Rated 4/5 Music, 4/5 Sonics in the October 2015 Issue of The Absolute Sound!
Half-Speed Mastered 200-gram Virgin Vinyl!
Pressed at Quality Record Pressings!
First LP Edition!
Originally released on compact disc to celebrate the 100th Anniversary of the birth of America's favorite composer, now on LP for the first time! The MINNESOTA ORCHESTRA and conductor EIJI OUE display a real affinity for these Copland masterpieces: Fanfare for the Common Man and the magnificent Third Symphony.
...There has never been a stereo recording of Copland's Third that approaches the concert-hall experience. Until now. This recording clearly has great value as a musical experience, but it also sets a new standard as a sonic showcase for a nearly impossible-to-record work. - Arthur B. Lintgen, The Absolute Sound
A compelling performance of the Third Symphony. I think this is among the best recordings since Bernstein - and the sound is spectacular. - Peter Dickinson, GRAMOPHONE
This is the best interpretation of the Copland Third in a generation, and the sound is Keith Johnson at his considerable best. That is to say, jaw-dropping and a revelation. - Harry Pearson, The Absolute Sound
"Not only is it one of the most natural sounding albums in Reference Recordings, the excellent performance make this more than just a sonic spectacular (though it certainly is that).. The record is among the more convincingly realistic I know... You'll hear a remarkably lifelike sense of ambience, the orchestral weight and volume filling the hall. Tonality is spot-on. Throughout brass choirs are throaty, richly textured, and creamy; strings are sweet, and one also experiences the sense of wood and rasp of bow against string, and the percussion has notable texture and detail. Dynamics, too, which can sometime seem extreme in Johnson's work, are beautifully wide and explosive, yet nuanced. A true reference recording." - Wayne Garcia, The Absolute Sound, October 2015
For many years, RR has been searching the world over for the best possible vinyl mastering, plating and pressing facilities so they could re-enter the LP market. They finally found a production chain that allows them to produce LPs to meet their high standards and satisfy their customers' demands, who have been waiting for these LPs for a long time!
Assembling the Team
Disc mastering is done at half-speed to insure maximum accuracy. The lathe system has custom electronics by Nelson Pass. The simple signal path contains no compression, equalization or unnecessary circuitry. RR Chief Engineer and Technical Director, "Prof." Keith Johnson consulted on the design of the system and helped with the rebuilding of the lathe and electronics, which is owned and operated by long-time mastering expert Paul Stubblebine. "Prof." Johnson has pronounced it equal to the challenge of the master tapes!
Once successful results were achieved in disc mastering, Reference Recordings faced the difficult task of choosing the best plating and pressing facility to manufacture the discs. Fortunately, the Quality Record Pressings plant in Salina, Kansas was coming on line, and they felt that waiting for this plant to open was well worth it. A crack team of experts was assembled to design and run the plant, employing many unique techniques and features that clearly set QRP apart from other pressing plants. The 200-gram deluxe vinyl pressings from QRP are truly exceptional.
Multiple Configurations for Reference Mastercuts
Depending on program lengths, some releases are cut at 45 rpm, some at 33-1/3 rpm. Some are single discs, some double. All feature deluxe gate-fold jackets crafted by Stoughton Printing . An unusual feature of new RR masterings is called the "FDS finish": the end of each side will have a 30-second band of silent grooves before the "pull-away." No one today uses a record changer, and the silent grooves allow time to lift the arm before the always-somewhat-noisy tie-off. (Some 1950s vintage Capitol Full Dimensional Sound pressings sported this feature.) RR founder, J. Tamblyn (Tam) Henderson deserves special recognition for identifying the value of this unique production feature and reintroducing it with the new Mastercuts.
Note: Half-speed Mastering involves a capturing process in which the original recording master is played back at exactly half of the recorded speed. A sequenced cutting lathe is then timed at exactly half of the playback speed. This process allows twice as much time to carve a groove that accurately represents the sound on the master tape. Half-speed mastering allows for cleaner reproduction and also permits extended high frequency response, extending into the ultrasonic region.
200g Vinyl - First LP Edition
Half-speed Mastered by Paul Stubblebine
Pressed at Quality Record Pressings
A Prof. Johnson Recording
Eiji Oue, conductor
Aaron Copland (1900-1990)
1. Fanfare For the Common Man
2. Molto Moderato
3. Allegro Molto
4. Andantino Quasi Allegretto
5. Molto Deliberato