- An outstanding copy of Handel’s masterpiece with solid Double Plus (A++) sound from start to finish – exceptionally quiet vinyl too
- A bigger hall, more transparency, and more clearly layered depth and more space than many others
- Shockingly AIRY and WARM, this is the kind of sound that makes it easy to fall in love with an oft-heard piece such as The Water Music
- Note how far back the trumpets are in the hall, yet they are still clear, tonally correct and not smeared – that’s the sound one hears in a live performance (and too rarely on a record)
The performance by the English Chamber Orchestra under the direction of Raymond Leppard is currently my favorite, owing in large part to the fact that it has the kind of sound I find the most natural and enjoyable.
In a way this may not be quite fair to other equally well-known, well-respected performances. We went through an elimination round for the work a while back, winnowing the recordings down to those that had the best sound, regardless of performance — perhaps some of the discarded records had even better performances than Leppard’s. At this late stage who can say?
We audiophiles want the music we play to sound its best, a requirement which more often than not involves compromises of one kind or another. We are happy to report that that does not appear to be the case with The Water Music (keeping in mind the caveat above). (more…)