_Composers – Vivaldi

Vivaldi – Cello Concertos — Paul Tortelier – Reviewed in 2011

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This is a minty EMI British Pressing from 1981 featuring Paul Tortelier on the cello. The sound is very good in the EMI tradition, but even better, the music is WONDERFUL. These Vivaldi concertos are lovely. I was unfamiliar with them, so discovering this music today was a joy. 

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Vivaldi / Bach / Guitar Concertos / Yepes / Alonso

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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 / 4 Bassoon Concertos / Walt – Reviewed in 2011

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This rare and mostly quiet Shaded Dog pressing has SUPERB sound on side one, earning a sonic grade of A++. To our surprise side two was even better; we called it A++ to A+++. It was surely one of the best sounding records we played in our classical shootouts that day. This is Golden Age Living Stereo sound at its Tubey Magical best.

Side One

A++, with tonality that is Right On The Money (ROTM). Huge stage as well, deep and wide. Not as transparent as some of the other Golden Age pressings we played that day, we call this one Super Hot.

Side Two

A++ to A+++, and here the music seems to be better as well as the sound, which is more open and even sweeter and smoother (in a good way). (more…)

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.

Vivaldi / 4 Concerti For Two Violins and Orch. / Stern & Oistrakh – Reviewed in 2011

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This Columbia Six-Eye original pressing (MS 6204) has an especially lovely side one. The extended tape hiss is a dead giveaway that this copy has the high frequencies that are going to let the violin harmonics come through beautifully, and they do!

Once we had our VTA adjusted precisely for this pressing, the texture on the strings came through gloriously. Of course getting the VTA right resulted in more transparency and ambience as well, with huge amounts of space around the players. The result: a Super Hot Side One, no doubt about it! (more…)

Vivaldi / Four Concerti For Two Violins and Orchestra / Stern & Oistrakh – Ormandy

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This Columbia 360 label pressing (MS 6204) has an especially lovely side two. The extended tape hiss is a dead giveaway that this copy has the high frequencies that are going to let the violin harmonics come through beautifully, and they do! The sound is mid-hall on both sides, but side two is richer than side one, less edgy and more relaxed, which is all to the good.

Both sides feature virtuoso playing, with plenty of rosiny texture to the violins. The vinyl is also very quiet, mostly mint minus. (more…)

Vivaldi / The Four Seasons on Living Stereo

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  • After a three year wait, Tubey Magical Living Stereo sound for The Four Seasons is back at Better Records
  • Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) sound from start to finish, this copy had the vintage analog sound we were looking for
  • The best copies are simply bigger, richer and more open, with a more extended, sweeter high end
  • If you drool over the Tubey Magical sound that RCA and others achieved in 1960, this is the copy for you

This KILLER RCA Shaded Dog has the kind of clarity, harmonic texture and freedom from smear that few Golden Age recordings can claim. Through the effort and skill of the RCA engineers, that striking openness in the recording is combined with an immediacy in the sound of the lead string players, no mean feat. One rarely hears both, except of course in live performance. (more…)

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…)

Vivaldi / The Four Seasons – A Sonic Arts Direct to Disc Recording Reviewed in 2009

A distinguished member of the Better Records Orchestral Music Hall of Fame.

This is a SUPERB sounding Sonic Arts Direct-to-Disc LP with Super Hot Stamper sound on both sides. I gave this one rave reviews twenty years ago (when we could still find them) and I’m happy to see that the sound has held up just fine in the intervening decades. Recorded in a dry acoustic, immediacy and clarity are the sonic strengths of this side one. This is one of the most natural Direct-Disc I’ve heard in a long time. One could easily use it as Demo Disc, depending on your taste and system.

There is wonderful chamber music throughout this LP. It comes as no surprise that it was nominated for two Grammys.

Side One

A++, with a very slight edge to the top of the strings being all that holds it back from a Triple Plus grade. The sound is accurate and real for the room that it was recorded in.

Side Two

A++, this side I liked a bit better, it’s a bit smoother and more relaxed; it sounds as though the mics are not quite as close to the performers on this side. (more…)