AAA 100% Analogue This LP was Remastered using Pure Analogue Components Only from the Master Tapes through to the Cutting Head
Speakers Corner / Mercury - SR90226 - 180 Gram Virgin Vinyl
AAA 100% Analogue - Limited Edition
Pure Analogue Audiophile Mastering - Pressed at Pallas Germany
Speakers Corner 25 Years pure Analogue
The Absolute Sound Super Disc List TAS Harry Pearson Super LP List
Stravinsky :L’Oiseau de feu (The Firebird)
"The Firebird" can almost be described as a work of fate, since it is not only the first of several ballets that Stravinsky wrote for Sergei Diaghilev and his Ballets Russes but also marks his international breakthrough as a composer. In comparison with his other earlier stage works, the ecstatic, sharply contoured "Rite of Spring" for example, "The Firebird", with its melodic character, is a far gentler work altogether. There are unmistakable reminiscences of the musical language of Rimsky-Korsakov and Tchaikovsky as well as snatches of late-Romantic harmonies; all this lends the music the charm of Russian tradition.
In his performance, Dorati chooses the golden mean in that he has his ensemble produce a highly colourful but by no means glaring sound. Thus the listener is given the opportunity to follow the development of the finely chiselled motifs which are so characteristic of this early composition. Happily, the chamber-music-like transparency is preserved even in the loud, more exposed passages – the sound leaves the loudspeakers with a sprightly, athletic tread, as it were.
"…I consider all three of these ballets to be 'must haves' in any classical musical library and the re-emergence of these now readily available and rejuvenated recordings is a cause for serious celebration…demonstration quality sound that is, in my opinion, harmonically and tonally near perfect, and not to be confused with the earlier Classic Records release…Speakers Corner Records has once again delivered a winning combination of performance, pressing quality and presentation. This set should be a keystone in every serious collection. Actually, let's make that every collection, period. These records really are too good to miss." – Richard S. Foster, Hi-Fi+,
A true revelation. Is this Speaker Corner album another legend in the making? Time will tell. Right now it deserves a Blue Moon Award. - 6Moons
"There's plenty of depth and imaging is naturally specific. instrumental timbres are richly characterized; violins are silky and the celesta sparkles. All three LPs have more timbral refinement and dimensionality than the excellent early 90s CD reissues." - Andy Quint, The Absolute Sound
London Symphony Orchestra
Antal Dorati, conductor
Igor Stravinsky (1882-1971)
1. Introduction And The Enchanted Garden Of Kastchei
2. Visit Of The Firebird Followed By Prince Ivan
3. Dance Of The Firebird
4. Prince Ivan Captures The Firebird
5. An Appearance Of Thirteen Princesses
6. Game Of The Princesses With The Golden Apples
1. Sudden Appearance Of Prince Ivan
2. Round-Dance Of The Princessess
4. The Demonic Bells, Apparition Of Monster-Guards Of Kastchei And The Capture Of Prince Ivan
5. Dialogue Of Prince Ivan And Kastchei
6. Infernal Dance Of Kastchei And His Court And The Lullaby
7. Kastchei's Death
8. Animation Of The Petrified Knights, And General Rejoicing
Recorded June 1959 at Watford Town Hall, London
25 Years pure Analogue
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!