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Tchaikovsky - Nutcracker (Speakers Corner)
When the evenings grow longer, the autumn leaves begin to fall and Jack Frost calls during the night, then it is time to conjure up the magic world of Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker while relaxing in front of a crackling fire.
In this double album you will hear the delightfully varied ballet music in its entirety and not just the usual highlights. Each and every one of the highly individual numbers, be it a dance, a march or a waltz, is enchanting with its ever varying orchestral colouring, here merry and impudent and tripping along lightly without a care in the world, there sturdy and vigourous, even coarse.
The Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, led by its conductor of many years standing, Ernest Ansermet, is very much at home in Russian repertoire and masters the occasional immense difficulties of the score with bravado. The DECCA team has once again proved its worth and leaves any nuts which still need to be cracked to the hi-fi equipment - the airy strings, the delicate triangles, the thrill of cymbals clashing, and the wooden clack of the castanets. And if, by an amazing coincidence, the heating should fail when you are listening to this record, there is no reason to worry - this music is guaranteed to warm the cockels of your heart and keep Jack Frost from the door.
- Orchestre de la Suisse Romande
- Ernest Ansermet (conductor)
Recording: October / November 1958 at Victoria Hall, Geneva 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.
This title is not eligible for discount.$69.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
The Royal Ballet Gala PerformancesDouble LP With Book
Mastered By Bernie Grundman From The Original Analog Tape
200-Gram Double LP Plated And Pressed At Quality Record Pressings
In the hearts of thousands, No. 1 on the Top RCA list. While the bulk of Ansermet's recordings were made with L'Orchestre de la Susise Romande, there were a few with the Paris Conservatoire Orchestra and the very occasional foray into recordings with London orchestras, one of these being with the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, in 1959.
Audiophilia Online Magazine wrote: This is the stuff of which dreams are made. The Royal Ballet Gala is one of the finest RCAs recorded in London's Kingsway Hall. The chunks of great ballet music are well served by orchestra, conductor and engineer. Performances are executed to a very high standard - the Royal Opera House Orchestra, both then and n
ow, rank as one of the finest of opera orchestras.
Conductor Ansermet keeps the pace moving, giving the listener the impression of a dance event rather than a dramatic concert hall reading. With the exception of some of the Tchaikovsky scenes, the music is light and remains so under Ansermet's gentle touch. Each ballet is given full attention by the players, something not always attained at Covent Garden during long ballet nights! The threat of eternity does have its merits. The recorded sound is simply amazing! Lustrous is one word that comes to mind, accurate is another.
Tonally, Messrs. Williamson and Wilkinson have used their considerable talents to capture the orchestra superbly. Woodwind and strings glow and resonate, transporting this listener to a time when simpler recording was better. Brass ring out thrillingly and percussion effects are very musical. Be it a bang, swish, rattle, crack or snap, each percussionist is situated perfectly within the beautiful Kingsway soundstage. Even the difficult-to-record sound of the celeste is captured in its purely mechanical form. Its delicate sound is heard to great effect during the Nutcracker - originating stage left, the sound decays across the stage of Kingsway with sparkling beauty. Wonderful.
Producer: Michael Williamson
Engineer Kenneth Wilkinson
This title is not eligible for discount.LP 1
1. Tschaikovsky: From The Nutcracker Suite
2. Rossini-Respighi: From La Boutique Fantastique
3. Delibes: From CoppÉlia
4. Adam: From Giselle
1. Tschaikovsky: From Swan Lake
2. Schumann: From Carnaval
3. Tschaikovsky: From The Sleeping Beauty
4. Chopin: From Les Sylphides$99.99200 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP + Book - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now