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Bruch / Mozart - Violin Concertos / Heifetz - Super Hot Stamper (With Issues)

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

Super Hot Stamper (With Issues)

Bruch / Mozart
Violin Concertos / Heifetz

Regular price
$119.99
Regular price
Sale price
$119.99
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per 
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Sonic Grade

Side One:

Side Two:

Vinyl Grade

Side One: Mint Minus Minus to EX++

Side Two: Mint Minus Minus to EX++

  • An original Shaded Dog pressing of Heifetz's lively performance of these wonderful violin concertos (one of only a handful of copies to ever hit the site) with solid Double Plus (A++) Living Stereo sound or close to it from first note to last
  • This is right at the top of all the recordings Heifetz made for RCA in the glory days of Living Stereo - there may be titles that are comparable, but we have yet to hear a violin concerto recording that can surpass it
  • Side two is remarkably relaxed and spacious, with the rich, textured sheen of the violin that Living Stereo made possible in the 50s and early 60s clearly evident throughout these pieces, and side one is not far behind in all those areas
  • It's simply bigger, more transparent, less distorted, more three-dimensional and more real than most of the other copies we played (particularly on side two)
  • TAS-approved LSC 2652 is one of the hardest Heifetz titles to find with the original Shaded Dog label, and quite a few of the copies we paid premium prices for turned out to have significant marks
  • Problems in the vinyl are sometimes the nature of the beast with these early pressings, though - there simply is no way around them if the superior sound of vintage analog is important to you
  • Skip the Red Seal pressings from the 70s - the ones we played were bright, screechy, thin and missing just about everything that makes the early pressings so amazingly good

More of the music of Max Bruch (1838-1920) / More Classical Recordings Featuring the Violin

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This vintage TAS list Living Stereo pressing has the kind of Tubey Magical Midrange that modern records can barely BEGIN to reproduce. Folks, that sound is gone and it sure isn't showing signs of coming back. If you love hearing INTO a recording, actually being able to "see" the performers, and feeling as if you are sitting in the studio with the band, this is the record for you. It's what vintage all analog recordings are known for -- this sound.

If you exclusively play modern repressings of vintage recordings, I can say without fear of contradiction that you have never heard this kind of sound on vinyl. Old records have it -- not often, and certainly not always -- but maybe one out of a hundred new records do, and those are some pretty long odds.

What The Best Sides Of Bruch and Mozart's Violin Concertos 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 1963
  • 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.

Copies with rich lower mids and nice extension up top did the best in our shootout, assuming they weren't veiled or smeary of course. So many things can go wrong on a record! We know, we've heard them all.

Top end extension is critical to the sound of the best copies. Lots of old records (and new ones) have no real top end; consequently, the studio or stage will be missing much of its natural air and space, and instruments will lack their full complement of harmonic information.

Tube smear is common to most vintage pressings. The copies that tend to do the best in a shootout will have the least (or none), yet are full-bodied, tubey and rich.

Shootout Criteria

What are sonic qualities by which a record -- any record -- should be judged? Pretty much the ones we discuss in most of our Hot Stamper listings: energy, frequency extension (on both ends), transparency, spaciousness, harmonic textures (freedom from smear is key), rhythmic drive, tonal correctness, fullness, richness, three-dimensionality, and on and on down the list.

When we can get a number of these qualities to come together on the side we’re playing, we provisionally give it a ballpark Hot Stamper grade, a grade that is often revised during the shootout as we hear what the other copies are doing, both good and bad.

Once we’ve been through all the side ones, we play the best of the best against each other and arrive at a winner for that side. Other copies from earlier in the shootout will frequently have their grades raised or lowered based on how they sounded compared to the eventual shootout winner. If we’re not sure about any pressing, perhaps because we played it early on in the shootout before we had learned what to listen for, we take the time to play it again.

Repeat the process for side two and the shootout is officially over. All that’s left is to see how the sides of each pressing match up.

It may not be rocket science, but it’s a science of a kind, one with strict protocols that we’ve developed over the course of many years to insure that the results we arrive at are as accurate as we can make them.

The result of all our work speaks for itself, on this very record in fact. We guarantee you have never heard this music sound better than it does on our Hot Stamper pressing -- or your money back.

What We're Listening For On These Violin Concertos

  • 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.

Vinyl Condition

Mint Minus Minus and maybe a bit better 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.

Side One

  • Bruch: Violin Concerto No. 1

Side Two

  • Mozart: Violin Concerto No. 4

Violin Concerto No. 1 (Bruch)

Max Bruch's Violin Concerto No. 1 in G minor, Op. 26, is one of the most popular violin concertos in solo violin repertoire and, along with the Scottish Fantasy, the composer's most famous work.

The work is scored for solo violin and a standard classical orchestra consisting of two flutes, two oboes, two clarinets, two bassoons, four horns, two trumpets, timpani, and strings.

Movements

The concerto is in three movements:

Vorspiel: Allegro moderato (in G minor)

The first movement is unusual in that it is a Vorspiel, a prelude, to the second movement and is directly linked to it.[6] The piece starts off slowly, with the melody first taken by the flutes, and then the solo violin becomes audible with a short cadenza. This repeats again, serving as an introduction to the main portion of the movement, which contains a strong first theme and a very melodic, and generally slower, second theme. The movement ends as it began, with the two short cadenzas more virtuosic than before, and the orchestra's final tutti flows into the second movement, connected by a single low note from the first violins.

Adagio (in E-flat major)

The slow second movement is often admired for its melody, and is generally considered to be the heart of the concerto. The themes, presented by the violin, are underscored by a constantly moving orchestra part, keeping the movement alive and helping it flow from one part to the next.

Finale: Allegro energico (in G major)

The third movement, the finale, opens with an intense, yet quiet, orchestral introduction that yields to the soloist's statement of the energetic theme in brilliant double stops. It is very much like a dance that moves at a comfortably fast and energetic tempo. The second subject is a fine example of Romantic lyricism, a slower melody which cuts into the movement several times, before the dance theme returns with its fireworks. The piece ends with a huge accelerando, leading to a fiery finish that gets higher as it gets faster and louder and eventually concludes with two short, yet grand, chords.

Violin Concerto No. 4 (Mozart)

Violin Concerto No. 4 in D major, K. 218, was composed by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart in 1775 in Salzburg. The autograph of the score is preserved in the Biblioteka Jagiellońska, Kraków. He seemed to have originally composed it for himself to play, but after leaving the Salzburg Court Orchestra, he changed and updated the concerto for the successor of his position in his orchestra, Antonio Brunetti, to play. It is debatable whether the concerto was above Mozart's level of mastery or if he purposely made the concerto difficult for Brunetti on account of his greater ability. The first movement is nicknamed the “military” Mozart Concerto while the second movement consists of melodic lines. The third movement is joyful and full of fun.

The work is scored for solo violin, strings, oboe and horn in D.

Structure

The concerto has the usual fast–slow–fast structure and lasts around 23 minutes. The movements are:

  • Allegro
  • Andante cantabile (A major)
  • Rondeau (Andante grazioso – Allegro ma non troppo)

-Wikipedia