About Carmen Suite - Ansermet (Speakers Corner) by Georges Bizet:
The 19th-century suites with their collection of favourite songs and instrumental excerpts from operas are the clear forerunners of today’s 'Best-Of' culture. The "Carmen Suite" was assembled after Bizet’s death and brought the operatic masterpiece into the concert hall. The overture is fresh and rousing, the toreador theme marches in proudly and purposefully, followed by the destiny motif in the minor key which burns itself into ones ear and mind. With every bar it becomes obvious that this suite is not so much a series of excerpts but rather the true substance of its creator’s musical ideas.
All that remained of the five-act play "L’Arlésienne" after its unsuccessful premiere was Bizet’s incidental music, which he himself orchestrated lavishly and premiered with success. Similar to "Carmen", popular melodies are treated with the composer’s own unique style to make them ageless, and Ernest Ansermet and his orchestra stages them delightfully for all eternity.
Recording: April and May 1958 at Victoria Hall, Geneva (Switzerland), by Roy Wallace
Production: James Walker
About Speakers Corner
At the beginning of the 90s, in the early days of audiophile vinyl re-releases, the situation was fairly straightforward. Companies such as DCC, Mobile Fidelity, Classic Records and, of course, Speakers Corner all maintained a mutual, unwritten ethical code: we would only use analogue tapes to manufacture records.
During the course of the present vinyl hype, many others have jumped 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 to master from: CDs, LPs, digital files, MP3s – or employed existant tools from the 80s and 90s for manufacturing.
A digital delay is gladly used when cutting a lacquer disc because tape machines with an analogue delay have become quite rare and are therefore expensive. When cutting the lacquer, the audio signal is delayed by one LP revolution against the signal, which controls the cutter head, and for this a digital delay is very often employed. Of course, the resultant sound signal is completely digital and thus only as good as this delay.
We should like to emphasise that Speakers Corner Records on principle only uses the original master tape as the basis for the entirely analogue cutting of lacquer discs. In addition, the pressing tool is newly manufactured as a matter of principle. We have one digital recording in our catalogue (Alan Parsons / Eye In The Sky“), but even in this particular case we used the analogue tapes for cutting.
We only employ existing tools for manufacturing if an improved result is not forthcoming, e.g. the title Elvis Is Back, which was mastered by Steve Hoffman and Kevin Gray, or several titles from our Philips Classics series, which in any case Willem Makkee cut from the original masters at the Emil Berliner Studios in the 90s. It goes without saying that we only used the mother and that new tools were made for our production.
To put it in a nutshell: we can ensure you that our releases are free from any kind of digital effects – excluding the exception above – and that the lacquer discs are newly cut.