had my say on this performance in my review of a competing
transfer on Pearl, where it’s coupled with Gladys Ripley’s
underrated Sea Pictures
Superlatives apart, there is now another competing version
of this 1945
Gerontius on Testament, coupled with Tortelier’s first Cello
Concerto reading with Sargent conducting and to which I’ve
not had access for comparative listening purposes.
new entrant is always welcome and so this one makes three
versions of the most incandescent and valuable – and in my
view greatest – recording of Gerontius
to disc. Andrew Rose’s Pristine Audio, an increasingly adventurous
outfit in the restoration of gems to the catalogue, now adds
another complicating factor to the equation, given their
price-list and the fact that this is issued without coupling.
Go to Pristine Audio’s website for their newly streamlined
regard to the transfers I find that, for my taste, the lower
to mid frequency response tends to predominate and the upper
frequencies are dampened in the interest of shellac suppression.
Nash’s voice does sound rather distant in comparison with
the relatively unfiltered Pearl sound and the clarion declamation
of his Rouse Thee, My Fainting Soul
muffled here. The orchestral tone colours are also more muted – note
the string separation in Proficiscere, Anima Christiana
is that much more clarified in the Pearl. This applies equally
to things like the clarinet writing in the opening of the
Second Part or the under-powering Take Me Away.
there is room for all tastes. Mine are strongly for the Pearl;
not having heard the Testament I can’t comment on their work.
Pristine Audio offers a versatile policy with regard to up
to date technology so that may tempt you.