Michael Fremer Rated 11/11 Music, 11/11 Sonics!
One of Reference Recordings' all time favorite recordings! Ghosts, goblins, spirits, and demons run amok in this program of infernal orchestral favorites. "Mephisto Waltz" (Liszt), "Night on Bald Mountain" (Mussorgsky), "Tam O'Shanter" (Arnold) and many more are collected in an explosive witches' brew! Eiji Oue conducts the Minnesota Orchestra with violin solos by Jorja Fleezanis.
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 new 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 180-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.
...this double 45 rpm set of classical music sonic spectaculars provides both demonstration quality sound and a fun ride even for those professing to not like classical music, courtesy of a world-renowned orchestra and conductor... Wide and deep sound staging, startlingly wide dynamics and lush orchestral timbres are common to most Keith Johnson recordings and particularly so to this one. The notably transparent harp glissandos at the end of the Liszt should give you 'the tinkles'... the sound is stunning.
...should be listened to with caution by anyone with a heart condition.
Enjoy equally sensational sonics in a disc of daemonic influences, including Liszt's serious Mephisto Waltz and Dukas's comic masterpiece The Sorcerer's Apprentice. Oue is a born showman, and the orchestra is certainly willing - the dramatic ending to Franck's Le Chausseur Maudit packed full of virtuosity, while the brass is superb in Malcolm Arnold's Tam O'Shanter.
- 180g Virgin Vinyl
- Double LP
- Half-Speed Mastered
- Pressed at Quality Record Pressings
- Deluxe Gatefold Jacket
|Jorja Fleezanis||violin solos|
|Seattle Symphony Orchestra|
Franz Liszt (1811-1886)
- Mephisto Waltz #1
Camille Saint-Saens (1835-1921)
- Danse macabre
Anatoly Konstantinovich Lyadov (1855-1914)
- Baba Yaga
Modest Petrovich Mussorgsky (1839-1881)
- Night on Bald Mountain
Malcolm Arnold (1921-2006)
- Tam O'Shanter
Paul Dukas (1865-1935)
- The Sorcerer's Apprentice
Cesar Franck (1822-1890)
- The Accursed Huntsman
Johann Strauss II (1825-1899)
- Lucifer Polka