This copy of the Sibelius Violin Concerto boasts outstanding Living Stereo sonics from 1960 and a fiery performance from Heifetz
It’s some of the best sound we have ever heard for the work, right up there with the Ricci on Decca/London
The nothing less than breathtaking performance by Heifetz may raise this one to the rank of First Among Equals for those of you who prize immediacy and energy in your violin recordings
If you have one of our killer Hot Stampers of the Beethoven or Tchaikovsky violin concertos, you know exactly the sound I am talking about
“In the easier and looser concerto forms invented by Mendelssohn and Schumann I have not met a more original, a more masterly, and a more exhilarating work than the Sibelius violin concerto.”
Early Shaded Dog pressings of Heifetz’s records are known to have rarely survived in audiophile playing condition. Top quality early pressings in clean condition come our way at most once a year, which means shootouts for them get done infrequently. There are literally thousands of clean, vintage classical pressing sitting in our stockroom waiting for a few more copies to come our way so that we can finally do a shootout.
This copy plays quite well for a Shaded Dog. Side one plays Mint Minus Minus all the way through, with a little extra tickiness creeping in at the very end of the side.
Side two I am happy to report plays even quieter. It starts out Mint Minus Minus, but roughly three quarters of an inch into the side it begins to play more in the range of Mint Minus to Mint Minus Minus, and does so for the remainder of the side.
It’s practically impossible to hear that kind of string sound on any recording made in the last thirty years (and this of course includes practically everything pressed on Heavy Vinyl). It may be a lost art but as long as we have these wonderful vintage pressings to play it’s an art that is not being lost on us.
Classic remastered this title in the ’90s — of course they did, it’s clearly one of the better Heifetz recordings.
As expected, their version was awful, as bad as LSC 1903, 1992, 2129 and others too numerous to list.
It’s both aggressive and lacking in texture at the same time, the worst of both worlds. Bernie’s cutting system is what I would call Low Resolution — the harmonics and subtleties of the sound simply disappear. If you have the Classic, do your own shootout. We guarantee any Hot Stamper pressing will murder theirs.
Most of the older reviews you see are for records that did not go through the shootout process, the revolutionary approach to finding better sounding pressings we developed in the early 2000s and have since turned into a fine art.