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Vivaldi - Cello Concertos -- Paul Tortelier

Reviewed in 2011

  (Item #: vivalcello_emi) 



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

This is a minty EMI British Pressing from 1981 featuring Paul Tortelier on the cello. The sound is very good in the EMI tradition, but even better, the music is WONDERFUL. These Vivaldi concertos are lovely. I was unfamiliar with them, so discovering this music today was a joy. And the vinyl is VERY QUIET. This record plays like it's brand new, which is what it appears to be. The cover is mint as well.

Contains "Concerto in G Minor for Two Cellos" and "Concerto in C for Violin and Two Cellos".

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Vivaldi / 4 Bassoon Concertos / Walt

Reviewed in 2011

  (Item #: vivalfourb_2353_2011) 



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

This rare and mostly quiet Shaded Dog pressing has SUPERB sound on side one, earning a sonic grade of A++. To our surprise side two was even better; we called it A++ to A+++. It was surely one of the best sounding records we played in our classical shootouts that day. This is Golden Age Living Stereo sound at its Tubey Magical best.

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Vivaldi / 4 Concerti For Two Violins and Orch. / Stern & Oistrakh

Reviewed in 2011

  (Item #: vivalfourc_columbia_0511) 



This Columbia Six-Eye original pressing (MS 6204) has an especially lovely side one. The extended tape hiss is a dead giveaway that this copy has the high frequencies that are going to let the violin harmonics come through beautifully, and they do!

Once we had our VTA adjusted precisely for this pressing, the texture on the strings came through gloriously. Of course getting the VTA right resulted in more transparency and ambience as well, with huge amounts of space around the players. The result: a Super Hot Side One, no doubt about it!

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Vivaldi / Concertos for Harpsichord, Guitar, Harp and Violin / Duhamel

  (Item #: vivalconce_90401) 



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

Near Demo quality. A Mercury sleeper. These concertos have excellent sound and the music is very enjoyable.

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Vivaldi / The 4 Seasons / Munchinger

Reviewed in 2011

  (Item #: vivalfours_6044_2011) 



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

This Hot Stamper London Whiteback is certainly no Demo Disc by any means. That said, the sound is quite good, with correct tonality from top to bottom. The perspective is somewhat recessed and the sound could use more top end extension, but the instruments sound natural and musical and that alone puts it well ahead of the pack in the world of classical recordings. Relaxed and enjoyable throughout. We call it A+ on both sides.

As I recall the performance here is a bit more lively than it is on the famous RCA (LSC 2424).

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Vivaldi / The Four Seasons - Societa Corelli

Reviewed in 2009

  (Item #: vivalfours_2424) 



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

This AMAZINGLY QUIET RCA Shaded Dog has SUPERB SOUND. It''s also without a doubt one of the finest small string ensemble recordings on this site. Which is only fitting for the most famous string music ever recorded.

More Living Stereo


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Vivaldi / The Four Seasons / Cremona Chamber Ensemble

Our Shootout Winner from 2009

  (Item #: vivalexcer_2009) 



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

This is a SUPERB sounding Sonic Arts Direct-to-Disc LP with Super Hot Stamper sound on both sides. I gave this one rave reviews twenty years ago (when we could still find them) and I'm happy to see that the sound has held up just fine in the intervening decades. Recorded in a dry acoustic, immediacy and clarity are the sonic strengths of this side one. This is one of the most natural Direct-Disc I’ve heard in a long time. One could easily use it as Demo Disc, depending on your taste and system.

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Vivaldi / The Four Seasons / Hayakawa (2 LPs)
(45 RPM)

  (Item #: vivalfours_45) 



Sonic Grade: F

A Hall of Shame pressing.

This RCA Direct-to-Disc 45 RPM Double LP has awful sound, with hard and shrill string tone. This is why we dislike Japanese pressings as a rule -- they sound like this audiophile piece of junk.

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Vivaldi / The Four Seasons / I Solisti di Zagreb / Tomasow

Our Shootout Winner from 2012

  (Item #: vivalfours_vanguard_2012) 



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

Folks, we have some good news for those of you who have been waiting for one of the best sounding, most beautifully performed Four Seasons ever recorded. THIS IS IT! White Hot on both sides, I can't say the sound is better than the White Hot Shaded Dog pressing we heard in our recent shootout. It's certainly different, and one could easily make the case for either. Of course one's taste enters into the calculation, so choosing a clear winner is simply not possible with markedly superior pressings such as these.

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Vivaldi Ensemble / Vivaldi, The Beatles

Bad Direct Disc Music & Sound

  (Item #: vivalsprin_rdc-2) 



Sonic Grade: F

An awful Direct to Disc recording. The bad sound and pointless music -- this is the kind of crap we audiophiles used to put up with back in the '70s before we had much of a clue -- means that it clearly belongs in only one place on our site: the Hall of Shame.

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Vivaldi, JS Bach, et al. / Concertos for Cello / Janigro

Reviewed in 2005

  (Item #: vivalconce_2365_2005) 



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

Wonderful sound from 1960. The cello has a much more natural size relative to the orchestra, which in the true Living Stereo tradition sounds every bit as good.

This copy has an outstanding side one, but side two, a later stamper, is not as good as the best.

More of the music of Antonio Vivaldi


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