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on 16 January 2011
...this product may damage your speakers!

The definitive version of this timeless classic, all the others sound a bit tame in comparison.
When I first bought this on vinyl some 30-odd years ago, it came with a warning, those cannons are LOUD!
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on 25 June 2010
I had this recording on a vinyl LP some 30 years ago, which got misplaced, and I have been looking for a CD version for sometime. The quality of the recording is excellent no matter how loud or soft you play it. This recoding has additional recordings not on the original LP.
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on 4 January 2010
This recording was first done in 1954 but it is still one with the most authentic canon and bell sounds at the end of the overture The Minneapolis Symphony conducted by Antal Dorati also give a lively and thrilling sound,after the Overture you have an explanation and demonstration of how the canon fire and the bells were recorded and as a bonus you get a recording of Capriccio Italien and Wellingtons Victory.Good value for Money.
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on 17 January 2012
If you like Tchaikovsky's music, you MUST have a recording of the "1812 Festival Overture" and this is the best and most faithful recording of what Tchaikovsky had in mind. It is not a new recording, it was originally made in 1960 but with REAL guns and REAL bells. Digitally remastered it may be but it has lost none of its punch in the process.
Do a "Spinal Tap", turn the volume up to eleven, lie back and ENJOY!
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on 6 January 2013
Well some people seem to hate this and some love it. I rate this as my personal favourite recording of the piece. the sound is outstanding and fills the room. the cannons and bells at the end along with the soaring strings and brass are unsurpassed by any other recording of this work i have i heard. If you are a die hard perfectionist i am sure you will find fault, but if you love music you will just enjoy .
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on 5 November 2009
I first bought this performance of 1812 on a Mercury EP disc. I was about 16 years old and heavily into hi-fi sound. This recording was truly fantastic.
To now have it on a beautifully remastered Mercury cd is heaven . Forget Karajan - do yourself a favour and have great fun with this disc.
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on 22 December 2014
As others have said, it has been almost impossible to find a version of the 1812 that is musically as good as this, and no cannons could sound better. I also had this on vinyl in the 1970s when it was a very poor value 15 mins per side.

The addition of an extra piece (Cappricio Italien) to the original recording makes it the length of what was a normal LP. and it is bulked out with some narrative, which is interesting to hear once, but hardly likely to be played again.

The only problem, is that despite the remastering, there is still a lot of background hiss, which is very obvious in the quieter sections. When technology is finally able to resolve this, then this recording will be unsurpassable.
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on 30 January 2013
Amazingly good sound for its age and fascinating if you are interested in unusual recordings. I shan't play it very often, but I would only want to hear any version of the 1812 rarely. If it is a favourite work then there are no doubt more refined versions on disk.
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I traced some mp3 samples to hear before risking buying it, it was recorded in 1958, sound quality has moved on !!! Or should I say should have moved on, as this recording, nicely cleaned up and remastered still sounds very impressive, almost no backgound noise, hiss etc, you will only hear it in the few quiet passages and then only with the volume up and straining your ears.
Most reviewers go on about the bells, yes quasimodo would be at home here and also about the cannon, yes it is real and very loud and some of the CD explains all the technicalities etc, very good for showing off a great sound system.
BUT IS THE MUSIC ANY GOOD, a resounding yes from me, rousing stuff, full of vigour, one of the best.
So basically this ancient recording has the lot, hence why I bought it and rate it highly. I also own ASIN: B00002742Y Royal Philarmonic under Adrian Leaper, which has the 1812 with very different other tracks, also highly recommended.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 2 October 2014
I first heard this in 1962 on a 12 inch vynil LP, and pardon the pun, was blown away by it. I have heard many a version since
some with choirs, some with 'real' cannon and others with electronic effects but this one is still the one to judge them by, and they are all, in my own opinion, left wanting in some way or another. It just sounds right to me. Maybe the bells could be a little different? But then I am not a musician and I can't claim to have heard every single version of the piece. A Good Russian Orchestra with the real bells of the Kremlin ringing and some original canon recorded outside Moscow may be authentic and exciting, but I have yet to get to hear of it. Maybe someone will let me know? Right now I'll stick with this version - it still sounds good.
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