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Air On A G String'
Handel - Water Music - Fireworks Music (Speakers Corner)
Composed in the spirit of the Baroque, the Water Music and Royal Fireworks Music were written by the highly regarded George Frideric Handel on commissions from Kings George I and George II of England.
The remarkable première of the Water Music - a suite of instrumental airs, fanfares, dances, and other delights - was played in 1717 by musicians in a barge who entertained the King and his entourage on a banquet held on board the royal barge which travelled up and down the river Thames. According to reports at the time, Handel's new work was greeted with unanimous acclaim.
Music appeared equally fitting for the solemn but festive commemoration of a peace treaty. The Royal Fireworks Music - originally scored for brass, oboes and bassoons, plus timpani and the bizarre serpent horn - was composed in 1749 for the victory gala in London's Green Park celebrating the Peace of Aix-La-Chapelle.
In both pieces Georg Szell and the London Symphony Orchestra conjure up the full splendour of baroque tonality. Orchestra and conductor are clearly in a festive mood. The strings show rare form, lush and radiant. The brass are brilliant but never shrill. The atmosphere is transparent, the spatial effects are impressive.
For the outstanding quality of this recording we are indebted not least to its inspired recording engineer, Kenneth E. Wilkinson.
- London Symphony Orchestra
- George Szell (conductor)
Recording: August 1961 at Watford Town Hall, Watford 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.$34.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Med Sud I Vid Spilum EndalaustInspired by the unfettered feeling of the acoustic performances filmed during Heima, Sigur Ros adopted a looser approach in creating their fifth album Med Sud I Vid Spilum Endalaust. The album consequently is fresher and more human than anything they've previously recorded.
Rough edges, cracked notes, and the sound of fingers on strings are audible resulting in tracks (e.g. Illgresi) that prove to be the band's sparsest and most affecting work to date. Worry not though, plenty of electric guitar can be heard throughout the album ensuring Sigur Ros' commitment to challenging sonic limitations.
Med Sud I Vid Spilum Endalaust is truly a groundbreaking album for Sigur Ros. It's the first time they've attempted to write, record, mix, release and support (by touring) an album in the same year. Notoriously known for their laborious writing/recording style and their Icelandic roots, Sigur Ros decided to record an album outside of Iceland for the first time. Recording, mixing and mastering sessions took place in such un-Reykjavik cities as New York (Sear Sound and Sterling Sound), London (Abbey Road and Assault & Battery) and Havana. The result is pretty much their leave home album, the anti-Heima.
The opening track, Gobbledigook, is a manifesto setter with its shifting/no time signature. On the last track, All Alright, Sigur Ros find themselves singing a song solely in English for the first time. The seventh track, Ára Bátur, was performed with a full orchestra and the London Oratory Boys Choir. This was recorded in one take with no overdubs and the result was 90 people playing at once and just one perfect take. This is their first album working with Flood (U2, Depeche Mode, PJ Harvey) and the first since their debut to not be recorded with Ken Thomas. It was a true co-production, one that found Sigur Ros breaking out of old molds/habits. Double LP on high quality 180g vinyl.
Sigur Ros' fifth album is the Icelandic band's most worldly, varied and impetuous. The band achieves a new unity in variety here, winding from near-glam romp and fireside-folk warmth to slow-climb grandeur with an attention to the repeated payoff in a sturdy hook and hum-along chorus. (4 Stars) - Rolling Stone
Old-fashioned psychedelic grandeur is revived with otherwordly majesty and inexorable crescendos, a typically majestic but uncharacteristically summery album, with jolts of percussive energy and connotations of sunlight and air. - New York Times1. Gobbledigook
2. Inní MÉr Syngur Vitleysingur
3. Góðan Daginn
4. Við Spilum Endalaust
6. Með Suð Í Eyrum
7. Ára Bátur
11. All Alright$24.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now