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Super Hot Stamper

Tchaikovsky / 1812 Overture / Marche Slave and More / Alwyn

  (Item #: tchai1812o_decca_1812) 

Our Price: $199.99

  • You'll find outstanding Double Plus (A++) sonic grades or BETTER from start to finish - hear Tchaicovsky's 1812 with Demo Disc sound
  • The 1812 is found on the better sounding side here - with nearly Triple Plus (A++ to A+++) sound this British LP is guaranteed to rock your world
  • Both sides are BIG, lively, clear, open and resolving of musical information like no copy you've heard
  • The two coupling pieces, Marche Slave and the Capriccio Italien, also have rich, powerful, weighty brass and lower strings
  • The most exciting and beautifully played 1812 we know of - we encourage you to compare this to your best recording
More of the music of Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840-1893)


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Ballet Favorites / Ansermet (VICS-1066)

Reviewed in 2011

  (Item #: varioballe_2011) 



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

This RCA Plum Label Victorla has an AMAZING SOUNDING side one -- it's unbelievably spacious and three-dimensional with depth that goes on for DAYS.

Side one earned its two pluses with the kind of spacious, rich, sweet sound you've come to expect from Super Hot Stampers. Note the correct sounding tape hiss -- a dead giveaway that the highs are going to be correct. (Funny tape hiss is the hallmark of Classic Records and Mobile Fidelity, a dead giveaway that their highs will be phony and boosted.)

See more music conducted by Ernst Ansermet


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Borodin / Sym. No. 2 / Tchaikovsky / Francesca Da Rimini / Varviso

Reviewed in 2012

  (Item #: borodsymph_6578_2012) 



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

This London Whiteback pressing (CS 6578) has SHOCKINGLY GOOD sound; in many ways it deserves to be called a Demo Disc. It has at least one quality that one virtually never hears on an audiophile reissue: a smooth, natural top end. This record only sounds correct and "real" at louder volumes, in the same way that a live orchestra often sounds a bit lifeless in the quiet passages, only to get exciting, big and powerful when the score calls for it. For this to happen on record you need real dynamics and tonal neutrality.

More of the Best Recordings Made in Victoria Hall


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Chopin / Fantasy - Impromptu, more / Philippe Entremont

Our Shootout Winner from 2014

  (Item #: chopifanta_2014) 



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

The subtitle of the album reads Philippe Entremont Plays Best-Loved Piano Pieces.

After hearing this one as well as another exceptionally good sounding copy, we would like to amend that to Philippe Entremont Plays the Hell Out of These Best-Loved Piano Pieces.

Truly this is an undiscovered gem from Columbia in 1966.

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


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Debussy / Clair de Lune / Agoult

Our Shootout Winner from 2011

  (Item #: debusclair_2326_2011) 



A distinguished member of our Better Records Hall of Fame.

This Shaded Dog LP has DEMONSTRATION QUALITY SOUND, if what you're demonstrating is not a Hi-Fi spectacular, but rather a sublime presentation of a truly sweet and natural string section of an orchestra, presented here on analog disc created more than fifty years ago.

More of the music of Claude Debussy


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Festival of Russian Music / Reiner

Reviewed in 2008

  (Item #: variofesti_1068_2008) 



Excellent sound, more mid-hall than some other RCAs. This is the Victrola version of the Shaded Dog of Festival. Some of these pieces are amazing in Reiner''s hands, Marche Slave, for example. Russland and Ludmilla is also superb here. The sound is quite dynamic and powerful with very little distortion or noticeable compression. Reiner is excellent on music like this!

It should go without saying that this kills the Classic Records pressing.

More of the music of Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840-1893)


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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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Philippe Entremont - Ritual Fire Dance

Our Shootout Winner from 2011

  (Item #: fallaritua_2011) 



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

An undiscovered gem from 1967 on 360 Columbia! Side two of this record blew our minds with its White Hot Stamper sound. Musically and sonically this record is nothing short of wonderful. Who knew? You could play fifty vintage piano recordings and not find one as good as this!

Tchaicovsky, Liszt, Beethoven, Debussy, Mozart -- these shorter pieces and excerpts were composed by those with the greatest gift for melody, men who've produced works that have stood the test of time, enchanting audiences over the centuries with works of such beauty and charm.

More of the music of Manuel de Falla (1876-1946)


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Rimsky-Korsakov / Capriccio Espagnol / Black / London Fest.

Our Shootout Winner from 2013

  (Item #: rimskcapri_black_2013) 



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

AN AMAZING A++++ SIDE TWO, presenting the complete work by Rimsky-Korsakov. The Capriccio Espagnol here is one of THE BEST on record. Not only does it have incredibly powerful DEMO DISC sound, but the performance is superb on every level as well. The energy and excitement of the piece are brought to life by Stanley Black and the London Festival Orchestra like no other you have ever heard.

More of the music of Rimsky-Korsakov (1844-1908)


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TAS List Thoughts about Festival

Harry, This One Is Out of Phase, Man!

  (Item #: variofesti_tas) 



Harry Pearson put this on his list of the best Classic Records RCAs.

If you can reverse your absolute phase this record actually sounds fairly decent. Do you think Harry knows to do that, or even how to do it? I have my doubts. [He's gone now so the point is moot, but I maintain it's the rare reviewer who grasps these kinds of issues with anything approaching the depth and understanding required to be informative and accurate.)

More orchestral music conducted by Fritz Reiner (1888-1963)


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Tchaikovsky - Piano Concerto No. 1

"I’m Surprised You Parted With This One"

  (Item #: tchaipiano_testimonial_1) 



Phil is a long time customer who shares my love for this powerful performance. He knows full well how bad most copies sound -- he has a few of his own to prove it. When he saw this beauty in the mailer he did what any self-respecting record lover would do: he jumped on it. Even at $500 he feels he got his money's worth, and that's a lot of money for a Deutsche Grammophon record, the kind that no record store in the world would charge more than ten or twenty dollars for. If only we could find more like it...
More of the music of Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840-1893)


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Tchaikovsky - Serenade for Strings - Munch

A Cisco Recommended LP

  (Item #: tchaiseren_cisco) 



Sonic Grade: B

This Cisco 180 gram LP has Very Good sound. The original Shaded Dogs tend to be warmer and sweeter, but also more compressed and a bit smeary. This pressing is alive and present, although the string tone can be a bit steely at times. If you have a warm, tubey system this record may just be the ticket. If your system leans toward the dry and analytical, this is not the record for you.

Check out our Heavy Vinyl Scorecard to read all about the latest winners and losers.

More of the music of Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840-1893)


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Tchaikovsky / Romeo & Juliet / Dorati

Reviewed in 2011

  (Item #: tchairomeo_90209_2011) 



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

SUPERB Nearly White Hot Stamper sound on side two. With a grade of A++ to A+++, this is clearly the best sounding Romeo and Juliet we have ever heard. Rich lower strings, clear horns, big cymbal crashes, zero smear -- rich and tubey but clear, right up there with the best of the RCA's and London's. And Dorati turns in a top performance with the London Symphony.

More of the music of Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840-1893)


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Tchaikovsky / Romeo & Juliet / Munch

Reviewed in 2006

  (Item #: tchairomoe_1197_2006) 



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

This Minty RCA Plum Label Victrola has that BIG BIG BOSTON SYMPHONY SOUND! It''s big as life -- spacious, dynamic, and tonally correct, with the lovely textures of the Boston strings fully intact. This is actually a better recording than the more famous Munch re-recording (which is the one that Classic reissued).

The Francesca da Rimini on side two is only so-so.

More of the music of Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840-1893)


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Tchaikovsky / 1812 / Marche Slave and More / Alwyn

Our Shootout Winner from 2015

  (Item #: tchai1812o_decca_2015) 



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

A BEYOND White Hot Quadruple Plus side one - hear Tchaicovsky's 1812 in Demo Disc sound. This is the most exciting and beautifully played 1812 we know of, with the best sound ever to boot on this copy. This is an exceptional Decca remastering of a superb Golden Age recording on very good vinyl.

More of the music of Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840-1893)


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Tchaikovsky / 1812 Overture - Alwyn

Speakers Corner Reviewed

  (Item #: tchai1812_speakers_corner) 



Sonic Grade: B

Excellent, one of the best of the Deccas. Better sound by far than the Classic with Reiner, although of course the original of that record is quite good. You may get better results if you reverse your absolute phase when playing this record. It's been a while since I did it so better to check it yourself and see how you like it each way.

More of the music of Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840-1893)


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Tchaikovsky / 1812 Overture / Alwyn

Not Recommended Original

  (Item #: tchai1812_6038) 



This very nice looking London Blueback original LP with Little Sign of Play (LSOP) contains the famous Alwyn conducted performance of the 1812 Overture.

The sound leaves much to be desired; at best it would be likely to earn about a "C" grade, as the average classical record is not very good sounding and not even worth the bother to play it.

More of the music of Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840-1893)


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Tchaikovsky / 1812 Overture / Kunzel

Telarc UHQR Debunked

  (Item #: tchai1812_UHQR) 



Sonic Grade: D

A Hall of Shame pressing.

This is what we had to say about the UHQR back in 2005 or so:

Having played this record all the way through, I have to comment on some of its sonic qualities. It's about the most dynamic recording I've ever heard. This was the promise of digital, which was never really delivered. On this record, that promise has been fulfilled. The performance is also one of the best on record. It's certainly the most energetic I can remember.

More of the music of Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840-1893)


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Tchaikovsky / 1812 Overture / Reiner (LSC 2241)

Classic Records Debunked

  (Item #: tchai1812o_2241_debunk) 



Sonic Grade: D

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

HP put the Shaded Dog pressing (the only way it comes; there is no RCA reissue to my knowledge) on his TAS List of Super Discs, and with good reason: it's wonderful!

More of the music of Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840-1893)


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Tchaikovsky / 1812 Overture / Reiner

Our Shootout Winner from 2017

  (Item #: tchai1812o_2241_2017) 



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

The real stars here are NOT the 1812, but the three coupling works, which demonstrate, on this copy at least, The Real Power of the Orchestra. The remarkably rich, Tubey Magical and oh-so-rosiny Living Stereo strings and powerful, dynamic brass make this a real demo quality orchestral heavyweight. Lizst's Mephisto Waltz, Mendelssohn's The Hebrides Overture, and the Tragic Overture by Brahms are the Must Own 36 minutes worth of music on the record.

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


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Tchaikovsky / 1812 Overture, Op. 49 / Kunzel

Telarc Debunked

  (Item #: tchai1812_telarc) 



Sonic Grade: D

A Hall of Shame pressing.

If you want an amazingly dynamic 1812 with huge amounts of deep bass for the firing of the cannon you can't do much better than this (or its UHQR brother).

But if you want rich, sweet and tonally correct brass and strings you had best look elsewhere. I've never liked the sound of this record and I'm guessing if I heard a copy today I would like it even less. Who thinks live classical music actually sounds like this?

More of the music of Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840-1893)


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Tchaikovsky / Capriccio Italien - Boult

Our Shootout Winner from 2007

  (Item #: tchaicapri_boult_2007) 



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

ASD 3093. EMI Postage Stamp Label LP with DEMO QUALITY SOUND and a performance to match! I can''t remember when I''ve enjoyed these pieces more. The energy of the playing complements the dynamic, powerful and rich sound. A great EMI!

Recorded by the Two Christophers, this record features selections from Tchaikovsky and Rimsky-Korsakov.

More of the music of Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
.

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Tchaikovsky / Capriccio Italien / Black

Our Shootout Winner from 2013

  (Item #: tchaicapri_21004_2013) 



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

The Capriccio Espagnol here is one of THE BEST on record. Not only does it have incredibly powerful DEMO DISC sound, but the performance is superb on every level as well. The energy and excitement of the piece are brought to life by Stanley Black and the London Festival Orchestra like no other you have ever heard.

This beyond White Hot Stamper may make you reevaluate virtually every classical recording in your collection. The energy, size, scope and immediacy found on this Four Plus copy is easily superior to that of any other recording of the work we have ever heard!

See more of the music of Rimsky-Korsakov


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Tchaikovsky / Capriccio Italien / Ormandy

Our Shootout Winner from 2010

  (Item #: tchaicapri_6917_2010) 



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

This is a CBS White Arrows "360 Sound" LP with DEMO DISC sound and the BEST performance we have ever heard. In our experience there is no combination of sound and performance that can beat Ormandy and The Philadelphia Orchestra captured on this Columbia record. Ormandy is on fire here! As good as the famous Kondrashin on RCA is (LSC 2323), the sound on both the Shaded Dog copies we had on hand and the Classic Records reissue (which is very good by the way) could not begin to match this wonderful pressing.

More of the music of Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky


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Tchaikovsky / Concerto for Violin & Orchestra / Oistrakh

Not Too Big to Fail

  (Item #: tchaivioli_mhs_wtlf) 



Side two of this copy from our 2016 shootout provides a clear example of the effect known as the "The Violin That Ate Cincinatti."

Yes, it may be oversized, but it's so REAL and IMMEDIATE and harmonically correct in every way that we felt more than justified in ignoring the fact that the instrument could never sound in the concert hall the way it does here -- unless you were actually playing it (and even then I doubt if it would be precisely the same sound -- big, but surely quite different).

More of the music of Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky


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Tchaikovsky / Excerpts from The Nutcracker / Reiner / CSO

Our Shootout Winner from 2013

  (Item #: tchainutcr_2328_2013) 



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

This RCA reissue pressing of LSC 2328 has some of the BEST SOUND we have ever heard for The Nutcracker, and we've played them by the dozens, on the greatest Golden Age labels of all time, including the likes of Mercury, RCA and London. In a somewhat (but not too) surprising turn of events, the reissue pressing we are offering here beat all the originals and early reissues we could throw at it. Finally, this legendary Mohr/Layton production can be heard in its full glory!

If you like your Nutcracker exciting and dynamic, this is the copy for you.

More Tchaikovsky


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Tchaikovsky / Nutcracker Suites 1 & 2 / Ansermet

Our Shootout Winner from 2012

  (Item #: tchainutcr_6097_2012) 



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

This is an AMAZINGLY well recorded performance of one of the most famous ballets, probably the most famous, ever committed to analog tape. Enchanting music and sound combine on this copy to make one seriously good Demo Disc, if what you are trying to demonstrate is how relaxed and involved vintage analog can make you feel.

A record like this lets you get lost in the world of its music, and what could be more important in a recording than that?

More Tchaikovsky


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Tchaikovsky / Piano Concerto #1 / Richter / Karajan

Another Audio Myth Explodes

  (Item #: tchaipiano_myth) 



The original Large Tulip early pressings are the best on this record, right?

Nope. It’s just another Record Myth, as explained in the commentary for our recent Hot Stamper 2-pack. That pair of pressings was all the proof we required to back up our contention that either label can be the best on this classic DG recording. Original is better? Again, not so much. Original can be better fits more with our experience.

See all pressings of Tchaikovsky's music in stock


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Tchaikovsky / Piano Concerto #1 / Richter/ Karajan

Our First Shootout Winner, 2008

  (Item #: tchaipiano_dg_2008) 



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

This fairly quiet Large Tulips early DG pressing in the heavy cardboard outer sleeve has THE BEST SOUND we have ever heard for this recording! Believe me, they don’t all sound like this! This copy is airy and sweet; just listen to the flutes -- you can really hear the air moving through them. There is still some congestion in the loudest passages, but that's unfortunately not something we can do anything about. Since it's on every copy we've ever played we just have to assume it's part of the recording.

More of the music of Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840-1893)


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Tchaikovsky / Serenade for Strings - Munch

Our Shootout Winner from 2012

  (Item #: tchaiseren_2105_2012) 



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

This original Shaded Dog pressing has WONDERFUL sound and exceptionally quiet vinyl for a record made in 1958. Like most recordings from the era, it has the strengths and weaknesses of simply-miked analog tapes recorded and mastered during The Golden Age. It's every bit as RICH and Tubey Magical as one could ever want, but evidences some congestion in the loudest passages and a touch of tube smear even when quiet. With All Tube Mastering, this is of course to be expected.

More of the music of Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840-1893)


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Tchaikovsky / Sleeping Beauty / Ansermet / 3 LP Box Set

  (Item #: tchaisleep_2304) 



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

Big Decca sound! Powerful deep bass. Beautiful string tone and sharply articulated brass sound. This is a wonderful record. Ansermet is of course a master of the ballet. The performance here is outstanding, perhaps even definitive.

More music conducted by Ernst Ansermet (1883-1969)


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Tchaikovsky / Swan Lake / Ansermet

Our Shootout Winner from 2012

  (Item #: tchaiswanl_2204_2012) 



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

This London Small Red Label "Whiteback" (it's white inside the box, not on the back but you get what I mean) UK Import 2 LP Set put every other recording we had of Swan Lake to shame. This is the one folks, assuming you want a nearly complete performance of the work. (We will have some single LP highlight pressings coming to the site down the road. The Fistoulari on London can be especially good on the right pressing.)

The performance here by Ansermet and the Suisse Romande I rank second to none.

See more of Tchaikovsky's music


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Tchaikovsky / Swan Lake / Grossman

Our Shootout Winner from 2009

  (Item #: tchaiswanl_wh_fame) 



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

This budget Whitehall pressing is one of the most incredible SLEEPERS in the entire classical catalog, with SUPERB sound as well as performances of the highest quality from the Vienna Festival Orchestra. The sound is big and bold, spacious, open and sweet in the best golden age tradition. Superior pressings of this recording would give all but the best Shaded Dogs, Londons and Mercs a serious run for their money, beating most of them handily. Yes, it's that good. The string tone and rosiny texture on side two are especially noteworthy.

See all pressings of Tchaikovsky's music in stock


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Tchaikovsky / Symphonies 4-5-6 / Mravinsky (4 LPs)

Reviewed in 2009

  (Item #: tchaisym456_2017) 



Sonic Grade: C

This is a Deutsche Grammophon 4 LP Box Set. I used to really like the sound of this set back in the day, as you will see from the rave review below from 2009.

It's been a while since I found the sound to be worthy of a Hot Stamper shootout, and now, in 2017, having just played some of the discs against some very good German and British reissues, I now realize the records in the set are clearly made from dub tapes. They badly lack presence, space, transparency and clarity, all hallmarks of sub-generation master tapes.

More of the music of Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840-1893)


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Tchaikovsky / Symphony #5 / Monteux / BSO

  (Item #: tchaisym5_2239) 



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

Near Demo Quality. This is one of those mid-hall RCA recordings, and if you like that orchestral perspective, a very natural one to my mind, this record is for you. String tone is superb. What holds this record back is a lack of orchestral weight. But the strings on this copy are very sweet and the vinyl is exceptionally quiet.

It's a very sweet sounding copy, and dynamic as hell. Monteux's performance is beyond reproach.

More of the music of Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840-1893)


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Tchaikovsky / Symphony #6 (Pathetique) / Monteux

Classic Records Debunked

  (Item #: tchaisym6_1901_classic_records) 



Sonic Grade: D

A Hall of Shame pressing.

Both the '60s Victrola and the '70s Gold Seal pressings are clearly superior to this heavy vinyl mediocrity. RCA managed to cut this record amazingly well decades after the tape was first recorded (1955!), not for audiophiles, but for music lovers. Maybe that's the secret.

More of the music of Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840-1893)


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Tchaikovsky / Symphony #6 (Pathetique) / Monteux

Classic Records Debunked

  (Item #: tchaisym6_classic_records) 



Sonic Grade: F

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

It's been quite a while since I played the Classic pressing, but I remember it as none-too-impressive, playing into my natural prejudice against early Living Stereo recordings and Classic Records themselves.

Keep in mind the Shaded Dog originals of this recording are awful too, as we make clear below.

Check out our Heavy Vinyl Orchestral Music Scorecard to read all about the latest winners and losers.


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Tchaikovsky / Symphony #6 (Pathetique) / Monteux

Our Shootout Winner from 2012

  (Item #: tchaisym6_2012) 



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

Presenting a first for Better Records: a White Hot Stamper copy of this CORRECTLY remastered version of LSC 1901, which just happens to be a recording from the earliest days of stereo, 1955! It's guaranteed to KILL any and all original Shaded Dogs, as well as the more common reissues; White Dogs, Red Seals, Gold Seals, Victrolas, Classic Heavy Vinyl, you name it, this pressing will beat the pants off of it and in the process show you precisely what is wrong with each and every one of them.

More of the music of Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840-1893)


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Tchaikovsky / Symphony #6 (Pathetique) / Monteux

Shaded Dog Originals Suck

  (Item #: tchaisym6_1901) 



Sonic Grade: F

A Hall of Shame pressing.

We've played at least three Shaded Dogs of LSC 1901 since 2011 and all three were AWFUL. A recent reissue showed us the light.

The size and scope of this recording is enormous, with the orchestral sections clearly staged wide and deep. Where is the old tube smear and compression and opacity? It must not be on the tape, because I hear no trace of it.

More of the music of Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840-1893)


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Tchaikovsky / Symphony #6 / Monteux

Our Shootout Winner from 2011

  (Item #: tchaisym6_1009_2011) 



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

This remastered Victrola version of the original Living Stereo pressing (LSC 1901) is guaranteed to KILL any and all originals -- Shaded Dogs, White Dogs, Red Seals -- you name it, this pressing will beat the pants off of it, guaranteed. I've played many copies of the earlier RCAs and I have surely never heard one sound like this, with so much LIFE and CLARITY. Where is all the old cutter head distortion, congestion and frequency limiting? It's sure not here!

See more entries in our Originals vs. Reissues series


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Tchaikovsky / Symphony No. 1 ’Winter Dreams’ - Muti

Reviewed in 2009

  (Item #: tchaisym1_3213_2009) 



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

Minty looking EMI Postage Stamp pressing with EXCELLENT SOUND and a remarkably energetic and nuanced performance. This is the first recording of this symphony that I''ve ever liked. Muti gets it! And the sound is actually quite good for EMI in this period, 1976. Stuart Eltham is the recording engineer and he is to be commended for getting some real dynamics and power into the grooves of this record.

More of the music of Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840-1893)


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Tchaikovsky / The Nutcracker - Ansermet

(Reviewed in the '90s)

  (Item #: tchainutcr_2092) 



Sonic Grade: B?

Not sure if we would still agree with what we wrote back in the '90 when this record came out, but here it is anyway.

"Superb! New records just don’t sound any better! This is the complete Nutcracker Ballet as conducted by Ansermet for Decca, a record that sets a standard of performance and sound that is unlikely ever to be equaled, and almost certainly not to be surpassed."

More music conducted by Ernst Ansermet (1883-1969)


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Tchaikovsky / The Nutcracker Ballet / Dorati

Our Shootout Winner from 2010

  (Item #: tchainutcr_9013_2010) 



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

This London Symphony recording is without a doubt THE BEST SOUNDING Nutcracker we have ever played here at Better Records, and that includes not only the full ballet but the suites and excerpts as well. The sound in a word is GLORIOUS. This copy, with 8 1/2 pluses total for the four sides, has DEMO DISC quality sound on three out of four sides. We shot out nine original maroon label copies (and one oval label Philips pressing) so we had our work cut out for us when it came to this masterwork of Tchaicovsky's. It was an absolute JOY to hear his sublime orchestration recorded so faithfully and naturally by the Mercury team, using 35MM film no less.

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Tchaikovsky / Violin Concerto / Grumiaux

Our Shootout Winner from 2012

  (Item #: tchaivioli_2012) 



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

This White Hot Two-Pack of the most well-known and beloved violin concerto in the classical repertoire gives you a TOP performance with TOP quality sound from first note to last. No single copy had two sides as good as these, so we've combined two LPs to bring you the best Tchaicovsky Violin Concerto ever to hit the site.

In choosing these two sides we put special emphasis on the sound of the violin. Many copies suffered from a slight screechiness to the sound of the instrument, but we present here a violin that is rich and sweet, yet retains the full pallette of its complex harmonics.

More of the music of Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky


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Tchaikovsky / Violin Concerto / Heifetz / Reiner

Our Shootout Winner from 2009

  (Item #: tchaivioli_2129_2009) 



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

This Super Hot Stamper Shaded Dog pressing has DEMO DISC SOUND in the truest sense of the word. What you have here is a more tonally correct, more correctly sized and more NATURAL sounding violin than you will find on the vast majority of pressings of LSC 2129. If you want to hear a violin jump out of your speakers and into your lap, this is NOT the record for you. Instead what you get here is a violin that sounds more like the real thing, assuming you paid top dollar for your seats and like to sit up close.

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Tchaikovsky / Violin Concerto / Heifetz / Reiner

Classic Records Debunked

  (Item #: tchaivioli_2129_classic) 



Sonic Grade: F

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

The Classic is both aggessive and lacking in rosiny string texture at the same time, the worst of both worlds. Bernie's cutting system is what I would call Low Resolution -- the harmonics and subtleties of the sound simply never make it to the vinyl.

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Tchaikovsky / Violin Concerto / Szeryng - Munch

Not Recommended

  (Item #: tchaivioli_2363_2005) 



1S/ 1S Shaded Dog.

The violin is very immediate sounding on this recording, maybe too much so. The sound of the orchestra is where this record falls short.

It's congested, thin and shrill in places. The right copy of Heifetz's performance on LSC 1992 is overall a much better record. Some may prefer Szeryng's way with this famous piece, which is a matter of taste of course. If you're listening for just the performance and the sound of the violin, you may find this record to be more acceptable.

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Tchaikovsky / Violin Concerto / Szeryng - Munch

Our Shootout Winner from 2010

  (Item #: tchaivioli_1037_2010) 



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

This plum label original Victrola pressing is comparable if not actually better than most pressings of the rare Shaded Dog it's reissuing, LSC 2363. The violin tone is lovely on side one, but the orchestra is not what it should be, hence the grade of A Plus.

Side two has Tartini's Devil's Trill which takes up about half the side and has the best sound here, earning a grade of A+ to A++. Szeryng is excellent throughout.

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Tchaikovsky on Vinyl

These Didn't Make the Grade

  (Item #: tchaikovsky) 



These are just some of the recordings of the music of Tchaikovsky that we've auditioned and found wanting. Without going into specifics we'll just say these albums suffer from poor performances, poor sound, or both, and therefore do not deserve a place on our site, in your collection, and may even belong in our Hall of Shame.

A Free Service provided to the Audiophile Public, courtesy of Better Records.

Albums of Tchaikovsky's Music with Hot Stampers

Albums of Tchaikovsky's Music We've Reviewed



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