Howard Hanson / Eastman-Rochester SO - McPhee. Tabuh-Tabuhan -&- Carter. The Minotaur - Mercury 1956

Colin McPhee:  
"Tabuh-Tabuhan" - Toccata for Orchestra  -  Ostinatos  ~  Nocturne  ~  Finale 
Elliot Carter:   
"The Minotaur" - Suite from the Ballet
I:  Overture  ~  Pasiphae  ~  Entrance of the Bulls  ~  Bulls' Dance with Pasiphae
II:  Pas de Deux - Ariadne & Theseus  ~  The Greeks enter the Labyrinth  ~  Theseus fights & kills the Minotaur  ~
The Greeks  emerge triumphant & prepare to leave Crete.
2 files zip FLAC  Mega Download
Eastman-Rochester Symphony Orchestra  conducted by  Howard Hanson  
PYE / Mercury  MRL 2515  1956 LP (review copy) / MG-50103 'YMG' matrices.  Recorded: January 1956  /  May 1955   Sleeve-note >>>


  1. Frank,
    Thanks for this, one of my favorite Mercury LPs. AFAIK, no commercial release except for download on Naxos Classics Online but not available for sale in the USA. Also grateful for the Barber, Harris, Piston Symphonies you posted a couple of weeks back, which I finally listened to. All sound wonderful. I even kept the "hot," overloaded versions of the latter 3 to play just for fun.


  2. Hello Joe.
    The Minotaur, I think, has no CD issue - but the stereo tape of Tabuh has (as shown on ArchivMusic). I don't have the SRI 'electronic stereo' of the Carter - as used elsewhere for 'Hanson vol.3'...

    The recordings are a bit dissimilar - the Carter having more dynamic-range (had to set the volume pretty-low to encompass a few peaks).

    The 'overloading' glitch was very embarrassing (and had to re-edit the rips) but won't happen again: they probably sounded like a few European Archive dubs I've downloaded...

    Unfortunately I've very few of these (early) Mercury's - 1950's PYE LP's are always uncommon - and these matrices would likely suffer from being played on most contemporary equipment.

    Have the Kubelik/Chicago 'Ma Vlast' - but a) it's 'AES' curve - b) it's pretty 'congested'.

  3. Frank,
    I would like to echo Joe's thanks for these wonderful Mercury LP transfers (including the previous Barber, Hanson, Piston & Harris).
    Regarding the Kubelik/Chicago 'Ma Vlast', I have the Mercury CD transfer by Wilma Cozart Fine from the original mono master tape, and it also sounds 'congested'. It sounds to me as though Robert Fine had the level control set too high on his tape recorder and overloaded the original master tape (at least in some spots). Overload is especially obvious in 'Vltava'. This is the only Mercury I've come across that sounds like this. BTW, I've just finished listening to Kubelik's 1971 recording of Ma Vlast with the Boston Symphony on DG and enjoyed it thoroughly.

  4. Hello Byrd.
    I'm not best-placed for Mercury transfers: never had too many (later EMI issues, not infrequently, were from 'reduced modulation' 'EFR' matrices) - also I disposed of some 'well-regarded' stereos (Dorati/'Scythian',etc) as they seemed pretty poor, IMO.

    My 'hands off' transfers reveal, all too clearly, the variation in 'quality' - ie: inherent tape/mastering 'saturation' - which possibly wasn't as obvious 'in the day'.

    In any event I'm not sure there would be much interest in, eg, mono-taped Fennell's (maybe the early Holst, etc) such as Winds in Hi-Fi (EFR) - West Point Symphony (FR) Grainger Country Gardens (US issue) - as US collectors would be well-stocked with these and much more!

  5. Wow! Was playing this last night on my Squeezebox Transporter; what a find. Not only some Elliott Carter I actually liked, but Colin McPhee - totally new for me. What splendid music!

  6. That's the original mono of the McPhee (don't play it too often - the Carter, though, is rather more subtle!) - the stereo taping of the McPhee is still available on CD.

    There's a lot of nice Mercury Americana - LP's being mainly available (in this country) via the early '80's 'Golden Imports' series (originally exported from Holland to the USA in the 1970's).
    Unfortunately I can't justify transferring them as they are invariably stereo's: thus on CD.

    The LP containing - Ginastera: Faust - Barber: Capricorn Concerto - Sessions: Black Masker is especially worthwhile.


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