”, but a bit veiled. The Shaded Dog was not far from this quality of sound.


Side One

Sonata No. 9 for Violin and Piano in A, Op. 47

Side Two

Sonata No. 9 for Violin and Piano in A, Op. 47 
Sonata No. 5 for Violin and Piano in F, Op. 24