Reviews and Commentaries for the Music of George Gershwin
More Spectacular Orchestral Recordings
I’ve always loved these performances, but the crude, smeary and painfully-shrill-at-louder-levels Columbia sound quality had always been a powerful barrier to my enjoyment of them.
So many copies suffer from upper-midrangy, glary, hard sound and blary brass. I had come to accept that this is nothing more nor less than “The Sound of Columbia Classical.” As a consequence we rarely put much effort into cleaning and testing their vintage pressings; the good ones were just too hard to find.
I won’t say all that’s changed; it really hasn’t. The vast majority of Columbia classical pressings are still going to sound more or less as awful as they have in the past.
However, there are properly mastered pressings of this album that display little of the “Columbia sound” we describe above. They would obviously be the ones that would do well in our shootouts, as long as they are not too thin, bright and modern sounding.
There was a time when we thought the Red Label Seventies pressings were the best way to hear these performances. This time around that was not the case, as none of them had the heft and Tubey Magical strings and brass of our best early pressings.
Nothing could touch this amazing sounding Six Eye pressing.
Nothing could touch the Six Eye pressing of the Bernstein recording we played either, for what that’s worth.