Vinyl Review: Prokofiev Excerpts from the Ballet Romeo And Juliet – Sheffield Lab 8 – Released 1977
Surface noise: 5 (not pops and clicks)
Overall frequency response:4
- Act 1: Introduction
- Juliet the Young Girl
- Dance of the Knights
- Romeo Resolves to Avenge Mercutio’s Death
- Act 2: Finale
- Act III: Introduction
- Again at Juliet’s Home
- Dance of the Maidens with Lilies
- Juliet’s Funeral
- Death of Juliet
Recorded: July 18th & 20th, 1977 at the MGM Studios, Culver City, California. This album was recorded using a single stereo microphone thereby helping to preserve the natural acoustics of the studio.
This second all classical orchestral recording at the MGM studios is almost as impressive and timeless as the previous Lab 7. Using a single point microphone it captures all the studio’s ambience while at the same time maintaining excellent stereo imaging of all the orchestral sections. Depth perspective is very good and seems to be identical to Lab 7. This pressing is again provided on a heavier weight vinyl, but not as heavy as Lab 6, being noticably more flexible. Surface noise, however, was genaerally very low throughout, warranting a 5 rating.
I cannot say that I am a fan of this ballet and I have never seen it live, so the music is not as meaningful to me as it may be to its fans. My criticisms of the recording are few, but there are several occasions were I found the strings to be rather strident and the triangle and tambourine to be very forward and too bright. This, however, may be a criticism of my cartridge and speakers rather than the recording. However, I never noticed any of these issues with Lab 7.
No compression is apparent and in several of the movements the dynamics are quite impressive. All instruments are clearly delineated and the percussion, timpani, cellos and bass drums all make their mark.
Judging this musical performance is even more difficult than it was for Lab 7, so I won’t. The musical performance was to my ears flawless. and as always Sheffield Lab managed to fully capture the nuances and dynamics of it. Acoustically and musically this album sounded very good.
If you are a fan of the ballet, Romeo and Juliet, I am sure that you will enjoy these musical excerpts from the performance.