Hi Rod:

I like that Barbirolli Society reissue on CD of the VW #8 (Dutton remastering). It's fine. Others 
may disagree. Totally agree about du Pre/Elgar, but it may still be in print on the "EMI Recordings 
of the Century" series, as a single CD. I too bought the 10CD box set and have had fun listening to 
many recordings I hadn't heard before.

-- Tom Fine

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Roderic G Stephens" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Sunday, September 02, 2012 8:55 PM
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] New-ish EMI set

Hello, my audio music friends. Thanks to your comments I purchased the Barbirolli EMI 10 disk set 
and have been enjoying the rich collection on my new 7.1 Yamaha tuner/amplifier with Dolby both in 
and out; both ways sound terrific. However, I think EMI missed an opportunity by using the earlier 
Elgar Cello Concerto (1957) with soloist Andre Navarra. I've listened to the 1965 version with 
Jacqueline du Pre on EMI CDC 547329, and it seems to have a better sound field not to mention a more 
definitive reading in my opinion. Ironically, it is paired with the same version of Elgar's "Sea 
Pictures" (Dame Jane Baker) that is on the 10 disk set, so if they had asked me, that would have a 
duo I would have chosen.
In checking for the Vaughan Williams #8, I found this This supposedly is the Dutton 
remastering, but Tom, did I understand that it doesn't stand up to the original Pye/Mercury 
SR-90115? So, I guess my best bet is to snag that LP someplace?
With much appreciation,

--- On Fri, 8/10/12, Carl Pultz <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

From: Carl Pultz <[log in to unmask]>
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] New-ish EMI set
To: [log in to unmask]
Date: Friday, August 10, 2012, 6:13 PM

There's a faint A1 on both sides. By the end of side 1, it’s a total mess,
but that might be from the previous owner's 10 gram consolette and a
long-running side. The surface is good. The only thing I hear really
centered is the vibraphone, mallets, and concertmaster. The rest sounds like
mics 1 and 3 to me. But you know these discs better than me.

The piece fits Barbirolli like a glove, as VW must have intended. The
hairpin turns, the contrasts of tempo, the glorious tuttis, and hold your
heart progressions. It has some aspects of a concerto for orchestra, I
think, with the winds featured and then the strings and dialogs between
choirs. The Hallé was the great underdog of British orchestras in those
years, underfunded and constantly poached by the London orchestras of its
best young players. John would just get them trained, and off they'd go. He
was continually building the orchestra and working for its recognition. He
was admired for his commitment, in all respects. The man pretty much worked
himself to death by 1970.

No other version I've heard comes close. There is one by Stokowski that I'm
anxious to hear. Bet it's good. He did the scherzo alla marcia - very
march-like - for Capitol, but the BBC recorded a complete performance by him
in the sixties.

-----Original Message-----
From: Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List
[mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Tom Fine
Sent: Friday, August 10, 2012 7:55 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] New-ish EMI set

Hi Carl:

I do think side A has more pronounced hiss than side B on that record. Check
your deadwax and see if
it's got "I" and something like "A1" on side A. If so, it's a first pressing
by RCA in Indianapolis
and should be very good vinyl. If no "I" then it's a later pressing, Mercury
Richmond IN and thus
might well be noisey. My theory about different orchestra setup and perhaps
mics further out could
lead to more hiss, likely from having to boost the record levels and picking
up hiss from the mics
or tape electronics. Or, if the levels weren't readjusted, then the overall
level on the tape would
be low and thus higher s/n ratio and more pronounced tape hiss.

Thanks for prompting me to re-listen! I really like the V-W 8th, it's an
interesting piece of music
and that's a good performance (I prefer it to Previn's later version).

-- Tom Fine

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Carl Pultz" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Friday, August 10, 2012 7:44 PM
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] New-ish EMI set

> Thanks for the comparison! Was hoping you would check it out. You may be
> right either about the seating or acoustics, but it also seems that you're
> hearing a better record. Did you also note more hiss than normal? On my
> copy, it's loud. Knowing how fastidious Mercury was, I was ready to assume
> it was how it came to them from Pye, exceptional as that my be. Might just
> be a funky pressing. According to a sticker on the cover, somebody paid
> $2.99 for it at Sam Goody.
> Today, I read the essay by Harold Lawrence about tape editing, where he
> talks about cutting the tapes Miss Cozart brought back from England during
> his first months with Mercury in 1956. This record was probably one of the
> first he worked on in his long tenure.
> If I seem to always remark about the exceptions, it's because you can
> a lot (or guess a lot) from them about the conditions under which these
> companies did business. If all the product was perfect, you wouldn't have
> that chance. One thing I've learned from experience is that every project
> different.
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List
> [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Tom Fine
> Sent: Friday, August 10, 2012 12:59 PM
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] New-ish EMI set
> One followup on this. The liner notes specifically discuss a "Schubert"
> orchestra -- greatly
> augmented with percussion and also including a harp. My bet is that the
> had to be placed in
> front of the strings to carry through, and thus the basses sound like they
> are further back on the
> right than normal and the violins and viola sound like they are front left
> and front right, with the
> cellos perhaps in the middle. It's definitely not the same orchestral
> seating as on the
> Butterworth/Bax side.
> -- Tom Fine
> ----- Original Message ----- 
> From: "Tom Fine" <[log in to unmask]>
> To: <[log in to unmask]>
> Sent: Friday, August 10, 2012 12:39 PM
> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] New-ish EMI set
>> Hi Carl:
>> I'm playing back an original SR90115 right now. It sounds to me like the
> orchestra is arranged
>> differently than typical, especially the strings. However, the stable
> placement of everything and
>> the clarity of locations convinces me that it was a 3-spaced-omni
> recording. I do think the 3-2
>> mix isn't as center-strong as usual, but I wonder if this has to do with
> the unusual-sounding
>> seating of the orchestra? Perhaps you get weird dynamics if you make the
> center too strong, or the
>> center mic had to be further back due to strange dynamics or orchestra
> arrangement? The
>> composition also has complex counter-rhythms in parts, so the composer
> have spread the strings
>> in order to articulate each separate part most clearly. Finally, the V-W
> side is long for early
>> stereo days, so the overall level was probably reduced to accomodate the
> dynamics and fit the
>> side. I ordered the EMI CD set so I'm interested to compare what they
>> -- Tom Fine
>> ----- Original Message ----- 
>> From: "Carl Pultz" <[log in to unmask]>
>> To: <[log in to unmask]>
>> Sent: Thursday, August 09, 2012 4:34 PM
>> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] New-ish EMI set
>>> Ah, now I see the complication of this VW Sym 8 issue. While the
> is
>>> the work of Mercury 6/19/56, the flip side is Auger's from 12/1957. But,
> on
>>> the LP, the symphony doesn't sound like a Mercury production. A few
> things
>>> speak from the center of the stage, but it's mostly got a L/R bias and
> poor
>>> focus. The LP also has a strong high-frequency hiss that is louder and
>>> higher-pitched than other SRs I have. Not on the lead-in, the noise
> starts
>>> with the music, and is steady between movements. Not from the pressing
>>> itself. Side 2 is similarly afflicted. The music is lower in level and
> not
>>> as dynamic as, say, Capricorn Concerto. There are no production credits
> on
>>> the sleeve.
>>> Tom, maybe these sessions had to be edited in Manchester in order to get
> the
>>> mono version out quickly, given the premiere of the symphony a few days
>>> before recording? Possibly a 2-track master like you heard about was
> edited
>>> alongside the mono, and shared with NY later for the stereo Mercury
> issue.
>>> Depending on how they handled approvals, that might be true for the
>>> history of the Pye collaboration. Maybe the 3-tracks were never touched.
>>> Possible?
>>> The Dutton/Barbirolli Society CD, a mastering from EMI 1992, is missing
> the
>>> top-end noise, but is rather generic in its sense of place and occasion.
> Its
>>> imaging also sounds nothing like Mercury, but what I suspect to be some
>>> reverb applied to hide the aggressive CEDAR filtering does fill in the
>>> center a bit. The soundstage is different than the LP, but neither are
>>> correct.
>>> I know a lot of Auger's work, so let's blame somebody else for whatever
>>> happened.
>>> -----Original Message-----
>>> From: Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List
>>> [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Tom Fine
>>> Sent: Wednesday, August 08, 2012 9:26 PM
>>> To: [log in to unmask]
>>> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] New-ish EMI set
>>> Hi Carl:
>>> Bob Auger was a great engineer, a real giant in British audio
> Do
>>> some googling on him,
>>> he was a major force over there. He was a staff engineer for Pye Records
>>> when Mercury and Pye worked
>>> together, and he and my father became good friends. Auger engineered
>>> Kinks recordings for Pye,
>>> among many other things. He also taught Eddie Kramer engineering, and
> Kramer
>>> said in at least one
>>> interview that his drum mic technique was a varient on the 3-spaced-omni
>>> approach, taught to him by
>>> Bob Auger who learned it working with the Mercury crew. If I'm recalling
> Bob
>>> Auger's obit correctly,
>>> he also went on to be a major force in sound-for-TV engineering in the
> UK.
>>> I would say, if a Barbirolli recording was made for Pye Records after
> 1957,
>>> it was an
>>> Auger-originated recording. If it was made for EMI originally, it was
>>> probably not engineered by
>>> Auger. EMI's approach to classical recording in the stereo era varied
> from
>>> relatively few mics to
>>> many mics, at least that's how I interpret what I've read and seen in
>>> photos. And there was a whole
>>> different approach taken by Carson Taylor for U.S. sessions, but that's
>>> another discussion for
>>> another time. I've seen photos are Abbey Road where you can count 40+
> mics,
>>> but I've also seen
>>> photos from Kingsway where there seem to be a dozen or fewer mics.
>>> If/when UMG acquires EMI, it's possible that the combined vaults will
>>> straighten out the Barbirolli
>>> master tapes and we may one day get a complete box set, using both Pye
>>> first-generation tapes and
>>> Mercury 3-track masters, plus later EMI masters. I suspect one issue
>>> the Mercury/Pye stuff is
>>> that all the documentation may not be together in one place, which would
> be
>>> solved by a consolidated
>>> UMG/EMI vault.
>>> -- Tom Fine
>>> PS -- I agree abouit the V-W 8th, which was dedicated to Barbirolli and
>>> premiered just before the
>>> recording took place. There was all kinds of excitement surrounding that
>>> session and the performance
>>> was electric.
>>> ----- Original Message ----- 
>>> From: "Carl Pultz" <[log in to unmask]>
>>> To: <[log in to unmask]>
>>> Sent: Wednesday, August 08, 2012 8:38 PM
>>> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] New-ish EMI set
>>>> Tom, I've been curious about that situation, too, as another of my
>>> treasured
>>>> discs is the Pye/Mercury V-W Sym #8. I have both the Mercury LP and the
>>>> Testament/Barbirolli Society CD reissue. The neighborhood is too quiet
> now
>>>> to put either on (at the right volume!) to refresh my memory, but I'll
> do
>>>> that tomorrow.
>>>> Did Auger work for Pye? He engineered the Halle 'A London Symphony"
>>> session
>>>> the next year, 12/1957. It appears on the same CD.
>>>> I was actually referring to the V-W sym 5, made in Kingsway in 1962.
> I've
>>>> only heard the Angel LP and the ca. 1994 CD versions. Sonically,
>>>> quite a disappointment, sounding rather muted and cloudy. Surprising
>>>> both the team and location, and the fact that the session was the
>>> to
>>>> EMI for Sir John, after a long absence from the label. You'd think
> they'd
>>>> have pulled all the stops. Is there a Barbirolli maven out there who
>>> an
>>>> EMI LP pressing of this session? Does it sound woolly to you?
>>>> -----Original Message-----
>>>> From: Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List
>>>> [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Tom Fine
>>>> Sent: Wednesday, August 08, 2012 7:45 PM
>>>> To: [log in to unmask]
>>>> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] New-ish EMI set
>>>> Regarding the Barbirolli material that was recorded by Mercury and Pye,
> I
>>> am
>>>> pretty sure that EMI
>>>> used the Pye 2-track masters for their early-era CD reissues. I think
>>> those
>>>> digital masters were
>>>> later leased to the Barbirolli Society, which put out some of the same
>>>> material. According to the
>>>> Mercury tape logs I've seen, all of the Halle/Barbirolli 3-track and
> mono
>>>> masters were sent to EMI,
>>>> many of them in the early 60's and the rest by 1971. I am not clear
>>> exactly
>>>> what the Pye 2-track
>>>> master were. I was told by one first-person participant that they were
>>> made
>>>> by Pye from the feeds
>>>> of the left and right mics, which would explain what I perceive as a
>>>> non-Mercury-like weak center in
>>>> the EMI CD reissues. Another first-person participant told me that Bob
>>> Auger
>>>> did his own on-location
>>>> 3-2 mix and recorded to a 2-track master. A more logical explaination,
>>> based
>>>> on other Mercury
>>>> operating procedures, is that Pye would have gotten a 2-track made
> during
>>>> the first American LP
>>>> cutting, so it is a "first generation 3-2 mix" tape. However, as I
>>> the
>>>> EMI CD reissues do not
>>>> sound the same as the original Mercury LPs or mass-duped 2-track tapes.
>>>> -- Tom Fine
>>>> ----- Original Message ----- 
>>>> From: "Carl Pultz" <[log in to unmask]>
>>>> To: <[log in to unmask]>
>>>> Sent: Wednesday, August 08, 2012 7:23 PM
>>>> Subject: [ARSCLIST] New-ish EMI set
>>>>>I was happy to find that the 'Sir John Barbirolli: The Great EMI
>>>> Recordings'
>>>>> box set contained a mix of transfers from across the digital era, the
>>>> newer
>>>>> ones excellent. A few tunes that had been the subject of earlier
>>>> are
>>>>> updated. One example is the famous Tallis Fantasia session, which
> Bernard
>>>>> Herrmann had a hand in. The 2000 remastering in the box is
>>>>> different than the 1980s reissue and just clobbers the Angel LP.
>>>>> Unfortunately, the V-W 5 is not updated, but the glory shines through
>>>>> anyway.
>>>>> As someone here recently said, much of the EMI catalog has lagged
>>> somewhat
>>>>> behind the state of the art. With such a huge catalog, that might be
>>>>> understandable, even without all the corporate drama.
>>>>> -----Original Message-----
>>>>> From: Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List
>>>>> [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Tom Fine
>>>>> Sent: Wednesday, August 08, 2012 3:06 PM
>>>>> To: [log in to unmask]
>>>>> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] New SONY sets
>>>>> Mike, do you know if there's a policy as to WHICH digital transfer to
>>> use?
>>>>> In the case of both
>>>>> Columbia (Sony) and RCA (BMG), there were many not-so-good attempts
>>> before
>>>>> good remasters were
>>>>> obtained. For Sony, I'd put the ones that Dennis Rooney oversaw in the
>>>> late
>>>>> 90's as their best. For
>>>>> RCA, the CD layer of the SACDs done by Soundmirror are vastly superior
> to
>>>>> earlier attempts.
>>>>> For their box set, Decca went back and re-did some material that had
> been
>>>>> previously remastered,
>>>>> with good results. I think DGG did new transfers for some of the
> material
>>>> in
>>>>> their budget-priced
>>>>> boxes, for instance the Kubelik Mahler cycle seemed to have all been
>>>>> remastered in the late 90s as
>>>>> opposed to some of the earlier remasters of some of the symphonies (I
>>>> don't
>>>>> think all were
>>>>> previously released prior to the box set). I believe everything was
>>>> brought
>>>>> up to the era and
>>>>> quality of the "DGG Originals" series, so circa late 90's.
>>>>> -- Tom Fine
>>>>> ----- Original Message ----- 
>>>>> From: "Gray, Mike" <[log in to unmask]>
>>>>> To: <[log in to unmask]>
>>>>> Sent: Wednesday, August 08, 2012 2:47 PM
>>>>> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] New SONY sets
>>>>>> As a rule, no new transfers are made from analog originals save where
> no
>>>>> prior digital transfer
>>>>>> has already been
>>>>>> made.
>>>>>> Mike Gray