This Tuesday, BMG Classics released 8 new Hybrid Surround Sound SACDs featuring newly remastered versions of 2 and 3 Channel master tapes from the RCA Red Seal Living Stereo series of Classical Music recordings. The release followed the label’s initial series of 10 RCA Red Seal Living Stereo 2 and 3 Channel recordings on SACD that were issued last September. Two more SACDs in this series will be released next week on February 1st to finish out the second batch of these releases.
As with the initial set of RCA Red Seal Living Stereo SACD Remasters, the new releases were created from the original analog 2 and 3 Channel master tapes of these classic performances of the 1950s and early 1960s. The analog to DSD transfers were done by the staff at Soundmirror in Boston.
According to BMG Classics “We have been overwhelmed with the positive response to our first ten titles released in Fall 2004, and hope you enjoy the new releases as much as we do.”
2 and 3 Channel Recordings Present on SACD Surround
High Fidelity Review readers will recall that the initial set of RCA Red Seal Living Stereo SACDs offered listeners the first chance ever to hear the 3 Channel recordings of this material in its original 3 Channel form. This is accomplished by using the Left, Center and Right front channels of the Surround Sound SACD tracks of each disc.
However, on some titles some or all of the original recordings were 2 channel. In these cases, the Left and Right channel are transferred to the Surround Sound SACD portion of the disc and the center channel is not used. More information on the origin of each track is found on the back of each Living Stereo SACD and on the RCA Red Seal Living Stereo web site linked below.
This Week’s SACD Releases
Included in this week’s releases are some famous recordings from the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Boston Pops Orchestra led by conductors Charles Munch, Fritz Reiner and Arthur Fiedler. Featured solo artists in this group of releases include violinist Jascha Heifetz, pianist Arthur Rubinstein and cello player Gregor Piatigorsky.
Among the titles is the Boston Pops recording of Offenbach’s Gaite Parisienne and La Boutique Fantasque which was released earlier in the Hong Kong market on an RCA Red Seal Hybrid Stereo SACD. In addition, the releases also include a “sonic spectacular” RCA Red Seal Living Stereo album by Morton Gould and his Symphonic Band.
3 Channel (SACD Surround Sound)/2 Channel Stereo (SACD Stereo)/2 Channel CD (CD Audio)
3 Channel & 2 Channel Stereo (SACD Surround Sound)/2 Channel Stereo (SACD Stereo)/2 Channel CD (CD Audio)
2 Channel Stereo (SACD Surround Sound)/2 Channel Stereo (SACD Stereo)/2 Channel CD (CD Audio)
Two Albums Bumped to February 1st
As I noted above, this week’s RCA Living Stereo release included 8 Surround Sound SACDs. The other two titles, originally slated for release this week, have been bumped back one week to Tuesday, February 1st. Based on the results of what we’ve heard of the first 18 SACDs in this series, I’m sure they will be worth the 1 week wait.
The 8 new RCA Living Stereo SACD Remaster Series albums are now available in music stores including Tower Records. They are also available from web sites that carry Classical Music and SACDs including Acoustic Sounds, CD Universe, Elusive Disc and Music Direct. The best deal on these discs that I’ve seen is from the CD Universe web site which has them on sale at the moment at $8.39 each. Other stores are carry them at prices closer to list price – typically $11.98 or $12.98 each.