The famous Ansermet recording of El Retablo de Maese Pedro (Master Peter’s Puppet Show) has been mastered on this London Stereo Treasury Import LP to near PERFECTION.
This is High Fidelity Audiophile Demo Disc Quality Gold, with bells, drums, voices, trumpets, strings, woodwinds and more, all sounding so real it will take your breath away.
The Golden Age tape from 1961 has been mastered brilliantly with “modern” mastering equipment from 1967, not the low-rez junk they’re forced to make do with these days, giving you, the listener, sound that only the best of both worlds can offer.
You can be pretty sure of two things when you hear a record of this quality: one, the original won’t sound as good, having been cut on much cruder equipment.
[Note that in 2022 we would no longer make such a bold statement. We would require a number of originals to play in order to come to that conclusion, and since there is no early London pressing, only the pricey and hard to get hold of Decca, we never had any intention of going down that road.]
And two, no modern recutting of the tapes by the likes of Speakers Corner for example could begin to capture this kind of naturalistic sound. I have never heard a Heavy Vinyl pressing begin to do what this record is doing. This STS may be a London budget reissue pressing, but it was mastered by Decca, pressed in England on high quality vinyl, using fairly fresh tapes, and mastered about as well as a record can be mastered. The sound is REAL and BELIEVABLE.
When have you ever heard a modern remastering with this kind of depth and width to the soundstage? I have yet to have the pleasure and I’ve played scores of them, close to a hundred I would guess [this was written in 2012 and we have played a great many more than a hundred as of 2022].
We used to carry all that Heavy Vinyl back in the day and I played them and reviewed them as they came out, rejecting a good 80% right from the get go. None, not one, ever sounded like this.
Our Pricing from 2012
$175 for a reissue might seem to be a stretch, but we know an amazing record when we hear one, and we know that the next copy that comes along is very unlikely to sound as good as this one does. That’s simply “regression toward the mean,” a reality we have learned to respect.
We don’t sell our records based on their reputations. We sell them based on the sound inscribed in their grooves, and these are some mighty fine grooves on side two. A+++ White Hot Stamper Can’t Be Beat grooves!
A+++, even more open than the copy we thought was White Hot, with fuller vocals and more 3-D sound than we had any right to expect.
A True Demo Disc, that’s for sure.
A+ to A++, big, open and rich, and above all, natural sounding. It has some dryness, some smear and some shrillness compared to side two, but what record won’t? Side two here is just too good.
El Amor Brujo
El amor brujo (Love, the Magician, rarely translated as Wedded by Witchcraft) is a piece of music originally composed by Manuel de Falla for a chamber group, then re-scored as a symphonic suite, and eventually as a ballet. The texts were by Gregorio Martínez Sierra.
The work is distinctively Andalusian in character with the songs in the Andalusian Spanish dialect of the Gypsies. The music contains moments of remarkable beauty and originality; it includes the celebrated Ritual Fire Dance, Cancion del Fuego Fatuo (Will-o’-the-Wisp) and the Dance of Terror. Wikipedia
El Retablo de Maese Pedro
Falla’s witty and ironic 25-minute opera, loosely based on Don Quixote, comes across as a Spanish-flavoured equivalent of Stravinsky’s Soldier’s Tale.