30 Day Money Back Guarantee

Chopin - Piano Concerto No. 1 / Rubinstein - Super Hot Stamper (With Issues)

The copy we are selling is similar to the one pictured above.

Super Hot Stamper (With Issues)

Piano Concerto No. 1 / Rubinstein

Regular price
Regular price
Sale price
Unit price
Sold out

Sonic Grade

Side One:

Side Two:

Vinyl Grade

Side One: Mint Minus Minus to EX++

Side Two: Mint Minus Minus to EX++

  • Rubinstein's superb performance of Chopin's concerto for piano, here with solid Double Plus (A++) Living Stereo sound or close to it on both sides of this original Shaded Dog pressing
  • The secret to the remarkable sound of this particular Rubinstein recording over so many others is the engineering by Kenneth Wilkinson – the glorious hall the London Symphony plays in doesn’t hurt either
  • Chopin, according to Arthur Hedley, “had the rare gift of a very personal melody, expressive of heart-felt emotion, and his music is penetrated by a poetic feeling that has an almost universal appeal…”
  • Problems in the vinyl are sometimes the nature of the beast with these early pressings, but once you hear just how excellent sounding this copy is, you might be inclined, as we were, to stop counting ticks and pops and just be swept away by the music

More of the music of Frederic Chopin (1810 - 1849) / More Classical and Orchestral Recordings

100% Money Back Guarantee on all Hot Stampers

FREE Domestic Shipping on all LP orders over $150

Vintage covers for this album are hard to find in exceptionally clean shape. Most of the will have at least some amount of ringwear, seam wear and edge wear. We guarantee that the cover we supply with this Hot Stamper is at least VG

The latest notes for this RCA recording point out that this is the best combination of sound and performance for Chopin's first piano concerto, with more emotion and finesse in the playing than other versions we auditioned.

The piano is in the foreground, with the orchestra reasonably balanced and clearly more powerful than some of the other recordings we played.

The biggest issue for the lesser pressings -- which means the ones that did not win the shootout -- is the possibility of some tube compressor smear on the loudest orchestral passages. (This is a subject we discuss on the blog quite a bit, by the way.)

What The Best Sides Of Chopin's Piano Concerto No. 1 Have To Offer Is Not Hard To Hear

  • The biggest, most immediate staging in the largest acoustic space
  • The most Tubey Magic, without which you have almost nothing. CDs give you clean and clear. Only the best vintage vinyl pressings offer the kind of Tubey Magic that was on the tapes in 1961
  • Tight, note-like, rich, full-bodied bass, with the correct amount of weight down low
  • Natural tonality in the midrange -- with all the instruments having the correct timbre
  • Transparency and resolution, critical to hearing into the three-dimensional studio space

No doubt there's more but we hope that should do for now. Playing the record is the only way to hear all of the qualities we discuss above, and playing the best pressings against a pile of other copies under rigorously controlled conditions is the only way to find a pressing that sounds as good as this one does.

What We're Listening For On Chopin's Concerto No. 1

  • Energy for starters. What could be more important than the life of the music?
  • The Big Sound comes next -- wall to wall, lots of depth, huge space, three-dimensionality, all that sort of thing.
  • Then transient information -- fast, clear, sharp attacks, not the smear and thickness so common to these LPs.
  • Next: transparency -- the quality that allows you to hear deep into the soundfield, showing you the space and air around all the instruments.
  • Extend the top and bottom and voila, you have The Real Thing -- an honest to goodness Hot Stamper.


Kenneth Wilkinson engineered this album in Kingsway Hall for Decca in 1961.

It's as wide, deep and three-dimensional as any, which is, of course, all to the good, but what makes the sound of these recordings so special is the timbral accuracy of the instruments in every section.

This is the kind of record that will make you want to take all your heavy vinyl classical pressings and put them in storage. They cannot begin to sound the way this record sounds. (Before you put them in storage or on Ebay please play them against this pressing so that you can be confident in your decision to rid yourself of their mediocrity.)

Quality record production is a lost art, and it's been lost for a very long time.

Vinyl Condition

Mint Minus Minus is about as quiet as any vintage pressing will play, and since only the right vintage pressings have any hope of sounding good on this album, that will most often be the playing condition of the copies we sell. (The copies that are even a bit noisier get listed on the site are seriously reduced prices or traded back in to the local record stores we shop at.)

Those of you looking for quiet vinyl will have to settle for the sound of other pressings and Heavy Vinyl reissues, purchased elsewhere of course as we have no interest in selling records that don't have the vintage analog magic of these wonderful recordings.

If you want to make the trade-off between bad sound and quiet surfaces with whatever Heavy Vinyl pressing might be available, well, that's certainly your prerogative, but we can't imagine losing what's good about this music -- the size, the energy, the presence, the clarity, the weight -- just to hear it with less background noise.

A Must Own Classical Record

This is a recording that should be part of any serious Classical Music Collection. Others that belong in that category can be found here.

Side One

Concerto No. 1 In E Minor, Op. 11

  • Allegro Maestoso

Side Two

  • Romanze. Larghetto
  • Rondo. Vivace

musicweb-international Review

Just listen to the sparkling crystalline clarity of Rubinstein’s every note and chord - even in the fastest trills and runs.

... Rubinstein heeds Chopin’s words in his reading of this movement, “it’s not meant to be loud – it’s more of a romance, quiet, melancholic ... it’s a sort of meditation in beautiful spring weather but by moonlight”. Rubinstein is all delicacy and sweet tenderness unfolding the intimacies, the yearnings and passions implicit in this lovely music, making us know what it is like to be a young man transported by love.

The equally celebrated slow movement of the Chopin Concerto No. 1 is another example of rarefied cantabile pianism; actually marked Romance, Larghetto. Rubinstein’s playing has all the romantic grace of a prima ballerina slowly floating by on points...

-Ian Lace