Stravinsky: Le Sacre du printemps - Solti

Stravinsky: Le Sacre du printemps - Solti

Stereo Sound  SSHRS 001-002

Stereo Single Layer

Classical - Orchestral

Stravinsky: Le Sacre du printemps

Chicago Symphony Orchestra
Sir Georg Solti (conductor)

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Analogue recording
Comments (8)

Comment by Hui Zhu - June 1, 2021 (1 of 8)

This SACD was out of print for a long time. But it seems to be available on SS website again.

Comment by Mark Werlin - June 2, 2021 (2 of 8)

Hui Zhu, do the liner notes of Stereo Sound reissue SACDs show the name of the remastering engineer, or the mastering facility?

The only Stereo Sound SACDs I have heard, Contemporary Records Vol. 1, were remastered by Steve Hoffmann in California. That is published and discussed on Hoffmann's website, but I don't know where other Stereo Sound SACDs are remastered.

Comment by Hui Zhu - June 2, 2021 (3 of 8)

Hi, Mark

I'm checking "The Royal Ballet" by Ansermet SS SACD, and in the booklet is says:

Studer A80 Analogue 2 track(Original Decca Modified Machine)
A/D Merging Technologies "Horus Converters"
Pyramix Workstation for post product where applicable

Mastering Engineers: Jonathan Stokes & Neil Hutchinson (Classic Sound Ltd UK)

Hope this helps.

Comment by breydon_music - June 3, 2021 (4 of 8)


To add to this, I can confirm that all of the Stereo Sound Decca and Mercury remasters have been specially done by Jonathan Stokes to Stereo Sound's specific instructions. To my ears (I have them all!) they vary between very much better than any other physical hi-res competition to astonishingly better - though I have learned over the years that this certainly depends on the player used and therefore probably on the rest of the listening chain too (plus our own ears, brains, etc.!). The only exception to this is the recent Decca Solti Wagner Ring disc (and of course the complete Ring cycle reissue a while ago). Interestingly on this disc the Siegfried Idyll (not part of the original LP) was mastered as usual by Stokes, but the original LP content - actually an only moderately successful series of faded in and out "bleeding chunks" of Solti's complete Ring cycle - was done for them by King International in Japan. I can only think the link here is that Stereo Sound's SACD reissue of the complete Solti Ring was done from Japanese safety masters held by King. Thus rather than use reputedly shot U K masters, they have I assume reconstituted the original LP themselves from the superior Japanese tapes.

Comment by Mark Werlin - June 3, 2021 (5 of 8)

Hui Zhu and breydon, this is very useful information. The Stereo Sound web page for Le Sacre du printemps lists the SACD as a repress in May 2021. Appears to be one of their earlier releases; good to know that there is enough demand for these high-quality transfers to justify the expense of a new pressing.

Comment by Tony Reif - June 4, 2021 (6 of 8)

Breydon_Music, which SS releases in your opinion fall into the "astonishingly better" category, or just great sound in general? So far I have resisted purchasing from them because of the cost and the lack of anything in their catalogue that I felt I had to hear, though I'm somewhat tempted by Dorati's Scythian Suite and Love for 3 Oranges, and perhaps his Firebird, Mehta's Planets, Ansermet's Petrushka, Paray's Berlioz, or Britten's Mozart. I've never listened to any of these in other formats (even CD) except for the Prokofiev.

Comment by Hui Zhu - June 7, 2021 (7 of 8)


From your list I have the following:
Dorati - Scythian Suite and Love for 3 Oranges
Dorati - Firebird
Ansermet - Petrushka

Personally I would rank them "astonishingly better" than the alternate SACD/CD versions.

Comment by breydon_music - June 9, 2021 (8 of 8)

Tony, a fair question which has made me think a bit! These things are very personal and probably what I was thinking when I wrote that was of the discs which are particular favourites of mine and where I am pleased to have any perceivable improvement which enhances the enjoyment of a favourite disc. Contrapunctus, in a note elsewhere on the Holst Mehta disc says "The differences are not ground breaking, but they are easy to perceive". Perhaps that's more like it, and if it's a favourite disc sufficient to make you want to get it. Hui Zhu in the comment above touches on the Mercurys, and I agree given the improved sound that if you care about these discs you would want to have them. However I have no doubt in saying that for me the "astonishing improvement" award in the Mercurys goes to the Janis Rachmaninov PC3. This had a very muddy orchestral sound in the previous SACD issue where it was coupled with his PC2. That is now pretty well totally resolved and one's enjoyment of the performance and recording is very much enhanced as a result. However, it isn't my favourite PC3 and I don't think it's one of the classics of this group of Mercury reissues, so unless you think differently I would stick with Hui Zhu's recommendations as above.
Having said all that, I do have one recommendation from the whole series for everyone out there - it is the recent Accardo Rossini set. This was produced for Philips by Vittorio Negri in the Indian summer of analogue recording. At the time, it was a revelation as it was the first recording (as far as I know!) of the familiar String Sonatas in their original chamber scoring. The performances and recording are heart stoppingly beautiful, and this transfer does them full justice and more. For me, it's one of the great SACD remasters, and it's very much to Stereo Sound's credit that they have included this largely forgotten gem in their quite finite release schedule. The sound defies belief - if it was presented to me as a new recording today, I would be just as happy with it.
Overall, I think the achievement of Stereo Sound in these transfers is that they have been concerned to replicate the original sound that the engineers would have heard; something that I was only aware of before in the context of Pentatone's Philips reissue series of a decade or so ago, where they consulted the original engineers where possible to ensure that they didn't just get "high fidelity" remasters, but actually produced "what was intended" at the same time. As a result, for anyone with a long memory I would say that all of the Deccas sound, well, just more like Deccas than the other high resolution remasters. If you can remember (or perhaps still have) the old black label SXL vinyls this will mean a lot, and, if you can afford it, probably justifies collecting the set. I think they have generally chosen well. My only issue would be with the choice of the Britten Mozart disc. These performances were recorded around 1969-1971 in separate sessions and not issued until around 1978 after Britten's death. I wouldn't not want them - Britten always brought a fellow composer's view to his recordings as a conductor - but I have always felt that his Mozart 40 / Serenata Notturna disc, also recorded with the ECO at Snape Maltings - was a better sounding disc of a far more interesting performance.
Have I said enough? Probably too much! If you can, buy them all - I don't think there's one that isn't worth the money!


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