BIS, hands down .
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Larry beat me to it! I was about to say that although it only existed under its original ownership from about 1975 to 1985, and it had a relatively limited catalog, the French classical label Astrée was so good musically and sonically (in LP form, at least) that it gets my top vote.
I was also about to give an honorable mention to Harmonia Mundi France.
"Mercury, Living Presence. No label ever did it better."
I would tend to agree. I can think of other good ones, but none better overall.
Dorian is a more modern but now defunct CD label worth mentioning in same breath as MLP.
I like sound quality of Mapleshade overall as well. Performance quality is not as consistent, but always charmingly quirky at a minimum I find.
Can't say 100% guaranteed I'd like every single release in their catalog but I'd buy a record without hearing from the following:
Italians Do It Better
Kill Rock Stars
I'll tell you David, Stockfisch certainly does a wonderful
recording job and it's always nice to have something that
justifies the amount of money spent on a nice system. But I
have just grown too weary of audiophile demo music, if you
know what I mean. I have found the older Philips classical
recordings to be wonderful and the music is real. Look for
a NM copy of Quartetto Italiano Mozart String Quartet in
Bflat and String Quartet in F on Philips and you'll see what
Chavro, I couldn't agree more. I have the late Beethoven Quartets by Quaterto Italiano, one of my favourite recordings. I was trying to look for current releases, more than historical recordings and labels, in my original post.
If you are considering historical labels, then I may be prejudiced being British, but look no further than Decca and HMV. For me the great era of Classical recordings was on the SXL and ASD pressings respectively, of these two great companies, in the late 50's, 60's and 70's. As far as I know, you are deprived of easy access to their output. I am not sure how many recordings reached the US, not as many as here I am sure. You can still find countless thousands of them in second hand record stores here. The sustained high quality of recording and pressing over decades, has never been matched as far as I am concerned. The current favourite choice seems to be Decca, but I have always had a preference for HMV myself.