As for the organ-music edits, I would say that if they annoy you, don't buy the CD, choose a different performance. That's what was possible in the time and place, and the LP and CD sold quite well (although almost no solo-organ material sells as well as symphonic material).
-- Tom Fine
Everytime you have decided to respond to something I have posted it is always tinged with anger, (including the first time you responded, (off-list), to tell me my comments were very offensive and would not be read by or responded to by anyone, and that was not even about a criticism but a complement I had given for a Mercury CD which unbeknownst to me had apparently been issued without your mother's involvement). You seem to have no tolerance for any less than a laudatory comment about any Mercury item.
Mercury's Living Presence recordings were legendary and the entire Mercury team, including your parents, obviously had very high standards; this team also included the respected and revered David Hall who, I understand, produced the record which first earned the epithet "Living Presence". While, as I've expressed a number of times, I have a great respect for Mercury recordings, I have the same high regard for many fine RCA, Columbia, English Decca, EMI, DGG and any number of other label's recordings. Another list member offered a clear explanation for what may have caused the poor edits on the Dupre Organ recording which made a lot of sense, (but that doesn't explain the noticeable edits on the orchestral CD I mentioned). You comment that "That's what was possible in the time and place....", and while there may have been extenuating circumstances in that particular situation, the edits on these recordings certainly don't represent the state of
the art in the late '50s and early '60s. Flawless editing was definitely possible at this time, however I must confess I made an analog organ recording which was full of very poor edits which ordinarily I wouldn't have tolerated; but at the time of this recording the location, (Detroit Fox Theatre), was being prepared to be demolished and the organ had no working pistons. Every time a registration change was needed, the recording was stopped while the organ was re-registered, and then we carried on; smooth editing was impossible. Surprisingly this recording was praised by critics, including those who specialized in organ recordings, and the bad edits were never mentioned, (this record was also made with a single mike, an AKG C24).
Much more seems to have been written about Mercury's recording techniques than other labels and it is a fascinating read. However a number of 78 rpm sets recorded by Robert Fine contained the technical note that the recording was made with a single mike 30 feet from the performing artists, (the one I just checked is a string quartet). I can't imagine getting a decent sound from that distance and I asked David Hall, who I think was the producer on this recording, about this note and he said it was definitely not true; he said the distance was perhaps 15 feet but probably closer.
Hopefully we can make peace and be more congenial in the future.