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John Atkinson
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The End of an Era

www.scena.org/columns/lebrecht/090204-NL-decca.html.

Sad news, given the English company's pioneering work, including the first and still in some ways the best complete Ring, and the first Petrouchka on LP. Somewhere in my tape archive I have a private recording of an orchestral piece the late Antal Dorati wrote on the notes D.E.C.C.A.

John Atkinson
Editor, Stereophile

linden518
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Re: The End of an Era

I can't believe this, JA. I grew up on Decca recordings, and one of my desert island albums is the Radu Lupu's late Brahms. In general, houses like Harmonia Mundi and Channel Classics, etc. continue to put out recordings of great quality, but Decca is... Decca. I agree w/ JA: my Solti Ring on German Decca still sounds tremendous and is technically astounding. Although it's been discovered that Keilberth's Ring was the first ever stereo recording of the work (on Testament), it is beyond doubt that Solti on Decca put The Ring on the map.

It will be interesting to see which labels gobble up the Decca artists.

Logan
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Re: The End of an Era

I just bought the Decca Ring Cycle by Solti from eBay. A near-mint example, and my third copy - the other two have been simply worn out. About 75% of my purchases of used vinyl from various internet sites are Decca (or London) pressings from the 1960-80 period. Their heritage is rich beyond belief. I recently completed the Kertesz/LSO series of the Dvorak symphonies (Decca of course) and have no desire to ever listen to any other versions.

But as to their recent releases in the genuine classical area I won't be missing very much. The excellent Decca CD/SACD set of Mahler symphonies by Chailly and the Concertgebouw Orchestra was my last major digital purchase, and since he jumped ship as far as the recording label (and orchestra) is concerned I can't see myself buying many more. The Decca vinyl back catalog will still do me very well, and I'm starting on Dorati conducting just about anything this week, so long as it's on Decca.

Todd
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Re: The End of an Era

I'm not so sure Lebrecht got it right. It could just be more of his sky-is-falling hyperbole. Here's a different take: Decca story

So Decca may be restructured but not killed off. I certainly hope Decca remains - I want to hear Nelson Freire's Debussy, due out later this month in the States.

-

linden518
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Re: The End of an Era


Quote:
But as to their recent releases in the genuine classical area I won't be missing very much.


Really?!? Off the top of my head, I can think of so many artists on Decca who've been putting out benchmark-level performances. Nelson Freire's Brahms concerti w/ Chailly comes to mind, obviously. What about the world-class work that Takacs Quartet's been doing? etc. etc... Obviously they'll be picked up by other labels... it'll be interesting to see where they'll go...

Todd
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Re: The End of an Era


Quote:
What about the world-class work that Takacs Quartet's been doing?

The Takacs have been on Hyperion for a year or two, and they've changed their line-up again.

I'm just interested in seeing if Decca actually dies, or just changes focus.

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Robert Jordan
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Re: The End of an Era

I completely agree with you. When I was a young newcomer to classical music a large percentage of my new purchased recordings were London/Decca LPs. I always found quality performances and recordings there. I never hesitated to buy a London/Decca recording of something I wanted. First class , I am sorry to hear this.

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