Speakers Corner / Columbia - MS 6488 - 180 Gram Virgin Vinyl
AAA 100% Analogue - Mastered by Kevin Gray at Cohearant Audio
Audiophile Mastering - Pressed at Pallas Germany
Johannes Brahms: "Alto Rhapsody", "Song Of Destiny" / Gustav Mahler: "Songs Of A Wayfarer" - Mildred Miller (voc), The Occidential College Concert Choir and the Columbia Symphony Orchestra conducted by Bruno Walter
This Speakers Corner LP was remastered using pure analogue components only, from the master tapes through to the cutting head 20 Years pure Analogue
The Absolute Sound Super Disc List TAS Harry Pearson Super LP List
The "Alto Rhapsody," "Song Of Destiny" and "Song Of A Wayfarer." Each of these three vocal compositions is unique in its expression and construction, yet the frayed emotional worlds of all three works are connected by a multitude of fine threads. The "Alto Rhapsody," which Brahms wrote as a wedding gift for Clara Schumann's daughter Julie, in whom he was himself in love, demonstrates with almost Wagnerian weight the anger that the disappointed Brahms must have felt while composing. The "Song Of Destiny" too, with its sonorous E major waves of harmony, soon announces in C minor the finiteness of existence as Hölderin's poem demands.
That finally a hopeful, conciliatory — though unsure — moment lingers is reflected in the musical means. Many emotions and vagaries are emulated in Mahler's song cycle. The journeyman sets off on his wanderings in order to forget his unhappy liaison and strides through the ups and downs of mixed emotions and painful heartache. Drumrolls and march rhythms reflect the real world and sounds of nature, dissonances and a change between major and minor keys show the way from dreams, reality and feelings. The recording with Mildred Miller and the Columbia Symphony Orchestra under Bruno Walter has achieved reference status and is sure of a place in the TAS Super LP List given out by The Absolute Sound.
Recording: June 1960 and January 1961 at Columbia Studios, Hollywood
Production: John McClure
Mildred Miller, mezzo-soprano
The Occidental College Concert Choir
Howard Swan, director
The Columbia Symphony Orchestra
Bruno Walter, conductor
1. Alto Rhapsody
2. Song Of Destiny
3. Songs Of A Wayfarer
A1 Brahms: Alto Rhapsody, Op. 53
A2 Brahms: Song Of Destiny, Op. 54
Songs Of A Wayfarer (Leider Eines Fahrenden Gesellen)
B1 I. Wenn Mein Schatz Hochzeit
B2 II. Ging Heut' Morgen Über's Feld
B3 III. Ich Hab' Ein Glühend' Messer
B4 IV. Die Zwei Blauen Augen
20 Years pure Analogue
This Speakers Corner LP was remastered using pure analogue components only, from the master tapes through to the cutting head
Are your records completely analogue?
Yes! This we guarantee!
As a matter of principle, only analogue masters are used, and the necessary cutting delay is also analogue. All our cutting engineers use only Neumann cutting consoles, and these too are analogue. The only exception is where a recording has been made – either partly or entirely – using digital technology, but we do not have such items in our catalogue at the present time
Are your records cut from the original masters?
In our re-releases it is our aim to faithfully reproduce the original intentions of the musicians and recording engineers which, however, could not be realised at the time due to technical limitations. Faithfulness to the original is our top priority, not the interpretation of the original: there is no such thing as a “Speakers Corner Sound”. Naturally, the best results are obtained when the original master is used. Therefore we always try to locate these and use them for cutting. Should this not be possible, – because the original tape is defective or has disappeared, for example – we do accept a first-generation copy. But this remains an absolute exception for us.
Who cuts the records?
In order to obtain the most faithful reproduction of the original, we have the lacquers cut on the spot, by engineers who, on the whole, have been dealing with such tapes for many years. Some are even cut by the very same engineer who cut the original lacquers of the first release. Over the years the following engineers have been and still are working for us: Tony Hawkins, Willem Makkee, Kevin Gray, Maarten de Boer, Scott Hull, and Ray Staff, to name but a few.
At the beginning of the ‘90s, in the early days of audiophile vinyl re-releases, the reissue policy was fairly straightforward. Companies such as DCC Compact Classics, Mobile Fidelity, Classic Records and others, including of course Speakers Corner, all maintained a mutual, unwritten code of ethics: we would manufacture records sourced only from analogue tapes.
Vinyl’s newfound popularity has led many other companies to jump on the bandwagon in the hope of securing a corner of the market. Very often they are not so ethical and use every imaginable source from which to master: CDs, LPs, digital files and even MP3s.
Even some who do use an analogue tape source employ a digital delay line, a misguided ’80s and ‘90s digital technology that replaces the analogue preview head originally used to “tell” the cutter head in advance what was about to happen musically, so it could adjust the groove “pitch” (the distance between the grooves) to make room for wide dynamic swings and large low frequency excursions. Over time analogue preview heads became more rare and thus expensive.
So while the low bit rate (less resolution than a 16 bit CD) digital delay line is less expensive and easier to use than an analogue “preview head”, its use, ironically, results in lacquers cut from the low bit rate digital signal instead of from the analogue source!
Speakers Corner wishes to make clear that it produces lacquers using only original master tapes and an entirely analogue cutting system. New metal stampers used to press records are produced from that lacquer. The only exceptions are when existing metal parts are superior to new ones that might be cut, which includes our release of “Elvis is Back”, which was cut by Stan Ricker or several titles from our Philips Classics series, where were cut in the 1990s using original master tapes by Willem Makkee at the Emil Berliner Studios. In those cases we used only the original “mother” to produce new stampers.
In addition, we admit to having one digital recording in our catalogue: Alan Parsons’ “Eye in the Sky”, which was recorded digitally but mixed to analogue tape that we used to cut lacquers.
In closing, we want to insure our loyal customers that, with but a few exceptions as noted, our releases are “AAA”— analogue tape, an all analogue cutting system, and newly cut lacquers.
60 Years Pallas
Audiophile Vinyl - Made in Germany For over 60 years the family business in the third generation of the special personal service and quality "Made by Pallas" is known worldwide. Our custom PVC formulation produces consistently high pressing quality with the lowest surface noise in the industry. Our PVC complies with 2015 European environmental standards and does not contain toxic materials such as Lead, Cadmium or Toluene. Our vinyl is both audiophile and eco-grade!