East of Suez – Reviewed in 2012


A distinguished member of the Better Records Rock and Pop Hall of Fame

Hot Stamper sound on this 101 Strings album, can you believe it? Then again, why shouldn’t it have amazing Golden Age Stereo sound? It’s recorded in the late ’50s, using all tube equipment and probably a minimum of mics — there’s no reason to assume the sound should be substandard just because the retail price of the record was only $1.98.

For a budget priced Whitehall record we recently put up, we had this to say, “This budget Whitehall pressing is one of the most incredible SLEEPERS in the entire classical catalog, with SUPERB sound as well as performances of the highest quality from the Vienna Festival Orchestra. The sound is big and bold, spacious, open and sweet in the best golden age tradition.”

And this album is full of real classical pieces, not Mantovani-style kitsch.

Side One

A++ if you have the tubes to make it sound the way it’s supposed to. Not all the top but big, rich, clear and open.

Side Two

A+ not as good, orchestra sounds a bit dubbed-in on some of the material. Buy this record for the amazing side one!

All the spices of the exotic lands east of Suez are wrapped in the warm rich tones of “101” Strings in this magnificently scored album. From the brilliant and scintillating percussive effects that depict the busy bazaars in Baghdad to the sensuous woodwinds that take us to the forbidden halls of the Temple Dancers—these are the moods and sounds that portray the fascinating ports and places of our sojourn in music. From the tent harems o/Arab Dance to the nostalgic loveliness of Song of India, this brilliant high fidelity is your passport to adventure and romance East of Suez.


The lush magnificence and stereo depth of “1O1” Strings is due to a combination of factors. First, in importance, is the concept of scoring for the strings. The necessity of using 101 string instruments is to utilize various harmonies and voicing and not weaken the dynamics or quality of any one line when playing counter lines. This is particularly important with the violins and violas, and creates a wonderful rich channel separation for stereo recording. The listener will note that at times the melody line is in full presence, and possibly a full and lovely counter line is being played, without sacrificing the full dynamic value of either. Secondly, the original performances have been recorded under the most exacting audio engineering standards with specially designed microphones with characteristics to compensate for any possible distortion from the tremendous bass frequency response in cello and string bass. Third, and of extreme importance, are the players themselves. They represent the finest musicians in Europe today. There are, in fact, eleven concertmeisters in the first chairs.


Side One

1. Baghdad (3:05)
{Joseph F. Kuhn}
2. In a Persian Market (3:25)
{Albert W. Ketelbey}
3. East of Suez (5:28)
{Joseph F. Kuhn}
4. Theme from Scheherazade (2:52)
{Nikolai Andreyevich Rimsky-Korsakov}
5. Kashmiri Song (3:28)
{Joseph F. Kuhn}

Side Two

1. Song of India (4:21)
{Nikolai Andreyevich Rimsky-Korsakov}
2. Temple Dancers (4:17)
{Joseph F. Kuhn}
3. Moonlight on the Taj Mahal (3:16)
{Joseph F. Kuhn}
4. Arab Dance (2:43)
{Piotr Tchaikovsky}
5. Theme from Prince Igor (4:16)
{Alexander Borodin}


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