Golden Age of RCA and Mercury.

Started by Irons, November 21, 2023, 01:30:25 PM

Previous topic - Next topic

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Irons

Kicking off at a high water mark of the RCA catalogue.

Mussorgsky: Pictures at an Exhibition (Ravel)/ A Night on Bald Mountain.

Recorded December 7.1957.

Produced by Richard Mohr. Recording Engineer Lewis Layton.



"Pictures" is one of the great recordings of 20c. Fritz Reiner was a grade one so and so who nonetheless or more likely the reason why he achieved such astonishing results with his Chicago orchestra. Perfection and precision are his mantra. Some say he overdoes the precision, I have never subscribed to that, listening to his "Bydlo" in open mouthed astonishment.

Copland: Billy the Kid / Rodeo.

Recorded February 9, 1960.

Produced by John Pfeiffer. Recording Engineer Lewis Layton.



A wider stereo image then the Reiner, more Hi-Fi. Amazing that even the acoustic can be heard clearly from a recording of 60+ years. I hear the Manhattan Centre, New York to be a bigger venue then Orchestra Hall, Chicago. Can an American poster enlighten me if this is so?
Performances can be compared with Bernstein and Copland himself, I think. "Billy the Kid" gun battle particularly spectacular. However, the performance of "Rodeo" may just edge the former.   



   
You must have a very good opinion of yourself to write a symphony - John Ireland.

I opened the door people rushed through and I was left holding the knob - Bo Diddley.

Dry Brett Kavanaugh

I love many recordings of the Living Stereo and Living Presence series. For now, I would like to mention these recordings. As for Dorati's Petrushka, the sound of various instruments are flying and jumping!















DavidW

My favorite:




Which on cd/sacd were released together.  The sound is phenomenal and the performance is absolutely desert island.  One of my all time favorite recordings of anything.

Cato



A wonderful recording of wonderful performances, especially the Schoenberg!
"Meet Miss Ruth Sherwood, from Columbus, Ohio, the Middle of the Universe!"

- Brian Aherne introducing Rosalind Russell in  My Sister Eileen (1942)

George

#4


Of the few dozen recordings of Rach 3 that I have heard, this one is my favorite.
"I can't live without music, because music is life." - Yvonne Lef├ębure

Cato

Quote from: George on November 21, 2023, 04:29:35 PM


Of the few dozen recordings of Rach 3 that I have heard, this one is my favorite.



Amen!  Byron Janis was and is my #1 pick for this concerto.  I grew up with this performance of his with Charles Munch and The Boston Symphony Orchestra.


"Meet Miss Ruth Sherwood, from Columbus, Ohio, the Middle of the Universe!"

- Brian Aherne introducing Rosalind Russell in  My Sister Eileen (1942)

Cato

Speaking of RCA, here was one of my favorite vinyl records: works by Edgar Varese and Frank Martin with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra conducted by Jean Martinon.



"Meet Miss Ruth Sherwood, from Columbus, Ohio, the Middle of the Universe!"

- Brian Aherne introducing Rosalind Russell in  My Sister Eileen (1942)

Dry Brett Kavanaugh

RCA Victor recording though it's not Living Stereo.



Irons

Quote from: Cato on November 22, 2023, 05:50:18 AMAmen!  Byron Janis was and is my #1 pick for this concerto.  I grew up with this performance of his with Charles Munch and The Boston Symphony Orchestra.




I cannot think of another soloist/conductor who featured on both RCA (Living Stereo) and Mercury (Living Presence)?

Edit: Maybe Szeryng.
You must have a very good opinion of yourself to write a symphony - John Ireland.

I opened the door people rushed through and I was left holding the knob - Bo Diddley.

Irons

Brahms: Violin Concerto.

Recorded February 21/22, 1955.

Producer John Pfeiffer. Recording engineer Lewis Layton.



Surprising how current both performance and sound. I find some performances of Brahms VC too slow and heavy. Heifetz is agile and has no need to hold back and admire a phrase, no need, as he is perfectly  self-aware of his God-given gift. I am running out of superlatives for Reiner.
You must have a very good opinion of yourself to write a symphony - John Ireland.

I opened the door people rushed through and I was left holding the knob - Bo Diddley.

Irons

Quote from: Dry Brett Kavanaugh on November 22, 2023, 06:07:30 AMRCA Victor recording though it's not Living Stereo.




Talk about throwing out baby with bathwater! It was the introduction of Dynagroove on their LP records that sent RCA on downward path both for reputation and sales.
Decca disliked the technology so much that when pressing RCA recordings under license they dropped Dynagroove without letting on to RCA, although still carrying the logo on covers.
You must have a very good opinion of yourself to write a symphony - John Ireland.

I opened the door people rushed through and I was left holding the knob - Bo Diddley.

Spotted Horses

Quote from: Irons on November 22, 2023, 11:42:18 PMTalk about throwing out baby with bathwater! It was the introduction of Dynagroove on their LP records that sent RCA on downward path both for reputation and sales.
Decca disliked the technology so much that when pressing RCA recordings under license they dropped Dynagroove without letting on to RCA, although still carrying the logo on covers.

Yes, dynagroove was a blunder only matched years later by the introduction of New Coke;D
There are simply two kinds of music, good music and the other kind. - Duke Ellington

Spotted Horses

I'm a huge Mercury admirer and can hardly think of a release I don't like (although to my ears the 35mm series is not as attractive as the earlier Mercury recordings recorded on a standard Ampex recorder). One recording that stands out in my mind for musical and technical excellence is the "Two Portraits" of Bartok, recorded by Dorati.



On CD it was released in a compilation with a different cover.
There are simply two kinds of music, good music and the other kind. - Duke Ellington

Dry Brett Kavanaugh


George

"I can't live without music, because music is life." - Yvonne Lef├ębure

vandermolen

Miaskovsky/Rimsky-Korsakov
Bax
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).


vandermolen

More Hanson:
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

vandermolen

Best recording of Khachaturian's 1st Symphony:

"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

Irons

Quote from: George on November 24, 2023, 05:22:41 AM

Another favorite!

Bob Fine's mobile recording studio in Moscow.
You must have a very good opinion of yourself to write a symphony - John Ireland.

I opened the door people rushed through and I was left holding the knob - Bo Diddley.