Friday, 9 May 2014

Die Röhre —The Tube from Tacet Records

No conductor–no semiconductor as it states in the rather dry humour on the sleeve, but don't let that put you off as this is one of the best recordings you're ever likely to hear.
The Stuttgarter Kammerorchester were founded in 1945 by the late Karl Munchinger and I believe the same orchestra (or a modern version) that plays on one of my favourite Decca recordings SXL 2019 Vivaldi's Four Seasons.

That aside the music on this disc was recorded on equipment from the 1950's in analogue and then transferred to disk using cutters from the same era hence the 'Transistorfrei' label. The gate fold sleeve shows the equipment used with brief explanations of the recording process.

The actual music (which face it should be the main reason for purchase) is absolutely first class, eclectic in some ways especially the Biber 'Battalia' in which the musicians strike their instruments with wood and pull paper though the strings to make rasping sounds the whole effect is one of musicians really enjoying the performance.
In fact the musicianship and performance are also first class, often products aimed at the audiophile community have superb sound with so so performance, or they sound perfect and ultimately dull–no so here sound would be and eleven out of ten the music easily matches that.
Of course the music is from the 17th Century and the current vogue is for totally authentic instruments to be used, the ones used here are modern, but take it from me they sound fantastic.

in the past when I've put this disc on and played it as background music people have looked round at the stereo almost by compulsion, it sounds so realistic.
I think they still have pressings of this LP as well as CD versions, mine has number 801 written by hand on the sleeve.
In my opinion this is the best classical record I own, buy it with confidence.