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Grieg and Schumann / Piano Concertos / Lupu / Previn / LSO - Super Hot Stamper
Grieg and Schumann / Piano Concertos / Lupu / Previn / LSO - Super Hot Stamper

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

Super Hot Stamper

Grieg and Schumann
Piano Concertos / Lupu / Previn / LSO

Regular price
$299.99
Regular price
Sale price
$299.99
Unit price
per 
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Sonic Grade

Side One:

Side Two:

Vinyl Grade

Side One: Mint Minus Minus

Side Two: Mint Minus Minus

  • An outstanding boxed UK Decca pressing of this wonderful classical masterpiece with Double Plus (A++) sound from start to finish
  • Both sides boast full brass and an especially clear, solid, present piano, one with practically no trace of vintage analog tube smear
  • Dynamic, huge, lively, transparent and natural - with a record this good, your ability to suspend disbelief will require practically no effort at all
  • Back in the days when the TAS Super Disc List meant something, this record was on it and deservedly so
  • The London pressings of the same album can be very good in their own right, but they don't win shootouts - the best of these Decca pressings do

More of the music of Edvard Grieg (1843-1907) / More of the music of Robert Schumann (1810-1856)

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This vintage Decca 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 This Piano Concerto Recording 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 1973
  • 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 and this is no exception. The copies that tend to do the best in a shootout will have the least (or none), yet are full-bodied, tubey and rich.

What We're Listening For On This Recording of Piano 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

Schumann Piano Concerto In A Minor, Op. 54

  • 1st Mvt. Allegro Affetuoso
  • 2nd Mvt. Intermezzo - Andantino Grazioso
  • 3rd Mvt. Allegro Vivace

Side Two

Piano Concerto In A Minor, Op. 16

  • 1st Mvt. Allegro Molto Moderato
  • 2nd Mvt. Adagio
  • 3rd Mvt. Allegro Moderato Molto E Marcato - Quasi Presto - Andante Maestoso

Edvard Grieg Mini-Biography

Edvard Hagerup Grieg (15 June 1843 – 4 September 1907) was a Norwegian composer and pianist. He is widely considered one of the main Romantic era composers, and his music is part of the standard classical repertoire worldwide. His use and development of Norwegian folk music in his own compositions brought the music of Norway to international consciousness, as well as helping to develop a national identity, much as Jean Sibelius did in Finland and Bedřich Smetana in Bohemia.

During 1861, Grieg made his debut as a concert pianist in Karlshamn, Sweden. In 1862, he finished his studies in Leipzig and had his first concert in his home town, where his programme included Beethoven's Pathétique sonata.

In 1863, Grieg went to Copenhagen, Denmark, and stayed there for three years. He met the Danish composers J. P. E. Hartmann and Niels Gade. He also met his fellow Norwegian composer Rikard Nordraak (composer of the Norwegian national anthem), who became a good friend and source of inspiration.

During the summer of 1868, Grieg wrote his Piano Concerto in A minor while on holiday in Denmark. Edmund Neupert gave the concerto its premiere performance on 3 April 1869 in the Casino Theatre in Copenhagen. Grieg himself was unable to be there due to conducting commitments in Christiania (now Oslo).

During 1868, Franz Liszt, who had not yet met Grieg, wrote a testimonial for him to the Norwegian Ministry of Education, which resulted in Grieg's obtaining a travel grant. The two men met in Rome in 1870. During Grieg's first visit, they examined Grieg's Violin Sonata No. 1, which pleased Liszt greatly. On his second visit in April, Grieg brought with him the manuscript of his Piano Concerto, which Liszt proceeded to sightread (including the orchestral arrangement). Liszt's rendition greatly impressed his audience, although Grieg said gently to him that he played the first movement too quickly. Liszt also gave Grieg some advice on orchestration (for example, to give the melody of the second theme in the first movement to a solo trumpet, which Grieg himself chose not to accept).

In the 1870's he became friends with the poet Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson who shared his interests in Norwegian self-government. Grieg set several of his poems to music, including Landkjenning and Sigurd Jorsalfar. Eventually they decided on an opera based on King Olav Trygvason, but a dispute as to whether music or lyrics should be created first, led to Grieg being diverted to working on incidental music for Henrik Ibsen's play Peer Gynt, which naturally offended Bjørnson. Eventually their friendship was resumed.

The incidental music composed for Peer Gynt at the request of the author, contributed to its success, and has separately become some of the composer's most familiar music arranged as orchestral Suites.

Grieg had close ties with the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra (Harmonien), and later became Music Director of the orchestra from 1880 to 1882. In 1888, Grieg met Tchaikovsky in Leipzig. Grieg was impressed by Tchaikovsky.[26] Tchaikovsky thought very highly of Grieg's music, praising its beauty, originality and warmth.

On 6 December 1897, Grieg and his wife performed some of his music at a private concert at Windsor Castle for Queen Victoria and her court.

Grieg was awarded two honorary doctorates, first by the University of Cambridge in 1894 and the next from the University of Oxford in 1906.

-- Wikipedia

Robert Schumann Mini-Biography

Robert Schumann (8 June 1810 – 29 July 1856) was a German composer, pianist, and influential music critic. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest composers of the Romantic era. Schumann left the study of law, intending to pursue a career as a virtuoso pianist. His teacher, Friedrich Wieck, a German pianist, had assured him that he could become the finest pianist in Europe, but a hand injury ended this dream. Schumann then focused his musical energies on composing.

In 1840, Schumann married Clara Wieck, after a long and acrimonious legal battle with her father, Friedrich, who opposed the marriage. A lifelong partnership in music began, as Clara herself was an established pianist and music prodigy. Clara and Robert also maintained a close relationship with German composer Johannes Brahms.

Until 1840, Schumann wrote exclusively for the piano. Later, he composed piano and orchestral works, and many Lieder (songs for voice and piano). He composed four symphonies, one opera, and other orchestral, choral, and chamber works. His best-known works include Carnaval, Symphonic Studies, Kinderszenen, Kreisleriana, and the Fantasie in C. Schumann was known for infusing his music with characters through motifs, as well as references to works of literature. These characters bled into his editorial writing in the Neue Zeitschrift für Musik (New Journal for Music), a Leipzig-based publication that he co-founded.

Schumann had mental disorder that first manifested in 1833 as a severe melancholic depressive episode—which recurred several times alternating with phases of "exaltation" and increasingly also delusional ideas of being poisoned or threatened with metallic items. What is now thought to have been a combination of bipolar disorder and perhaps mercury poisoning led to "manic" and "depressive" periods in Schumann's compositional productivity. After a suicide attempt in 1854, Schumann was admitted at his own request to a mental asylum in Endenich (now in Bonn). Diagnosed with psychotic melancholia, he died of pneumonia two years later at the age of 46, without recovering from his mental illness.

-- Wikipedia