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Mozart - Eine Kleine Nachtmusik / Munchinger - Nearly White Hot Stamper (With Issues)

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

Nearly White Hot Stamper (With Issues)

Mozart
Eine Kleine Nachtmusik / Munchinger

Regular price
$179.99
Regular price
Sale price
$179.99
Unit price
per 
Availability
Sold out

Sonic Grade

Side One:

Side Two:

Vinyl Grade

Side One: Mint Minus Minus

Side Two: Mint Minus Minus to EX++

  • Stunning sound throughout this vintage London pressing, with both sides earning Nearly Triple Plus (A++ to A+++) grades - just shy of our Shootout Winner
  • This copy has the clarity, space and transparency that recreates the live event and really lets you hear into the music
  • Karl Munchinger is of course an expert on Mozart and here he does not disappoint – it’s a top performance with sound to match
  • You will have a very hard time finding a better Eine Kleine Nachtmusik on record, sonically or musically
  • Need we even bother saying it’s guaranteed to beat the pants off of the Speakers Corner pressing of the Decca of the same performance from 1994? No? Okay, we won't
  • Problems in the vinyl are sometimes the nature of the beast with these early pressings - there simply is no way around them if the superior sound of vintage analog is important to you

More of the music of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791) / More Classical and Orchestral Recordings

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These Nearly White Hot Stamper pressings have top-quality sound that's often surprisingly close to our White Hots, but they sell at substantial discounts to our Shootout Winners, making them a relative bargain in the world of Hot Stampers ("relative" meaning relative considering the prices we charge). We feel you get what you pay for here at Better Records, and if ever you don't agree, please feel free to return the record for a full refund, no questions asked.


This vintage London 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 Eine Kleine Nachtmusik 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.

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.

What We're Listening For On Eine Kleine Nachtmusik

  • 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.
  • Powerful 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.

More of What to Listen For

On most copies the strings are slightly drier and more steely than one would want, occasionally turning strident in the louder passages. As always, proper VTA adjustment — by ear — is critical to getting the strings to sound their best.

An extended top end helps the harmonics of the stringed instruments immensely.

The more resolving copies will show you more of the hall which adds to the sense that you are listening to live music, not a record.

Is It Live?

It sounds very much like live music, or at least what you imagine this music would sound like live. Of course, live classical music is shocking in its clarity and freedom from artificiality, and no recording I have ever heard duplicates that sound with perfect fidelity.

But when the pressing is as clear and transparent and natural as this one, your ability to suspend disbelief seems to require no effort at all. Close your eyes. Your brain, search as it will, can find nothing in the recording to interfere with the appreciation of even the most subtle nuances of the score. This is the mark of a very fine record indeed.

This is precisely what careful shootouts and critical listening are all about. If you like Heavy Vinyl, what exactly is your frame of reference? How many good early pressings could you possibly own, and how were they cleaned?

Without the best pressings around to compare, Heavy Vinyl can sound fine. It’s only when you have something better that its many faults come into focus.

We, of course, have something much, much better, and we like to call them Hot Stampers.

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.

A Must Own Record

Eine Kleine Nachtmusik is a recording that belongs in any serious Classical Collection. Others that belong in that category can be found here.

Side One

  • Eine Kleine Nachtmusik
  • Divertimento No. 1

Side Two

  • A Musical Joke

Eine Kleine Nachtmusik

Eine kleine Nachtmusik (Serenade No. 13 for strings in G major), is a 1787 composition for a chamber ensemble by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. The German title means “a little serenade,” though it is often rendered more literally but less accurately as “a little night music.” The work is written for an ensemble of two violins, viola, and cello with optional double bass, but is often performed by string orchestras.

The traditionally used name of the work comes from the entry Mozart made for it in his personal catalog, which begins, “Eine kleine Nacht-Musik.” As Zaslaw and Cowdery point out, Mozart almost certainly was not giving the piece a special title, but only entering in his records that he had completed a little serenade, in German, a “Ständchen.”

The work was not published until about 1827, long after Mozart’s death, by Johann André in Offenbach am Main. It had been sold to this publisher in 1799 by Mozart’s widow Constanze, part of a large bundle of her husband’s compositions.

Today the serenade is widely performed and recorded; indeed both Jacobson and Hildesheimer opine that the serenade is the most popular of all Mozart’s works. Of the music, Hildesheimer writes, “even if we hear it on every street corner, its high quality is undisputed, an occasional piece from a light but happy pen.”

-Wikipedia

A Musical Joke

A Musical Joke is a divertimento by W.A. Mozart, finished in 1787. Parodic in nature, it is sprinkled with clumsy repetitive figures, together with passages designed to mimic the effects of inaccurate notation and poor performance. Comedic devices include the use of asymmetrical phrasing, the use of secondary dominants where subdominants are required, discord in horns, whole tone scales, polytonality (in a very early use).

The English title A Musical Joke is believed to be a poor rendering of the German original: spaß does not strongly connote the jocular, for which the word scherz would normally be used. In Fritz Spiegl’s view, a more accurate translation would be Some Musical Fun.

-Musopen site