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Several attractive titles to be seen among Tower's SACDs. I'm particularly tempted by their recent release of the Colin Davis/Boston Symphony Sibelius cycle. Tower's catalog overlaps with various titles reissued by the parent companies, which raises questions about the nature of the licensing and remastering. Anyone have any experience with the Tower Records SACDs? Any comments would be appreciated.
FWIW my copy of the SACD (Symph. 5 & 7 & En Saga) is labeled as a PentaTone and the disk is made in Germany. It sounds great.
4 disks for a bit over $80. If you want the music, and I can understand why, seems like a pretty good deal.
Davis' BSO Sibelius 7th has been one of my favorites LPs for years so I did get the SACD. But I always buy cds and SACDs used. It's not like LPs; if they play they play well. And then I rip them.
" Any comments would be appreciated."
This is definitely in the nature of "any comments" as it certainly is not conclusive.
It has been the practice of at least two major companies to license their repertoire for limited pressing and distribution by important retail record stores. For example until EMI's demise the UK chain of stores, HMV, produced licensed editions of EMI classical repertoire.
The Davis/BSO Sibelius recordings were originally issued by Philips which became part of UMG with the repertoire thereon being reissued under the Decca imprint. The Tower Records Japan SACD issue complies with this branding at least. UMG certainly do license selected repertoire to retailers for pressing and distribution, for example with Presto Classical in the UK.
I am therefore inclined to believe that the Tower Records Japan issues are legitimate although what they have been mastered from is unclear. The fire at UMG destroyed thousands of masters which may well have included these. So if these are a DSD digitisations from the analogue originals or an upsample from 16/44.1 PCM masters or copy masters is not known.
My opinion is that if this set is priced at a level where it is worth a punt on your behalf then do it. If, on the other hand, you want a 100% certainty then leave alone.
"We need less, but better" - Dieter Rams
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