Toscanini / NSO – Moussorgsky: Pictures at an Exhibition / Franck: Psyché and Eros (mono, US pressing)

# Composers: Modest Moussorgsky, Cesar Franck
# Orchestras: NBC Symphony Orchestra
# Conductors: Arturo Toscanini
# Vinyl (1954)
# Number of Discs: 1
# Format: Flac
# DR Analysis: DR 13
# Label: RCA Red Seal | LM 1838
# Size: Size: 24-bit/192kHz (1.13GB), 24-bit/96kHz (723MB) and 16-bit/44.1kHz (186MB)
# Recovery: 5%
# Scan: yes
# Servers: File Factory

There’s no such thing as too many versions of Pictures at an Exhibition, right?

Surprisingly deep bass on this album – timid woofers beware!


Even high fidelity enthusiasts will not be put off by the quality of the recording of this historic interpretation of the Mussorgsky-Ravel edition of “Pictures at an Exhibition”, taken down on magnetic tape at 30 ips at Carnegie Hall on January 26, 1953. While the sheer volume and impact do not QUITE equal the famous Mercury “Living Presence” recording from 1951 by the Chicago Symphony under Kubelik, the reading has more intense drama and excitement, and the ensemble’s tonal balance is more obviously “French” than the central-European sound of the CSO: Toscanini’s clarity of detail is always evident. Only the occasional squashing action of RCA’s peak limiters deadens what must have been an overwhelmingly towering transient in the original microphone signal (the notes to the Red Seal LP state that only one condenser mike was used, in the “Mercury” manner.) Thus we hear Toscanini’s, and not an engineer’s, instrumental balancing, if not the Maestro’s true musical dynamics. – “A Customer”,

Track Listing:

Side One
01 – Pictures at an Exhibition (part one)
Promenade – The Gnome – Promenade – The Old Castle – Promenade – Tuileries – Bydlo – Promenade – Ballet Of The Unhatched Chicks – Samuel Goldenberg and Schmuyle – Limoges-The Market – Catacombs (Sepulchrum Romanum) – Con Mortuis In Lingua Mortua

Side Two
02 – Pictures at an Exhibition (part two)
The Hut On Fowl’s Legs – The Great Gate At Kiev
03 – Psyché and Eros (Episode No. 4 from Psyché)

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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12 thoughts on “Toscanini / NSO – Moussorgsky: Pictures at an Exhibition / Franck: Psyché and Eros (mono, US pressing)

  1. This an amazing recording , both rips 24-96 and 24-192 are great. I wonder how this would had sound if it would had been recorded in stereo in the first place. Sound is very detailed and it has very good bass. It is such an old recording and what an awesome sound quality . Thanks very much Steve!

  2. This is really, really impressive. Sounds much better than RCAs CD transfers. If you have any more Toscanini original cover ‘New Orthophonic” to share, I’m in.

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