Canteloube / Songs Of The Auvergne Vol. 2 / De La Roche


This original Vanguard Black Label pressing (VSD-2132) has a side one that’s simply OUT OF THIS WORLD, A Triple Plus all the way. Why such a high rating? Of all the copies we played, this side one was the perfect blend of Tubey Magical richness coupled with Clarity and Presence.

Miss Devrath is front and center, live in your living room, as natural a human voice as you will ever hear on record. Of the six sides of this music we are offering today, this was the only Triple Plus side. There is simply nothing to fault; side one on this copy sounds right in a way that no other side we played did. And some of the other sides were quite good; you wouldn’t think the sound was lacking in any way. But after playing this side one it’s clear what the best copies are really capable of — completely natural Demo Disc Sound.

I believe Volume One used to be on the TAS Superdisc List, and for a time the Classic Heavy Vinyl reissue may have been as well. I remember playing the Classic years ago and thinking the sound was not bad, not as awful as most of their stuff, but still far from what it should be.

How anyone can take Classic Records seriously is beyond me, yet HP has many of their records on his Super Disc list and he is certainly not alone in praising their remastered pressings. In our opinion you should be able to hear what’s wrong with their records from another room, a test we would happily submit to.

That dark, hard, smeary, transient- and texture-free sound one hears on all their records is pretty obvious to those of us who listen to vintage vinyl all day. (Vintage vinyl has its own share of problems, just not those.) How the vast majority of audiophile reviewers can be fooled by such second-rate fare is frankly beyond understanding.

Side Two

Excellent, but quite a step down from Side one. Unlike side one, here the voice can be a little hard and piercing when at its loudest. The sound is still quite good: open and clear, not dull, veiled and smeary like so many we played.

The Music

This is an album of folk songs from the Auvergne area of France, arranged by Canteloube. These are some of the most beautiful tunes you’ll ever hear, with delicious orchestration perfectly fitting to the works. Davrath’s pure, innocent young voice is clearly the perfect interpreter of these songs.