Deutsche Grammophon 3D Classics Series Audio Cassette

Deutsche Grammophon 3D Series Cassette - Schumann

This is another of the highly attractive, abundantly classy and sonically spectacular Polydor / Deutsche Grammophon CrO2 pre-records of the 1980s. It’s part of the 3D Classics series, which was released around the cusp of the ‘80s and ‘90s decades, with this particular instalment hitting the shops in 1989. Continue reading

Philips Chromium Dioxide Audio Cassette: Für Elise

Philips Chromium Dioxide Audio Cassette

This is another really nice example of a high quality chromium dioxide pre-recorded cassette tape. It’s a Philips compilation entitled Für Elise – The Magic of the Piano, which includes works by a raft of composers including Beethoven, Mendelssohn, Mussorgsky, Schumann, Rachmaninoff, Mozart, Liszt, Chopin, Brahms, Schubert and Gershwin. Continue reading

Classic EMI White Label Chromium Dioxide Audio Cassette

Classic EMI White Label Chrome Audio Cassette

Here’s a fine example of a major recording label maintaining the highest standards in its audio cassette output in the early 1990s. It’s a German-made EMI tape from 1992, featuring Pinchas Zukerman (violin) and Daniel Barenboim (piano) performing Beethoven’s Violin Sonatas, Nos. 5, 8 and 9. Continue reading

Deutsche Grammophon Audio Cassette 1980s

Deutsche Grammophon Schubert and Beethoven audio cassette (1960) 1987

I was very pleased to find this excellent example of a Deutsche Grammophon audio cassette tape recently. It’s a 1987 release featuring Schubert’s Quintet for Piano, Violin, Viola, Cello and Double Bass in A major (D.667 “The Trout”) on Side 1, and on Side 2, Beethoven’s Sonata for Piano and Violin in F major (Op.24 “Spring). The Schubert is performed by Jorg Demus (piano) and the Schubert Quartett; the Beethoven by Carl Seemann (piano) and Wolfgang Schneiderhan (violin). Both sides are remastered from original recordings made in 1960, by Polydor International GmbH. Continue reading

Yehudi Menuhin – Bruch/Mendelssohn Violin Concertos

Yehudi Menuhin - Bruch & Mendelssohn Violin Concertos (1959) 1988

As pre-recorded audio cassette tapes go, this one’s a real ‘looker’. It packages two violin concertos, the lead of which is performed in both cases by the legendary Yehudi Menuhin. On Side 1, there’s Felix Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto in E minor, Op.64. On Side 2, Max Bruch’s Violin Concerto No. 1 in G minor, Op.26. For Side 1, the Philharmonia Orchestra was conducted by Efrem Kurtz, and for Side 2, Walter Susskind conducted the same orchestra. The Mendelssohn concerto is 26 minutes 35 seconds long, and the Bruch is 23 minutes 58. Both seem to pass more quickly – particularly the Bruch. Continue reading

1989 BASF Chrome Extra II 60 Audio Cassette

1989 BASF Chrome Extra II 60

This was one of my Mom’s tapes. It’s full both sides with classical piano music (Ravel), and I don’t want to tape over anything she recorded, so I can’t judge the cassette by the same criteria I judge my own. It’s a 60 minute BASF Chrome Extra II from 1989, recorded with Dolby B Type. There’s nothing to mask tape hiss in the quiet passages, so even with Dolby there’s some noticeable noise. I’m also unaware of what equipment my Mom used to record the tape, and it’s difficult under those circumstances to tell precisely what the reproduction is like. In the louder passages where the piano sound gets brighter, you do start to hear the characteristic BASF top end, but in other respects I’m not convinced this is one of the best BASF CrO2 tapes there ever was. I think classical music, with its massive dynamic range, is one genre which in analogue-only days was desperately crying out for the arrival of digital media, and I now find it quite hard to listen to on audio tape.