Mercury Living Presence box sets

I’m working on my second Mercury Living Presence box set. I continue to be amazed at the sonic quality of these performances. I believe they are at least as good as the RCA Living Stereos and the Decca’s from that time period. Remarkable what can be done with just three tube-based microphones. I’ll bet Wilma Cozart Fine and Robert Fine never thought their recordings would be held such high regard 66 years after their initial release, or that modern recordings would not surpass them .

Antal Dorati’s Firebird with the/London Symphony exemplifies the best of the Living Presence qualities. There is a superb sense of soundstage focus and tight image delineation. Instruments occupy easy discernible specific points in space.

Its too bad Deutsche Gramaphone and Columbia produced mostly indifferent sonics.

By the way, the first volume contains a lot of Janos Starker.


I’ll assume you are referring the the three LP box sets, vice the CD box set. Yes, they are very god, a bit more forward and alive sounding than the RCA Shaded Dogs. You may also like the Starker on Speakers Corner as well.

I agree, they are a bit more forward and dynamic. I love them. Oh, I only collect Cds. I bet they sound really special on vinyl.

The vinyl takes it up a few notches, :smile:

The thing that I find most interesting is that many of them (most? all?) were recorded on 35mm movie film.

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