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Conclusion - Page 4

Philips 6527 032 Brahms: Hungarian Dances. London SO/Antal Dorati. Dvorak: Slavonic Dances. Minneapolis SO/Antal Dorati. (The recording with the London SO has less clarity and power.) Recordings made in 1959 and 1966 resp. Reissue 1981. Recommended especially because of the Minneapolis recordings of the Dvorak Dances that are taken from Am.Mercury 90335. The Hungarian Dances are from 90336.

Philips 6567 003 Khatchaturian: Sabre Dance. Rimski-Korsakov: Russian Easter. Moussorgski: A Night on Bald Mountain. Borodin: Polovetsian Dances.
London SO and Chorus/ Antal Dorati. Recorded 1956, 1960, 1962, 1963. This release lacks sufficient clarity.

Philips 6570 914 Rossini: Overtures.
Minneapolis SO/Antal Dorati. Detroit SO/Paul Paray. Recorded 1957 and 1959. The transfers of these early stereo-recordings were made using noisesuppressing equipment and therefore lack the clarity of the original tapes. French matrix and pressing. Not recommended.

Philips 6582 001 Celedonio Romero: 'Gitarrenmusik an Europäischen Fürstenhöfen'
contains the same program as Mercury 90296 which is titled 'Guitarmusic from the Courts of Spain'.**)

Philips 6582 003 Liszt: Concertos Nos. 1 and 2
. Same matrixes as Fontana 6531 029.

Philips 6582 015 Respighi: Pini di Roma, Fontane di Roma.
Minneapolis SO/Antal Dorati. Dorati recorded these works twice. This release is the recording of 1963 which appeared as Am.Mercury 90199. Recommended.

Philips 6582 018  Tchaikovsky: Suites 1 and 2 from The Nutcracker
. Minneapolis SO/Antal Dorati. (Recorded 1962) Slavonic March (Recorded 1958). Was also released as 6567 001. Recommended.

Philips 6780 250 (6599 230/231) Tchaikovsky: The Nutcracker, complete Ballet
. London SO and Chorus/Antal Dorati. Recommended. Am. Mercury SR2-9013. Recommended.

Philips 6780 251 Rachmaninoff: Piano concertos Nos. 1, 2 and 3
. Byron Janis with Moscow PO/Kondrashin, Minneapolis SO/Dorati, London SO/Dorati respectively. Recordings were made in 1962, 1960, 1961 Originally released in the MGY 130 series they were later released as 6582 008 (1st concerto), 6599 242 (2nd concerto) and 6582 006 (3rd concerto) and now in this 2-record album. These transfers have less bright and less spacious sound than the originals. Janis who at one time was a pupil of Wladimir Horowitz is especially worth a recommendation in Rachmaninoff's Third Concerto.  

 

I investigated in Fontana releases of Mercury recordings and found more editions in other series. It is impossible to be complete. Many recordings are not listed in these pages either those in the MGY 130 series or in the Fontana and the later Philips series. So maybe you will encounter more unexpected releases of Mercury tapes (and buy them if they are well enough preserved). Maybe even some of the releases done by EMI in Great Britain with prefix AMS: American Mercury Stereo. That should not prevent you from getting hold of American originals of which most are quite expensive, as you know. In any case I wish you good hunting! And... good listening!

R.A.B. (C) 1998

*) We all know how important the cuttingprocess and the pressing on relative hard vinyl is. French made matrixes and pressings have a harder vinyl and show in practically every case a better midband and more clarity. Also Fontana 700 037 WGY attains more drama in the French edition (Liszt Piano concertos performed by Yuri Boukoff with Laszlo Somogyi). The Philips-recordings mastered by Mercury in the USA were pressed on the vinyl used by Mercury. PHS 900-132 (Gérard Souzay) shows his voice with neater contours, but the Lp has also more hiss.

**) These releases I did not audition.

***) These recordings were possibly made in cooperation with EMI.

****)The performance of Brahms' First Symphony with Dorati conducting the London Symphony Orchestra which appeared in the early Fontana 700 series as 700 136 WGY was the same Mercury-recording (American reference 90268) released by EMI as AMS 16082 in April 1961. If I am not mistaken it seems that Philips only could release this and other early stereo-recordings in one of their subseries: 700 039 WGY with Dvorak's Slavonic Rhapsody and 700 184 WGY with Brahms Fourth Symphony. I did not investigate Fontana's 700 series and the earlier Philips 850 and 839 series..

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