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Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky

Romeo and Juliet, TH 42

Serge Koussevitzky and the Boston Symphony Orchestra


From Wikipedia

"Romeo and Juliet, TH 42, is an orchestral work composed by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky. It is styled an Overture-Fantasy, and is based on Shakespeare's play of the same name. Like other composers such as Berlioz and Prokofiev, Tchaikovsky was deeply inspired by Shakespeare and wrote works based on The Tempest and Hamlet as well.

Unlike Tchaikovsky's other major compositions, Romeo and Juliet does not have an opus number. It has been given the alternative catalogue designation TH 42."

Recording Information

Composer Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Orchestra The Boston Symphony Orchestra
Conductor Serge Koussevitzky
Date Recorded 1936
Date Restored 27th March 2016
Serial Numbers HMV DB3165-7
Recording Cutter Western Electric type 1B or 1C
Bandwidth 45Hz to 7kHz
Transfer Stylus 2.8 mil truncated elliptical
Transfer Cartridge Stanton 500 at 5g
Transfer Turntable Hitachi HT-350 at 78RPM
Cutter Compensation 500Hz first order lift down to 50Hz
Click Reduction DeClick, wavelet mode, 55, 2 passes
Crackle Reduction DeCrackle, wavelet mode, 52, pitch protection, 2 passes
Low Frequency NR DeNoise LF, mono, 175Hz, -52dB
Wideband NR DeNoise 2.8, residual mode, input noise floor -48dB, target noise floor -60dB
Limiting Filter 48dB/octave Butterworth, at bandwidth limits
Additional Eq. None needed

Restoration Notes

This recording seems to have been cut at a level high enough to be noticeable when visually inspecting the discs before transfer, hence the distortion in some of the louder passages. Perhaps the engineers were more conservative when applying manual dynamic range compression, usually achieved by 'riding' the gain control while looking at the musical score. This seems to be somewhat beneficial, though, as the abominate British crackle also featured on this set of discs to a limited extent, so the rather hot cutting level helped to overcome the noise floor.

No vices such as excessive rumble or pitch instability were present, and the transfer responded well to the usual passes through the ClickRepair and DeNoise software. I'm particularly pleased with my end of side (5 in total for this set) editing, made even more seamless by Brian Davies' further improvements to the automatic noise floor tracking in DeNoise 2.8's residual output mode. See if you can spot all four changes!

Unfortunately I couldn't find any information regarding this recording other than the date it was made, even most listings of Koussevitzky's discography fail to list this session. If you have any further information about this performance then please do contact me and let me know. I greatly appreciate any feedback or corrections.

Free Download

As this recording is well over 70 years old, I am able to offer it for download.

Vorbis is used for site downloads as it provides transparency at about a third of the file size compared to MP3. There isn't really much point for using FLAC as the final listening format (all processing is done losslessly, of course) as the quality of the recordings themselves is already rather limited given their age. The general consensus on HydrogenAudio is that Q5 is enough for transparency with modern recordings, so the downloads offered are encoded at a more than ample Q7. Vorbis is by far a superior codec to MP3, as transparency is obtained at almost half the file size.

Copyright Disclaimer

The audio tracks listed on this page are digital restorations of 78 RPM records in my possession, whose mechanical copyright has expired before the time of this page's publication. No later release is used so any copyright affecting such a release does not apply to any of the sound recordings shown on this page. Claims to the contrary may be vexatious if pursued. Any communication between parties claiming copyright of the material on this website and the author of this site will be published immediately with great derision. The contents of this page must not be copied represented or sold without express permission.

Michael Fearnley 2016