- With excellent Double Plus (A++) grades on both sides, this original UK import pressing of these wonderful classical works will be hard to beat
- These sides are doing pretty much everything right – they’re rich, clear, undistorted, open, spacious, and has depth and transparency to rival the best recordings you may have heard
- Soriano’s piano is especially clear, solid, and present throughout Danzas Fantásticas, with practically no trace of vintage analog tube smear
- With STUNNING Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) grades throughout, this vintage Decca pressing of these sublime classical works could not be beat
- Powerful energy, loads of detail and texture, superb transparency and excellent clarity – the very definition of DEMO DISC sound
- Richer, fuller and more Tubey Magical than other copies, with breathy vocals and rosiny, smooth strings
- We discovered to our surprise that the right reissues can sound just as good as the best early pressings – plenty of early LPs just sound like old records, which simply means that having a clean original is no guarantee of anything in the crazy world of records
- This link will take you to more of our Favorite Orchestral Performances with Top Quality Sound
- There are about 100 orchestral recordings we’ve awarded the honor of having the Best Performances with Demo Disc Sound, and this superb LP certainly deserve a place on that list
- You’ll find STUNNING Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) Living Stereo sound throughout this vintage (but not original) RCA pressing of these wonderful classical compositions
- The rich, textured sheen of the strings the RCA engineers achieved in the ’50s and ’60s is a joy to hear throughout these pieces
- This is something the Heavy Vinyl crowd will never experience, because that sound just does not exist on modern remastered records the way it does on these vintage pressings
- The Tubey Magical richness is off the charts on this copy – if you want to know what kind of sound wins shootouts around these parts, this pressing will show you
- To see more of the best orchestral recordings with top quality sound we’ve done shootouts for, click here
- If you’re a fan of Rachmaninoff and/or Rubinstein, this Living Stereo from 1960 belongs in your collection.
- The complete list of titles from 1960 that we’ve reviewed to date can be found here.
Until we heard the right later pressings, we had always been disappointed with this TAS List recording, wondering what all the fuss was about. The original Shaded Dog pressings we had played left a lot to be desired. Like many of the old records we audition, it badly lacked both highs and lows, our definition of boxy sound.
Well, now we know. The early Shaded Dog pressings have consistently worse sound than the reissues we are offering here.
We never offered the record in Hot Stamper form because we didn’t think the sound of the originals was all that impressive, TAS List or no TAS List.
Mystery solved, and truly Hot Stampers have now been made available to the discriminating audiophile.
Harry’s list, as was so often the case, did not provide the information needed to find the pressing that captured all the qualities of the recording the way this one does.
Did Harry have a good later pressing? Did he have an original and simply liked it more than we did? We’ll never know.
This copy from years ago was so good on side two it almost left me speechless.
How is this title not on the TAS List?
Why is it not one of the most sought-after recordings in the RCA canon? Beats the hell out of me.
But wait just one minute. Until a month ago [now years ago] I surely had no idea how good this record could sound, so how can I criticize others for not appreciating a record I had never taken the time to appreciate myself?
Which more than anything else prompts the question — why is no one exploring, discovering and then bringing to light the exceptional qualities of these wonderful vintage recordings (besides your humble writer of course)?
HP has passed on. Who today is fit to carry his mantle into the coming world of audio?
Looking around I find very few prospects. None in fact. But then again, I’m not looking very hard.
I could care less what any of these people have to say about the sound quality of the records they play.
They all seem to like records that don’t sound very good to us, so why put any faith in their reviews for other records?
Reviewer malpractice? We’ve been writing about it for more than 25 years.
Spain has been an audiophile favorite for a very long time. Everybody should know it by now, what with both Chesky and Classic Records having remastered it in the ’90s, dismally of course, as neither of these companies showed the slightest sense that they understood how lackluster, if not downright awful, the resulting products of their efforts turned out to be.
No doubt Analogue Productions will see fit to ruin the recording the way they ruined Scheherazade.
This has never been one of the best Living Stereo titles in our experience. The highest grade I would give it would probably be a B.
“Our experience” is the key phrase in the above sentence. I can’t say there aren’t amazing sounding pressings of the album, it’s simply the case that we have never played one.
If I saw one for cheap I would of course pick it up, but in the modern world of records, that is very unlikely indeed.
This Shaded Dog pressing has exceptionally lively and dynamic sound on side two, which earned an A++ grade and plays quietly to boot! The sound is BIG and BOLD enough to fill up your listening room and then some.
The piano is clean and clear, the strings are rich and textured.
And his performance of this wonderful work is superb, as is his performance of the shorter coupling works on side two (which actually have the best sound here).
This is wonderfully recorded music. It has a very natural orchestral perspective and superb string tone.
It also boasts a correctly-sized piano, which is quite unusual for Rubinstein’s recordings.
- Outstanding Double Plus (A+++) sound throughout this RCA Shaded Dog pressing in Living Stereo – exceptionally quiet vinyl too
- These sides are doing pretty much everything right – they’re rich, clear, undistorted, open, spacious, and have depth and transparency to rival the best recordings you may have heard
- The music flows from the speakers effortlessly. You are there.
- This record will have you asking why so few Living Stereo pressings actually do what this one does. The more critical listeners among you will recognize that this is a very special copy indeed. Everyone else will just enjoy the hell out of it.
- 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.
Years ago we wrote:
This copy was so good it almost left me speechless. Why is it not one of the most sought-after recordings in the RCA canon? Beats the hell out of me.
But wait just one minute. It wasn’t until a few years ago that I found out just how good this record could sound, so how can I criticize others for not appreciating a record I had never taken the time to appreciate myself?
Which more than anything else prompts the question — why is no one exploring, discovering and then bringing to light the exceptional qualities of these wonderful vintage recordings (besides those of us here, of course)?
The Chabrier side of this 360 label record has SUPER HOT STAMPER sound, which is positively SHOCKING for a Columbia recording. Dry, shrill and lean, most Columbia pressings don’t last ten seconds on our turntable these days — but this one sure did! Played it all the way through as a matter of fact. (We love Espana. Who doesn’t?)
Is it as rich and tubey magical as the best Londons, RCAs and Vanguards from the Golden Age? No, not really — that would be a bit much to expect. It does have some of that sound, and that alone is remarkable considering how few Columbia pressings have any at all. (more…)
- This superb album of Grieg’s piano music returns to the site with outstanding Double Plus (A++) sound or BETTER from start to finish on this fairly quiet Shaded Dog pressing
- These sides are big, full-bodied, clean and clear, with a wonderfully preset piano and plenty of 3-D space around all of the players
- Some old record collectors (like me) say classical recording quality ain’t what it used to be – here’s the proof
- “But Grieg’s Concerto is much more than a vehicle for pianistic virtuosity. It has been described as a “tone poem for piano and orchestra” in which an array of colors and moods unfolds. From the beginning of the first movement’s first theme, the piano and the instruments of the orchestra enter into an almost constant dialogue.”
- More entries in our Well Recorded Classical Albums – The Core Collection
- Well Recorded Classical Albums from The Core Collection available on our site
This Shaded Dog pressing is exceptionally lively and dynamic. The sound is BIG and BOLD enough to fill up your listening room and then some. The piano is clean and clear, and the strings are rich and textured. Artur Rubinstein’s performance of this wonderful work is superb, as is his performance of the shorter coupling works on side two.
Living Stereo MAGIC. This is wonderfully recorded music. It has a very natural orchestral perspective and superb string tone. It also boasts a correctly-sized piano, which is quite unusual for Rubinstein’s recordings.
An undiscovered gem from 1967 on 360 Columbia! Side two of this record blew our minds with its White Hot Stamper sound. Musically and sonically this record is nothing short of wonderful. Who knew? You could play fifty vintage piano recordings and not find one as good as this!
Tchaikovsky, Liszt, Beethoven, Debussy, Mozart — these shorter pieces and excerpts were composed by those with the greatest gift for melody, men who’ve produced works that have stood the test of time, enchanting audiences over the centuries with works of such beauty and charm. (more…)