Ansermet / OSR – Stravinsky: Petrouchka (mono, 180g pressing)

# Composer: Igor Stravinsky
# Orchestra: L’Orchestre de la Suisse Romande
# Conductor: Ernest Ansermet
# Vinyl (2015)
# Number of Discs: 1
# Format: Flac
# DR Analysis: DR 13
# Label: Decca | 478 7464
# Size: 24-bit/192kHz (1.98GB), 24-bit/96kHz (1.01GB) and 16-bit/44.1kHz (274MB)
# Recovery: 5%
# Scan: yes
# Servers: File Factory

From the label:

This limited-edition LP set features six outstanding recordings from Decca s earliest high fidelity history, celebrating the technological breakthroughs that brought full-frequency range recording (ffrr) and high fidelity to the world 70 years ago. The recordings in this set, including Decca’s first LP (Ansermet s 1949 recording of Petrouchka), have been selected from a collection of 50 celebrated recordings in the 53-CD set of THE DECCA SOUND MONO YEARS. Newly presented in luxury 180gm vinyl pressings, the set includes a newly written booklet detailing the history behind the Decca Sound from this period.

Exploring Decca’s early high-fidelity audio history, this numbered limited edition 180g 6LP box set of acclaimed full-frequency range recordings from the Mono era spans legendary composers from Stravinsky and Beethoven to Rachmaninov; world renowned conductors from Ernest Ansermet to Erich Kleiber; great soloists such as Clifford Curzon and Julius Katchen; and iconic orchestras like the London Philharmonic and Concertgebouw Orchestra of Amsterdam. Includes original cover art from each recording. Lacquers cut at Abbey Road Studios.


The (box set) collection begins with an iconic 1940’s recording from Ernest Ansermet. The remastering is excellent: featuring nominal hiss, good dynamic range and exceptional clarity. In many ways, I prefer the sound of this recording to those made early in the stereo era, which have always sounded slightly thin and harsh to my ears. Here the mono sound has a richness and assertiveness missing from the stereo recordings. However, it is in its performance that this recording begs to be heard. Ansermet’s 1949 Petrouchka (Decca’s very first LP record) is urgent and dramatic with an intensity more appropriate for the opera stage than the ballet. Of course, Ansermet has serious claims to “authenticity” in his Stravinsky performances since he was there at their inception.

The box set includes an informative booklet about Decca’s wartime creation of high-fidelity sound. The bottom line is that this recording is but one of a great number of superb performances in uniformly good to excellent monophonic sound. Noise reduction seems minimal so little of the original recordings are lost to sonic trickery. Despite their age, these are some of the finest recordings in the Decca catalog. If you can accept that they are monophonic recordings, you will enjoy owning this collection. — Gary Lemco –

Track Listing:

Side One
01 – I. The Shrovetide Fair – The Crowds – The Conjuring-trick
02 – II. Petrouchka’s Roomo

Side Two
03 – III. The Moor’s Room – Dance of the Ballerina
04 – IV. The Shrovetide Fair (Evening)

Recording Location: Victoria Hall, Geneva, Switzerland, 29 & 30 November 1949
First released as LXT 2502

Mastered at Optimal from the original analogue source
Lacquers cut by Sean Magee at Abbey Road Studios

Additional info can be found here.

Ripping Info:

All vinyl is cleaned on a VPI 16.5

Music Hall MMF-7.1
– Music Hall Cruise Control 2.0
– Music Hall cork mat
Ortofon 2M Mono SE
SimAudio Moon 110LP preamp
RME Hammerfall 9632 ADC

Processing: Sound Forge 10, ClickRepair (manual mode only), iZotope RX3

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9 thoughts on “Ansermet / OSR – Stravinsky: Petrouchka (mono, 180g pressing)

  1. Historic! At first I thought 96 khz should be plenty enough for a mono record, but then I was like “Nah, man, this is history, you want to hear the fullest thing possible” and went for the 192 khz

    Thanks for sharing!

  2. Steve, I was astounded how clearly the 192 recording made the
    “mono” so full.
    A beautiful transference,. Thank You.
    It is like a “new” recording.
    Kudos for you!

    • I don’t think the 192 made the sound so full but rather the ffrr Decca process. In my case I downloaded the 96KHz and I got the same enjoyment than you I think. As the 96 and 44,1KHz are got by downsampling the 192KHz rip one hardly detects any difference.

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