- With INSANELY GOOD Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) sound from first note to last, this Philips import pressing is the BEST we have ever heard
- This copy was simply bigger, more transparent, with more clarity and clearly layered depth to the orchestra than all others copies we played
- 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)
- This is the combination of performance and sound that we know of, and let me tell you, we’ve played an awful lot of pressing of this music over the last thirty years, none of which do what the best pressings of this recording can do
- This recording should be part of any serious Classical Music Collection. Others that belong in that category can be found here.
- There are about 150 orchestral recordings we’ve found to offer the Best Performances with the Audiophile Quality Sound, and this record certainly deserve a place on that list.
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…)