Bach – Partitas And Sonatas For Unaccompanied Violin / Milstein

More of the music of J.S. Bach (1685-1750)

More Recordings Featuring the Violin

  • With some Triple Plus (A+++) sides, as well as some Nearly Triple Plus (A++ to A+++) sides, all six of these sides are the winners of our Shootout since there was no other performance of the complete works that could compete with the sonics of these Capitol pressings from 1962
  • Milstein’s 1957 recording on three discs in a lovely box simply could not be beat – fairly quiet vinyl too considering the age of the vinyl
  • The original pressing in this kind of condition — uncleaned, of unknown sound quality — easily sells for $1500, making the pricing here “attractive” for fans of Bach’s violin showpieces
  • The box is in excellent shape by the way

This vintage Capitol mono pressing has the kind of Tubey Magical Midrange that modern records can barely BEGIN to reproduce. Folks, that sound is gone and it sure isn’t showing signs of coming back. If you love hearing INTO a recording, actually being able to “see” the performance, and feeling as if you are listening live in Geneva’s Victoria Hall, this is the record for you. It’s what vintage all analog recordings are known for — this sound.

If you exclusively play modern repressings of vintage recordings, I can say without fear of contradiction that you have never heard this kind of sound on vinyl. Old records have it — not often, and certainly not always — but maybe one out of a hundred new records do, and those are some pretty long odds.

What The Best Sides of This Outstanding Baroque Violin Box Set Have To Offer Is Not Hard To Hear

  • The biggest, most immediate staging in the largest acoustic space
  • The most Tubey Magic, without which you have almost nothing. CDs give you clean and clear. Only the best vintage vinyl pressings offer the kind of Tubey Magic that was on the tapes in 1957
  • Natural tonality in the midrange — with the violin having the correct timbre
  • Transparency and resolution, critical to hearing into the three-dimensional space of the hall

No doubt there’s more but we hope that should do for now. Playing the record is the only way to hear all of the qualities we discuss above, and playing the best pressings against a pile of other copies under rigorously controlled conditions is the only way to find a pressing that sounds as good as this one does.

What We’re Listening For on Milstein’s Performances of Bach’s Partitas And Sonatas

  • Energy for starters. What could be more important than the life of the music?
  • The Big Sound comes next — wall to wall, lots of depth, huge space, three-dimensionality, all that sort of thing.
  • Then transient information — fast, clear, sharp attacks, not the smear and thickness so common to these LPs.
  • Next: transparency — the quality that allows you to hear deep into the soundfield, showing you the space and air around all the organ.
  • Extend the top and bottom and voila, you have The Real Thing — an honest to goodness Hot Stamper.

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