AAA 100% Analogue This LP was Remastered using Pure Analogue Components Only from the Master Tapes through to the Cutting Head
Speakers Corner / Philips - 9500 563 - 180 Gram Virgin Vinyl - AAA 100% Analogue
Limited Edition Audiophile Mastering - Pressed at Pallas
I whole heartily recommend this LP for its musical score, Romero's wonderful guitar work and Speakers Corner's top notch engineering.LPReview
Rodrigo: Concierto de Aranjuez, Concierto Andaluz - Pepe Romero and the Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields conducted by Sir Neville Marriner
The frenetic applause with which both the public and the experts greeted the Concierto de Aranjuez for guitar and orchestra, composed in 1940, is certainly astounding – one would have thought that 20th-century music was dominated chiefly by composers of twelve-tone music and the avantguardists. Rodrigo, however, remained faithful to the Classical three-movement form, employed a late-Romantic orchestral colouring, and followed in the tradition of Spanish composers who, perhaps more than any others, won their inspiration from the folkmusic of their native country.
The whole work is full of the exotic magic of Spanish folkmusic, whereby the rhythmic drive of the first movement – reminiscent of clicking castanets – is particularly fascinating. Fortunately not only the composer but also the conductor and orchestra have taken care that the gentle tones produced by the world famous guitarist Pepe Romero are clearly to be heard.
In addition, the listener is treated to a performance of the rarely recorded Concierto Andaluz for four guitars, composed in 1967. Once again the Romeros demonstrate that they are not only amazingly virtuosic musicians but are also worthy dedicatees of this unique work. Last but not least, PHILIPS balance engineers have produced a superb recording: Rodrigo himself was absolutely delighted with it – and this opinion one can well endorse.
Talk about a wonderful surprise. Before dropping the needle into any Speakers Corner LP, I had high expectations regarding pressing quality, LP flatness and very low surface noise. On this regard, I was not disappointed. With this music, there are many quiet sections that would be completely disrupted with a lesser quality pressing. But with Speaker Corner's excellent engineering and technical pressing capabilities, the dead quiet backgrounds allow the instruments to appear in 3 dimensional glory. Also, the quiet surface noise (as good as I have heard) allows one to be transported into the recording venue. Imagine ambient clues that paint a deep soundstage in a very wide hall. So far so good, and what I have come to expect from Speakers Corner.
The big surprise was two fold: 1) the tonality and 2) the music.
This reissues from Philips (9500 563) has a full body tonality and richness that is just jaw dropping. For those unfamiliar with this music, it is spanish guitar with full orchestra. During the many solo guitar passages, you get a sense that the soloist is in your listening room. The guitar is full bodies, dynamic and has excellent transient attacks. Violent string plucks are easy portrayed on this excellent pressing. At the other extreme, Romero (soloist) carefully eases through the delicate guitar passages giving a sense of loveliness and warmth.
Historically, I have not been a fan of Spanish music, per se. After enjoying this wonderful music played with delicacy, I can say that this LP has become one of my favorite recordings. The music gives a sense of romance, adventure and throws the listener back in time to a better place.
I whole heartily recommend this LP for its musical score, Romero's wonderful guitar work and Speakers Corner's top notch engineering.
Pepe Romero, guitar (1-3)
Barry Davis, English horn (1-3)
Los Romeros (4-6)
Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields
Neville Marriner, conductor
Joaquin Rodriogo (b.1902)
Concierto de Aranjuez
1. Allegro con spirito
3. Allegro gentile
4. Tiempo de bolero
Jul/ August 1978 Wilhelm Hellweg / Production: Wilhelm Hellweg
20 Years pure Analogue
This Speakers Corner production was manufactured 100% analogously, with the use of the analogue mastertape and analogue mastering. All royalties and mechanical rights have been paid.
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.
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!