Category Archives: Vinyl

HD-Vinyl 24/192 (EMI) Gustav Mahler • Symphony No. 1 “Titan” • Tennstedt


To my friends Jean-Luc and Trottar
Klaus Tennstedt is a Mahler conductor about whom opinions can be fiercely divided. There are those who decry his emotionality, and those who love it. I fall in the latter camp.
I have to admit that it had been probably a couple of years since I had listened live to Mahler’s First Symphony, and in hearing it here in this electric live performance by Tennstedt and the LPO I was struck anew with what a marvelous work it is. I know, maybe there are slightly better recorded performances overall — Solti, Kubelik and Bernstein come to mind — but coming back to the symphony after such a hiatus I was again reminded what a marvelous first Symphony it is, one in which Mahler broke all the rules and created a sui generis work of real power. Tennstedt’s emotionality is evident throughout, although the third movement seems slightly automatic in tone (and there are some momentary tuning problems with the ‘Bruder Jakob’ entry). The LPO brass really outdo themselves in the Stürmisch bewegt fourth movement. One finds oneself dodging the lightning strikes!
Audiophile factor & artistic factor: High!

Composer: Gustav Mahler
Orchestra:  London Philharmonic Orchestra
Conductor: Klaus Tennstedt
Vinyl 1978
Number of discs: 1
Format: Flac
Label: EMI
DR-Analysis: DR 16
Size: 2.02 GB
Scan: yes
Server: FF

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Marie-Claire Alain ‎– J.S. Bach: Sonates En Trio BWV 525-530 (French pressing)


# Composer: Johann Sebastian Bach
# Performer: Marie-Claire Alain
# Vinyl
# Number of Discs: 1
# Format: FLAC
# DR Analysis: DR 10
# Label: Erato Records | NUM 75219
# Size: 24-bit/192kHz (2.57GB), 24-bit/96kHz (1.41GB) and 16-bit/44.1kHz (375MB)
# Recovery: 5%
# Scan: yes
# Servers: File Factory

Marie-Claire Alain is not only one of the greatest organists alive today, but she stands directly in a what is undoubtedly the world’s greatest tradition of organ playing. It was France that first rediscovered and cultivated Bach’s organ music, and which in turn stimulated the great works of Franck, Widor, Vierne, and their school. Her performances are simply the last word in style, musicianship, and virtuosity. Magnificent!

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HD-Vinyl 24/192 (Decca) Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky • Piano Concertos No. 2 • Postnikova/Rozhdestvensky


Many thanks to Urbanox for this gem
VictoriaPostnikova was born in Moscow into a family of musicians. She entered the Central Music School of the Moscow Conservatory at age six, studying with E.B. Musaelian. She graduated in 1967, having studied there and in postgraduate courses with Professor Yakov Flier. In 1965 she won a prize at the International Chopin Piano Competition. She subsequently also won prizes at the Leeds International Piano Competition in England, the Vianna da Motta International Music Competition in Lisbon, and the Fourth International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow. Her repertoire is extremely broad, covering works by composers such as Bach, Handel, Scarlatti, Haydn, Mozart, Liszt, Chopin, Mendelssohn, Schumann, Brahms and Rachmaninoff and from more contemporary periods music by Busoni, Ives, Britten, Shostakovich and Schnittke. One of her greatest accomplishments is her recording of Tchaikovsky’s complete piano works. She takes part in concerts, recordings and recitals at home and abroad with her conductor husband Gennady Rozhdestvensky, whom she married in 1969. She is also an accomplished chamber musician, having given recitals in the CIS and France with Yehudi Menuhin featuring the complete Brahms violin and piano sonatas along with sonatas by Mozart, Beethoven and Bartók.

Composer: Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Performer:
Victoria Postnikova
Orchestra: Vienna Symphony Orchestra

Conductor: Gennadi Rozhdestvensky
Vinyl 1984
Number of discs: 1
Format: Flac
Label: Decca
DR-Analysis: DR 15
Size: 1.91 GB
Scan: yes
Server: FF

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Super HD-Vinyl 24/192 (Toshiba) Tokyo String Ensemble • Super Strings • Respighi/The Beatles • Ancient dances and airs/4 Songs


Revisited after 7 years…..now with the benefits of the Black Bird
and the AR SP15 …and in 24/192
A Japanese superpressing, produced Direct-To-Disc. The Tokyo String Ensemble are artists from NHK Symphony Orchestra. Conductor: Kouichi Sugiyama
Audiophile factor & artistic factor: very high!

Composer: Ottorino Respighi, The Beatles
Performer: Tokyo Strings Ensemble
Vinyl 1977
Number of Discs: 1
Format: FLAC
Label: Toshiba
DR-Analysis: DR 13
Size: 1.3 GB
Scan: yes
Server: FF
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Barbirolli/SOA/ASQ – Barbirolli Conducts English String Music (Hi-Q Records, 180g pressing)


# Composers: Sir Edward Elgar, Vaughan Williams
# Conductor: Sir John Barbirolli
# Orchestra: Sinfonia Of London
# Performers: Allegri String Quartet
# Vinyl
# Number of Discs: 1
# Format: FLAC
# DR Analysis: DR 12
# Label: Hi-Q Records | HIQLP005
# Size: 24-bit/192kHz (1.75GB), 24-bit/96kHz (994MB) and 16-bit/44.1kHz (258MB)
# Recovery: 5%
# Scan: yes
# Servers: File Factory

This famous LP was recorded at the Kingsway Hall, London on 10-11 May 1962, except for the Tallis Fantasia which was recorded in the sonorous acoustic of the medieval Temple Church in the City of London a week later. The latter venue was suggested by the American composer and conductor Bernard Herrmann, a friend and admirer of Barbirolli since Sir John’s years in New York. “Herrmann insisted that ‘it must be done in a stone building not a studio’. So Herrmann suggested the Temple Church. The recording session was started at midnight to avoid traffic noise”.

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HD-Vinyl 24/192 (Decca/London) Johannes Brahms • Piano Concerto No. 2 • Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra/Karl Böhm


Record provided by our friend Urbanox
The Brahms B flat concerto is a real treasure. Allow me to make a bold and personal statement: I have seldom heard any Brahms concerto performance (live or on record) which comes close to this recording in its grace and charm, and above all its understated yet overwhelming emotional power. Both the piano and orchestra playing are absolutely marvelous. However, what makes this recording so special was that some “miracle” seemed to have happened during the recording session: The piano and orchestra sounds are completely meshed with each other, and the music making seemed to come from a “whole”. The excellent sound engineering and masterful transfer all add to the whole experience. This is a performance by all together – artists, composer and Decca – to treasure for the eternity.

Composer: Johannes Brahms
Performer:  Wilhelm Backhaus
Orchestra: Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
Conductor: Karl Böhm
Vinyl 1967/1988
Number of discs: 1
Format: Flac
Label: Decca/London
DR-Analysis: DR 13
Size: 1.88 GB
Scan: yes
Server: FF

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Klemperer/PO – Bruckner: Symphony No. 4 “Romantic” (Hi-Q Records, 180g pressing)


# Composer: Anton Bruckner
# Conductor: Otto Klemperer
# Orchestra: Philharmonia Orchestra
# Vinyl
# Number of Discs: 1
# Format: FLAC
# DR Analysis: DR 11
# Label: Hi-Q Records | HIQLP057
# Size: 24-bit/192kHz (2.17GB), 24-bit/96kHz (1.20GB) and 16-bit/44.1kHz (323MB)
# Recovery: 5%
# Scan: yes
# Servers: File Factory

This is one of four LPs that EMI/Columbia released for Otto Klemperer’s 80th birthday in 1965. Bruckner’s Symphonies were relatively unknown to the record-buying public in the 1960s, when complete cycles, like Bernard Haitink’s were still in the process of being recorded.

Klemperer uses the Nowak edition of 1953, based on the 1886 revision of the score and gives and idiosyncratic interpretation, with outer movements faster than you would expect from this conductor, that nonetheless preserves the architecture of symphony, captured in vintage EMI/Kingsway Hall sound.

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HD-Vinyl Mono 24/96 (EMI) Ludwig van Beethoven – Violin Concerto (Menuhin/Furtwängler)


Made when Menuhin was 37, this recording catches him at his incomparable peak. His technique is effortless, smooth, and almost perfect, but it is his tone that is truly breathtaking in its intensity, radiance, purity, and personal expressiveness. The low register glows warmly, while the top has a celestial shimmer. Playing from deep inside the music, he emphasizes the music, making it dreamy, warm, urgent, ecstatic, ethereal, and almost too romantic. The Concerto, has …..

Composer: Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer: Yehudi Menuhin
Orchestra: Philarmonia Orchestra

Conductor: Wilhelm Furtwängler
Vinyl 1953
Number of discs: 1
Format: Flac
Label: EMI
DR-Analysis: DR 14
Size: 406 MB
Scan: yes
Server: FF

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HD-Vinyl 24/96 (Unicorn Records) Andrzej Panufnik – Sinfonia Sacra, Sinfonia Rustica (Panufnik)


These performances have the benefit of performance with the composer himself conducting. Sinfonia Sacra and Sinfonia Rustica were recorded in the mid 1960s and the sound quality is showing its age. Even so the performances are spirited. These early symphonies express more overt Polish nationalism than his later works but show his skills in the tight organisation of material. Rustica uses folk like material throughout but this is harmonically stretched – possibly as far as he could go under the Polish communist regime. Sinfonia Sacra is a stirring piece and his most famous – celebrating Polish nationhood and Catholic faith. Although there are reservations about the sound quality this stands as an excellent survey of his earlier symphonies so comes warmly recommended.

Composer: Andrzej Panufnik
Orchestra: Monte Carlo Opera Orchestra

Conductor: Andrzej Panufnik
Vinyl 1967
Number of discs: 1
Format: Flac
Label: Unicorn Records
DR-Analysis: DR 11
Size: 916 MB
Scan: yes
Server: FF

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HD-Vinyl 24/192 (DGG) Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart • String Quartets KV 387 • KV 421 • Melos Quartett Stuttgart


Record generously provided by our friend Jean-Luc
I enthusiastically recommend this disk. These are first-rate performances very well recorded. The interpretation of the Melos Quartet is insightful. It isn’t intrusive but does illuminate the music and at the same time is very musical, as is the sweet tone these players produce. The Melos players bring coherence – and musicality – that aren’t there in some performances of other artists.

Composer: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Melos Quartett Stuttgart
Vinyl 1977
Number of discs: 1
Format: Flac
Label: DGG
DR-Analysis: DR 14
Size: 2.14 GB
Scan: yes
Server: FF

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