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Romantic Russia dyr. Georg Solti, London Symphony Orchestra

Label: Decca/Lasting Impression Music, LIM K2HD 043
Details: disc made of 99,9999% silver, reissue
Released: 1966/2009
Sound director: Gordon Parry, Kenneth Wilkinson/Takeshi „Hakkaman” Hakamata
Producer: John Culshaw/Winston Ma
Recording place: Kingsway Hall, London, Great Britain
Date of recording: February and May 1966

Remastering: Takeshi „Hakkaman” Hakamata, Victor Entertainment, Japan, luty 2009

Format: K2HD, silver-CD

Text: Wojciech Pacuła
Translation: Marek Dyba

Track list::

1 Glinka: Russlan And Ludmilla - Overture 5:03
2 Mussorsky: Khovanshchina - Prelude 5:06
3 Mussorsky: Night On The Bare Mountain 11:11
4 Overture 10:52
5 Polovtsian Dances 14:10

Decca is a real “well” of classic music. Winston Ma uses it willingly and the first recording issued in K2HD format was de Falla's El Amor Brujo (LIM K2HD 023). Selection of repertoire for FIM is usually connected to personal preferences of its owner - Winston Ma, and that's the case. Sir Georg Solti, conductor and main character of Romantic Russia, is particularly close to Mr Ma's heart. Winston attended several concerts conducted by Sir Solti. This material was recorded in 1966 by Kenneth Wilkinson (1912-2003) in Kingsway Hall, London. Wilkinson was Decca's sound engineer already in 78 rpm vinyl records era. Son of furniture shop's manager started to work for Crystallate in 1931, that label was later acquired by Decca in 1937. That's how the career of sound engineer Kenneth Wilkinson developed. Together with Arthur Haddy they were responsible for developing ffrr patent (full frequency range recording). He also pioneered in recording with the microphones set in the famous array called „Decca tree”. That's variation of the A-B technique, with three omnidirectional microphones – one set it the middle, above conductor, the right and left ones placed at the sides far from each other (all together creating upside down “T” pattern), complemented by small number of microphones set for particular groups of instruments. Usually Schoeps M 201, Neumann KM 56, or Neumann M-50 microphones were used. “Decca tree” was used for the first time in 1954 for commercial purposes. We owe incredibly good sound of most Decca's recording to this recording technique.


Decca’s recordings are a very good base for all kinds of reissues. Quality of sound is usually outstanding so it is all about not messing around with it. K2HD technology is perfectly suited for such recordings which has been proved already by the first release El Amor Brujo de Falla by First Impression Music. So one simply knew that catalog of this British company had to be turned upside down. Reviewed record just confirms that. The sound is vivid, rich and dynamic. The latter puts Winston Ma's productions far ahead of any competition. In this particular case I miss only something “beyond” perfect sound, some additional depth, to call this record a reference. But there is no reason for LIM to be ashamed – most of Decca's reissues fall short in comparison.

Sound quality: 10/10

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