That's my friend Joe down to the ground. I wish to set the record straight
about MH "fizzling out". We had planned 100 selections in the line. 60 were
released before the plug was pulled by a certain cultural malefactor who
now heads the Met Opera. "Why are we doing this?" was his response to
viewing the the cover art for a collection of Michael Rabin's early
Columbias. I was asked to prepare a justification, in which I cited Rabin
as one of a group of young musicians who emerged in the postwar era and
were entirely trained in the U.S, e.g. Kappel, Bernstein, Rose and Stern.
"Don't mention Kappel," I was warned, "Peter would know who he was." Need I
say more?


On Wed, Jun 13, 2012 at 3:13 PM, David Lewis <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> I remember a meet and greet in an LA restaurant with "King" Joe Szurly
> around '94 or '95 where he rolled out Masterworks Heritage to the classical
> buyers,
> of which I was one from Tower Records. Joe said, "We are doing the most
> beautiful thing I have ever seen; never, ever seen anything like it ever.
> But I gotta tell
> ya, I don't know how long we are gonna do this. You can submit your
> requests for what you'd like to see, though don't bother with the Ruggles
> because we're
> never gonna do that. But I can't guarantee they're comin'; we'll see how
> long this holds out -- hopefully we'll be lucky and it'll do well, I really
> hope it does."
> He brought along with him a mockup of the Bidu Sayao disc, and you know,
> that DID do really well. And the digipak and art I agreed was splendid,
> just like
> Dennis says. But ultimately MHK fizzled out, and well before they got out
> most things that one might desire, and I might argue that it was a little
> too much too quickly. The problem with issuing things for 13.99 that are
> available for 7.99 in the Great Performances and/or Essential Classics
> lines is that people will always pay for the
> cheaper version; even though you could sale price the MHK for 8.99, just
> one dollar more for the fabulous packaging and annotation. But if you try
> and delete those cheaper titles then the WalMarts that buy them for the
> dumpbins will get mad because you are breaking up something they buy in
> bulk already.
> Uncle Dave Lewis
> Lebanon, OH
> On Wed, Jun 13, 2012 at 10:39 AM, Dennis Rooney <[log in to unmask]
> >wrote:
> > I will add to this thread only slightly. Sony Classical's Masterworks
> > Heritage line was produced using transfer and mastering criteria
> developed
> > by the label since 1991 on various other reissue lines, viz. Gould,
> Walter,
> > Bernstein Stern, et al. MH may indeed have waved "a banner of quality",
> but
> > its genesis was borne not only of a desire to celebrate a century of
> > Columbia recordings but also to ring a different change on the DG
> Originals
> > line. However, each MH package (like Mercury Living Presence) was
> > individually designed, utilizing as much original art and photographic
> > support as could be fit into such a small area. Using original souce was
> a
> > prerequisite to production, but no attempt to employ any coeval playback
> > gear was ever considered.
> >
> > DDR
> >
> >
> >

Dennis D. Rooney
303 W. 66th Street, 9HE
New York, NY 10023