This Super Hot Stamper solo piano record is 1963 Decca recording technology at its finest (or would be if we had ten copies to shoot out and could find the White Hot Stamper pressing hidden among them).
As it is, we are happy to have found this one, Super Hot on both sides, an amazingly realistic representation of a piano. You will have a hard time finding better.
And the music, especially on side two, is compelling and wonderful. This is classical music that will engage you at the deepest and most serious level. Widely considered Liszt’s masterpiece, in Curzon’s forceful hands it is not hard to understand why.
A++ Super Hot Stamper sound, with a clear piano surrounded in space. Present and dynamic, there is little to fault here, save a touch of smear and a slight lack of weight.
Real pianos in live recitals have weight that I have never heard reproduced by any stereo system, so “real weight” is a relative term, one that applies more to recordings than to the live instrument itself.
A++ Super Hot Stamper sound again, but slightly different (of course). This side has a bit more weight than side one, but also a bit more smear, so we’ve called it a draw and graded both sides Super Hot.
Piano Sonata in B Minor
Liebestraum in A Flat No. 3
Valse Oubliee No. 1
The Piano Sonata in B minor (German: Klaviersonate h-Moll), S.178, is a musical composition for solo piano by Franz Liszt, published in 1854 with a dedication to Robert Schumann. It is often considered Liszt’s greatest composition for solo piano. The piece has been often analyzed, particularly regarding issues of form.
It took a long time for the Sonata to become commonplace in concert repertoire both because of its technical difficulty and negative initial reception because of its status as “new” music. However by the early stages of the twentieth century, the piece had become established as a pinnacle of Liszt’s repertoire and has been a popularly performed and extensively analyzed piece ever since.
This is an Older Classical/Orchestral Review
Most of the older reviews you see are for records that did not go through the shootout process, the revolutionary approach to finding better sounding pressings we started developing in the early 2000s and have since turned into a veritable science.
We found the records you see in these older listings by cleaning and playing a pressing or two of the album, which we then described and priced based on how good the sound and surfaces were. (For out Hot Stamper listings, the Sonic Grades and Vinyl Playgrades are listed separately.)
We were often wrong back in those days, something we have no reason to hide. Audio equipment and record cleaning technologies have come a long way since those darker days, a subject we discuss here.
Currently, 99% (or more!) of the records we sell are cleaned, then auditioned under rigorously controlled conditions, up against a number of other pressings. We award them sonic grades, and then condition check them for surface noise.
As you may imagine, this approach requires a great deal of time, effort and skill, which is why we currently have a highly trained staff of about ten. No individual or business without the aid of such a committed group could possibly dig as deep into the sound of records as we have, and it is unlikely that anyone besides us could ever come along to do the kind of work we do.
The term “Hot Stampers” gets thrown around a lot these days, but to us it means only one thing: a record that has been through the shootout process and found to be of exceptionally high quality.