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a kinder gentler jazzier Bad Plus.
Holst: The Planets - Sir Adrian Boult/Vienna State Opera OrchestraI seriously doubt you will be able to find a finer sounding recording of this orchestral suite anywhere, regardless of format. What is even more astonishing is that this 24/96 stereo download courtesy of High Definition Tape Transfers was sourced from a 1/4" 4-track stereo tape. It really boggles my mind to think what the original master tapes must be like (assuming they still exist). I have several recordings of The Planets. Some are regarded as "must own" performances but unfortunately most of them don't sound particularly good. And sure enough I have a few that sound great but the performances don't do very much for me. Here is a case were a knock-your-socks-off performance meets best-of-breed sonics to produce a near-eargasmic effect on the listener. Chances are good, unless you own a reel-to-reel tape deck and shelf full of tapes, you haven't heard analog source recordings with strings and brass that sound like this. I have a lot of classical music recordings on a variety of formats: vinyl, SACD, DVD-A, and 1/4" 4-track stereo tape. Very few of them are able to make me feel as though I am actually at Symphony Hall listening to a live performance. This is one that can. At $14 for a 24/96 download it's a steal and you won't find a better value anywhere else in home audio. I give it the highest possible recommendation.--Jerome
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