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Falla, Liszt, Tchaikovsky et al - Ritual Fire Dance - Super Hot Stamper

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

Super Hot Stamper

Falla, Liszt, Tchaikovsky et al
Ritual Fire Dance

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Sonic Grade

Side One:

Side Two:

Vinyl Grade

Side One: Mint Minus to Mint Minus Minus

Side Two: Mint Minus to Mint Minus Minus

  • Philippe Entremont's delightful 1967 release returns with outstanding Double Plus (A++) sound or BETTER on both sides of this 360 pressing - exceptionally quiet vinyl for a classical piano recording too
  • This wonderful pressing is solid and weighty like few others, with less smear, situated in the bigger space, with more energetic performances
  • These sides are big, full-bodied, clean and clear, with a wonderfully present piano and plenty of 3-D space around it
  • Some old record collectors (like me) say classical recording quality ain't what it used to be - here's all the proof anyone with two working ears and top quality audiophile equipment needs to make the case
  • Dynamic, huge, lively, transparent and natural - with a record this good, your ability to suspend disbelief requires practically no effort at all

More Classical and Orchestral Music / More Columbia Orchestral Recordings

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This vintage Columbia 360 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" Philippe Entremont, and feeling as if you are listening to him play live, 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 Ritual Fire Dance 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 1967
  • 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.

The Piano

On the transparent and tonally correct copies it is clear and full-bodied. The piano in a solo recording such as this often makes for a good test. How easily can you see it and how much like a real piano does it sound? 

If you have full-range speakers some of the qualities you may recognize in the sound of the piano are WEIGHT and WARMTH. The piano is not hard, brittle or tinkly. Instead, the best copies show you a wonderfully full-bodied, warm, rich, smooth piano, one which sounds remarkably like the ones we've all heard countless times in piano bars and restaurants.

In other words like a real piano, not a recorded one. Bad mastering can ruin the sound, and often does, along with worn-out stampers and bad vinyl and five-gram needles that scrape off the high frequencies. But some copies survive all such hazards. They manage to reproduce the full spectrum of the piano's wide range on vintage vinyl, showing us the kind of sound we simply cannot find any other way.

What We're Listening For on Ritual Fire Dance

  • 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 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

  • Falla: Ritual Fire Dance
  • Brahms: Waltz No. 15 In A-Flat Major
  • Tchaikovsky: Humoresque/li>
  • Tchaikovsky Barcarolle
  • Liszt: Hungarian Rhapsody

Side Two

  • Mozart: Rondo Alla Turca From Sonata No. 11 In A Major
  • Schubert-Leschetizky: Moment Musical In F Minor
  • Liszt: Concert Etude No. 3 In D-Flat Major (Un Sospiro)
  • Beethoven: Fur Elise
  • Debussy: Arabesque No. 1
  • Liszt: Gnomenreigen

Allmusic on Philippe Entremont

Pianist Philippe Entremont has had an unusually long and impressive career, beginning in the early 1950s and remaining active well into the first quarter of the 21st century. Entremont is versatile in multiple ways: his repertory is wide, and he has worked extensively as a conductor.

Entremont was born in Reims, France, on June 7, 1934. His parents were both musical; his father was a conductor at the Strasbourg Opera, and his mother a pianist who gave him lessons. Showing talent, Entremont was admitted to the Paris Conservatory in 1944, where he won the school's top prizes in piano, solfège, and chamber music. Entremont made his formal debut in Barcelona in 1951, and was soon touring various European countries. On January 5, 1953, he made his U.S. debut with the National Orchestral Association, on that occasion under the baton of Léon Barzin. Through the 1950s and 1960s, Entremont appeared in nearly every major classical music venue in the world. He also played in chamber groups, often with flutist Jean-Pierre Rampal. At the start, Entremont was associated with the music of neoclassic composers such as Milhaud and Stravinsky, as well as their predecessor, Saint-Saëns. He also often played Mozart and Beethoven, and as his career developed, he began to program major Romantic masterpieces. Entremont has continued a vigorous concert career into old age. At the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, he participated in the so-called "Piano Extravaganza of the Century" as one of ten internationally renowned players.

Entremont focused on a wide range of music as a conductor, an avocation he began in 1967. He served as principal conductor and music director of the Vienna Chamber Orchestra from 1976 to 2006, adding the music directorship of the New Orleans Symphony to his responsibilities between 1981 and 1986. He returned to New Orleans in 2007 as a pianist to open the orchestra's second season after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina. He has also conducted the Denver (Colorado) Symphony Orchestra, the Orchestre des Concerts Colonnes in Paris, and the Munich Symphony Orchestra, among other groups. He is the founder of the Santo Domingo Music Festival in the Dominican Republic.

Entremont's recording career is vast, encompassing numerous recordings as both pianist and conductor on Sony Classical as well as a host of smaller imprints, and he has slowed only slightly as an octogenarian. In 2019, he released a new album of Beethoven piano sonatas on Solo Musica.