_Composers – Beethoven

Beethoven / Famous Beethoven Overtures / Munchinger – Reviewed in 2011

More of the music of Ludwig van Beethoven

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A distinguished member of the Better Records Orchestral Music Hall of Fame.

This British London Blueback original pressing has better than A+ Hot Stamper sound on both sides. The music is lively and well-played, as one would expect from the venerable Karl Munchinger leading the Vienna Phil.

The sound is quite good but very different for each of the two sides. For more on the sound please see our notes below. (more…)

Favorite Beethoven Concertos / Heifetz & Rubinstein / BSO – Reviewed in 2007

More of the music of Ludwig van Beethoven

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A distinguished member of the Better Records Orchestral Music Hall of Fame.

RCA Red Seal LPs. DEMONSTRATION QUALITY SOUND!

The first LP of this disc is the equivalent of LSC 1992 and sounds AMAZING. The mastering is right on the money. (more…)

Beethoven – Symphony #9 – Solti – MoFi Debunked

More of the music of Ludwig van Beethoven

Symphony #9 – Solti

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Sonic Grade: F

Hall of Shame pressing and another MoFi LP debunked.

Bright phony string tone, MoFi’s trademark sound for classical recordings. Anyone who has ever attended a concert knows that strings in real life simply do not sound anything like they do on these MoFi records.

The London pressing of this recording is no great shakes either; any pressing should be avoided. (more…)

Beethoven / 4th Movement of the Ninth Symphony / Mitzelfelt

More of the music of Ludwig van Beethoven

4th Movement of the Ninth Symphony / Mitzelfelt

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Sonic Grade: D

Hall of Shame pressing and another Audiophile Recording debunked.

Can’t find anything nice to say about this record.  It’s just awful.

Various / Heart of the Piano Concerto – Rubinstein – Reviewed in 2008

More Living Stereo

Various / Heart of the Piano Concerto

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A distinguished member of the Better Records Orchestral Music Hall of Fame

This is an EXCEPTIONALLY GOOD SOUNDING Shaded Dog pressing with fairly quiet vinyl. What’s surprising about this is how transparent and low distortion it is. Just as with Destination Stereo (LSC 2307), the excerpts here frequently sound better than they do on the original complete performances. Rubinstein’s piano is solid and clear sounding, which is rarely the case, especially for his Beethoven concertos. Those almost never sound good, but the excerpt here for Concerto #3 is excellent. 

Beethoven & Kodaly / Serenade & Duo / Heifetz, Piatigorsky – Our Shootout Winner from 2013

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A distinguished member of the Better Records Orchestral Music Hall of Fame

This wonderfully quiet (for the most part) Shaded Dog pressing has EXCEPTIONALLY good sound for side two, which is where the Kodaly Duo for Violin and Cello can be found. Rarely have I heard these two instruments sound better than they do here. With a sonic grade of A++ to A+++, you can be sure the sound is right up there with the best of the classical recordings we have to offer.

The Beethoven on side one has many good qualities as well, but the acoustic in which it is performed is not nearly as good as that of this side two. (more…)

Beethoven / Symphony #1 and #8 / Ansermet – Reviewed in 2011

More of the music of Ludwig van Beethoven 

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A distinguished member of the Better Records Orchestral Music Hall of Fame

This Super Hot Stamper side one London Whiteback LP (CS 6388) gives you a wonderful sounding Beethoven First Symphony. It’s rich, sweet and Tubey Magical in the tradition of all the best Ansermet recordings from the era.

Unfortunately the second side with the 8th Symphony is awful — hard, shrill and definitely not worth your time.

Good sounding Beethoven symphony recordings are few and far between, and this one is very good indeed. (more…)

Brahms / Trio & Beethoven / Sonata for Horn and Piano – Our Shootout Winner from 2013

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A distinguished member of the Better Records Orchestral Music Hall of Fame

This is an exceptionally good sounding chamber record on the RCA White Dog label, especially on side two, which earned a sonic grade of A++ to A+++. Side two has the Beethoven work for horn and piano, and it sounds about as real and natural as a chamber recording can. Side one is not quite up to the same sonic standards, but is quite good nevertheless, earning a very respectable grade of A+ to A++.

This title is so rare I had literally never seen one in my 25+ years as a dealer in audiophile-oriented recordings. The other bit of good news is that the vinyl is unusually quiet, playing as it does mostly Mint Minus. How many early RCA pressings can make such a claim? No more than five per cent I would think, if that. (more…)

Beethoven / The Five Beethoven Concertos / Rubinstein -Reviewed in 2011

More of the music of Ludwig van Beethoven

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A distinguished member of the Better Records Orchestral Music Hall of Fame.

This original Shaded Dog Five Disc Box Set (LSC 6902) contains all five of Beethoven’s Piano Concertos, with sound that’s predictably all over the map, from White Hot to Not-So-Hot and every grade in between. Yes folks, we actually listened to every one of these sides in a shootout with other RCA, London and Mercury pressings of the same music.

The best sound in the set was clearly the Third Piano Concerto, which had sides that were Super Hot and White Hot. (more…)

Beethoven / Kreutzer & Spring Sonatas / Rubinstein – Our Shootout Winner from 2010

More recordings featuring the violin 

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A distinguished member of the Better Records Orchestral Music Hall of Fame

This Red Seal may be a reissue, but the sound is absolutely STUNNING on side two. The immediacy of the violin was simply in a league of its own, leaving all others in the dust. Add to that some of the sweetest, richest, most “rosiny” violin tone we’ve had the good fortune to hear, tonality that is as close to perfection as imaginable, and you have yourself one helluva great sounding work for piano and violin. The performances are extraordinary as well, as you might imagine from the likes of Szeryng and Rubinstein.

RCA is famous for its chamber recordings, which tend to be quite rare for some reason. Let’s be honest: we did not conduct this shootout with a dozen copies of the album. It would take us five years to find that many clean pressings. We had exactly three as a matter of fact: a shaded dog, this red seal, and the Cisco Heavy Vinyl reissue of LSC 2577 (admittedly a different recording) from a few years back. (more…)