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Peter Townshend – Who Came First
This record shows a folkier and gentler side of The Who’s chief muse. "Sheraton Gibson" is a neat tune about rock and roll road life, and "Time Is Passing" takes very subtle inspiration from Baba. Most of the rest of the album contains some of the most unusual pieces Townshend has released: his acoustic cover of Jim Reeves’ "There’s A Heartache Following Me" (recorded because it was one of Baba’s favorite tunes), "Evolution" (which is actually pretty much a solo track by his buddy Ronnie Lane of The Faces), Parvardigar" (adapted from Baba’s Universal Prayer), and "Content" (a philosophical poem by Maud Kennedy that Townshend put to music).
Ravel – Concerto in G / d’Indy – Symphony on a French Mountain Air
Two favorite piano concertos (the Ravel is particularly memorable), given the finest Living Stereo treatment with wide dynamic range and superb tonal balance, both on the piano and the orchestra.
Respighi – The Fountains of Rome
These recordings from 1960 feature Sir Malcolm Sargent (RCA Heifetz Scottish Fantasy) conducting the fabulous London Symphony on these Bert Whyte recordings at Walthamstow Assembly Hall in London – the same hall used extensively by the Decca and Kenneth Wilkinson. The performance is slower and more deliberate in tempo than the RCA Reiner performance yet every bit as powerful. The 35mm sound has a textural richness in the strings that is much more realistic than any other and bass that is woofer busting in its power and detail.
Saint-Saens Symphony No. 3 / Charles Munch : A Stereo Spectacular
This performance of the Saint-Saëns Symphony No. 3 (Organ Symphony) is a favorite Living Stereo release. To say that it is incredible might be an understatement. The original 3-track session tapes were used in mastering for the LPs and SACDS in this Analogue Productions reissue series.
Sarah Vaughan – The Lonely Hours
One can't describe the lonely hours, it is not a place you write about; it is a feeling that only Sarah Vaughan can bring to you. She does it here as she has never done it before. She does it with a turn of phrase, a sigh or the way she hits a certain note.
Sarah Vaughan – You’re Mine You
Another breathtaking set of recordings by the 'Sassy' one, this 1962 release, originally from the Roulette label boasts a dozen lush and lilting romantic tunes arranged by Quincy Jones. Featuring a mix of full band, strings and writing for additional brass and wood winds, each chart compliments Vaughan's vocal moods. Her interpretation of songs from Sondheim-Bernstein, Lerner- Loewe, Rodgers-Hart plus other standard ballads is enhanced by the superb recording captured by producer Teddy Reig and crew. Definitely one that audiophiles and jazz fans alike will play over and over.
Scriabin – The Poem of Ecstasy / Amirov – Azerbaijan Mugam
On this disc are two richly colored Russian symphonic works. Interpreting them is Leopold Stokowski, one of the most brilliant conductors of our day. This combination of colorful music and brilliant interpretation has been reproduced by Everest Records with a fidelity of sound that has to be heard to be believed.
Shostakovich – Symphony No. 5 Opus 47
Shostakovich and his remarkable Fifth Symphony is not to be found in any books or annotations. It must be learned from the music itself. It is only by the impact of this work on our own sensibilities that we can truly say of its creator , "Ecce homo!"
Sibelius : Symphony No.5 and Karelia Suite
Alexander Gibson, conducting the London Symphony Orchestra. Large, notably transparent soundstage on this recording, in which the orchestra is set back farther than the usual Decca/RCA. Recorded by renowned Decca audio engineer Kenneth Wilkinson.