RCA LIVING STEREO COLLECTION - VOLUME I
This a welcome issue and an incredible bargain. The first huge boxed set contains 60 disks of famous Living Stereo recordings, all remastered and sounding better than ever - and at super-budget price., a small fraction of original cost. Many collectors already own many of these, of course, but it surely is convenient to have them in one big box.
The first disk is an audilphile sampler for both classical and pop music. Several selections with Fritz Reiner and the Chicago Symphony are included along with pop performers Harry Belafonte, Perez Prado, Henry Mancinui and others. As you would exopect from a stereo demo, there is marked left and right. However, producers missed the boat by not including at least one track from the RCA spectacular Dick Schory Music for Bang, Ba-ROOM and Harp, one of the top stereo display recordings of the era (REVIEW).
Here are some of the highlights: Many disks are devoted to Charles Munch: his famous Saint-Saéns Symphony No. 3, the Berlioz Requiem, Romeo and Juliet and Symphonie fantastique, as well as symphonies of Beethoven, Mendelssohn and Schubert‚and, of course, Ravel. Fritz Reiner is well represented with many of his Strauss recordings, the famous Mussorgsky Pictures at an Exhibition, Bartók's Concerto for Orchestra, and one of my favorites, the Polka and Fugue from Schwanda by Weinberger. Arthur Rubinstein plays concertos by Brahms and Chopin and as well as solo works of Beethoven and Chopin. Van Cliburn plays Prokofiev and f Rachmaninoff concertos. Jascha Heifetz's recordings of concertos by Beethoven, Brahms, Bruch, Sibelius, Tchaikovsky, Vieuxrwmps, Prokofiev, Mendelssohn and Glazunov are there. Gregory Piatigorsky plays Dvorak and Walton concertos, Earl Wild plays Gershwin. There are four complete operas: La Bohème (Moffo/Tucker), Madama Butterfly (Price/Tucker), Turandot (Nilsson/Bjoerling), and La traviata (Moffo/Tucker). Organist Virgil Fox has a recital, and there are operatic disks by Leontyne Price and Anna Moffo. Arthur Fiedler and the Boston Pops figure prominently, as does Morton Gould in varied repertory including dazzling marches. Don't miss this one!!
R.E.B. (October 2016)