_Conductors – Maazel

Respighi / Pines Of Rome – Another Title Not Fit for a Super Disc List

Our Favorite Pines of Rome

More Reviews and Commentaries for The Pines of Rome

Sonic Grade: C (at best)

I found a bit of commentary in a listing for Scheherazade, and right away it was clear to me that the shootout we did for that title had much in common with the one we did recently for The Pines of Rome.

Here it is with the necessary changes having been made.

We did a monster shootout for this music in 2021, one we had been planning for more than twenty years. On hand were quite a few copies of the Reiner on RCA; the Ansermet on London; the Maazel on Decca and London (the Decca being on the TAS List), the Kempe on Readers Digest, and quite a few others we felt had potential.

The only recordings that held up all the way through — the last movement being a real Ball Breaker, for both the engineers and musicians — were those by Reiner and Kempe. This was disappointing considering how much time and money we spent finding, cleaning and playing about twenty or so other pressings.

We learned from that first big go around something that we think will remain true for the foreseeable future: the 1960 Reiner recording with the Chicago Symphony on RCA just can’t be beat.

Could other pressings be better sounding? Of course they could.

Would we ever buy another copy? Not a chance.

Here are the notes for the Decca pressing I played, mastered by G, Ted Burkett.

Hey, here’s an idea. Why don’t you buy a bunch of them and see if any of them do not have the problems described on my notes.

If you find a good one, please let me know the stampers so I can go out and find one myself.

The above is of course all in good fun. We both know that there is not a snowball’s chance in hell that anyone reading this commentary is going to go out and buy some Decca pressings of The Pines of Rome, clean them up and critique them.

The most likely thing is that, if you have any Decca pressing of Maazel’s Pines, it’s sitting on a shelf collecting dust. Odds are it has not been played in a very long time.

Which is as it should be. Good records get played and bad ones sit on shelves.

Hot Stamper Pressings of The Pines of Rome

TAS List Super Discs with Hot Stampers

Reviews and Commentaries for TAS Super Disc Recordings

Records that Do Not Belong on a Super Disc List

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Respighi / Pines Of Rome / Maazel – Another Mediocre Speakers Corner Decca Reissue

Click Here to See Our Favorite Pines of Rome

More Reviews and Commentaries for The Pines of Rome

Sonic Grade: C

We were only slightly impressed with the Speakers Corner Decca pressing of this album, writing at the time:

The famous TAS List recording. Very good sound. You can do better but it’s not easy. This work is just too difficult to record.

Mostly true. Not sure about very good sound but difficult to record is spot on.


More Heavy Vinyl Reviews

Here are some of our reviews and commentaries concerning the many Heavy Vinyl pressings we’ve played over the years, well over 200 at this stage of the game. Feel free to pick your poison.

Labels With Shortcomings – Speakers Corner – Classical

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Back to the Stone Age with The Pines of Rome on Mobile Fidelity

Click Here to See Our Favorite Pines of Rome

More Reviews and Commentaries for The Pines of Rome

More Records Perfectly Suited for the Stone Age Stereos of the ’70s

Sonic Grade: F

Hall of Shame pressing and another MoFi LP reviewed and found wanting.

MoFi’s version of this recording (#507) is one of the worst sounding classical records they ever made, and that’s saying something, because most of their classical catalog is awful. Thin, bright, with sloppy bass and completely unnatural string tone — the MoFi makes the typical Classic Record sound good! And that’s REALLY saying something.

The UHQR is somewhat better, especially in the lower octaves, but it’s maybe a D+ or C-, not a Better Record by any means.

How dull and opaque does a stereo have to be to make this record listenable? The answer is VERY dull and VERY opaque.

Stone Age Audio Systems are the only ones that can play junk like this and get away with it.          (more…)

Respighi / Pines of Rome with Maazel – Not the Pressing You Want

Hot Stamper Classical and Orchestral Pressings Available Now

More Recordings We’ve Discovered Are Multi-Miked Messes

Every Label Made Bad Sounding Records. Deutsche Grammophon Made This One.

I’ve been playing a lot of different pressings of this music lately, trying to find the recordings that are most likely to win a shootout.

My notes for this one read:

Very multi-miked. No depth, but the stage is wide. Not warm but dynamic.

There are a lot of DG recordings that have this kind of sound. We’ve played them by the score. Most went directly into the trade bin.

We simply do not sell classical records with this kind of second-rate sound regardless of the how good the performances may be.

Our job is to find you good sounding pressings. That’s the reason we carry no Heavy Vinyl of any kind, exactly one Half-Speed mastered title (John Klemmer’s Touch), rarely any Japanese pressings, and almost nothing made in the 21st century.

If these kinds of records sounded good — in other words, if they did well in shootouts — we would be happy to offer them to our customers.

But they don’t.

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