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Silverline makes old gold shine again

img  Tobias

It seems like a contradiction in terms, but the most modern music production out there right now is probably a series of Classical Recordings from the 50s, 60s and 70s.  Silverline Classics is the new home of what was previously called Vanguard and Omega respectively, two of the "Golden Age of Classical Records'" most respected companies. While the Omega-fame has somewhat faded (even though it remains a connaiseur's household name), Vanguard is still a firm trade mark when it comes to quality, progressive publishing policy and an unmatched combination if marketing and technical skills. All releases will be issued as "Dual Discs", with a CD layer (containing the Stereo Recording) and a DVD layer (containing a 5.1. Mix and additional videos and bonus features).

Founded by the brothers Maynard and Seymour Solomon exactly 55 years ago, the small two-man company quickly made a name for itself by releasing what today is standard-repertoire: The Bach cantatas. Back then, though, this was considered a highly risky project, which turned out to be a massive success. Its revenues formed the basis for a plethora of albums and a label that was always just a little bit quicker than others in discovering promising artists: Alfred Brendel, Friedrich Gulda, Emil Gilels, David Oistrakh, Matt Haimowitz, Mstislav Rostropovich and Beverly Sills are just a few of the many stars that have been part of the Vanguard-family.

What is so especially enticing about these re-releases is that they come from a time when there was both an enormous interest in the great masters and a strong urge to explore undiscovered territory. Which is why you will find Brahms and Beethoven alongside the "new elite" Prokefiev and Rachmaninov, as well as Mahler (who, at that time, was nothing more than a cypher in the books of Classical history). This is also the reason, why there could hardly be a better label to receive this special treatment, as its catalogue was already a good combination of the best of the past (which has stayed relevant) and the future.

Talking about special treatment and modern production: All tapes have been carefully remastered by a team of experts. A short documentary, which you can find on every re-release, explains minutely, how this was done. An interesting fact: Because the Solomon brothers were apparently better at recording and selling than in keeping their archives tidy, the shelves were full of tapes titled "Master" - which were really only copies. So the first step was, in fact, to find the one that was the actual "Original".

The result of a lot of hard work (and heart-work, if you like), can now be found on a collection of Dual Discs, four of which we will present you in some CD-features over the next two weeks. It just goes to show that with a lot of love and know how, even the oldest gold can be made to shine again.

Homepage: Silverline Classics

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