The copy we are selling is similar to the one pictured above.
Side One: Mint Minus Minus
Side Two: Mint Minus Minus
- With excellent Double Plus (A++) grades on both sides, this vintage UK import pressing of these wonderful classical works will be hard to beat
- These sides are doing pretty much everything right - they're rich, clear, undistorted, open, spacious, and has depth and transparency to rival the best recordings you may have heard
- Soriano's piano is especially clear, solid, and present throughout Danzas Fantásticas, with practically no trace of vintage analog tube smear
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This vintage EMI import 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 Nights In The Gardens Of Spain / Danzas Fantásticas 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.
A Big Group of Musicians Needs This Kind of Space
One of the qualities that we don’t talk about on the site nearly enough is the SIZE of the record’s presentation. Some copies of the album just sound small — they don’t extend all the way to the outside edges of the speakers, and they don’t seem to take up all the space from the floor to the ceiling. In addition, the sound can often be recessed, with a lack of presence and immediacy in the center.
Other copies -- my notes for these copies often read “BIG and BOLD” -- create a huge soundfield, with the music positively jumping out of the speakers. They’re not brighter, they’re not more aggressive, they’re not hyped-up in any way, they’re just bigger and clearer.
And most of the time those very special pressings are just plain more involving. When you hear a copy that does all that -- a copy like this one -- it’s an entirely different listening experience.
What We're Listening For On Nights In The Gardens Of Spain / Danzas Fantásticas
- 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.
- Tight punchy bass -- which ties in with good transient information, also the issue of frequency extension further down.
- 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.
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.
- Nights In The Gardens Of Spain - Manuel De Falla
- En El Generalife
- Danza Lejana
- En Los Jardines De La Sierra De Córdoba
- Danzas Fantásticas - Joaquín Turina, pianist - Gonzalo Soriano
- Danza No. 1 (From "La Vida Breve", Act I)
- Ritual Fire Dance (From "El Amor Brujo")
Wikipedia on Nights In The Gardens Of Spain and Danzas Fantásticas
Nights In The Gardens Of Spain
Nights in the Gardens of Spain (Spanish: Noches en los jardines de España), G. 49, is a piece of music by the Spanish composer Manuel de Falla. Falla was Andalusian and the work refers to the Hispano-Arabic past of this region (Al-Andalus).
Falla began this work as a set of nocturnes for solo piano in 1909, but on the suggestion of the pianist Ricardo Viñes he turned the nocturnes into a piece for piano and orchestra. Falla completed it in 1915 and dedicated it to Viñes. However the pianist at the first performance was neither Viñes nor Falla (who was a skilled pianist), but José Cubiles. The first performance was given on April 9, 1916, at Madrid's Teatro Real, with the Orquesta Sinfónica de Madrid conducted by Enrique Fernández Arbós.
Viñes first played the work in its San Sebastián premiere, shortly after the world premiere, with the same orchestra. Arthur Rubinstein was in the audience that night, and he introduced the work to Buenos Aires. The Paris premiere took place in January 1920, with the pianist Joaquín Nin playing under Fernández Arbós. The composer himself was the soloist at the London premiere in 1921, at a Queen's Hall concert under the baton of Edward Clark.
The work depicts three gardens:
- En el Generalife (In the Generalife): The first gardens are in the Generalife, the jasmine-scented gardens surrounding the Alhambra.
- Danza lejana (A Distant Dance): The second garden is an unidentified distant one in which there is an exotic dance.
- En los jardines de la Sierra de Córdoba (In the Gardens of the Sierra de Córdoba): The third set of gardens are in the Sierra de Córdoba.
The score calls for piano, three flutes and piccolo, two oboes and English horn, two clarinets, two bassoons, four horns, two trumpets, three trombones and tuba, timpani, cymbals, triangle, celesta, harp, and strings. Performances usually run in the range of 22 to 26 minutes.
Danzas fantásticas, Op. 22, is the best known work by the Spanish composer Joaquín Turina. It was written in 1919 (11-29 August), originally for solo piano, and later orchestrated. However, the orchestral version was the first to be performed, and this has been the cause of some confusion in reference works.
The title of the work is sometimes translated as "Fantasy Dances," but more often as "Fantastic Dances."
The work was inspired by the novel La orgía by José Más, and quotations from the novel were printed on the score at the start of each dance:
- 1. Exaltación, a jota from Aragon
- 2. Ensueño, a Basque zortziko in 5/8 time
- 3. Orgía, an Andalusian farruca
Parecía como si las figuras de aquel cuadro incomparable se movieran dentro del cáliz de uno flor. It seemed as though the figures in that incomparable picture were moving inside the calyx of a flower.
Las cuerdas de la guitarra, al sonar, eran como lamentos de un alma que no pudiera más con el peso de la amargura. The guitar's strings sounded the lament of a soul helpless under the weight of bitterness.
El perfume de las flores se confundía con el olor de la manzanilla, y del fondo de las estrechas copas, llenas del vino incomparable, como un incienso, se elevaba la alegría. The perfume of the flowers merged with the odor of manzanilla, and from the bottom of raised glasses, full of the incomparable wine, like an incense, rose joy.
The Danzas fantásticas were written in their original form for piano solo 11–29 August 1919. Turina orchestrated the work between 15 September and 30 December 1919. The orchestral version was first heard on 13 February 1920, in the Teatro Price in Madrid; the Orquesta Filarmónica de Madrid was conducted by Bartolomé Pérez Casas. The composer himself first presented the piano solo version on 15 June 1920, at the Málaga Sociedad Filarmónica.
The work was dedicated to Turina's wife, Obdulia Garzón.