Speakers Corner / Decca - SXL 2289 - 180 Gram Virgin Vinyl - AAA 100% Analogue
Limited Edition - Pure Analogue Audiophile Mastering - Pressed at Pallas Germany
Dvorák: Symphony No. 5 “From the New World” - Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Istvan Kertész
This Speakers Corner LP was remastered using pure analogue components only, from the master tapes through to the cutting head 20 Years pure Analogue
Dvorák’s long experience with classical forms finds its culmination in his final symphony, whose first performance took place in New York in 1893. The work still enjoys an unwaning popularity thanks to its finely contoured orchestration and its original themes, all of which are based on American folksongs and negro spirituals.
To capture Dvorák’s score in sound has always proved a challenge for both orchestra and recording team. This aim has been more than fulfilled in the present recording with the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra led by István Kertész: the primeval power of the weighty brass, the glorious revelling of the strings, and the lyrical solo passages are all captured here. Musicianship of the highest degree combined with audio-technical perfection lend this recording, made in the early days of stereophony, the status of an historical sound document which, despite numerous other recordings, has no reason to fear competition.
Aufnahme: März 1961 im Sofiensaal, Wien von James Brown / Produktion: Ray Minshull
Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra. Istvan Kertesz (conductor). Kertesz's approach is as simple and straightforward as could be, yet the hushed intensity of the playing conveys a depth of feeling that makes one hear the music with new ears. There is plenty of excitement and the Vienna Philharmonic plays the Largo most beautifully.
Popularly known as the New World Symphony, in older literature and recordings, this symphony was often numbered as Symphony No. 5. It is widely known today as Symphony No. 9 in E minor, From the New World. Composer Antonin Dvorak wrote it in 1893, it is by far his most popular symphony.
Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
Istvan Kertesz, conductor
Symphony No. 5 in E Minor, Op. 95 "From the New World"
1. 1st movement - Adagio - Allegro molto
2. 2nd Movement - Largo
3. 3rd Movement - Scherzo (Molto vivace)
4. 4th Movement - Allegro con fuoco
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.
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