AAA 100% Analogue This LP was Remastered using Pure Analogue Components Only from the Master Tapes through to the Cutting Head
Speakers Corner / Mercury Living Presence - SR90199 - 180 Gram Virgin Vinyl
AAA 100% Analogue - Limited Edition
Mastered by Willem Makke at Emil Berliner - Pressed at Pallas Germany
An aural feast that's easy to recommend!
MUSIC 10/10 SOUND 9/10
Featured in Michael Fremer's Heavy Rotation in the September 2007 Issue of Stereophile!
The Absolute Sound Super Disc List TAS Harry Pearson Super LP List
Dept. of Corrections: Due to a miscommunication between myself and Speakers Corner's Kai Seeman, I was led to believe this lush, yet detailed reissue was the first to be mastered by Maarten DeBoer, after the retirement of Willem Makkee at the newly refurbished Berliner Mastering facility in Hanover, Germany. Unfortunately, that information was incorrect, though the original, erroneous headline remains. This release was the last to be mastered by Mr. Makkee, who retired after mastering this. Makkee went out in style as this reissue of a much sought after original Mercury title is a superb-sounding transfer that's rich, detailed and dramatic.
It easily bests the Golden Import version I have and while I haven't heard an original, Mercury connoisseur Richard Foster told me it beats the sound of the original. The elegant, stately dance music, written by the Italian composer better known for "The Birds," "The Pines of Rome" and "The Fountains of Rome," and performed by the Philharmonia Hungarica, is based on music originally written for lute.
Comprised of three suites written between 1917 and 1932 and scored variously for flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, brass, timpani, celesta, harp and strings, the melodic "street" music is easily grasped and falls on the ear with a comforting familiarity. Respighi's lush yet open and airy arrangements cast a warm, sumptuous, delicate glow that acknowledges the age of the compositions while casting them in modern, 20th Century wrappings.
As a way into "classical music" this rich, spacious recording made in the largest (1840 seat) of the three venues contained within the Vienna Konzerthaus using three omni-directional microphones is difficult to beat. The sound verges on intoxicating, with transparent strings that are light as soufflé and plucked instruments that capture the transient bite with proper speed and authority. The stage is wide and very deep with the recording perfectly capturing the reverberant field and giving it just the right amount of attention so that the instruments project both delicacy and immediacy.
The Philharmonia Hungarica conducted by Antal Dorati conducts teh Philharmonia Hungarica in performing Ancient Dances and Airs for Lute by Respighi.
Legendary Mercury Living Presence classical music album pressed on 180g vinyl.
The common practice in concert houses today of performing early music on modern orchestral instruments is owed largely to the endeavours of Ottorino Respighi. His free transcription of Renaissance works for the lute (1932) opened up the way to the rediscovery of forgotten rhythms and timbres. Although Respighi altered the structure of the music by dissecting phrases right down to their basic elements, re-ordering them and redefining their sonority by the use of heavy brass and timpani, the art of the ancient maestri remained unscathed. Cadences and harmonic idioms are given a modern colouring at the most, but are never destroyed.
Antal Dorati and his famous Philharmonia Hungarica have all that is needed to bring the score to life. Even in opulent passages the individual instruments can be heard distinctly, and clearly defined one from one another. This works particularly well in the first two suites in which each movement is treated to a process of refinement by means of differing orchestration. That the third suite, written purely for stringed instruments, soars away just like the proverbial Aeolian harp is only to be expected from this orchestra.
Aufnahme: Juni 1958 im Großen Saal des Konzerthauses, Wien, von C.R. Fine
Produktion: Wilma Cozart-Fine
Antal Dorati, conductor
Ottorino Respighi (1879-1936)
Ancient Dances and Airs for Lute
Suite No. 1 (for Orchestra)
1. Balletto detto "Il Conte Orlando"
4. Passo mezzo e Mascherada
Suite No.2 (for Orchestra)
5. Laura soave: balletto con gagliarda, saltarello e canario
6. Danza rustica
7. Campanae parisienses - Aria
Suite No. 3 (for Strings)
Arie di corte:
10. (a) Andante cantabile
11. (b) Allegretto
12. (c) Vivace
13. (d) Lento con grande espressione
14. (e) Allegro vivace
15. (f) Vivacissimo
16. (g) Andante cantabile
AAA 100% Analogue This Speakers Corner LP was remastered using pure analogue components only, from the master tapes through to the cutting head 25 Years pure Analogue
MADE FROM THE ORIGINAL MASTER TAPES
AAA 100% ANALOGUE - PURE ANALOGUE AUDIOPHILE MASTERING
We use the Original Tapes and work with only the Best Mastering Studios Worldwide
180 GRAM VIRGIN VINYL PLATED & PRESSED AT PALLAS GERMANY
Faithful Reproduction of the Original Artwork and Labels
LIMITED EDITION Released in Limited Quantities
All Licences and Mechanical Rights 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.
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!