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[In Association with Amazon.com]

SR-90226: STRAVINSKY: The Firebird (Complete Ballet) / London Symphony, Dorati

[Front Cover] Label Type : white Mercury promotional
Matrix Number : SIDE-A SR 90226A_FR1    P17    A1    I
SIDE-B SR-90226B FR3    P17    A1    I


Equivalent release: Mercury MG-50226 (mono).

promotional copy with white Mercury label.

Although the matrix on the dead wax of Side-B is handwritten type, I believe this is one of the very first pressings. Actually this disc sounds much better than another copy (which I also have) with imprinted FR4 matrix (Side-A has the same matrix, FR1 and A1). George Piros might inscribed the matrix info instead of stamped it, probably because the FR3 lacquer's dead wax is too narrow to stamp the imprinted letters.

Also, my FR4 copy has an inscribed delete line just on the plant indicator “I”. This probably means that this FR4 copy was NOT pressed at RCA Victor's Indianapolis plant. Actually, the FR3 disc's edge is round and polished, while the FR4 disc's edge is NOT. This may indicate that Mercury kept the old FR stampers and used them to press copies at the Philips Richmond plant.

Here are the dead waxes of Side-B's of FR3 and FR4 copies, respectively:

[SR-90226 Side-B Matrix (inscribed FR3)]

Please note the width of the dead wax is slightly different each other (FR3 has narrower dead wax area than FR4).

[SR-90226 Side-B Matrix (imprinted FR4)]

Personal Impression (and brief notes)

Needless to say this is one of the most famous Living Presence LPs. This LP has been highly ranked on the TAS list, and it will be. Superb recording with spine-chilling stereophonic sound, full of transiency, accurate, crisp and sharp. Some even say they can “see” the walls and the background of the Watford Town Hall (!!).

And the performance itself - awesome indeed. From the very quiet introduction to the explosive ending, every moment is nothing but thrilling. Since the tempo is rather fast, this performance sounds as if a roller-coaster is running so fast up and down.

One of the greatest record ever, in a sense of recording quality as well as the performance.

Strictly Personal Rating (to what extent I could enjoy this album)

10000 (or more) out of 10

Track Listing

A-1 STRAVINSKY: The Firebird (41:27 in total)
Scene I (beginning)
B-1 STRAVINSKY: The Firebird (cont'd) (41:27 in total)
Scene I (concluded)
Scene II


Personnel/recorded date/master numbers confirmed with the Ruppli's discography.
(“The Mercury Labels - A Discography” by Ruppli and Novitsky, Greenwood Press, 1993)

London Symphony Orchestra, Antal Dorati (cond).
Recorded at Watford Town Hall, London, England on June 7, 8 & 9, 1959.

Wilma Cozart, recording director.
Harold Lawrence, musical supervisor.
C.R. Fine, chief technical supervisor.
Robert Eberenz, recording engineer.
Tape to disc transfer by George Piros.


Front Back
[SR-90226 FRONT] [SR-90226 BACK]


Side A Side B
[SR-90226 A] [SR-90226 B]

MATSUBAYASHI 'Shaolin' Kohji <shaolin@rhythmaning.org>
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