Sunday, February 26, 2017

Analogue Productions RCA/Decca Reissues Part 3: LSC-2077 and LSC-2336

It appears that Analogue Productions is now following its intended release schedule for these Decca/RCA reissues.  Less than two weeks from the time I received the Royal Ballet Gala Performances and Venice arrived the shipment containing these two LPs.  The original pressings of both of these recordings have been previously reviewed on our site (LSC-2077 and LSC-2336).

AAPC 2077 (LSC-2077): This reissue is a marked improvement compared with the original Shaded Dog.  I find that it sounds more like the Decca Eclipse (ECS 674) -- more modern, less "tubby".  The original recording was troubled by a deep but constricted soundstage as well as heavy, boomy bass.  The reissue, like the Eclipse, opens up the soundstage a little bit (it is still far from wide but sounds less like a mono recording) and significantly cleans up the bass, which is now much tighter.  The brass, which originally had a nasal tone on the original, now have a far more natural sound.  Clarity and transparency on the reissue are also much better and benefit from the super quiet vinyl surfaces.  If you treasure these performances, I think this is the pressing to own, unless you can land the Decca Eclipse for a bargain.  Rating: 8/10

AAPC 2336 (LSC-2336):  I've thought of this record as one of the hidden gems in the RCA catalog.  The musical program is highly enjoyable, and the original Shaded Dog was characterized by excellent balance, a wide soundstage, and a rich midrange with lush strings and crisp and clear horns.  The reissue is brighter, more forward in presentation, and more transparent than the original.  There was virtually no surface noise on my pressing, making backgrounds essentially as black as can be.  String tone heard throughout the recording, and especially notable in Grieg's second of two Elegiac Melodies (The Last Spring), is gorgeous.  Rating: 9/10

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