Mercury Living Presence: The Collector's Edition

Various Artists

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Mercury Living Presence: The Collector's Edition Review

by Patsy Morita

In the early stereo era, a few producers and engineers at the Mercury label developed a special technique for recording Classical music, and dubbed it Living Presence. It was a groundbreaking practice that was hailed by critics not just because it resulted in a vivid, rich sound, but because the producers also made sure the artists and repertoire were first rate. Even into the era of the CD, when these recording were reissued, they still were recognized for their special sound. This Collector's Edition box set contains 50 of those recordings, giving those who haven't heard them or who've only found a few in the CD format a chance to hear them all. The most famous of the Mercury Living Presence series include the 1812 Overture by Antal Doráti; Frederick Fennell and the Eastman Wind Ensemble's Screamers album; Howard Hanson conducting his own music; pianist Byron Janis; and cellist Janos Starker. A few lesser known recordings are also here, notably albums by Los Romeros, and the Osipov State Russian Folk Orchestra playing Balalaika Favorites. Combining the wealth of music here with the caliber of sound quality, this box is a treasure chest for the Classical audiophile.

Track Listing - Disc 19

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 13:14 Amazon
Hungarian Dances (21) for orchestra, WoO 1
2 02:06 Amazon
3 02:44 Amazon
4 01:55 Amazon
5 01:23 Amazon
6 03:24 Amazon
7 02:44 Amazon
8 02:39 Amazon
9 01:45 Amazon
10 02:10 Amazon
11 01:22 Amazon
12 02:33 Amazon
13 02:00 Amazon
14 02:19 Amazon
15 02:07 Amazon
16 02:46 Amazon
17 04:36 Amazon
Variations on a Theme of Haydn, Op. 56a
18 02:09 Amazon
19 01:16 Amazon
20 00:54 Amazon
21 01:23 Amazon
22 02:04 Amazon