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Liszt / Les Preludes / Dorati

Reviewed in 2008

  (Item #: lisztlespr_90214_2008) 



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

This copy with Philips stampers has a fairly quiet and good sounding side one, which is the work by Smetana and A Night On Bald Mountain. Side two is thin and bright. Dorati is excellent on material like this and plays it with great verve.

Performed by the London Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Antal Dorati. This performance also includes Smetana's "The Moldau", Mussorgsky's "Night On Bald Mountain", and Sibelius' "Valse Triste".

More of the music of Franz Liszt (1811-1886)


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Sibelius / Finlandia / Mackerras (VICS 1069)

A $50 Hot Stamper from 2004 (!)

  (Item #: sibelfinla_1069_2004) 



DEMO QUALITY SOUND and quiet surfaces too.

I don't know when I've heard this album with better sound. This one may be better than the best Shaded Dog for all I know -- it''s that good.

You'll notice that there is a copy of this very same record on the website for $1.99. That one sounds dull. I don't think you'll be able to find a better sounding copy of this record than the pressing we are selling here, because it really is an exceptionally good sounding record. If it weren't, it would be more like $1.99.

More of the music of Jean Sibelius (1865-1957)


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Sibelius / Finlandia / Mackerras / London Proms

Our Shootout Winner from 2015

  (Item #: sibelfinla_15159_2015) 



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

A shocking Stereo Treasury sleeper with a superb Shaded-Dog-beating side one. Side one is nearly White Hot - it's exceptionally transparent and dynamic. Real Demo Disc sound and music on side one - spectacular works played with feeling.

More of the music of Jean Sibelius (1865-1957)


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Sibelius / Finlandia / Mackerras

Classic Records Debunked

  (Item #: sibelfinla_debunk) 



Sonic Grade: F

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

Classic Records, as expected, ruined this album. Their version is dramatically more smeared and low-rez than our good pressings, with almost none of the sweetness, richness and ambience that the best RCA pressings have in such abundance. In fact their pressing is just plain awful, like most of the classical recordings they remastered, and should be avoided at anything other than a nominal price.

More of the music of Jean Sibelius (1865-1957)


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Sibelius / Finlandia and Karelia Suite / Kord

Our Shootout Winner from 2013

  (Item #: sibelmaste_2013) 



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

A few months back we stumbled upon the London pressing of this relatively rare record -- never heard of it before, and who on earth is Kazimierz Kord? -- and were shocked to hear how good the random copy of this unknown-to-us recording sounded. The brass was incredibly solid and powerful; I don't think I had ever heard Finlandia with the kind of heavy brass that this record was able to reproduce. We had to know more!

More of the music of Jean Sibelius (1865-1957)


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Sibelius / Symphony #2 / Barbarolli

Our Shootout Winner from 2017

  (Item #: sibelsym2_rdg_2017) 



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

A truly extraordinary recording mastered beautifully but pressed on vinyl that has never been known for its quiesecece (if I can get by with that ten cent word).

The strings are clear and textured, yet rich and full-bodied. The bottom is big and weighty. The horns are tubey and full-bodied and never screech through even the most difficult passages.

More of the music of Jean Sibelius (1865-1957)


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Sibelius / Symphony #2 / Monteux / LSO

Our Shootout Winner from 2013

  (Item #: sibelsym2_2342_2013) 



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

With a Super Hot side two and a nearly as good side one, this 1959 Shaded Dog won our recent shootout for the work. We started by pulling out every performance on every label we had in our backroom and playing them one after another. Most never made it to the half-minute mark. If you have too many classical records taking up too much space and need to winnow them down to a manageable size, pick a composer and play a dozen or two of his works.

More of the music of Jean Sibelius (1865-1957)


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Sibelius / Violin Concerto / Heifetz

Classic Records Debunked

  (Item #: sibelvioli_classic_records) 



Sonic Grade: F

A Hall of Shame pressing and another Classic Records LP debunked. Classic remastered this title in the '90s -- it's one of the better Heifetz recordings. As expected, their version was awful, as bad as LSC 1903, 1992, 2129 and others too numerous to list.

More of the music of Jean Sibelius (1865-1957)


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Sibelius / Violin Concerto / Heifetz

Our Shootout Winner from 2011

  (Item #: sibelvioli_2435_2011) 



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

This TAS List Shaded Dog has AMAZINGLY NATURAL violin tone, especially on side two, which earned a seriously good grade of A++. This side two will show you exactly what Living Stereo Magic is all about. The violin is very well recorded, and with a side two as good as this one you hear just how big and rich it can sound.

More of the music of Jean Sibelius (1865-1957)


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Sibelius / Violin Concerto / Ricci - Fjelstad

Reviewed in 2011

  (Item #: sibelvioli_2011) 



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

This is a wonderful sounding London Stereo Treasury pressing featuring one of our favorite violinists, Ruggiero Ricci, performing the Sibelius Violin Concerto in D Minor. The tone of the violin on side one is just right -- every nuance of Ricci's bowing can clearly be heard!

More of the music of Jean Sibelius (1865-1957)


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Sibelius, Liszt, Dukas et al. / Bernard Herrmann Conducts

London Phase 4 Debunked

  (Item #: sibelberna_phase_4) 



Sonic Grade: F

A Hall of Shame pressing.

While preparing for a Finlandia shootout recently we happened to drop the needle on this album, a 1977 Phase 4 recording made in Kingsway Hall and engineered by Arthur Lilley. We could hardly believe how bad it sounded. The multi-miking is the worst I have ever heard! We like lots of Phase 4 recordings -- especially those of Bernard Herrmann -- but this is definitely not one of them.

More of the music of Bernard Herrmann


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