I was going through my pre-Living Presence Mercury Classics Lps,yesterday,and I had forgotten,they had put out the (only ?)US pressings,of the early Sixten Erhling, Swedish Lps.The ones that predate the EMI monos.(I own two of these.)But one noteworthy record I own,is the Mercury-sourced,American Broadcasting Company Quartet,recording of "Death and The Maiden".A quick Google,only mentions the recordings with Reginald Kell,who is obviously not part of this record.I am not sure if this has ever been reissued.
Don Cox <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
On 07/07/06, Tom Fine wrote:
> You are correct. There were probably 50 more CD's that could have been
> done (perhaps more if one considered being completist on the mono
> stuff, which was an unlikely track because there was specific and
> limited interest in the pre-1956 catalog and that interest was
> addressed with the handful of mono reissues). Universal decided to
> discontinue the reissues in 2000 after scaling back the previous two
> releases. Many of the titles are still in print in the US but seem to
> be taken out of print in most other markets, which is pretty idiotic
> since they sold extremely well in the Orient and Europe. A good
> classical issue is like an annuity -- keep it in print and it will
> keep sending checks to the home office.
> While there are probably some on this list who are passionate about
> small-group and chamber music, in Mercury's case it never sold as well
> as the orchestral and band recordings, so it was considered at the
> bottom of the pile for reissues. Solo and concerto stuff like Janos
> Starker and Byron Janis were big sellers originally and were big
> sellers on CD. Point is, the reissue was a commercial undertaking (and
> was very profitable), so what was reissued and in what order was
> considered very carefully.
It seems to me it is time some of the classic recordings (in all genres)
were recognised as cultural treasures, so that reissues like these could
be subsidised by UNESCO, the big Foundations, or Governments in various
countries, just as art galleries and opera houses are subsidised.
While there may sometimes be a profit to be made from reissues, often
there is not. Or only enough to support a one-man-and-dog record company,
with consequent poor distribution.
There are many recordings that should be permanently available to all,
in the highest possible engineering quality, for the same reason that
anyone can walk into the National Gallery and look at the pictures.
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