Well Tom, my copy should arrive in a week or so and I'm certainly hoping I can echo Richard's praise when I get it. I have also recorded countless pipe organs and I recognize that while I have never tried the technique myself, the MLP recording method should be ideal for organ recordings. I'm encouraged by the comments about the subway because any attempt to get rid of subway rumble would probably rob the recording of the essential 32 foot sounds. I have listened to organ recitals in churches near subways and they haven't reduced my enjoyment of the concerts at all. Perhaps we are more tolerant of that which we cannot change.
But to throw you another complement, I believe the MLP vol.3 box is a flawless mastering job! I don't know if my memory is faulty and that they are the same masterings as the early '90s releases but they had a thrilling impact on me. My only complaint was that I got weary of the arranger on the Porter, Gershwin and Herbert CDs, (I've forgotten his name). I was particularly incensed that he would re-orchestrate the "March of the Toy Soldiers" from "Babes in Toyland". Victor Herbert was a superb orchestrater and I don't think there was any need not to use his arrangements of instrumental numbers. That's just my opinion, (and I'm NOT a musician). However it was very interesting to hear a Fine studio recording not using the normal Fine set-up. I think he trumped most other studio recordings of that kind of material mainly because of his experience with the 3 mike configuration.
Sent from my iPhone
> On Oct 7, 2015, at 5:29 PM, Tom Fine <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> Thanks Richard! This makes me feel good, to get a good report from someone who's actually heard and recorded a bunch of pipe organs. As you'll hear, the French organs sound very different from Aeolian-Skinners. I was amazed at the trippy sounds Dupre was able to get out of the Saint-Sulpice instrument in particular. Check out CD4 cuts 2-12 CD7 cut 7. That's in the Moog league of trippy sounds from an analog instrument.
> Regarding the subway, highly annoying! It was the story behind the dozens of splices in fragile acetate tapes. Oy.
> -- Tom Fine
> ----- Original Message ----- From: "Richard L. Hess" <[log in to unmask]>
> To: <[log in to unmask]>
> Sent: Wednesday, October 07, 2015 4:33 PM
> Subject: [ARSCLIST] Mercury Living Presence Marcel Dupré Box Set
> Hi, Tom,
> I received the Marcel Dupré Box Set a couple of days ago from Amazon.CA
> for a very reasonable price. I had used their low-price pre-order system
> and received a substantial reduction from the originally quoted price.
> I'm very happy.
> All I can say is FANTASTIC! I haven't even gotten into the Paris and
> Rouen recordings yet, just have spent time with the St. Thomas and Ford
> The fact that the St. Thomas recordings were made a year after the
> rebuilding of the organ by G. Donald Harrison--a project that
> precipitated his death--means this is a very important milestone
> recording of one of the great examples of Aeolian-Skinner organ building
> at its peak, played by one of the great organists of all time.
> As you have noted, a flood damaged that shortly after the recording was
> made and the Gilbert Adams renovations to the organ have not fared well
> and also, as you have noted, a MAJOR renovation is in the works,
> although the leading light behind that renovation, Dr. John Scott, the
> replacement for the late Dr. Gerre Hancock (my friend and mentor), has
> also died, unexpectedly at a young age.
> I am very impressed with the sound that the Mercury team obtained on the
> St. Thomas recordings, having recorded the later incarnation of that
> organ many times, including for a record released in the past on my own
> label, featuring Dr. Judith Hancock performing Mozart and Dupré. I need
> to check if the precise same pieces are on my recording and the MLP set.
> That will be a fun comparison. Judith is a superb organist.
> I do appreciate the Saint Saëns Organ Symphony and it is interesting to
> compare the new CD version to the Box Set #2 version. I will, at some
> point, do a careful comparison, but for now, I've just enjoyed
> listening. Marvellous!
> I also became enthralled reading the diary excerpts in the book. Totally
> fascinating. Your mother made quite the impression on Mme. Dupré. And
> yes, the subway is one of the main non-joys of recording at St. Thomas.
> The cost of ameliorating that is phenomenal. While in theory it could be
> done, the price prohibits it.
> Richard L. Hess email: [log in to unmask]
> Aurora, Ontario, Canada 647 479 2800
> Quality tape transfers -- even from hard-to-play tapes.