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First issued in 1965, few recordings have lasted so well and, in the case of Sea Pictures, carried on getting better. Du Pré's account of the concerto, made when she was barely 20, made her a star overnight and remains the work with which she's most
often identified. Her forceful, highly emotional performance won't be to all tastes or occasions, but it brings the work to life like few others. Not just the poignancy of the opening, or the aching nostalgia of the "Adagio", but the quicksilver brilliance
of the "Scherzo" and cumulative energy of the finale are really made to tell. Barbirolli gives marvellously understanding support here and in Sea Pictures. It also established its soloist - Janet Baker, and remains the deepest and most perceptive recording
this song-cycle is ever likely to have! Baker makes light of the sometimes gauche poetry and awkward word-setting, giving the music a sweep and nobility typical of Elgar at his best.
- Richard Whitehouse
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
|Jacqueline du Pre||cello (Cello Concerto)|
|Janet Baker||mezzo-soprano (Sea Pictures)|
|The London Symphony Orchestra|
|Sir John Barbirolli||conductor|
Edward Elgar (1857-1934)
Concerto in E Minor, Op. 85
- Adagio - Moderato
- Lento - Allegro molto
- Allegro, ma non troppo
Sea Pictures, Op. 37
- Sea Slumber Song
- In Haven
- Sabbath Morning At Sea
- Where Corals Lie
- The Swimmer