Side One: Mint Minus to Mint Minus Minus
Side Two: Mint Minus to Mint Minus Minus
- Holiday For Strings finally arrives on the site with outstanding Double Plus (A++) sound or BETTER throughout - exceptionally quiet vinyl too
- This is a true Demo Disc quality recording, with lovely Living Stereo strings - the three-dimensional soundstaging that is guaranteed to make your speakers disappear once you close your eyes
- This is a sweetheart of a recording - big, clear, rich, dynamic, transparent and energetic, and will surely put to shame any pressing of the album you own
- "Nowhere in the world is there a surer guarantee of more richly varied musical delights than that promised by this conductor's precise baton, his infallible ear and memory, the prodigious range of his taste, his interpretative verve."
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This vintage RCA Victor Stereo LP (but not Living Stereo, this being 1966) 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 Boston Pops, 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 Holiday For Strings 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 1966
- 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 Holiday For Strings
- 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.
- Holiday For Strings - David Rose
- Liebesfreud - Fritz Kreisler
- Humoresque-Swanee River - Johann Strauss Jr., Josef Straub
- Andante Cantabile - Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
- Arkansas Traveler (Old Fiddler's Breakdown) - David W. Guion
- The Surrey With The Fringe On Top - Rodgers-Hammerstein
- Our Waltz - David Rose
- The Flight Of The Bumblebee - Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov
- Malagueña - Ernesto Lecuona
- Concert-Polka For 2 Violins - H.C. Lumbye
- No Strings Attached - Richard Hayman
- Mendelssohn Violin Concerto: Finale - Felix Mendelssohn
High Fidelity on Fiedler, 1960
Nowhere in the world is there surer guarantee of more richly varied musical delights than that promised by this conductor's precise baton, his infallible ear and memory, the prodigious range of his taste, his interpretative verve. Yes, outside Boston at least, the fabulous Fiedlerian success story tends to be taken for granted. His distinctive role as symphonic spokesman to mass audiences is one calculated in win popular adulation. It also earns ultrasophisticates' supercilious disdain for "mere routine."
Of course Fiedler can afford to laugh all the way to the bank at such snobbery; yet he is too well grounded a "straight" musician and too sincere an artist to be unaware of the high price that seemingly must always be paid for wide popular acclaim. The Fiedler "image" is well known; it is quite possible that it obscures the true nature of the man himself.