Venerable or Execrable? If It’s Athena the Chances Are Good It’s the Latter

More of the music of Sergei Rachmaninoff (1873-1943)

I spied an interesting quote on the Acoustic Sounds site years ago:

“…Analogue Productions’ 45rpm remastering improves upon the venerable Athena LP release from the late 80s, with better dynamics and a fuller ‘middle’ to the orchestral sonority.” – Andrew Quint, The Absolute Sound, October 2010

For some reason Andrew uses the word “venerable” when a better, certainly more accurate term would have been “execrable.” Having played the record in question this strikes us as the kind of mistake that would not be easy to make.

Athena was a godawful audiophile label that lasted all of five records, only one of which was any good, and it’s not this one. It was in fact the Debussy piano recording with Moravec, mastered by the venerable Robert Ludwig himself, a man who knows his classical music, having cut scores if not hundreds of records for Nonesuch and other labels in the ’60s and ’70s.

Our recent Hot Stamper commentary:

This famously good sounding Vox pressing has been remastered a number of times, but you can be sure that the Hot Stamper we are offering here will beat any of those modern pressings by a wide margin in any area that has to do with sound (surfaces being another matter and one we won’t go into here).

The sound of this recording on the best pressings is dynamic, lively and BIG. The music just jumps out of the speakers, bringing the power and vibrant colors of a symphony orchestra right into your listening room. Guaranteed to put to shame 95% or more of all the classical records you own, even if you own lots of our Hot Stampers.

The bass is phenomenal on this recording, assuming you have a copy that has the bass cut and pressed right. This one sure does! Practically no Golden Age classical recording will have the kind of bass that’s found on this record.

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