Reissues of Gould's '55 and '81 Goldberg Variations coming October 2015

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by senseabove, Sep 11, 2015.

  1. senseabove

    senseabove Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Razor & Tie started up an audiophile LP & SACD imprint called Analog Spark, it seems. Along with Dave Brubeck's Jazz Goes to College and The Sound of Music, they're reissuing both the 1955 and the 1981 recordings of the Goldberg Variations by Glenn Gould.

    1955 Version

    Mastered from the original mono analog tape by Andreas K. Meyer at Meyer Media LLC.
    180-gram LP plated and pressed MPO International, Villaines-la-Juhel, France
    Housed in a gatefold album with classic glossy cover finish
    Thick 12” PVC Deluxe Plastic Sleeve with Flap


    1981 Versions

    Edited, mixed and mastered from the original analog session reels by Andreas K. Meyer at Meyer Media LLC.
    180-gram LP plated and pressed MPO International, Villaines-la-Juhel, France
    Housed in a gatefold album with gold foil debossed Columbia Masterworks logo and facsimile printed paper sleeve
    Thick 12” PVC Deluxe Plastic Sleeve with Flap
    First vinyl reissue of the analog recording


    I was under the impression that the 1981 version was digitally recorded and mastered, but it sounds like they found analog tapes as well. Was it just early enough in the digital era that they recorded to tape out of habit/safety, but used the digital version in the end?

    Anyway, very curious to hear these two! I actually have a beat up thrift-store score of the 1955 mono from what seemed to be the dumped collection of a Japanese Gould fanatic. Either someone died or found their grail copies and dumped the rest, as there were 4 or 5 copies and reissues each of the fugues, variations, and WTK Gould recordings in the thrift bin, among a bunch other Gould, most with Goldmine condition ratings and notes in Japanese on the inner sleeve. I got a nice haul of Gould, including both 1955 and 1981 first pressings, and while the 1955 plays through, it's very... well-loved. I'm keen to hear a clean copy of it—it isn't exactly a recording that hides noise very well :laugh:
     
  2. senseabove

    senseabove Forum Resident Thread Starter

    There's a comment on an Analog Planet blog post about Analog Spark that claims my guess was correct, for those interested:

    "The 1981 Gould was recorded both in digital and analogue, but when the record was released in 1982, the digitally-recorded version was used, as the then-new digital format was marketed as the Second Coming in sound reproduction. In 2002, the analogue recording (which originally had been made as a "safety") was deemed by Sony to be superior to the digital version and was released on CD under the title "A State of Wonder." So this does appear to be the first time this analogue version of the '81 sees the light of day as an LP."
     
    florandia likes this.
  3. florandia

    florandia Forum Resident

    Location:
    Florida
    My wife just came in and looked over my shoulder at the laptop screen , after a few seconds she said " That's Xmas sorted for you, then!"
     
    Mr.Sean, Hedin, jfeldt and 1 other person like this.
  4. crispi

    crispi Vinyl Archaeologist

    Location:
    Berlin
    Andreas Meyer did a lot of work for Sony and Mosaic Records, but none of it is LP cutting, from what I can tell. So that makes me a bit suspicious as to the lineage involved. Jazz Goes To College is being cut by Ryan K. Smith—now, he is a vinyl cutting engineer, indeed.

    Also, MPO is the "United" of European pressing plants, unfortunately. (Although, maybe not as bad as GZ...)
     
  5. jfeldt

    jfeldt Forum Resident

    Location:
    SF, CA, USA
    If I got these they would be my fifth digital 1955 and fourth digital 1981 pressings, but somehow I am still interested :)
     
    sherrill50 and florandia like this.
  6. jfeldt

    jfeldt Forum Resident

    Location:
    SF, CA, USA
    Edit: Oh, LPs only. The first sentence with "SACD" threw me off, sorry.
     
  7. senseabove

    senseabove Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Sad to hear that, about MPO. I may spring for the 1955 and wait to hear reports on the 1981, since my 1981 original is in good enough condition, even though I prefer the later rendition...
     
  8. crispi

    crispi Vinyl Archaeologist

    Location:
    Berlin
    Many indies press at MPO because it's one of the cheapest pressing plants in Europe. To be fair, though, I've had good pressings from them lately, although their surface noise is a bit high...
     
  9. SergioRZ

    SergioRZ Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Portugal
    My experience with MPO during the last 3 years has been excellent, at this point I think they are just a tiny bit below Pallas/Optimal quality, but clearly above GZ Vinyl and even a little better than Record Industry. Do not be put off by MPO pressing these, some of the best quality pressings I've heard in 2014 and 2015 were pressed at MPO, I'm actually quite happy they are going to be pressed there :)
     
    fitzrik likes this.
  10. Hedin

    Hedin Forum Resident

    Location:
    Norway
    Bought the 81'.

    Got mine today.

    No new info about the treatment of the analogue reels to mastering, from what's already written on the remastering project site.
    Disc is centered and flat. Don't experience noisy surface. My system is not too revealing, that must be said.

    I like the sound. I'd say it's promising. Have the "a state of wonder" cd. They don't sound the same (but that might just be my decks)
    Prefer the vinyl. 'Even leveled' is what I can say fwiw. Ears relaxes so my attention to the music is offered some more space to listen.

    Comes in nice thick pvc outer sleeve. Front photo an improvement from my 80's edition, can see a sharp blue shirt now.
    Not sure if my original digital is a reissue. Gatefold design an exact copy of the original, except the vanished "digital" on corner.
    Most care seem to have been done with the front design wise. Very nice. Black & white photos not as sharp or appealing.

    Its good.
     
    Dan C, Wes H, senseabove and 2 others like this.
  11. Johan1880

    Johan1880 Forum Resident

    Location:
    The Netherlands
    I'm listening now to the 1981 version and it's so much better than my Sony Masterwork cd (Expanded edition from 2004 with the AAD recording).
    Great soundstage, very natural sound. I would be very surprised if it's cut from digital files. For 18,99 euro this is a killer reissue! Up next: the 1955 version.
     
    Wes H, jfeldt, Mr. H and 3 others like this.
  12. Johan1880

    Johan1880 Forum Resident

    Location:
    The Netherlands
    The same applies for the 1955 version. I've compared with the 2005 cd that came with the deluxe Birth of a Legend issue. The usual advantage of audiophile vinyl (and high res digital) is apparent here: no limit to the sound like on the cd.
    Pressing is flat and quiet, the packaging is exemplary. This is a bit like the equivalent of Music Matters jazz reissues but at half of the price. Hopefully Analog Spark sets a new bar with this quality and price.
     
    Wes H, jfeldt, SergioRZ and 2 others like this.
  13. Marko K

    Marko K Forum Resident

    Location:
    Estonia, EU
    So I just bought the 1955 version from a record store here in Europe, but its a Sony 2015 reissue (also released this october and its also a gatefold and its in a glossy plastic sleeve with a flap). Havent opened it yet, but I believe it also said (dont have it here with me right now) its re-mastered from the original analog tape. Is this the same press for Europe or is it a totally different thing? I dont think "Analog Spark" was mentioned anywhere on the sleeve. Record store also had the 1981 version.
     
  14. SergioRZ

    SergioRZ Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Portugal
    It's the same thing :) Analog Spark is just the distributor in the USA, but this is a Sony Europe reissue.
     
  15. Marko K

    Marko K Forum Resident

    Location:
    Estonia, EU
    Cool, thanks. I actually havent never even heard this, but read the Michael Fremer review couple of weeks back and this sparked my interest and hope that this might be the same reissue.
     
  16. tyler928

    tyler928 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    For those of you who have purchased, what are your thoughts on the 1955?
     
  17. Scott Wheeler

    Scott Wheeler Forum Resident

    Location:
    ---------------
    He doesn't actually cut lacquers himself. Much like our host.
     
    crispi likes this.
  18. SergioRZ

    SergioRZ Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Portugal
    These reissues are cut by Lex van Coeverden at Vinyl Room studios in Holland.

    The pressings are superb, I test played them and these are among the most silent vinyl I've heard from reissues in the last 4 or 5 years.

    I really liked how they sound, I'm hoping I can write something soon about direct comparison with my original 1955 recording US LP and with the State Of Wonder CD set... but time is short :(

    Anyway, I can say right now these are great reissues and for the price they're going it sure is not to be missed! ;)
     
    Marko K, crispi and Scott Wheeler like this.
  19. SergioRZ

    SergioRZ Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Portugal
    My quick notes:

    1955 recording, the original LP get's hit really hard by this reissue, the new one sounds much better, the piano notes shimmer naturally "Out of the bottle". :)

    For the 1981 recording I compared the new LP with the State Of Wonder CD, they sound very similar overall, I would say that they used exactly the same source (at least it sounds that way). I still prefer the 2015 LP as it sounds less edgy and I get to feel the piano notes flowing easier, much like I would when I compare 16bit to DSD.

    In any case, these reissues sound great and represent great value.
     
    Marko K and Scott Wheeler like this.
  20. dogpile

    dogpile Generation X record spinner.

    Location:
    YYZ - Canada
    One of my favourite GG releases...thanks for posting :cool:

    The 1981 digital copy I have sounds good but I'm very intrigued by this new analogue release....a must buy for me!
     
  21. dogpile

    dogpile Generation X record spinner.

    Location:
    YYZ - Canada
    I'm unclear about the new pressing of the 1955 version.

    Is it a MONO or STEREO cutting?
     
  22. SergioRZ

    SergioRZ Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Portugal
    The 1955 is Mono ;)
     
  23. dogpile

    dogpile Generation X record spinner.

    Location:
    YYZ - Canada
    Ughhhh.... My current vinyl setup is stereo :sigh:
     
  24. SergioRZ

    SergioRZ Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Portugal
    Should play just fine ;)
     
  25. dogpile

    dogpile Generation X record spinner.

    Location:
    YYZ - Canada
    To fully extract the mono goodness doesn't one need a mono cartridge or a mono switch?

    How will it sound if played with a stereo cartridge?
     

Share This Page