AAA 100% Analogue This LP was Remastered using Pure Analogue Components Only from the Master Tapes through to the Cutting Head
Speakers Corner / Decca SXL 2009 - 180 Gram Virgin Vinyl - AAA 100% Analogue
Limited Edition - Pure Analogue Audiophile Mastering - Pressed at Pallas Germany
Speakers Corner 25 Years Pure Analogue This LP is an Entirely Analogue Production
This is how a Berlioz Symphonie Fantastique should sound. And how incredible it sounds This gorgeous sounding Decca is from November 1957 at Maison de la Mutualité, Paris by Ken Cress and produced by James Walker. It's a beautiful Decca, but also full of power and brimstone. The grand old orchestra, made up of teachers and pupils from the Conservatoire (disbanded in 1967 and reformed as the Orchestre de Paris), sounds good enough -- effective, evocative and powerful when required. But many of the solos are undistinguished and the brass playing can sound decidedly ropey! The bass trombone player is thinking croissants not crotchets! You'll be buying this LP for the sound and Argenta's fabulous conducting and interpretation. Everyone needs a great Symphonie Fantastique in their collection. Audiophiles need this one. Again, these exquisite Speakers Corner reissues are not cheap. But you'll get a lifetime Symphonie Fantastique. Full of French character heard through a legendary recording. Very highly recommended. -Audiophilia
It's easy to understand why Speakers Corner chose this LP for re-issue. One of the earliest Decca recordings this is also one of the finest. Argenta's reading of Berlioz's work puts you right in the front row. Sound is amongst the best that Decca/London ever achieved. Huge soundstage with tons of depth and air. A sonic knockout that really pushes the envelope musically and sonically. The music and conductor were made for this recording.One of the great ones. Get it no while you still can. You'll love it! Recommended - 5/5 LPreview...
Behind the mysterious title Symphonie fantastique is to be found what was undoubtedly one of the most powerful musical compositions of its day. The highly controversial discussions which this autobiographical, extraordinary work provoked are quite understandable when one considers that Beethoven and Schubert had just put down their quills for the last time and that Wagner had only just left his childhood behind him. In commenting upon the daring cyclical structure of the work, one French music critic said, “In Berlioz’s Symphony we believe that we have seen the prelude to a revolution in instrumental music”.
In spite of being acknowledged and praised as a composer, Berlioz was never given the professorship he coveted at the Paris Conservatoire, and it might appear as if the renowned Conservatoire Orchestra was making its apologies for this in the present excellent recording. The various scenes of the intoxicating programme music are approached with daring; dreadful, macabre ideas are presented in a low, gloomy and dark timbre until finally a heroic attitude comes to the fore, accompanied by thundering drum rolls, when the death sentence is pronounced. Fantastique!
- Paris Conservatoire Orchestra
- Ataúlfo Argenta (conductor)
Recording: November 1957 at Maison de la Mutualité, Paris by Ken Cress
Production: James Walker
Hector Berlioz (1803-1869)
Symphony Fantastique Op. 14
(Episode de la vie d'un artiste)
1. 1st Movement: Reveries, passions (Largo - Allegro agitato ed appassionato assai)
2. 2nd Movement: Un Bal (Valse: Allegro non troppo)
3. 3rd Movement: Scene aux champs (Adagio) (Part 1)
4. 3rd Movement: Scene aux champs (Adagio) (Concluded)
5. 4th Movement: Marche au supplice (Allegretto non troppo)
6. 5th Movement: Songe d'une nuit du Sabbat (Larghetto - Allegro)
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!