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  Vanguard Classics
  Villa-Lobos: Little Train of the Caipiria, Antill: Corroboree - LSO/Goossens
  Villa-Lobos: The Little Train of the Caipiria, Antill: Corroboree, Ginastera: Estancia, Panambi

London Symphony Orchestra
Eugene Goossens (conductor)
Track listing:
  Classical - Orchestral
Recording type:
Recording info:

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Related titles: 4

Reviews: 2

Review by bedpost January 25, 2004 (4 of 4 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
Despite the somewhat unconventional repertoire, the most satisfying SACD reissue I have heard is this Vanguard release from the Everest catalogue taped on three-channel Ampex 300-3 1/2" or Westrex RA1532 35mm recorders at Walthamstow Assembly Hall near London in sessions between 1958 and 1960 by engineers Bert Whyte, Joe Kane and Ted Gosman. Works by Antill, Ginastera and Villa-Lobos are heard with the London Symphony Orchestra conducted by Sir Eugene Goossens. There are no rear channels at all, just the three left, centre and right front channels. Despite a small amount of tape hiss, this sensational release, when played through a high quality multi-channel SACD player and three identical high quality speaker systems, provides an astonishingly vivid image of a virtuoso orchestra - as if one were seated in the orchestra or stalls and towards the front of a fine concert hall. In addition, the use of a true centre channel, combined with the increased DSD resolution of the SACD format, provides a startling advance in realism over the already fine two-channel CD (Everest EVC9007) of the same works, eliminating the need to find a 'sweet spot' or preferred seating location. David Baker and the Vanguard engineering staff deserve kudos for the quality of this tape to SACD transfer. This SACD ought to be the audio quality model for how reissues of analogue material should be done. A hard to find SACD very much worth seeking.

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Review by Jonalogic March 1, 2013 (4 of 5 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:  
The last time someone reviewed this 'Holy Grail' disc, dinosaurs still ruled the earth, the global economy was in fine shape and hunting bankers with an assault rifle was still illegal. Ah, for those good old days!

After years of hunting, I finally procured a copy - but not at the silly prices being asked on certain websites. So, how does it stack up in 2013? Is it all hype? Is it really worth seriously funny money? Now read on to find out...

Er... it's not hype, this is a classic disc, both sonically and musically. Sonics first - three spaced omnis, tube electronics, minimal processing and straight to high-speed analogue tape. Then straight on to DSD for SACD mastering. IMO this almost defines an optimal signal path, and the results do not lie. This is possibly the closest I have ever heard a digital source get to the sound of great analogue playback.

If you think it's going to sound like a 3-mike Mercury from the same period, however, you'd be dead wrong. It hasn't got the bomb-proof dynamics and pile-driving bass of the best of that breed. However, it trumps that with qualities that most Mercs can only dream of - space, air, epic staging (including scary stage depth), neutral, flowing mid-range and a delightful, liquid and airy treble.

Sonically, it just rocks.

And then there's the music. A really eclectic, varied and fun-filled program: a Villa Lobos starter that sounds like Honegger's Pacific 231 on salsa, the dark, mysterious Antill which comes at you like an Antipodean Rite of Spring, and then two tuneful, exciting Ginastera ballet suites that make you want to run out and find more music from this mysteriously neglected composer.

Oh, and then we add some fine playing by the LSO. Even in this low-profile period of the late 50s, it was then - as now - still a world-class band.

With all this going for it, plus undoubted rarity value, you can perhaps begin to see why this SACD changes hands for the big bucks.

But be aware that the two 24/96KHz DVD-As which overlap the music on this disc are far easier to get hold of. They just don't scrape 100% of the sonic magic from the digits, however. But they're still grand recordings by any sane standards.

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Works: 4  

John Antill - Corroboree
Alberto Ginastera - Estancia
Alberto Ginastera - Panambi
Heitor Villa-Lobos - Bachianas Brasileiras No. 2, W 247