This RCA Plum Label Victrola LP has many shortcomings, but its strengths more than compensate for them.
The MIDRANGE is pure MAGIC. The sweet, textured strings, the back of the stage percussion, the placement of the orchestral sections in the soundstage, the performance itself — all combine to make you forget you are listening to an old, somewhat flawed record.
What has been captured in the grooves of the vinyl allows the listener to do what few recordings can — suspend his disbelief.
It’s not an old record. It’s living, breathing music being performed in the present, at this very moment. It’s happening — one is under the sway of Gounod’s music just as if one were attending the live event. The mind has somehow lost track of the fact that its owner is sitting at home.
The listener is transported by the sound, mentally, not physically, to a plane where the real world has no meaning, where music is the only reality.
I played this record and made critical notes for a while. At some point I lost interest in that activity.
I simply began to marvel at what the Decca engineers had managed to do, which was to draw me in completely.