About Henderson - Prokofiev: Peter And The Wolf / Saint-Saens: Carnival of the Animals (Speakers Corner) (Discontinued) by Henderson - Prokofiev / Saint-Saens and The London Symphony Orchestra:
For those who enjoy a pun, Saint-Saëns’s Carnival of the Animals and Prokofiev’s symphonic tale for children Peter and the Wolf might well be described as “beastly”. And this recording makes no exception for it is, indeed, quite spectacular! Both works are introduced by the roaring and screaming of the inhabitants of London Zoo. The individual orchestral instruments are introduced during the course of the music and are commented upon by a human voice in a narrative.
The characters and animals are each given a characteristic theme which is presented by a particular instrument or register. While Prokofiev wrote his composition with a pedagogic purpose in mind, Saint-Saëns’s main aim was to create a piece of musical fun. The mischievous work not only offers a lively depiction of various animals and even hollow-sounding fossils (by means of the xylophone), but also contains numerous tongue-in-cheek references to works by great composers.
These two musical masterpieces combine humour with education in a thoroughly fascinating and enchanting manner and are equally loved by children and adults alike. The interpretation and sound of this DECCA LP certainly earns first prize for being “beastly”!
- Beatrice Lillie
- Animals of the London Zoo
- London Symphony Orchestra
- Skitch Henderson (conductor)
Recording: February 1960 at Kingsway Hall, London by Kenneth E. Wilkinson
Production: John Culshaw
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.