Friday, December 30, 2016
Mercury Living Presence VOL.3 53CD
This landmark release marks the point at which the entire Mercury Living Presence catalogue, as remastered by original recording producers in the 1990s, is available in physical form. That alone is a major triumph for all concerned, since the remasters are regarded as definitive. However, Decca are also proud to present, in this concluding cube, no fewer than 10 albums that have never before been on CD, mixed down, restored and remastered from fragile tapes, to allow the fullest possible ever appreciation of a landmark label in the history of classical recorded music. Furthermore, the booklet is a model of its kind, setting out in the fullest possible detail everything about the recording, from the engineers and producers to the microphones, tapes, dates and locations.
EACH & EVERY MLP REMASTER NOW AVAILABLE
The project is complete. Together with MLP #1 & MLP # 2, this landmark issue means almost every single album ever made and released under the Mercury Living Presence label is now available.
NEVER BEFORE ON CD....
Working with Wilma Cozart Fine s son, Thomas Fine, and Andrew Walter at London s Abbey Road Studios, we are proud to present 10 new albums, never before on CD, mixed down from the original tapes, restored and remastered.
The ten albums are:
CD15: Frederick Fennell conducts Victor Herbert [NEW TO CD]
CD38: Ginastera: Variaciones Concertantes; Britten: The Young Person's Guide To The Orchestra [Mono recording]
CD39: Copland: Symphony No.3 [Mono recording]
CD40: Respighi: Church Windows; Roman Festivals [Mono recording]
CD43: Beethoven: Symphony No.3 in E Flat - "Eroica"
CD48: World Of Flamenco
CD49: Baroque Concertos For Recorders & Strings
CD50: Hindemith: Symphony in B Flat; Schoenberg: Theme & Variations; Stravinsky: Symphonies for Wind
CD52: Tchaikovsky: Overture 1912; Capriccio Italien [Mono recording]
CD53: Shostakovich: String Quartets Nos. 4 & 8
Illustrated with contemporaneous photographs, the booklet offers an exceptional level of detail. This includes a paragraph on each and every recording, setting out the location, the dates, the tapes, the microphones, the engineer, the producer in fact everything the collector loves to read. Clarification is also given regarding the original catalogue numbers this of course is important in cases where two albums have been reduced down to a single CD. The history of the label in its later years is also told with refreshing insight and honesty.
The technologies of analogue tape playback and digital remastering have advanced since Wilma Cozart Fine produced the 122 Mercury Living Presence CDs in the 1990s. Tapes that were not viable at the time can now be transferred and mastered with exciting results. Tape transfers are now done at a higher resolution than the CD sampling rate of the 1990s. Abbey Road Studios mastering engineer Andrew Walter has transferred tapes at 96kHz / 24-bit, and worked in that format throughout the mastering process.
Walter also had at his disposal the full array of digital tools to repair issues like rumble and hum and to smooth out sonic differences between tapes. In the case of the mono material, this greatly improves the audibility of the full orchestra and bring the sonic character more in line with the later stereo recordings on the label.