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Selections from the concert recorded live at the Royal Albert Hall
"I was often asked to go on a concert tour. Earlier, when I still worked as a musician myself, I went on tour a lot, by bus or by truck. I wouldn't like to go back to that! But there's another reason why I don't go on tour: I wouldn't get the musicians that I've got in the studio. I can't just take them with me - they don't want to lose their jobs. Most of my people have got permanent jobs, in radio, in television or in a record company. They can't get out of their contracts. They've got too much to do with recording deadlines, and then I'd just get second-class or third-class musicians. Besides, all my records are recorded in Hamburg studios. The sound that people are used to getting on a record is virtually impossible to reproduce in a concert hall. But one day, someone else came up to me, John Martin, and asked me that question again: 'How about a tour of England?' I replied that I don't do tours. For years, I kept saying no. His next question was: 'What about just one date in the Albert Hall in London?' And I asked: 'Just one date? One concert?' - 'Yes!' - I'd never thought about that. He said: 'You'll get the best musicians you could ever want, the best in London. You can also bring your own musicians with you, as many as you like.' And I said: 'Why not? Let me think about it.' Yes, that's how the concert came about." - Bert Kaempfert
In addition to his greatest hits, Bert Kaempfert also selected some classics from the swing era and more recent compositions of his own for the program. All the songs had to be newly arranged for the concert orchestra. Bert Kaempfert brought his key musicians to England with him. In addition, British instrumentalists were hired. Rehearsals took place a few days before the concert, in an old cinema in the London district of Chelsea. These premises were anything but comfortable and did nothing to provide a pleasant working environment. Working together proved more difficult than anticipated. Moreover, there were differences of opinion between the guest interpreter, Anita Kerr, and the production company recording the entire concert for television. Bert Kaempfert tried to mediate, but without success. Consequently, the performance by the Anita Kerr Singers, who had brought out a complete album of Kaempfert hits back in 1968, was not recorded in the end.
"The Brits kept taking breaks all the time and referring to their trade union. In the end, their concertmaster, who was also orchestra manager and trade unionist, got so drunk that he couldn't play anymore. When something like that happens, a musician can normally forget about playing again for years. He's fired. But Fips handled it well, and simply sent the man home without making a big fuss. The next day, he came back with his tail between his legs and apologized profusely. Now Fips could have the breaks when it suited him. From then on, he was well in with the Brits, and they all suddenly had a lot of respect for him." - Lucas Lindholm, bass guitar
On April 22, 1974, Bert Kaempfert went on stage with his great orchestra for the first time in the venerable Royal Albert Hall in London and gave two live concerts on the same day. Following a spectacular introduction, he greeted the audience with a simple "Good evening". With his reserved, charming manner and his slightly faltering commentaries in English with American accent he won the hearts of the audience, who nevertheless immediately saw that Bert Kaempfert was a musician through and through. After just a few bars, he managed to fill the normally cool English audience with enthusiasm in both performances. The 7,000 people at each concert were enraptured, even in the boxes occupied by the aristocracy and prominent figures, where the ladies and gentlemen normally only used to clap discreetly, there was lively applause that evening. Both performances were an unprecedented success.
Shortly afterwards, Polydor released the 1975 LP Live In London, a selection of 12 songs from the concert. Due to other productions with Bert Kaempfert and his Orchestra in the years that followed, the second LP Live In London Vol. 2 that was planned at the time was subsequently forgotten.
DOES HORCH HOUSE DO ANY KIND OF REMASTERING DURING THE COPYING PROCESS?
Absolutely not! Why mess with the best? The whole point of what they do lies in capturing the magic of the original analogue master tape in its purest, most faithful form possible.
'Remastering' can be compared to using computer software to edit an original photograph. The benefits are that you can remove unwanted marks or noise, clean things up, remove distortion and boost clarity. The downside is that in doing so, you often lose the natural essence of the original and the result can seem rather synthetic, lacking in real life character.
The unfortunate fact is that tapes, like photographs, do tend to age over time, and most analogue masters are now between 30-80+ years old.
So Horch House undertake a painstaking 'soft refurbishing' process, which is key to recapturing the original quality of a master tape.
CAPTURING THE MAGIC OF MASTER TAPE
How exactly does Horch House translate an original analogue master tape into faithful copies on reel-to-reel tape and vinyl records?
They use a process that's been meticulously researched and developed by their expert team of sound engineers, with input from some of the world's leading specialists.
The first step is to carefully assess the sound quality of the original master tape, which their experts do in great detail. The unfortunate fact is that tapes do tend to age over time, and most analogue masters are now between 30-80+ years old. What they're looking to do, therefore, as an integral part of their copying process, is to restore the sound quality back to its original level. They want you to hear exactly what the first sound engineers heard (and indeed the musicians themselves), on the day that the original recording was made. This is in stark contrast to any kind of 'remastering', which they most definitely do not do! They're not looking to 'improve' the recording in any way, but rather to return it as closely as possible to its full original beauty.
They call this their 'soft refurbishing' process.
HOW CLOSE ARE HORCH HOUSE COPIES TO THE ORIGINAL MASTER TAPES?
Horch House believe that they're as close as it's possible to get - not simply to the master tape in its current condition, but to that master tape's original condition. Thanks to their detailed 'soft refurbishing' process, their master tape copies could, in a sense, now be considered as better than the current originals because they've been lovingly restored to deliver the same sound quality that the originals had on the day they were first recorded.
WHAT ABOUT COPYRIGHT? ARE MASTER TAPE COPIES LEGAL?
All Horch House master tape copies are fully authorized, licensed and approved by the relevant record label/music publisher.
** It is standard practice in all recording studios to keep the tape "tail out". This reduces "pre-echo" and it means that the tape should be placed on the right hand side of the recorder, re-wound and then played.
- 2-Reel Tape
- Tape material: SM468
- Standard 10.5" Metal Reel
- 38 cm / 15 IPS-CCIR-1/4"-2Track-510nWb
- Production on Studer machines refurbished to factory specification
- Fully authorized, licensed & approved by the record label/music publisher
- Bye Bye Blues
- Tahitian Sunset
- All I Ever Need Is You
- Strangers In The Night
- Afrikaan Beat
- Three O' Clock In The Morning
- Take The "A" Train
- A Swingin' Safari
- I Cover The Waterfront
- Spanish Eyes