_Composers – Adam

The Royal Ballet – Gala Performances – on Classic Records

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Sonic Grade: C or Better 

Probably a fairly good Classic Records album. When I played this record years ago I thought it was one of the better Classic RCA titles. You can be sure it won’t sound like the original — [almost] no Classic record does — but it might be pretty good all things considered. One thing to consider is that the original in clean condition sells for many thousands of dollars!

Here are a few commentaries you may care to read about Bernie Grundman‘s work as a mastering engineer, good and bad.


FURTHER READING

Heavy Vinyl Disasters 

Heavy Vinyl Mediocrities 

Heavy Vinyl Winners

Suppe et al / Overture Overture / Agoult

More Classical and Orchestral Music

  • This 1957 Decca recording is overflowing with the kind of rich, spacious, Tubey Magical sound that can only be found on vintage vinyl
  • Cyril Windebank was the engineer — you may remember him from SXL 2012, the legendary recording of Peer Gynt with Fjelstad
  • The most energetic performances we heard, with sound like nothing else we played – Agoult’s overtures are in a league of their own
  • Classic Records did this title back in the ’90s, and it was as mediocre and unsatisfying as most of their sorry releases
  • “Suppé certainly has a knack for a good tune, well suited to even the most unpolished of brass band arrangements – the characterful orchestral playing, however, brings these neglected works to life with aplomb.”
  • If you’re a fan of orchestral showpieces such as these, this Living Stereo from 1959 belongs in your collection.
  • The complete list of titles from 1959 that we’ve reviewed to date can be found here.
  • To see Living Stereo titles with Hot Stampers, click here.
  • To see the 200+ Living Stereo titles we’ve reviewed, click here.

When this 1957 recording was first released, you could only buy it in mono, under the title Overtures… In Spades! It would be two years before the stereo pressing was available through RCA. There are two covers and I believe we have Shaded Dog pressings with both. This copy, our Shootout Winner, has the first cover you see in the listing.

Everyone needs a good album of Overtures – the music is exciting and fun, not to mention Demonstration Quality on a pressing such as this. The combination of sound and performance on the best of the RCA Shaded Dog pressings could not be equaled.  (more…)

Adam / Giselle / Karajan – A Classic Decca Recording from 1962

Hot Stamper Decca and London Pressings Available Now

Outstanding Recordings from 1962 Available Now 

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Reviewed in 2010.

This Dutch Import is the best sounding copy I have ever heard. It is dead silent and rich!

Big spacious hall sound. Lovely mid-hall perspective. Very smooth and sweet. You can listen to music like this for hours and never get tired — the opposite of your typical Classic Records pressing.


Some of Our Favorite Recordings from 1962

The Complete List of Recordings from 1962 We’ve Reviewed

Overture! Overture! / Agoult on Decca Engineered Living Stereo

Living Stereo Titles Available Now

200+ Reviews of Living Stereo Records

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This is a Minty looking Shaded Dog RCA Living Stereo LP with Very Little Sign of Play (VLSOP). The record plays about Mint Minus, very quiet for these old Shaded Dogs. Although this is not the best copy we’ve ever played, on this copy you still get some of the most beautiful string tone you’ve ever heard, courtesy of the Decca engineers who recorded this music. The performances of these shorter, lighter, more entertaining pieces are excellent as well, some of the best we’ve come across.

“Raymond Agoult conducts the New Symphony Orchestra of London performing selections by: von Suppé, Louis Joseph Ferdinand Hérold, Adolphe Charles Adam, and Daniel François Espirt Auber. Glorious Kingsway Hall recording.” (more…)

Adam / Giselle / Wolff – Reviewed in 2005

More of the Music of Adolphe Adam (1803-1856)

Hot Stamper Pressings of Living Stereo Recordings Available Now

It may not be in the top tier of Living Stereo titles, but it is a lovely one nonetheless and quite rare. 

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Basic Concepts and Realities Explained

Important Lessons We Learned from Record Experiments 

More Classical and Orchestral Commentaries and Reviews

200+ Reviews of Living Stereo Records

Overtures in Hi-Fi – Wolff – Speakers Corner (Reviewed in the ’90s)

Hot Stamper Classical and Orchestral Imports on Decca & London

Sonic Grade: B

One of the better Speakers Corner Deccas.

We haven’t played a copy of this record in years, but back in the day we liked it, 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. 

This is a very early stereo recording, which means it is spacious and open, with little spotlighting. But what is especially memorable is the choice of material, with a few of the more obscure overtures really brought to life here, such as the opening piece by Adam on side one: Si j’etais roi. Although not long, every second is packed with color and energy, exactly what a good overture needs. And it even has a glockenspiel! How can you go wrong?

(Royal Gala) Ballet Favorites / Ansermet (VICS-1066) – Reviewed in 2011

This RCA Plum Label Victorla has an AMAZING SOUNDING side one — it’s unbelievably spacious and three-dimensional with depth that goes on for DAYS. 

Side one earned its two pluses with the kind of spacious, rich, sweet sound you’ve come to expect from Super Hot Stampers. Note the correct sounding tape hiss — a dead giveaway that the highs are going to be correct. (Funny tape hiss is the hallmark of Classic Records and Mobile Fidelity, a dead giveaway that their highs will be phony and boosted.)

Side two would earn an A++ grade for the Delibes work that starts out the side. The strings are ever so slightly steely compared to side one, but in most respects the two sides sound quite similar. Giselle, the other work on side two, is not as good. It suffers from compressor distortion in the loud passages. It would earn about an A+ grade if we graded the two works separately. (more…)

The Royal Ballet / Gala Performances – Our Shootout Winner from 2005

Living Stereo Titles Available Now

More Orchestral Music Conducted by Ernest Ansermet

This is a QUIET RCA Soria Shaded Dog Box Set with some of the BEST SOUND I HAVE EVER HEARD for this music on Disc One. This is truly DEMONSTRATION QUALITY SOUND if what you are demonstrating is not the merely Hi-Fi, but the relaxed beauty and naturalness of what many consider to be the finest example of Living Stereo Magic brought to the greatest performances of ballet music ever committed to tape.

Allow me to paraphrase some commentary from another Shaded Dog (LSC 2307) we currently have up on the site: 

This record shows off Living Stereo sound at its best. The full range of colors of the orchestra are here presented with remarkable clarity, dynamic contrast, spaciousness, sweetness, and timbral accuracy. If you want to demonstrate to a novice listener why modern recordings are unsatisfactory, all you have to do is play this record for them. No CD ever sounded like this.

I don’t think the RCA engineers can cut this record any better — it has all the Living Stereo magic one could ask for, as well as the bass and dynamics that are missing from so many other vintage Golden Age records. This is pretty much as good as it gets, folks.

All of which is true. The interesting thing about the Royal Gala Ballet Box is how FEW of them sound as good as their press would have you think. And the little shootout we conducted for this set was more evidence of this very fact. (more…)

Adam / Giselle / Fistoulari

Remastered by Philips from a Golden Age Classical Recording by Mercury, originally released in 1961.

This Mercury Golden Import 2 LP set has VERY GOOD sound. The average copy tends to be a bit dark and recessed, but this one is refreshingly free from those problems. It’s not quite up to Hot Stamper status, but it is a very enjoyable record!