Our favorite recording of the work is this one Fistoulari recorded for Readers Digest.
It’s also an excellent record to test with. As you no doubt know, there is a lot of “action” in this piece of music.
To get the strings and the brass to sound lively yet natural is a bit of a trick. (It doesn’t help that the polarity is reversed.)
When I first played this record many years ago, I was none too happy about the string tone. After making a few tweaky adjustments, the strings became much clearer and more textured. The overall presentation still sounded rich, but was now dramatically more natural and relaxed.
It was this record that made me realize some of the changes I had made to my stereo back then had caused it to have a certain hi-fi-ish quality, which seemed to work fine on the popular and jazz recordings I was using as test discs at the time.
But the reproduction of classical music is the ultimate challenge for any stereo.
And this record was telling me I wasn’t getting it right. I’m happy to report that things are sounding wonderful now, on every kind of record: jazz, rock and especially on excellent classical recordings such as this one, on Readers Digest no less (!)
A famous jazz album by Michel LeGrand was also helpful in getting my playback to be more correct.
We are in the process of making some lists (more lists!) for records we’ve found to be good for testing, tweaking and tuning your system, your room and your front end setup, among other things. So far, we have compiled these groups:
- Favorite Jazz Test Discs
- Favorite Orchestral Test Discs
- Favorite Rock and Pop Test Discs
- More of Our Favorite Test Discs
These are the records that challenged me and helped me to achieve more progress in audio. If you want to improve your stereo, these are some of the best records we know of to help you get to the next level.