Bizet’s Carmen Master Tape

Greg Beron writes - United Home Audio writes: "Was totally enthralled by last evening listening to BIZET’s CARMEN via a Production Master Tape. Deutche Geammophon, 1973, HORNE McCRACKEN / KRAUSE / MALIPONTE / METROPOLITAN OPERA / BERNSTEIN DG 2709 043. Beautiful Production Master tapes, SIX TAPES in all and I only got through two tapes, but what a thrill ride.  

Classical music on the right tape is just stunning. No processing of zeros and ones, no scratching a needle across a spinning chaulk board, (ha!) just soaring highs and effortless dynamics all laid out for you like real life in 3D… Wow. 

Comments from 1973

“DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON has a lot riding on its studio recording of the Metropolitan Opera's 1972 opening night Carmen (2709 043, three disks) — a production cost running well into six figures to be inexact (DG, like all record companies, is coyly reluctant to divulge such classified information): Recording economics being what they are in America nowadays, this “Carmen” is very likely the most expensively produced three‐disk set ever to reach the market and represents DG's most ambitious bid yet for international prestige, a costly quest that has led the company over the past five years to tape Mozart in Prague, Handel in London, Renaissance cantigas in Spain and American orchestras in Boston San Francisco, and now New York.

In all likelihood, DG will never recoup its investsnent, but at least the label can take comfort in the artistic outcome of its endeavors. Not only was the yet “Carmen” well worth preserving on disks (and of how many highly touted star‐studded opera recordings can that be said these days?), but the job has been done with exceptional skill. “Carmen,” like “Don Giovanni,” has often been called the perfect opera, and again like “Don Giovanni,” every previous recorded version has been flawed. DG's attempt may not offer total satisfaction in all departments, but it is far from routine, often inspired and never less than a fascinating listening experience”.