_Composers – Kodaly

Bose Salutes the Sound Of Mercury Records (Along with Some Audio Lessons I Learned Long Ago)

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Reviews and Commentaries for Classical Records on Mercury

This Bose / Mercury Demonstration LP is autographed by none other than Amar G. Bose. The autograph reads “To EMI, with regards and best wishes, Amar G. Bose.”

Bose may not have ever made very good speakers, but they sure knew good recordings when they heard them. This LP has excerpts from some of the top Mercury titles, including music by Copland (El Salon Mexico), Kodaly (Hary Janos Suite), Mussorgsky/ Ravel (Pictures At An Exhibition), and Rimsky-Korsakov (Russian Easter Overture).I played one of these Bose records years ago and was surprised at how good it sounded. The transfers of the Mercury tapes were excellent! I guess that makes sense — if you want to show off your speakers you better use a well-mastered record for the demonstration.

I was duped into buying my first real audiophile speaker, Infinity Monitors, when the clever salesman played Sheffield’s S9 through them. I bought them on the spot. It was only later when I got home that none of my other records sounded as good, or even good for that matter. That was my first exposure to a Direct to Disc recording. To this day I can still picture the room the Infinity’s were playing in; it really was a watershed moment in my audiophile life.

And of course I couldn’t wait to get rid of them once I heard them in my own system with my own records. I quickly traded them in for a pair of RTR 280DR’s. Now that was a great speaker! 15 panel RTR Electrostatic unit for the highs; lots of woofers and mids and even a piezo tweeter for the rest. More than 5 feet tall and well over 100 pounds each, that speaker ROCKED.

This was the mid-’70s, 40+ years ago, and I am proud to say I have never owned a “small” speaker since. I’ve heard a lot of them — some good, most of them not so good — but that’s a sound I personally could never live with. Especially if you are trying to play large orchestral works like those found on this LP. Small speakers just can’t move enough air to bring this music to life in any way that gives meaning to the term Hi-Fidelity.

This record is so amazing it might even make a pair of Bose 901’s sound good!


Kodaly / Hary Janos Suite / Kertesz – Reviewed in 2010

This is a SUPERB recording, a real sleeper in the world of audiophile pressings. The sound is as BIG, BOLD and DYNAMIC as practically any classical record you can name. And the distortion level is vanishingly small as well. 

This British pressing has an AMAZING SIDE ONE (A++) backed with an excellent side two (A+), both on very quiet vinyl.

I’m a fan of this music and here’s a pressing that really delivers. Side one of the album has the complete Suite, and with Super Hot Stamper sound this copy is guaranteed to knock you out.

One of the top Kertesz recordings on London.


Kenneth Wilkinson engineered this album for Decca in 1965.

What makes the sound of these recordings so special is the timbral accuracy of the instruments in every section.

This is the kind of record that will make you want to take all your heavy vinyl classical pressings and put them in storage. They cannot begin to sound the way this record sounds. (Before you put them in storage or on Ebay please play them against this pressing so that you can be confident in your decision to rid yourself of their mediocrity.)

Quality record production is a lost art, and it’s been lost for a very long time.

Speakers Corner remastered the recording (seen here) in the ’90s and I believe we carried it back in the day, which means that the sound had to at least be acceptable, if not in fact very good. We played all their releases for sound and only carried the ones we thought met our standards, standards which have obviously changed radically since then.

I doubt we would care for their Heavy Vinyl LP now, but you never know, that was a long time ago.


Side One

Hary Janos Suite

1. Prelude — The Fairy Tale Begins
2. Viennese Musical Clock
3. Song
4. The Battle and Defeat of Napoleon
5. Intermezzo
6. Entrance of the Emperor and His Court

Side Two

Dances of Galanta
Arias from Hary Janos

1. Szegeny Vagyok
2. Hej Ket Tikom

Beethoven & Kodaly / Serenade & Duo / Heifetz, Piatigorsky – Our Shootout Winner from 2013

Hot Stamper Pressings Featuring the Violin

Superb Recordings with Jascha Heifetz Performing

This wonderfully quiet (for the most part) Shaded Dog pressing has EXCEPTIONALLY good sound for side two, which is where the Kodaly Duo for Violin and Cello can be found. Rarely have I heard these two instruments sound better than they do here. With a sonic grade of A++ to A+++, you can be sure the sound is right up there with the best of the classical recordings we have to offer.

The Beethoven on side one has many good qualities as well, but the acoustic in which it is performed is not nearly as good as that of this side two. (more…)