_Composers – Mozart

Mozart / Symphonies No. 39 & 36 / Bohm

More of the music of Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791)

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

This is not your typical DG, and as far as we’re concerned that’s a good thing! If you end up with this copy you may find yourself agreeing with us that it actually sounds pretty much like a good RCA pressing from the era, with the kind of rich, sweet sound that the best RCAs are famous for, and rightly so.  

The sound on side one is spacious and sweet, with good texture to the strings, far from the smeared, hard, steely sound that so many DG pressings suffer from. And side two is even better! More transparent, with better texture and even richer sound. (more…)

Mozart / Piano Concertos # 17 & 21 / Anda – Our Shootout Winner from 2011

More of the music of Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791)

Piano Concertos # 17 & 21 / Anda

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

This EARLY heavy cardboard Stereo in Red DG Large Tulips pressing is nothing short of PHENOMENAL on side one. It’s SPACIOUS and three-dimensional that goes beyond practically any classical recording I’ve ever played. I would rank it in the Top One Per Cent for those two qualities. You hear into the soundstage on this record like you will not believe.  

The string tone is especially rich and sweet on this side, yet full of texture and that lovely rosiny quality that vintage pressings capture so well. (Sometimes capture so well. Side two here has a slightly smeary quality that hurts it in that area.) (more…)

Mozart – Eine Kleine Nachtmusik – Munchinger – Speakers Corner (Reviewed in the ’90s)

More of the music of Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791)

Eine Kleine Nachtmusik – Munchinger

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

We were impressed with the Speakers Corner pressing of this album when it came out back in 1994. We wrote: “Probably the best sound and performance of the Eine Kleine available — highly recommended!  

We haven’t played a copy in years, so let’s call it a “B” with the caveat that the older the review, the more likely we are to have changed our minds. (more…)

Mozart & Turina / The Heifetz-Piatigorsky Concerts – Our Shootout Winner from 2012

More of the music of Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791)

The Heifetz-Piatigorsky Concerts

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

This is a Super Hot Stamper Two-Pack that comprises a White Dog RCA original for side one and a Red Label reissue for side two, for the simple and obvious reason that the “bad” sides of each of these LPs are not nearly as good as the “good” sides. When you play the weaker sides you will no doubt appreciate why we felt it was appropriate to bundle two very different records together to make a truly SUPERB one.

If you’ve suffered through the horrendously sour and screechy recordings Heifetz and Piatigorsky are known for in audiophile circles — LDS 2513 and LDS 6159 — you will be glad to know that the two good sides here sound NOTHING like them. (Reversing your polarity on LDS 6159 helps but it can’t fix sound that’s that bad.)  (more…)

The Heifetz-Piatigorsky Concerts

More of the music of Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791)

The Heifetz-Piatigorsky Concerts

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This is one of the pressings we’ve discovered with Reversed Polarity.

This IMMACULATE set has dry, edgy, screechy sound — until you reverse your absolute phase! Then it sounds pretty good! It certainly will never win any awards, but it’s practically unlistenable without the phase reversed. 

Now I can’t say that’s true for all six sides. I play graded all six sides — they range from M- to slightly worse, about as quiet as these Soria pressings ever are — but I only reversed the phase on side one after dropping the needle on the other sides and suffering through the brittle sound. (more…)

Mozart / String Quartets / Quartetto Italiano – Our Shootout Winner from 2013

More of the music of Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791)

String Quartets / Quartetto Italiano

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

Easily one of the finest string quartet recordings we have ever had the pleasure to play, this Philips pressing earned strong grades on both sides for its lovely recreation of space, Tubey Magical richness, and rosiny string textures.  

It sounds very much like live music, or at least what you imagine this music would sound like live. Of course, live classical music is shocking in its clarity and freedom from artificiality, and no recording I have ever heard duplicates that sound with perfect fidelity, but when the pressing is as clear and transparent and natural as this one, your ability to suspend disbelief seems to require no effort at all. (more…)

Milstein / Master pieces / Susskind – Reviewed in 2013

More of the music of Nathan Milstein

Master pieces / Susskind

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

This is a RARE and WONDERFUL SOUNDING original Capitol pressing of Milstein playing pieces for violin and orchestra by Mozart, Beethoven, Stravinsky, Saint-Saens and others. The recording of the Mozart Rondo on side one boasts DEMO DISC quality sound. Side one is amazingly rich, sweet and tubey magical. The violin is tonally correct, with the kind of immediacy few violin records (in our experience) manage to capture as well, while still retaining the correct size of the instrument. (more…)

Bruch & Mozart / Violin Concertos / Laredo – Mitchell – Our Shootout Winner from 2010

More of the music of Max Bruch 

More Violin Concertos / Laredo – Mitchell 

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

Superb sound. The violin is wonderful on both sides. The Mozart is absolutely gorgeous; the best I’ve ever heard it.

The orchestra on the Bruch side gets a little congested in the louder passages, which is typical for records of this era.

Laredo plays these pieces beautifully. The Bruch is an especially romantic work and his violin sings sweetly and with deep emotion throughout. The Mozart is more spritely and he plays it with the light touch it requires. You will have a hard time finding a better violin concerto record. This ranks with the best of them.

Glazounov & Mozart / Violin Concertos / Heifetz / Hendl – Our Shootout Winner from 2011

More Glazounov & Mozart

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

Hot Stamper sound on side one of this Shaded Dog pressing, and even better sound on side two for these two important works of the basic repertoire.  

The presentation of the violin on side one is present, one could even say immediate. It’s not quite as tubey magical as the better Heifetz pressings I have played, so we are keeping the grade at a fairly modest A+. Those with “tubier” systems may find it complements your sound better than it does mine.

Side two earned a grade of A+ to A++. It’s richer and smoother, sweeter too. It can get a little smeared at times and also can get hard in the upper mids on some passages. Still, overall the sound is excellent. (more…)

Bruch – Mozart / Violin Concertos / Heifetz – Our Shootout Winner from 2011

More of the music of Max Bruch 

More Mozart / Violin Concertos / Heifetz 

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

Both sides of this Shaded Dog pressing of Heifetz and the New Symphony Orchestra of London have sound that earned the quite respectable sonic grades of A+ to A++.

Side one is tonally correct and lively, but suffers from a bit of the all-too-common tube smear, no doubt from the mastering chains and record presses that were in use at the time. (Most modern mastering chains and record presses are, to our ears, even worse, so this is not to denigrate the engineers at RCA in any way. It’s simply to say that with Tubey Magic you often get tubey smear.) (more…)