Niche label, ultimate audiophile quality
With such comments as these, we can be confident:
“Imagine my surprise when, opening the booklet of this CD, I saw a blurb praising the disc from my editor and publisher, Joel Flegler! Flegler’s rave for this disc references the Karajan recording, which just happens to be the performance I own … So I made the inevitable A–B comparisons.”
“[T]he rhythmic elements […]—like the sonorities—are crisper here than in Karajan’s hands … [W]hat is more interesting is the manner in which Smetáček plays the majority of the symphony, so that—thanks to the much greater transparency of texture—it is considerably lighter than Karajan without sacrificing a whit of Karajan’s emotion or energy. The sound quality on this 1968 live performance is […] clear, bright, and fresh…”
“Bottom line: Karajan’s version is now out of my collection and Smetáček’s is now in. This one is truly a gem.”
—Lynn René Bayley, Fanfare, 36:2, November/December 2012
“[This is] the most riveting, satisfying and moving performance of this great symphony I’ve ever heard. I’ve played it over and over again in the months since I bought it.”
“Your production and engineering on the Shostakovich strike me as things of wonder, with your superb skills placed completely at the service of the music.”
“Many, many thanks for one of the greatest experiences in almost 50 years of listening to recordings of classical music.”
—Bill Abbie, Edinburgh, private correspondence, 30th November 2012
“I agree [that] your recordings are really excellent fidelity and much better than most commercial ones.”
—John Sunier, Editor/Publisher, Audiophile Audition, October 2009
“Your CDs [...] are spectacularly good. The sound is the best I have ever heard: so clear, vivid and natural.”
—George Schatzkamer, New York, August 2009
“…the presentation is now excellent, with attractive booklets and decent notes. The recorded sound is notable for the unobtrusively natural results that Terry obtained from a set-up that used just two microphone[s …] the quality of the sound is startlingly high … there is some very enterprising repertoire as well.”
—Nigel Simeone, International Record Review, June 2012
“Terry’s bold enterprise has had me hooked for hours…”
—Rob Cowan, Gramophone, July 2012
“I’m delighted with the purchase. The nexus of my delight is the recording approach. Call me a traditionalist, but the classic two-mic methodology simply yields a more realistic rendering of what a symphonic performance really sounds like from the seats. […] In summary, these are valued additions to my library. I’m glad that I bought them all.”
—Bob Walters, Bay Area Audiophile Society, October 2012
The label is Orchestral Concert CDs.
What is interesting is that even with such high praise and even an award from the German Record Critics's association for Best Historic Recording, who has heard of this serious enterprise?
Over the Christmas/New Year period there were advertisements in Fanfare, International Record Review and Classical Music.
The result, not one CD sold.
This is an indication of the difficulty experienced by a small, dedicated and very experienced niche label in today's market.
Clearly the CDs need to sell so that the publisher can continue with his excellent work of producing true audiophile CDs.
Here are some links: Orchestral Concert CDs: Reviews Mention of recording philosophy etc: Orchestral Concert CDs: About (See also the discussion of Geoffrey there; somewhat of a life.) List of CDs available: Orchestral Concert CDs: Issue Index There is also available a sampler CD, and download files.