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V.A. - Classic Records Deluxe: 1S Edition Box Set Of RCA Living Stereo (10 LP, 1994)

Posted By: Discograf_man
V.A. - Classic Records Deluxe: 1S Edition Box Set Of RCA Living Stereo (10 LP, 1994)

V.A. - Classic Records Deluxe: 1S Edition Box Set Of RCA Living Stereo (10 LP, 1994)
Classical, Orchestral | MP3 CBR 320 kbps | 1,07 Gb
Label: RCA Living Stereo / Classic Records

Offered at auction with no reserve, serial number 0940 from Classic Records limited edition Deluxe 1S Edition set of audiophile grade re-issues of 10 RCA Living Stereo LPs. The sound quality of these Classic Records re-issues is legendary. All 10 LPs are brand new, still in the original sealed outer sleeves. Each bears a serial number label as on the box, showing the number 0940. The record sleeves (exact reproductions of the original RCA sleeves, aside from stating that they were made under license by Classic Records at the bottom of the back) are in flawless (Mint) condition. Being still sealed, new records, the vinyl is presumably in Mint condition. The box for the box set is in very good condition - very minor shelf wear and some fingerprints.
Contents:

1960 - Richard Strauss - Also Sprach Zarathustra
1954 - Hector Berlioz - Symphonie Fantastique
1964 - Khachaturian - Masquerade Suite | Kabalevsky - The Comedians
1961 - Lalo - Symphonie Espagnole
1958 - Bartok - Concerto for Orchestra
1961 - Strauss Waltzes
1960 - Festival
1961 - Liszt - Todtentanz | Rachmaninoff - Piano Concerto No. 1
1958 - Saint-Saens - Concerto No. 2 | Franck - Symphonic Variations
1961 - Rhapsodies - Stokowski
1958 - Mussorgsky/Ravel - Pictures at an Exhibition

1960 - Richard Strauss - Also Sprach Zarathustra

Fritz Reiner/Chicago Symphony Orchestra

1. Also Sprach Zarathustra (Part 1) – 15:52
2. Also Sprach Zarathustra (Part 2) – 15:35

This Richard Strauss – Also Sprach Zarathustra is part of a Classic Records Deluxe 1S Edition Box Set of RCA Living Stereo “Shaded Dog” releases.
LSC 1806 is the stereo of LM 1806, and is the Living Stereo LP with the earliest recording date (1954). It was not, however the first Living Stereo issued. That would be LSC 2201, Pictures at an Exhibition. LSC 1806 was issued in 1960, but when Reiner and Chicago recorded Zarathustra again in 1962 (LSC 2609), the 1954 recording was deleted from the LSC catalogue, and issued on Victrola as VICS 1265. LSC 1806 was only in print for about 18 months, and wasn’t a huge seller, as it had already been available for 6 years on mono LP and in stereo on 2 track tape. A lot of the people who wanted it already had it. This is why it is so rare.

1954 - Hector Berlioz - Symphonie Fantastique

Charles Munch/Boston Symphony Orchestra

1. Appassionata – 13:07
2. Waltz – 6:04
3. Pastoral – 13:43
4. Death March – 4:27
5. Witches’ Dance – 8:40

This Hector Berlioz – Symphonie Fantastique is part of a Classic Records Deluxe 1S Edition Box Set of RCA Living Stereo “Shaded Dog” releases.
This is the legendary 1954 performance of the Berlioz Symphonie Fantastique that was never issued as a Living Stereo. By the time that RCA started issuing stereo LP’s in 1960, Munch was scheduled to rerecorded the piece and hence the issued instead of the 54′ recording which many argue is the better performance. This is one of the early Jack Pfeiffer two track recordings which capture that sense of being there that is often elusive. When Classic first issued this title in 1994, we decided to use the second or RE mono cover art because we found an original slick with the Living Stereo banner in the RCA archives. This confirmed that RCA had intended to release this performance as LSC 1900 but never actually did so. We reasoned that this is what RCA would have used for artwork and as such what we should use as well. After our first issue of LSC 1900, Jack Pfeiffer shared with us that he was never happy with the RE cover and would have preferred the original mono cover converted to Living Stereo with the addition of the banner across the top of the jacket. As a tribute to a legendary producer and supporter of the Classic Records RCA Living Stereo reissue series we are proud to reissue LSC 1900 with the original mono artwork with the Living Stereo Banner appropriately applied across the top of the jacket.
In listening to the Symphonie Fantastique (Classic Records LSC-1900) we immediately sense the light and frothy, ineffably ‘French’ sound that Munch is able to draw forth from the Boston Symphony players. The rubato phrasing in the first movement is enchanting and we are amazed by the see-into transparency revealed by the shuffling of the instrumentalists during quiet passages. The phrasing of the first violins is exquisitely delicate. Forte passages are wall-to-wall, with the idee-fixe carried by the trumpet deep to the right. Munch has supple control of the crescendi and decrescendi. The listener is drawn into Boston Symphony Hall through space and time by the transparency of the details and the realism of the dynamics. In the fourth movement we note the superb layering and depth in the counterpoint of the tympani and clarinet. Berlioz pulls out all the stops in the finale and we are treated to the clanging gong, trombones, tubas and breathy flutes. Overall, the music is fluid and breathtakingly dynamic.

1964 - Khachaturian - Masquerade Suite | Kabalevsky - The Comedians

Kiril Kondrashin/RCA Victor Symphony Orchestra

Khachaturian – Masquerade Suite:
1. Waltz – 4:28
2. Nocturne – 3:50
3. Mazurka – 2:42
4. Romance – 3:47
5. Galop – 3:01

6. Kabelevsky – The Comedians, Op. 26 – 14:49
Prologue
Comedians’ Galop
March
Waltz
Pantomime
Intermezzo
Little Lyrical Scene
Gavotte
Scherzo
Epilogue

–- This CD speaks more than any amount of words as to the tragic loss music suffered over the early death of conductor, Kiril Kondrashin. “The Masquerade Suite” and “The Comedians” in particular have incredible style and sweep. These pieces which have been for so long relegated to the status of pops concerts level become in Kondrashin’s hands the decided masterpieces of colorful writing and wonderful orchestration that they actually are. I must go so far as to say that these interpretations are definitive. We like to think of all the technical advances we have made in the last decades, but the sonics of the original analog tapes make these pieces sound like they were recorded yesterday rather than 40 years ago. There is not a trace of compression or distortion. Volumes on a good stereo system can be put to earthquake level. The final movement of the Kabelevsky is a speaker buster with Kabelevsky’s ample use of kettle drums for the grand finish. On the other side of the coin, there is Oscar Shumsky’s incomparable violin playing in “The Masquerade Suite” with its heartfelt second movement’s large violin solo. This is a “must-have” CD. We have absolutely magnificent performances of two masterpieces of orchestration from the mid-twentieth century Russian school. –-

–- The violin is so sweet and full of rosiny texture here. The whole string section is full of Living Stereo magic. The soundstage is wide and deep, the overall sound rich and warm. The midrange is nothing short of magical.This is the kind of Golden Age recording that makes audiophiles lose it. It’s one of the few legitimate reasons to take the TAS Super Disc List seriously in the first place. HP put records like this on the audiophile map and we owe him a debt of gratitude for having done so. Our musical lives are remarkably richer for it..This recording is so natural it’s FREAKISH. You get swept up in the music completely because the sound allows you to forget it’s even a recording at all. All the normal adjectives apply; I won’t bother to repeat them here. If I ever make a list of the greatest recordings of all time, as Harry does with his “Best of the Bunch” dozen, you can bet that this record will be on it. –-

Oscar Shumsky – violin solo

1961 - Lalo - Symphonie Espagnole

Walter Hendl/Chicago Symphony Orchestra

1. Allegro non troppo – 7:44
2. Scherzando: Allegro molto – 4:09
3. Intermezzo: Allegretto non troppo – 6:11
4. Andante – 7:27
5. Rondo: Allegro – 8:21

Henryk Szeryng – violin

1958 - Bartok - Concerto for Orchestra

Fritz Reiner/Chicago Symphony Orchestra

1. Introduzione: Andante non troppo; Allegro vivace – 9:51
2. Giuoco delle coppie: Allegretto scherzando – 5:57
3. Elegia: Andante non troppo – 7:53
4. Intermezzo interrotto: Allegretto – 4:13
5. Finale: Pesante; Presto – 8:56

The Bartok - Concerto for Orchestra is, by far, Bartok’s best-known and most popular work, immediately accessible in a way that many of his other mature works are not.Reiner, being as close to Bartok as he was, knew this work “inside and out” and committed a performance for the ages in this session. He of course was also aware of the reason why Bartok chose to parodize the “invasion” theme from Shostakovich’s 7th Symphony in the fourth movement of the Concerto, and plays this loopy parody, complete with its growling trombone raspberries, for all it is worth. But the work is of course much more than this oft-mentioned parody, and Reiner’s interpretation is as good as anyThe Concerto is probably the most popular and most frequently performed 20th century piece of orchestral music. Like anything that is played and recorded often, it can seem to be too much of a good thing. To Reiner and his Chicagoans of the 1950s, it was relatively new music, and the fact that it had not yet become standard repertory may have been one reason they were able to project it so vividly: there was no routine to fall into.

1961 - Strauss Waltzes

Fritz Reiner/Chicago Symphony Orchestra

Johann Strauss, Jr.:
1. Vienna Blood, Op. 354 – 8:50
2. Artists’ Life, Op. 316 – 6:47

Josef Strauss:
3. My Life is Love and Laughter – 6:36

Johann Strauss, Jr.:
4. Roses From the South, Op. 388 – 8:38
5. Treasure Waltz, Op. 418 – 7:58
6. Thunder and Lightning Polka, Op. 324 – 2:49

A delightful program of Strauss Waltzes played by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Fritz Reiner should help this album achieve strong sales in the classical field. Selections include “Artists’ Life,” “Vienna Blood,” “Roses from the South” and the “Treasure Waltz.” Sound is first rate and cover is attractive too.

1960 - Festival

Fritz Reiner/Chicago Symphony Orchestra

Дмитрий Кабалевский
1. Colas Breugnon, Op. 24: Overture – 4:46

Петр Ильич Чайковский
2. Marche Slave – 10:20

Александр Бородин
3. Prince Igor: Act III: Polovski March – 4:44

Модест Мусоргский
4. A Night on Bare Mountain – 10:08

Петр Ильич Чайковский
5. Marche Miniature (from Suite No. 1 in D minor, Op. 43) – 1:59

Михаил Глинка
6. Russlan and Ludmilla: Overture – 5:17

As a collector and great admirer of the Living Stereo catalogue, I consider this another gem from the Leyton/Mohr vaults, here brought to life superbly by Classic Records. Reiner and the orchestra are in top form and highlighted by excellent recorded sound. Yet, if compared to the finest of the RCAs, Festival does not quite reach the top of Living Stereo’s tier. Interpretations are interesting but feel as though Reiner is on autopilot, seemingly impossible considering Reiner’s penchant for exacting standards in all things musical. Mindful of this slight caveat, the LP has many enjoyable qualities. After all, these are brilliant musicians at work, the music and technical standards of who are rarely bettered.The Colas Breugnon Overture is a wonderful opener demonstrating the best of LSC-2423′s recorded sound, and the speedy Russlan and Ludmilla Overture is played brilliantly – the CSO strings would give Bolshoi players a run for their money. The pleasantries continue with a sparkling Marche Miniature and a heavily accented Polovski March. Unfortunately, Marche Slave remains a loud reminder that not all Tchaikovsky wrote glittered with gold! And with the exception of the all-important low brass (sounding weaker than is usual), A Night on Bare Mountain sounds suitably ferocious.
Sonically, Festival feeds some of our needs by extolling deep bass and extended highs. One slight drawback is a hole present in the middle of the soundstage (certainly not the only RCA to suffer this slight ignominy). While not detracting in the least from the listener’s overall enjoyment, the hole does illuminate the odd placement (right of center) of the woodwind section (other sections remain unscathed). In addition, transparency is not as refined as other recordings in this series with the resultant loss of clarity, especially in the midband of the tonal spectrum.
Nevertheless, all the instruments sound wonderful. In fact, Festival brings you some of the finest viola and timpani sound that you will hear on record. Listen to the second subject of the Glinka; the violas take the melody then sweep and swoon in the finest heart-on-sleeve Russian manner and, while taken on the ride, one can relish their burnished and resin-filled tone. The coda of Colas Breugnon highlights the stick technique of the timpanist; we are treated to gorgeous tone with left and right hand pressure heard easily from his hard mallets. Superb!
Consequently, although a few caveats remain, my opening remarks prevail – Festival is a gem and offers highly polished performances of Russian Romantic works. If the repertoire appeals to you, grab it.

1961 - Liszt - Todtentanz | Rachmaninoff - Piano Concerto No. 1

Fritz Reiner/Chicago Symphony Orchestra

Franz List:
1. Todtentanz – 15:19

Сергей Рахманинов – Piano Concerto No. 1 in F-sharp minor, Op. 1:
2. Vivace – 12:06
3. Andante – 5:37
4. Allegro vivace – 7:28

Byron Janis – pianist

1958 - Saint-Saens - Concerto No. 2 | Franck - Symphonic Variations

Alfred Wallenstein/Symphony of the Air

Camille Saint-Saëns – Concerto No. 2 in G minor, Op. 22:
1. Andante sostenuto – 10:56
2. Allegro scherzando – 5:51
3. Presto – 6:10

César Franck – Symphonic Variations for piano and orchestra:
4. Symphonic Variations – 13:17

Arthur Rubinstein had performed Saint-Saens Piano Concerto No. 2 in G minor, Op. 22 many times throughout his concert career; in fact, this was one of the pieces on the program of his first public concert given in 1900. The style in which he plays it is simply captivating. It’s not a serious concerto in the German-school, but rather a light-hearted and somewhat amusing concerto. This is probably the most famous recording of the composition, and it’s no wonder why.
The Symphonic Variations of Cesar Franck are fantastic, full of energy, vitality and French-Romantic beauty.

Artur Rubinstein – pianist

1961 - Rhapsodies - Stokowski

Leopold Stokowski/RCA Victor Symphony

Franz Liszt – Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2 in C-sharp minor:
1. Hungarian Rhapsody – 8:38

Georges Enesco – Roumanian Rhapsody No. 1 in A, Op. 11:
2. Roumanian Rhapsody – 11:27

Bedrich Smetana:
3. The Moldau – 12:16
4. The Bartered Bride: Overture – 7:05

This thoroughly enchanting disc covers the full range of emotion, from the fiery intensity of folk-based melodies from Liszt and Enesco to the lyrical joyfulness of Smetana’s Moldau and Bartered Bride overture.
The glory of these performances is found in the compositions of Enescu and Smetana. Often dismissed because of his theatricality, here Stokowski shines with brilliance in music so suited to his flamboyant, some would say gushy, nature. The Moldau flows beautifully along its varied course under this capable baton, filled with the vitality of a first-time hearing of this familiar but wonderful standard. Not so well known to all is the Enescu Roumanian Rhapsody. Stokowski imbues such diverse coloration and rhythmic insistance as to mesmerise on each listening. More than an historical document, these recordings could well become your favorite performances of these works.

1958 - Mussorgsky/Ravel - Pictures at an Exhibition

Fritz Reiner - Chicago Symphony Orchestra

1. Promenade - 1:47
2. Gnomus - 2:32
3. Promenade - 1:05
4. Il vecchio castello - 4:23
5. Promenade - 0:34
6. Tuileries - 0:58
7. Bydlo - 3:23
8. Promenade - 0:44
9. Ballet of the Chicks in Their Shells - 1:11
10 Samuel Goldenburg and Schmuyle - 2:14
11. The Market Place at Limoges - 1:17
12. Catacombae, sepulchrum romanum - 1:56
13. Con mortuis in lingua mortua - 1:57
14. The Hut on Fowl’s Legs - 3:25
15. The Great Gate at Kiev - 5:14

This Mussorgsky - Pictures at an Exhibition is a Classic Records reissue of the RCA Living Stereo “Shaded Dog” release.
The piece consists of a series of short compositions that do not require a strong structural musical knowledge to decipher. Originally written for piano and later orchestrated by Maurice Ravel, Pictures at an Exhibition is a melodic, impressionistic sonic spectacular that one rarely tires of hearing. A “warhorse” in the true sense of the word, and when you hear this rich, sensuous recording from way back when, you’ll wonder whether the art of recording has made progress, spun in circles, or gone backwards since 1957. There’s nothing “old” sounding about it.
This justly famous record shines on magnificently through the Classic Records’ reissue. Much has been said and written about this performance. It’s all true! The Chicago Symphony’s ensemble is immaculate and the many solos are played with great distinction. This orchestra was full of stars, hired intelligently in the ’50s by Rodzinski, Kubelik and Reiner. Peck, Still, Herseth, Farkas, Druzinsky, Jacobs and Brody, to name a few, play with an integrity and individual style that has seldom been matched. As such, the solos are phrased splendidly and enjoy flawless intonation.
There are many great things to enjoy, but what really jumped out at me in this recording was Ravel’s astonishingly good orchestration. We’ve all heard the music umpteen times, and, like many comfortable things, we tend to take it for granted. Reiner and his heroes will refresh your memory of Ravel’s (and Moussorgsky’s) genius with unassailable playing and a rich interpretation. Like all great things, it just seems right. The magic continues with the warm recorded sound. The soundstage is wide if not deep, and imaging is similar to the hall perspective. Some audiophiles seem to think that each section of the orchestra should be imaged and separated into blocks of sound. In reality, this is incorrect. From my view, Layton and Mohr get the blend just right.
Turn the lights down and live the experience of goblins, troubadours, bustling markets, witches, caves and the squabbling of the rich and poor. It is a startling experience.