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Masterful performances but with a caveat
on 5 October 2012
I share the enthusiasm of the other reviewers in the quality of the performances; they are simply the finest available. However there is an important fact that the other reviews omit which I believe needs to be mentioned. These recordings were made by Melodiya in the 1960s and the master tapes presumably are languishing in their Moscow vaults. The present issue from Chandos are direct copies of LPs which were in the possession of the wife of the late 1st violinist Rostislav Dubinsky who did record for Chandos in his Western Career. There is no mention of this fact in the documentation that accompanies the set. Whilst Chandos have impeccable taste, I can't help feeling a bit cheated by record companies who transfer historical material not owned by themselves from end-user media like 78s and LPs onto CD and make no mention of this. This is something I could do myself with the LP set and a CD burner. Indeed, is this practice even legal? There is no agreement between Chandos and Melodiya for the former to distribute the latter's recordings. And whilst, the transfers are well done, I'd still recommend getting the original HMV/Melodiya box set of LPs which in this instance obviously cannot be inferior to the CDs which they are copied from. The LP set fairly regularly pops up on Internet sites and listening to this will undoubtedly be a more musical experience.