Recording of the Month

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J. Gordon Holt  |  Sep 10, 2014  |  First Published: Nov 01, 1983  |  4 comments
1183rotm.250.jpgRimsky-Korsakov: Scheherazade
Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Fritz Reiner conducting.
RCA ".5 Series" ARP1-W27 (LP).

In case you didn't already know, ".5" is RCA's name for their half-speed-–mastered line of audiophile LPs, whose releases to date have included many recordings, as well as some real gems, from their archive of older stereo recordings.

Their choice of old recordings is interesting to say the least, as it shows a side of RCA's classical division that we thought had atrophied and blown away many years ago: musical judgment. Instead of going for their most sonically spectacular tapes from yesteryear, the choices here were clearly made on the basis of musical performance first, with sound as a secondary consideration.

Thomas J. Norton  |  Jun 30, 2011  |  First Published: Nov 15, 1988  |  0 comments
A useful test CD has recently come my way, courtesy of the Stereophile editorial staff in Santa Fe (a copy was provided to each of the contributing equipment editors). Digital Test was produced in France by Pierre Verany (PV.788031/788032, 2 CDs), and is distributed in the USA by Harmonia Mundi. It provides a wide variety of tests and useful musical selections, but the subject of special interest here is its test bands for evaluation of laser-tracking and error-correction capability.

There are two interrelated parameters which, in the absence of drop-outs or information gaps—we'll get to them shortly—can affect the ability of a player to track the CD "groove" (or "whorl," as the quaintly translated disc booklet calls it): linear "cutting velocity" and track pitch. The standards for the first establish a range of 1.2 to 1.4 meters/second (the rotation speed of the disc varies from 500 to 200rpm from the inside to the outside of the disc to maintain this linear velocity); for the second, the spacing between adjacent tracks, from 1.50 to 1.70 micrometers (µm).

Richard Lehnert  |  Jul 02, 2010  |  First Published: Nov 02, 1989  |  0 comments
LAURA NYRO: Live at the Bottom Line
Cypress YL6430 (2 LPs), YD6430 (CD). Mark Linett, eng.; Laura Nyro, prod. AAA/AAD. TT: 62:00
Richard Lehnert  |  Jul 06, 2009  |  First Published: Nov 06, 1990  |  0 comments
KEITH JARRETT: Paris Concert
Keith Jarrett, piano
ECM 1401 (839 173-2, CD only). Peter Laenger, Andreas Newbronner, engs.; Manfred Eicher, prod. DDD. TT: 50:17
Richard Lehnert  |  Aug 07, 2008  |  First Published: Nov 07, 1991  |  0 comments
GONZALO RUBALCABA: Discovery
Gonzalo Rubalcaba, piano; Charlie Haden, bass; Paul Motian, drums
Blue Note CDP 7 95478 2 (CD only). Charlie Haden, prod.; David Richards, eng. DDD? TT: 54:06
Robert Hesson  |  Nov 05, 1993  |  0 comments
ARTURO DELMONI: Music for Violin & Guitar
Handel: Sonata in E. Giuliani: Sonata in A, Op.85. Leisner: Sonata for Violin & Guitar. Kreisler: Andantino. Granados-Kreisler: Spanish Dance. Ravel: Pièce en forme de Habanera. Paganini: Cantabile. Chaminade-Kreisler: Serenade Espagnole.
Arturo Delmoni, violin; David Burgess, guitar
Athena Productions ACSC-10006 (CD only). Bob Katz, eng.; Arturo Delmoni, prod. DDD. TT: 62:04
Les Berkley, Various  |  Nov 22, 1994  |  0 comments
J.S. BACH: Suites for Solo Cello
Nathaniel Rosen, cello
John Marks Records JMR 6/7 (2 CDs only). Doris Stevenson, prod.; Jerry Bruck, eng. DDD. TT: 2:16:43
Robert Baird  |  Nov 10, 1996  |  0 comments
MILES DAVIS & GIL EVANS: The Complete Columbia Studio Recordings
Gil Evans (arranger/conductor); Miles Davis, Ernie Royal, Johnny Coles (trumpet); Cannonball Adderley, Lee Konitz, (alto sax); Gunther Schuller (french horn); Paul Chambers (bass); Philly Joe Jones (drums); many others.
Columbia 67397 (6-CD set) Michael Cuscuna, exec. prod.; Phil Schaap, Mark Wilde, Bob Belden, reissue producers; additional engineering, Tom Ruff. TT: 6:56:39.
Les Berkley  |  Nov 26, 1997  |  0 comments
HILDEGARD VON BINGEN: 11,000 Virgins
Anonymous 4
Harmonia Mundi HM 907200 (CD). 1997. Robina G. Young, prod.; Brad Michel, eng. DDD. TT: 72:07
Performance ****½
Sonics *****
Robert Baird  |  Nov 07, 1998  |  0 comments
VARIOUS ARTISTS: Los Super Seven
Radv/RCA Nashville 67689-2 (CD). 1998. Dan Goodman, exec. prod.; Steve Berlin, prod.; Dave McNair, eng.; Fred Rennert, Steve Gamberoni, asst. engs. AAD? TT: 41:36
Performance ****?
Sonics ****
David Patrick Stearns  |  Nov 23, 1999  |  0 comments
DVORÁK: Stabat Mater
Christine Goerke, soprano; Marietta Simpson, mezzo-soprano; Stanford Olsen, tenor; Nathan Berg, bass-baritone; Atlanta Symphony Orchestra & Chorus, Robert Shaw
Telarc 2CD-80506 (2 CDs). 1999. Robert Woods, prod.; Michael Bishop, eng. DDD. TT: 85:49
Performance ****
Sonics *****
Robert Baird  |  Nov 02, 2000  |  0 comments
ROBERT WALTER'S 20TH CONGRESS: Money Shot
Fog City FCCD 004 (CD). 2000. Dan Prothero, prod., eng.; Kevin Ink, asst. eng. AAD? TT: 59:24
Performance ****?
Sonics ****?
Robert Baird  |  Nov 11, 2001  |  0 comments
BOB DYLAN: "Love and Theft"
Columbia (85975) (CD). 2001. Jack Frost, prod.; Chris Shaw, engs. Jeremy Welch, asst. eng. AAD? TT: 57:35
Performance ****1/2
Sonics ****
Zan Stewart  |  Nov 17, 2002  |  0 comments
CARTER, COBB, COLEMAN, STERN: 4 Generations of Miles
George Coleman, tenor sax; Mike Stern, electric guitar; Ron Carter, bass; Jimmy Cobb, drums
Chesky JD238 (CD). 2002. David Chesky, prod.; Barry Wolifson, eng.; Nicholas Prout, mastering. DDD. TT: 67:06
Performance ****½
Sonics *****
Robert Baird  |  Nov 16, 2003  |  First Published: Nov 01, 2003  |  0 comments
ALBERT LEE: Heartbreak Hill
Sugar Hill SUG-CD-3977A (CD). 2003. Albert Lee, Steve Fishell, prods.; Dave Sinko, Larry Getz, engs. AAD? TT: 43:51
Performance ****½
Sonics ****

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