FAURÉ Chamber Music (1951-55) - PABX019

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FAURÉ Chamber Music (1951-55) - PABX019

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Overview

FAURÉ String Quartet in E minor, Op. 121
FAURÉ Violin Sonata No. 2 in E minor, Op. 108
FAURÉ String Quartet in E minor, Op. 121
FAURÉ Violin Sonata No. 2 in E minor, Op. 108
FAURÉ Piano Quintet in C minor, Op. 115
FAURÉ Piano Quartet No. 2 in G minor, Op. 45


Ray Lev,
piano
Daniel Guilet, violin
David Soyer,
cello
Leopold Mittman,
piano
Gaby Casadesus,
piano

Guilet Quartet
The Pascal String Quartet
The Robert Masters Pianoforte Quartet

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This set contains the following albums:

Click below to expand note:
GUILET QUARTET ET AL Fauré: Chamber Music Volume 1 – PACM059

Presenting Gabriel Fauré at his very finest

First in a Fauré series remastered by Peter Harrison


In Summer, 1953, the Nixa Record Company issued two LPs of Fauré's chamber music and this re-release has been sourced from an original pressing of one of those two discs (the other is intended for next month's release).

Copies of the discs are rare, so the restorer has to work from what he has. Like many such LPs, the pressing quality is indifferent and the disc itself badly worn in places (by the 8 gram 'lightweight' pickups of the time!) and with a huge amount of clicking and swishing which needed considerable work to minimise.

Some residue may still be heard on critical listening; but I think that the artistic performances justify the re-release and I'd urge anyone who isn't familiar with these musical by-ways to give them a try: they're pieces that are well worth getting to know.

- PMH


GUILET QUARTET ET AL Fauré: Chamber Music, Vol. 2 (1951/2) - PACM060

The Guilet Quartet's Fauré Chamber Music

XR-Remastered for finest sound quality


In Summer, 1953, the Nixa Record Company issued two LPs of Fauré's chamber music and this re-release has been sourced from an original pressing of one of those two discs (the other is intended for next month's release).

Copies of the discs are rare, so the restorer has to work from what he has. Like many such LPs, the pressing quality is indifferent and the disc itself badly worn in places (by the 8 gram 'lightweight' pickups of the time!) and with a huge amount of clicking and swishing which needed considerable work to minimise.

Some residue may still be heard on critical listening; but I think that the artistic performances justify the re-release and I'd urge anyone who isn't familiar with these musical by-ways to give them a try: they're pieces that are well worth getting to know

Peter Harrison

LEV & THE PASCAL QUARTET Fauré: Chamber Music, Vol. 3 (c.1951) - PACM062

Ray Lev joins the Pascals for Fauré's Piano Quintet

XR-Remastered for finest sound quality

When I'm considering a recording for restoration, I usually check the contemporary reviews and ratings to see how it was judged at the time of its original release. In the case of this pancake Nixa disc, I wonder what it was they reviewed, and on what equipment? For, frankly, the LP was very rough. Yet this wasn't mentioned. Was it just so common in 1953 as to be not worth mentioning?

For example, the most obvious fault, not remarked on at the time, was a strong hum: not just 50Hz or 60Hz, but both! (Either is all too common, but both? - it's the first time I've encountered this. Not mentioned in the reviews.)

After double de-humming and heavy doses of the usual restoration medicine (end of side 1 particularly bad), the underlying recording was revealed. In all their horror were nasty shrieky strings and a piano swathed in cotton-wool and apparently in a different studio. Minor miracles were achieved jointly by Andrew Rose and self to resolve this and the result, after many, many hours of work and a final touch of Ambient Stereo, is what you'll hear here. Amazingly a very nice performance has finally been revealed, perhaps for the first time since it left the studio!

Peter M Harrison


ROBERT MASTERS QUARTET Fauré: Chamber Music, Vol. 4 (1955) - PACM063

The Robert Masters Piano Quartet plays Fauré

XR-Remastered for finest sound quality


Remember the Quad 22 Control Unit from 1958? Peter Walker designed a truly great hi-fi unit of apparent simplicity that concealed a wealth of function, particularly for getting the best reproduction from 78rpm discs. Push one button and you selected the disc input suitable for LPs; push two and you were also selecting the correct equalization for Parlophone 78s. A complicated-looking table in the manual gave the correct button settings for each record label; however it also cautioned, "Exceptions occur, particularly when records are made from shared masters".

A common delusion is that the LP era rationalised the various playback equalisations and magically all the record companies had adopted the RIAA standard: end of problem. Not so. There were five years of LP production before RIAA was established and during that time - as with 78s - anything goes. And anything went. Pick up an early Decca FFRR LP and ask: what equalisation should be used to replay it correctly? - and the answer, amazingly, is one of three possibles: Early FFRR (Pre '53), FFRR ('53-'55), RIAA ('56 onwards). And these periods overlapped. And that's for a major label. (I hope to return to the subject of Decca eq in a later note.)

Move now to a small label, possibly using more than one generic cutting firm each with different setups; add in the "shared masters" comment we mentioned above from Quad; and the question of 'correct' playback equalisation becomes impossible to answer.

In restoring the four LPs of Fauré's chamber music this problem was particularly acute. 'A Polymusic recording' says the label on the Nixa disc. What eq did Nixa use? No idea. Was this LP pressed from a shared master disc or a copytape master from Polymusic? Scratches in the runout area of the disc suggest the former - in which case the question becomes: what eq did Polymusic use? Even less idea. In such cases the restoration engineer is left with having to use two sensitive but fallible tools - his ears - together with experience, and guesswork. And all that could be said is: hope you like the result.

At least, that was the situation until a couple of years ago and the development of such techniques as Andrew Rose's XR process which - to over-simplify enormously - helps resolve equalisation problems throughout the recording chain by reference to modern recordings of undoubted quality. Again however, and this must be stressed, it is only another tool: its use has to be carefully judged, and it mustn't be abused. But hopefully we are now able to present you with restorations from the early LP period that are, to adapt Peter Walker's slogan for Quad: "a bit closer to the original sound".

Peter M Harrison

Click below to expand track listing:
GUILET QUARTET ET AL Fauré: Chamber Music Volume 1 – PACM059

FAURÉ Quartet No. 1 for Piano and Strings in C minor, Op. 15
FAURÉ Sonata No. 2 for Cello and Piano in G minor, Op. 117

Recorded late 1951 (?) early 1952 by Polymusic
First issued, 1952, in USA on Polymusic 1007
First issued, 1953, in UK by Nixa Record Company Ltd on QLP 4007
Producer and Audio Restoration Engineer: Peter Harrison

Total duration: 45:22

Gaby Casadesus, piano
Members of the Guilet Quartet:
Daniel Guilet,
Violin
William Schoen,
Viola
David Soyer,
Cello

David Soyer, Cello
Leopold Mittman,
Piano


GUILET QUARTET ET AL Fauré: Chamber Music, Vol. 2 (1951/2) - PACM060

    FAURÉ String Quartet in E minor, Op. 121
    FAURÉ Violin Sonata No. 2 in E minor, Op. 108

    Recorded late 1951 (?) early 1952 by Polymusic
    First issued, 1952, in USA on Polymusic 1008
    First issued, 1953, in UK by Nixa Record Company Ltd on QLP 4008
    Total duration: 45:43


    Guilet Quartet:
    Daniel Guilet,
    violin
    Henry Siegl,
    violin
    William Schoen,
    viola
    David Soyer,
    cello


    Daniel Guilet,
    violin
    Gaby Casadesus,
    piano


    LEV & THE PASCAL QUARTET Fauré: Chamber Music, Vol. 3 (c.1951) - PACM062

      FAURÉ Piano Quintet in C minor, Op. 115

      Recorded c.1951
      First issued, 1951, in USA on Concert Hall Society CHS1093
      First issued, 1953, in UK by Nixa Record Company Ltd on CLP 1093
      Producer and Audio Restoration Engineer: Peter Harrison
      Additional XR equalisation and Ambient Stereo processing by Andrew Rose
      Total duration: 30:00


      Ray Lev, Piano

      The Pascal String Quartet:
      Jaques Dumont, Violin
      Maurice Crut, Violin
      Leon Pascal, Viola
      Robert Salles, Cello

      ROBERT MASTERS QUARTET Fauré: Chamber Music, Vol. 4 (1955) - PACM063
      FAURÉ Piano Quartet No. 2 in G minor, Op. 45
      Recorded Spring 1955

      First issued in the UK in 1955 by The Argo Record Company Limited on RG 56
      Producer and Audio Restoration Engineer: Peter Harrison, disk2disc
      Additional XR remastering by Andrew Rose, Pristine Audio
      Cover artwork based on a photograph of Gabriel Fauré
      Total duration: 32:57

      The Robert Masters Pianoforte Quartet:

      Robert Masters, Violin
      Nannie Jamieson
      , Viola
      Muriel Taylor
      , Cello
      Kinloch Anderson
      , Pianoforte