This is a rare and very nice looking Capitol LP. The violin sounds rich and sweet, although the sound of the orchestra is a bit “old school” with too much congestion and distortion during the louder sections to qualify as a Hot Stamper, assuming we were to put this record in a shootout.
Which makes it a “good, not great” vintage classical record, best played on an Old School Stereo system.
The much more revealing systems of today, like the one we employed to audition this very copy, simply make it too easy to spot its many faults.
We are not fans of vintage vinyl because we like the sound of old records. Lots of old records don’t sound good to us at all, and we review them by the score on this very blog.
We like old records because they have the potential to sound better than every other kind of record, including the ones that have been made and marketed to audiophiles over the course of the last thirty years or so.
We wrote about that subject in a commentary we call The Big If. An excerpt:
The best of the best vintage recordings are truly amazing if you can play them right. That’s a big if. In fact, it may just be the biggest if in all of audio.
We go on to discuss the wonderfully accurate timbre of the better vintage pressings, in contrast to the consistently inaccurate tonality of the Modern Heavy Vinyl pressing. It’s a long story but we think it is well worth your time if you are an audiophile looking for better sounding vinyl.
Michael Rabin managed to be one of the most talented and tragic violin virtuosi of his generation. Hailed as a child prodigy, his talent matured gracefully into an adult level, but he failed to follow in his emotional growth, resulting in a cutting short of his career. He never reached the age of 36, yet remains one of the most fondly remembered of virtuoso violinists for listeners and fellow musicians such as Pinchas Zukerman, with whom he shared a teacher.
This is an Older Classical/Orchestral Review
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 started developing in the early 2000s and have since turned into a veritable science.
We found the records you see in these older listings by cleaning and playing a pressing or two of the album, which we then described and priced based on how good the sound and surfaces were. (For out Hot Stamper listings, the Sonic Grades and Vinyl Playgrades are listed separately.)