The jewel in the Speakers Corner Columbia crown
The Columbia classical reissues from Speakers Corner have uniformly been excellent, but this reissue is extraordinary. The performances are of course top notch, but what stands out even more with this reissue is the sound quality. This is amongst the very best classical recordings I have ever heard, regardless of label, with soundstaging, focus, clarity and air in abundance. The sound of the first violin section, for example, often relatively rough and uncouth sounding in this repertoire, is detailed and clear with extended frequency response, but also smooth sounding. The presence of quite noticeable tape hiss suggests that we are listening to a record made with no "intervention" or "improvement" at any time right from the original recording session through to the pressing of this reissue 55 years later. It certainly puts to complete and utter shame previous efforts over the last few decades to put this recording onto CD.