This is a handy record for VTA setup as well. Listen for fullness and solidity, especially in the piano, although a rich, full sounding clarinet is a joy here as well.
Some of the copies lacked the weight and solidity to balance out the qualities of transparency and clarity. The resulting sound is less natural, with the kind of forced detail that CDs do so well, and live music never does. There is a balance to be found.
The right VTA will be critical in this regard. When you have all the space; the clearest, most extended harmonics; AND good weight and richness in the lower registers of the piano, you are where you need to be (keeping in mind that it can always get better if you have the patience and drive to tweak further). (more…)
A distinguished member of the Better Records Orchestral Music Hall of Fame.
This Colorback Maroon Label RFR pressing (SR 90272) has wonderful orchestral sound, with both sides having Hot Stampers. Side two earned the full Two Pluses for its relatively rich strings, a quality one rarely hears on Mercury recordings from this era. The string texture is superb here, so critical to the enjoyment of a large scale romantic symphony such as this.
A Superb Super Hot side two – rich strings on a Merc? Yes!
Nearly as good on side one – spacious and open, with a huge stage
Reasonably quiet vinyl for a vintage Mercury
One of the great symphonic works of the Romantic period
Pretty quiet vinyl! Side one is spacious and open, with a huge stage and practically no transient smear.
Like so many Mercury recordings, it’s a bit “shifted up” tonally, with the strings and brass lacking the weight one would hear in a live performance. A+ to A++ sonically, quite good.
Even better, earning the full Two Pluses (A++). It’s relaxed and musical, with excellent string texture. The sound on this side is richer so we kicked up the grade a bit. An excellent Merc!(more…)