Gorgeous Golden Age Tubey Magical strings, lovely hall acoustics. The size and power of a large orchestra in Living Stereo sound. One of our favorite performances of Berlioz’s masterwork.
This is a piece that’s difficult to squeeze onto two sides of a single LP, as it clocks in at around 45 minutes, which means that the mastering engineer has three options when cutting the record: compress the dynamics, lower the level, or filter out the deep bass. The RCA mastering engineer for this pressing managed to hold on to the powerful dynamics captured by the Decca (as far as I know) recording team, seemingly without doing harm to dynamics, levels or deep bass. How, I have no idea.
Maybe it’s the gorgeous Living Stereo strings and hall acoustics that let us forget about the possibility of compromises occurring in other areas.
So open and spacious, with gorgeous, richly textured strings — this is the VIVID sound we love from the Golden Age!
The hall is huge, the brass solid and powerful, the top and bottom extends properly, the stage is wide and clear — what more can you ask for?
Classic Records Pressings and Their Abysmal String Tone
Of course this was always the downfall of the Classic Records RCA remasterings. Their records had bass and dynamics, no one could deny it, but the strings were usually shrill and the hall practically non-existent. We found out just today [which was quite a while ago of course] that there is a new series of recuts coming from Acoustic Sounds. Based on their dismal track record I will be very surprised if they are much better than mediocre. We look forward to playing one or two.
Monteux Is The Man
According to the biographical sketch in Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, Monteux “was never an ostentatious conductor … [he prepared] his orchestra in often arduous rehearsals and then [used] small but decisive gestures to obtain playing of fine texture, careful detail and powerful rhythmic energy, retaining to the last his extraordinary grasp of musical structure and a faultless ear for sound quality.” – Wikipedia