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Chopin, Rachmaninoff et al. / Richter

Reviewed in 2011

  (Item #: chopiricht_2611_2011) 



A distinguished member of the Better Records Orchestral Music Hall of Fame.

This collection of WONDERFUL solo piano works, here performed by one of our favorite pianists. Sviatoslav Richter, has SUPERB Living Stereo sound, earning a Super Hot Stamper sonic grade on side one. On this White Dog original pressing the piano is present and clear, with no smear whatsoever. Although the sound is big and rich, without more weight to the piano -- the kind you rarely hear outside of a live event -- we could not award the full Three Pluses. In practically every other way the sound was Hard To Fault (HTF).

More of the music of Frederic Chopin (1810-1849)


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Music of Old Russia / Milstein / Irving

Our Shootout Winner from 2013

  (Item #: tchaimusic_2013) 



A distinguished member of the Better Records Orchestral Music Hall of Fame.

This rare, hard to find original Blue Angel stereo pressing has exquisite sound. As we noted in our listing for Milstein's Saint-Saens Third, it is the rare Heifetz album on Shaded Dog (or any other label) that could hope to compete with it.

We would rank this Angel recording/pressing with the best of Rabin and Milstein on Capitol, as well as the wonderful Ricci and Campoli discs on London/Decca.

The transparency of both sides lets you "see" the orchestra clearly, without sacrificing richness or weight.

More of the music of Tchaikovsky


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Prokofiev & Rachmaninoff / Piano Concertos / Janis - Kondrashin

Reviewed in 2010

  (Item #: prokoconce_90300_2010) 



A distinguished member of the Better Records Orchestral Music Hall of Fame.

This is a very good sounding and pretty darn quiet Mercury Plum label pressing of Janis' superb performances, and a member of the TAS Super Disc list. Side one, the Prokofiev side, is super-transparent, with a percussive and wonderfully clear, correct sounding piano at the center of the stage. Additionally, the orchestra is not shrill as it is on so many Mercury pressings.

More of the music of Sergei Prokofiev (1891-1953)


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Rachmaninoff & Liszt / Favorite Classics for Piano / Pennario

Reviewed in 2014

  (Item #: rachmfavor_2014) 



A distinguished member of the Better Records Orchestral Music Hall of Fame.

White Hot Stamper sound on side two of this solo piano recording. It's big, rich and above all REAL sounding, with natural studio space. The legendary soloist Leonard Pennario is presented here at the height of his powers. Superb choice of material, from Clair De Lune to Liebestraum to the Hungarian Rhapsody No . 2.

On the rare Stereo pressing of course -- we want to hear all that studio space reproduced, just as your two ears would have heard it (more or less).

More of Franz Liszt's music in stock


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Rachmaninoff / Concerto #2 - Rubenstein/ Reiner

Reviewed in 2008

  (Item #: rachmcon2_2068) 



A distinguished member of the Better Records Orchestral Music Hall of Fame.

This is the earlier pressing, which stretches the Rachmaninoff piece over both sides of the record, resulting in a more dynamic pressing. The sound is tonally right on the money with the superb, rich, sweetly textured strings we have come to expect from RCA in this period. The piano has exquisite tone as well. This is a lovely, lyrical piece of music and the natural sound conveys the qualities of the work perfectly.

More Living Stereo


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Rachmaninoff / Concerto No. 2 / Katchen / Solti

Our Shootout Winner from 2011

  (Item #: rachmconce_2011) 



A distinguished member of the Better Records Orchestral Music Hall of Fame.

Folks, what we are offering here is THE SLEEPER Hot Stamper pressing of all time. Side one earned an amazingly good grade of A++ with side two every bit as good. The buyer of this album is going to be SHOCKED when he sees what pressing it is.

For those of you who cherish pressings for their best sound and performances -- as opposed to the typical audiophile collector who prefers the "right" original labels on his records, of course produced only in the "right" countries -- this is the record for you.

More of the music of Sergei Rachmaninoff (1873-1943)


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Rachmaninoff / Piano Concerto #2 / Cliburn / Reiner

Reviewed in 2011

  (Item #: rachmconce_2601_2011) 



A distinguished member of the Better Records Orchestral Music Hall of Fame.

We dropped the needle on side one of this lovely and quite rare Shaded Dog pressing and heard very good Living Stereo orchestral sound. We ended up giving it a sonic grade of A+ to A++.

When we flipped it over and heard the sound on side two, our jaws hit the ground (simultaneously? Can't say for sure). WOW! It's clearly one of the BEST piano concerto recordings we have ever had the pleasure of placing on our turntable. It puts to shame 98% of the piano recordings we've played over the years. Who knew LSC 2601 could sound so good?

More of the music of Sergei Rachmaninoff (1873-1943)


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Rachmaninoff / Piano Concerto #3 / Janis / Dorati

Our Shootout Winner from 2013

  (Item #: rachmpiano_90283_2013) 



A distinguished member of the Better Records Orchestral Music Hall of Fame.

This Super Hot Stamper (or better) original Colorback Mercury pressing is not only the BEST sounding copy we have ever heard, it also boasts the quietest side one we've experienced, playing mostly Mint Minus. For a fifty year old Mercury that is QUIET.

Not only is the sound amazing -- yes, it's on the TAS Super Disc list, and for good reason, a copy as good as this one really is a Super Disc -- but this copy has another vitally important characteristic that most copies of the record do not: virtually no Inner Groove Distortion.

More of the music of Sergei Rachmaninoff (1873-1943)


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Rachmaninoff / Piano Concerto #3 / Janis / Munch

Reviewed in 2007

  (Item #: rachmpiano3_1032_2007) 



A distinguished member of the Better Records Orchestral Music Hall of Fame.

Outstanding! Sounds just like the already very good shaded dog, in many ways better. (I don''t have that one around to compare anymore but this LP has that same natural, smooth sound, while being cut a bit cleaner.)

We have two copies of this Victrola, both with the same stamper numbers, and this is definitely the better of the two sonically. It has more presence, more transparency and better dynamics.

More of the music of Sergei Rachmaninoff (1873-1943)


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Rachmaninoff / Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini / Fiedler

Our Shootout Winner from 2011

  (Item #: rachmrhaps_2678_2011) 



A distinguished member of the Better Records Orchestral Music Hall of Fame.

Side two here earned a seriously good sonic grade of A++ for the two shorter works by Franck and Litolff respectively. The top end is extended and the overall sound is quite clear and natural.

Side one is not quite up to the sound heard on side two. We rate it A+. It's a bit dark and there is some smear on the piano. However, this is a wonderfully well-recorded album, so even at one plus the sound is still quite respectable.

More of the music of Sergei Rachmaninoff (1873-1943)


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Rachmaninoff / Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini / Reiner

Reviewed in 2005

  (Item #: rachmrhaps_2430) 



A distinguished member of the Better Records Orchestral Music Hall of Fame.

1S/ 1S Shaded Dog with fairly good sound. As is usual with this album, and most Rubenstein records, the piano lacks weight compared to the best Golden Age recordings.

More of the music of Sergei Rachmaninoff (1873-1943)


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Rachmaninoff / Symphonic Dances / Johanos

Our Shootout Winner from 2011

  (Item #: rachmsymph_2011) 



A distinguished member of the Better Records Orchestral Music Hall of Fame.

This famously good sounding Vox pressing has been remastered a number of times, but you can be sure that the Hot Stamper we are offering here will beat any of those modern pressings by a wide margin in any area that has to do with sound (surfaces are another matter).

More of the music of Sergei Rachmaninoff (1873-1943)


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Rachmaninoff / Three Symphonies / Waart

Reviewed in 2005

  (Item #: rachmthree_2005) 



A distinguished member of the Better Records Orchestral Music Hall of Fame.

Three Minty looking Philips Import LPs with EXCELLENT SOUND!

The sound is dark and rich. You may prefer it as I do to the famous Previn performances on EMI, which have that mid-hall, vague ’70s EMI sound. It never appealed to me.

The performances are excellent as well. The second symphony belongs in any serious collection and you get a very good one in this box set. This set includes Rachmaninoff's Symphonies 1-3 and 'The Rock,' Op. 7.

More of the music of Sergei Rachmaninoff (1873-1943)


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Rachmaninoff/ Piano Concerto #1/ Janis / Reiner

Reviewed in 2005

  (Item #: rachmpiano_1101_2005) 



A distinguished member of the Better Records Orchestral Music Hall of Fame.

This is a Minty RCA Victrola Plum Label LP. I used to think that the Classic was better than the Vic, and in some ways it may be, but I hear a lot of midrange magic on this LP that I don't think you can find on the Classic pressing.[No kidding.]

More of the music of Sergei Rachmaninoff (1873-1943)


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Ravel / Rachmaninoff / The Reiner Sound / Reiner / CSO

Reviewed in 2010

  (Item #: ravelreine_2183_2010) 



Wow, the first nice Reiner Sound on Shaded Dog to make it to our site. Why? Because the few copies we've run across that looked decent enough to clean and play were just too noisy to enjoy. Not many copies have survived the bad turntables of their day with all their top end and inner grooves intact, but we're proud to say that this one has!

This former TAS List record really surprised us on two counts. First, you will not believe how DYNAMIC the recording is. Of all the classical recordings we've played lately I would have to say this is THE MOST DYNAMIC of them all.

More of the music of Maurice Ravel


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Ravel / Rachmaninoff / The Reiner Sound / Reiner

Classic Records Debunked

  (Item #: ravelreine_2183_debunk) 



Sonic Grade: F

A Hall of Shame pressing and another Classic Records LP debunked.

There is simply an amazing amount of TOP END on this original pressing. Rarely do I hear Golden Age recordings with this kind of ENERGY and extension up top. This is of course one of the reasons the Classic reissue is such a disaster. With all that top end energy, Bernie's gritty cutting system and penchant for boosted upper midrange frequencies positively guarantees that the Classic Reiner Sound will be all but unplayable on a proper system.

More of the music of Maurice Ravel


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Various / Heart of the Piano Concerto - Rubinstein

Reviewed in 2008

  (Item #: varioheart_2495_2008) 



A distinguished member of the Better Records Orchestral Music Hall of Fame.

This is an EXCEPTIONALLY GOOD SOUNDING Shaded Dog pressing with fairly quiet vinyl. What''s surprising about this is how transparent and low distortion it is. Just as with Destination Stereo (LSC 2307), the excerpts here frequently sound better than they do on the original complete performances. Rubenstein's piano is solid and clear sounding, which is rarely the case, especially for his Beethoven concertos. Those almost never sound good, but the excerpt here for Concerto #3 is excellent.

More Living Stereo


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White Hot Stamper

Rachmaninoff / Piano Concerto #3 / Janis / Dorati

  (Item #: rachmpiano_90283_1801) 


  • Off the charts "Triple Triple" (A+++) sound for this classic Byron Janis Mercury album - both sides earned a grade of A+++
  • To be honest, there was one copy with a side that actually beat this copy, earning our rare Four Plus grade, but its side two as a noticeable step down from this one
  • Not only is this the consistently best sounding copy we have had to offer in many, many years, but we are happy to report that the vinyl is fairly quiet for a vintage Mercury
More of the music of Sergei Rachmaninoff (1873-1943)


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