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Music Review, Classical, Mercury Living Presence, Vinyl or CD Box SetPublished 2014-09-15
This CD box set is also available on 180 gram vinyl as a consolidated collection
Audiophile Rating: Music Performance Quality 10 / Recording Quality 9 (good as it gets for CD)
This may be the single greatest purchase an audiophile could possibly make. Decca Records recordings on CD are always “Audiophile Grade” I have many Decca CD’s in my collection, and the sound quality is second to none/equalled by very few such as “Reference Recordings” also exceptional for Jazz & classical. If you have a fine quality audio system, and appreciate classical music, this may be the single greatest value ever recorded onto CD. There are 50 music CD’s in this box set, all of which are not only on the Decca label, but on which the “original master tape” was a very special set up, with unique methodology, recorded on location in some of the world’s greatest musically ideal environments. The recording process was dubbed “Living Presence” for it's tremondos likeness to live. This process was famous in its day as achieving the absolute most natural of sound quality recordings. This dynamically advance recording methodology was attempted to be copied by many other labels, the next most successful of which was RCA’s “Living Stereo” recordings – also coveted to this day, by audiophiles for their greatly superior sound quality. Living Presence used a unique and propriety three (3) microphone process, and the results were/are to this day/exceptional!
Prior to my purchasing and listening to this box set, I had about 70 CD’s of classical music which I had collector over a long time, and about 150 LP’s. As a fan of the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, Powel Hall, and St. Louis’s original classical music station “Classic 99” now only available on-line, I had always found it frustrating to attempt to buy what I was listening to. For instance, on the radio I would here excerpts from say “The Planet’s” by Andre Previn, then shoot down to the local record/cd seller and find “The Planets, by Leonard Bernstein, recorded from a different time period, different symphony hall and on a different label. I’d stand there looking over the record (or CD) with complete befuddlement??? Classical music in particular gave me the most trouble trying to figure out “what to buy” by “which conductor” with “which symphony” further complicated by the conductor's themselves "who travel around", and on which label – after all, some of these labels were not the best sounding (hissy background and/or poor dynamics). For classical music, "poor dynamics" is just not acceptable!
Well if you’ve experienced any of what I’m talking about trying to buy your own recordings of classical music take this one comfort – whether you have a few coveted recordings, or especially if you have just started building your collection. THIS BOX SET is an absolute STEEL!!! You get some of the very best versions of the composer’s works, by some of the best conductors of their time, at the best symphony halls and with the best symphonies, recorded by the best equipment, methodology, and on one of the all time best classical labels. THAT’S AS GOOD AS IT WILL EVER GET!!! If you sought to by/build a collection of audiophile grade CD's individually "piecemeal", you would need to spend about $24.95 each, 50 CD’s that would be $1247.50! But this entire limited edition collection in a neat box set retails for just $175.00! That's only $3.50 each! So if you don’t have a “great classical collection” this is your chance to have an “instant" "great classical collection”. This is the highest value audiophile CD deal that I know of. And better news yet – we sell it at considerably less than retail! Cheers
--Buzz, Uptown Audio