What an excellent recording~!!!!!!!

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I just got the Telarc 1812 on SACD, and let me tell you all, it is SUPERB! It is one of the most beautiful recordings I have ever heard. The cannon shots are so realistic that even my dog looked at the speakers trying to figure out who was firing at her! This is no exaggeration, and she has never done that with any other recording. Never mind the special effects. The recording is a work of art. I can't even begin to describe it. You have to hear it!
Mind-bogglingly realistic recordings :)

Hello Steve,

observe your post for several days now if any other fellow joins your rave :)

I know this recording quite well; it was available on vinyl twice, 1st as the recording you know with groove excursions far beyond any spec, visible by bare eye without getting close. And 2nd, as a test track on Telarc's "Omnidisc" test record set, this time with the cannon shots at 5 different levels. There indeed existed a few cartridges being able to track this, the Shure V15IV or V among them. But most cartridges simply jumped out at the original record and on the highest level of the test record.

A very good recording indeed. I am not an expert in romantic music and did not get deeper into Tchaikovsky except his violin concerto, but i don't feel wrong with the musical performance at all, i'd guess it is a remarkably goo one and so tells me a buddy deeper into romantics.

But i'm afraid i must admit i do not consider it as the ultimate standard for realistic recording. I find it difficult to feel there, to believe what i hear, small flaws on µdynamics (although transients are admittedly shocking) and tone colour -saturation and -plausibility. Biased me, i'm a vinyl person :)

There are some recordings from the early stereo years which are famous for their realism, many of RCA Victor's Living Stereo series and of Mercury's Living Presence series.

As soon as they come out on SACD, try out (or buy them as vinyl :) and a decent TT):

RCA Victor:

Fr.Reiner/CSO, Ravel/Moussorgsky "Pictures at an exhibition",

F.Reiner/CSO, Bartok, "Concerto for orchestra",

F.Reiner/CSO, R.Strauss, "Also sprach Zarathustra" (LSC1806 !!)

A.Gibson/LPO, Gounod "Faust" and Bizet "Carmen Suite"


Dorati/LSO, Stravinsky, "Firebird Suite"

Dorati/LSO, Schoenberg/Berg/Webern "Vienna 1908-1914" (SR-90316)

Decca (UK).

I.Kertesz/LSO/Ludwig/Berry, Bartok, "Bluebeard's Castle"

What i am unable to suppress :) (it is a mono recording from 1952):

E.Kleiber, Concertgebouw O, Beethoven, 3rd and 5th symphony


B.Britten "Noye's flood" (for those loving Britten)

There are many more. But sonically, i guess the "Vienna 1908-14" is the most mind-boggling and spectacularly realistic one. There is a payoff, you have to get yourself adjusted to 12-tone music or your brain gets blown into pieces.

To my taste, the best performance of those works, never any of my experiences equalled that, and the recording is simply outstanding, you are there (and might get the feeling the brass hits you like a car accident). The recording is avaible on CD on which it is a performance test for the CDP's analog output stage (few manage to play it undistorted), but i am raving on the LP version, on the 1st pressing.

The Kleiber LvB#5 makes me wonder why the heck stereo was invented. Sonically and musically just magic. Also available on CD, a stunning re-issue. How much love and effort the engineers must have put into it!

My recommendations are exemplaric as far as music quality, as performance is concerned. I refuse to listen to audiophile crap just because of the sonics. One exception on my list above, the Firebird Suite is played lame by the LSO, i pretty much prefer the early Dorati performance with the Minneapolis SO being on par with Stravinky's own performance but sonically way fresher. Both mono.
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Joined 2002
Thanks for the recommendations. I will have to look into those. Unfortunately, my classical knowledge is quite limited. I like a lot of what I hear, but I can't tell you a lot about what I like. Aaron Copeland is one of my favorites. Pictures at an exhibition is a great piece of music. I have a couple different versions on CD, which I bought just because of the music. I can't really remember loving the recording, although it wasn't bad. I have a somewhat decent cheap turntable and a good used record store nearby. I will have to try and find the recordings you are talking about.
Have you listened to SACD yet? I find the tonal colors to be very very close to vinyl. I have never heard an exceptional turntable-based system, but I could always tell that something was missing with CD's that was there on the vinyl. I guess I was fortunate in having parents that encouraged my music hobby from a very early age. I had my first component stereo system at age 8, and had aquired about 200+ records by the time I was 18. More younger people need to know how good vinyl can sound!
Referring to the 1812:
I have to tell you that this SACD and the earlier LP are two different recordings! Taken from the Telarc website:

This disc features all new recordings of every component that was on our original recording (music, cannons and bells), but has the addition of the Kiev Symphony Chorus with their authentic Russian sound, a children’s chorus and the optional brass band for more musical punch in the finale. We were able to hire the same cannoneers as for the 1978 recording, but this time recorded
them in a larger "battlefield setting." The cannons could now be placed more accurately in the overall soundstage, as could all of the musical components—especially in the surround version!
BTW, I find the other tracks on this SACD just as enjoyable without the "super special effects". It is just a great sounding recording, in my opinion. I wish someone else had heard it to give me their opinion.
I will agree with you about not liking a recording just for the engineering involved. I have listened to a lot of music that the production is questionable on, and the music is so outstanding that you would have to be crazy to pass it up. Of course when excellent engineering and an excellent performance come together, it is magic... that's a good way to describe it, I believe. I am a musician in my spare time, so I have somewhat of an understanding of what a good performance is. Most of my experience is with popular music. I believe a lot of people are selling themselves short by not listening to some of the classical, jazz, and other non-popular music out there. People my age (mid 20's) seem to have little appreciation for it, for some unknown reason. It's really too bad, as most modern music has such little creativity. It's more about image and shock value.
I do find it odd also that no one but you has responded to this post. Is it that there aren't many who have the recording or format yet? I also find it odd that there is so little talk about music and recordings in general on this forum, but that may be because there is a better place for it that I'm missing out on. Sometimes I have to wonder if people don't miss out on the best things of life by getting too involved with the how and why of reproducing them.
Thanks again for the list of records!
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