_Composers – Bach

Living Strings / Morton Gould and his Orchestra

Living Stereo Orchestral Titles Available Now

200+ Reviews of Living Stereo Records

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I typed so badly back in the old days that it was actually easier to just dictate the short reviews we would put up for our records twenty years ago. Rereading this just now made me recall that fact, because it is either poorly written or dictated, and I am going to go with the latter since I hate to think I ever wrote this badly.

RCA Shaded Dog LP with good sound.

This is not in the top tier of Living Stereos, but it is a good record nonetheless. The first track is the Tchaikovsky Elegie which is lovely. Also Bach’s famous Air On The G String is also excellent. In fact all the music on this album is excellent. The sound varies from very good to pretty good. Living Stereo strings are hard to beat.

This is also a very rare title these days. This is the first one that’s ever made it to the site.

J.S. Bach and Franz Liszt – Bach and Liszt / Organ Recital / Richter

More of the music of J.S. Bach (1685-1750)

More of the music of Franz Liszt (1811-1880)

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  • An outstanding copy of this wonderful classical recording with solid Double Plus (A++) sound from start to finish – fairly quiet vinyl too
  • Some audiophiles buy organ records to show off their subwoofers, and records like this can do that, but records this good have musical qualities far beyond simple demonstrations of bass reproduction – with this pressing you can feel the cool air in the hall!
  • With this pressing you can feel the cool air in the hall, something no Telarc or audiophile organ record can offer
  • Karl Richter understands this music and makes it come alive in a way I’ve never heard any other musician manage to do – the Decca engineers are of course a big help too

For those of you who think technology marches on — which of course it does in some ways — this 1954 recording shows that they could capture the authentic sound of the real instrument with the equipment of the day. Maybe they could even capture it better back in those days. I certainly can’t think of a better organ record than this, and musically I don’t think there are too many organists in Richter’s class.

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Handel, Bach, et al. / Pipe Organ Favorites / Rees

More Bach

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Side two of this exceptionally quiet London Blueback (CS 6102) has the Super Hot sound we love, with tons of deep bass and plenty of top end air too. It’s also incredibly transparent — you can really feel the space and appreciate just how big the church must be.

Side one is not quite as good, earning a single plus Hot Stamper grade (A+). It’s rich, smooth and big like side two, but not quite as transparent and not extending low and high the way side two does.

This album comprises a number of quite well known pieces by Bach, Handel and Elgar, so if you already have a plenty of organ recordings you probably don’t need this one. If this is your first it’s a very good place to start! If your system plays deep bass well, so much the better. 

J.S. Bach – Organ Music Volume 2 / Weinrich

More of the music of Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)

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  • With Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) sound or close to it from start to finish, this copy is practically as good as it gets
  • The size and power of a huge organ captured on tape in Living Stereo All Tube Analog
  • The organ is so effortlessly clear and relaxed you will soon forget you are actually sitting in your listening room, not a church
  • For those of you who know your organ recordings on Living Stereo, it’s Volume 2 that clearly has the better sound

Some audiophiles buy organ records to show off their subwoofers. Exceptional pressings of exceptional recordings such as this one will allow you to do that, but the best of them have musical qualities far beyond simple demonstrations of bass fundamentals. Carl Weinrich understands this music perfectly and makes it come alive in a way I’ve rarely heard by other performers.

For those of you who think technology marches on — which of course it does in some ways — this 1963 recording shows that the RCA engineers were capable of capturing the authentic sound of the instrument with the vintage tube equipment available to them. In my opinion they could do it better back in those days.

Musically speaking there aren’t many organists in Carl Weinrich’s class. The only other Bach organ records of this caliber that we know of are the two volumes that Karl Richter recorded for Decca in the mid-’50s. You can’t go wrong with any of them. At least one belongs in any serious audiophile’s collection. (more…)

Vivaldi / Bach / Guitar Concertos / Yepes / Alonso

More of the Music of Antonio Vivaldi (1678-1741)

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  • This wonderful classical guitar recording makes its Hot Stamper debut here with Shootout Winning Triple plus (A+++) sound or close to it – exceptionally quiet vinyl too
  • The sound here is glorious, brimming with the wonderful qualities that make listening to classical music in analog so involving
  • The orchestra sounds rich and sweet, yet the guitar is clear, present and appropriately placed relative to the surrounding ensemble
  • As is to be expected from the Decca engineers in 1959, the sound is so relaxed and correct that you immediately find yourself simply enjoying the performances of these two well-known pieces, which is entirely the point, although we sometimes forget the purpose of all our audiophile rigmarole

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Vivaldi, JS Bach, et al. / Concertos for Cello / Janigro – Reviewed in 2005

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Wonderful sound from 1960. The cello has a much more natural size relative to the orchestra, which in the true Living Stereo tradition sounds every bit as good.

This copy has an outstanding side one, but side two, a later stamper, is not as good as the best.

I would rank this record right up there with the best of the Starker recordings on Mercury. Musically I prefer this album to any of those. Side one, the Concerto for Cello in B-flat, is especially enjoyable from start to finish. If I had to pick one cello concerto record to listen to, it would probably be this one.

Bach / Three Organ Concerti After Vivaldi / Noehren

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  • This rare Urania recording has superb sound on both sides
  • Both sides are rich and Tubey Magical, yet clear and transparent
  • This is the right sound for these well known works for the organ
  • The performance is lively; Noehren plays these pieces with gusto

A wonderful recording of Bach concerti for the organ. Very natural sound from this vintage recording.

Side One

A+++, hard to fault really.

Side Two

A+++, with a big and very solid bottom end. (more…)

JS Bach / Voilin Concertos / Igor and David Oistrakh – Reviewed in 2008

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From 2008:

This Minty looking Deutsche Grammophon LP has rich, smooth sound. We didn’t have any other copies to compare it to, but we’ve played enough DG LPs around here to know that the average DG record is nothing to get excited about.

Nowadays we would not be able to sell a record such as this. Without a proper cleaning and shootout, no record can go up on the site.  It’s the only way we know of to guarantee that the quality would be superior to whatever pressing you have or have heard.

The Jacques Loussier Trio – Brandenburg Concerto No. 5

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  • This jazzy, innovative interpretation of three of Bach’s most famous works boasts Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) sound throughout – exceptionally quiet vinyl too
  • Baroque genius meets jazz pioneer in this unique confluence of musical conventions
  • Full-bodied and warm, exactly the way you want your vintage analog to sound – the piano is surprisingly real here, solid and dynamic
  • Born from his love of classical works and improvisation, Loussier “loved to play the music, but add my own notes, expanding the harmonies and playing around with that music,” and the results should be interesting to fans of jazz and classical music alike

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Debussy / Clair de Lune on Stereo Treasury

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The STS is not impressive on the few we’ve played, for no reason other than they are simply not that sonically impressive. British vinyl, British mastering, just not especially good sound. Save your money.

Kenneth Wilkinson engineered in Walthamstow Assembly Hall. (more…)