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Michael Fremer Rated 11/11 Music, 11/11 Sound!
RCA Living Stereo classical LPs - the gold standard for top quality orchestral performance and sound!
In the hearts of thousands, No. 1 on the Top RCA list. While the bulk of Ansermet's recordings were made with L'Orchestre de la Susise Romande, there were a few with the Paris Conservatoire Orchestra and the very occasional foray into recordings with London orchestras, one of these being with the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, in 1959.
Analogue Productions is proud and excited to be bringing back such a classic. Not just for the music, which is superb, but also for the detailed packaging, which in this case takes the form of a 22-page lavishly illustrated book that's integrated into the tip-on gatefold jacket. If you're new to ballet, this pictorial history will introduce you to some of its most famous productions - old favorites such as The Nutcracker, Swan Lake and The Sleeping Beauty, for example - but also less familiar tales such as Carnaval, Les Sylphides and Coppélia. You'll also make the aquaintance of famous ballerinas of the Royal company, such as Margot Fonteyn, Nadia Nerina and Beryl Grey. as well as choreographers such as Jules Perrot and male dancers Alexis Rassine and Michael Somes.
Musically you can't get better than the 180-gram dead-silent platters pressed by Quality Record Pressings, makers of the world's finest-sounding LPs. Of course the best vinyl reflects the best mastering, and that's accomplished here by Bernie Grundman working from the original analog tape. Stoughton Printing expertly handled the intricate gatefold tip-on package.
Audiophilia Online Magazine wrote: "This is the stuff of which dreams are made. The Royal Ballet Gala is one of the finest RCAs recorded in London's Kingsway Hall. The chunks of great ballet music are well served by orchestra, conductor and engineer. Performances are executed to a very high standard - the Royal Opera House Orchestra, both then and now, rank as one of the finest of opera orchestras.
"Conductor Ansermet keeps the pace moving, giving the listener the impression of a dance event rather than a dramatic concert hall reading. With the exception of some of the Tchaikovsky scenes, the music is light and remains so under Ansermet's gentle touch. Each ballet is given full attention by the players, something not always attained at Covent Garden during long ballet nights! The threat of eternity does have it's merits. The recorded sound is simply amazing! Lustrous is one word that comes to mind, accurate is another.
"Tonally, Messrs. Williamson and Wilkinson have used their considerable talents to capture the orchestra superbly. Woodwind and strings glow and resonate, transporting this listener to a time when simpler recording was better. Brass ring out thrillingly and percussion effects are very musical. Be it a bang, swish, rattle, crack or snap, each percussionist is situated perfectly within the beautiful Kingsway soundstage. Even the difficult-to-record sound of the celeste is captured in it's purely mechanical form. It's delicate sound is heard to great effect during the Nutcracker - originating stage left, the sound decays across the stage of Kingsway with sparkling beauty. Wonderful."
Producer: Michael Williamson
Engineer Kenneth Wilkinson
Analogue Productions' Classic Records buyout brought with it metal parts for many albums, cut by Bernie Grundman, including for this record. ... AP chose to produce a new stamper using the 'mother' cut from the original master tape by Bernie Grundman. ... I compared this 33 1/3 reissue to the Classic 33 1/3 reissue and to an original pressing that I'm lucky to own. ... The QRP pressing was definitely more open, extended and focused on top and transients were sharper though in a completely natural way. The Classic sounded somewhat softer and veiled. If you've got both, you'll hear it in the percussive transients first and then consistently throughout. ... If this is one of your 'go to' sonic spectaculars and you have other versions, you ought to consider adding this one, though you'll have to wait for the re-re-press. Both the sound, including dead quiet vinyl, as well as the packaging are first-rate.
- 180g Vinyl
- 33 1/3rpm
- Double LP + Book
- Pressed at Quality Record Pressings
- Mastered by Bernie Grundman from original analog tape
|Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden|
- Nutcracker Suite - March
- Nutcracker Suite - Dance Of The Sugar Plum Fairy
- Nutcracker Suite - Arabian Dance
- Nutcracker Suite - Chinese Dance
- Nutcracker Suite - Dance Of The Toy Flutes
- Nutcracker Suite - Waltz Of The Flowers
- La Boutique Fantasque - Tarantella
- La Boutique Fantasque - Andante Mosso
- La Boutique Fantasque - Can-Can
- Coppelia - Introduction (Allegro Marcato) And Mazurka - Act 1
- Coppelia - Introduction (Andante ) And Waltz - Act 1
- Coppelia - Czardas - Act 1
- Coppelia - Valse De La Poupee - Act 2
- Giselle - Introduction And Waltz - Act 1
- Giselle - Pas De Deux And Variation - Act 2
- Swan Lake - Dance Of The Little Swans (Pas De Quatre) - Act 2
- Swan Lake - Pas De Deux - Act 2
- Swan Lake - Waltz - Act 2
- Carnaval - Pierror
- Carnaval - Reconnaissance
- Carnaval - Aveu
- Carnaval - Pantalon Et Columbine
- Sleeping Beauty - Introduction - The Lilac Fairy - Prologue
- Sleeping Beauty - Rose Adagio - Pase D'Action - Act 1
- Sleeping Beauty - Waltz - Act 1
- Les Sylphides - Overture: Prelude In A Major, Opus 28, No. 7
- Les Sylphides - Mazurka In C Major, Opus 67, No. 3
- Les Sylphides - Grande Valse Brillante In E Flat Major, Opus 18