I find your comments interesting, yes even exciting! I largely go along
with what you state, The following is a preamble, and I will follow up
with an e-mail of record Numbers that state they are Stereo, and in fact
The following is my opinion only and in no way intended to harm the
image of EMI, who in a decade 1970/79 gave us some of the finest
classical recordings ever made!
The early 1970's saw EMI with new state of the art quadraphonic
recording equipment. Many of these early quad recording sessions were
probably insisted upon by the great conductor, Herbert Von Karajan,
who was reported as being very enthusiastic about the new surround
sound medium. Karajan's quad recording session lasted from at least
1970-1978. Some confusion exists over the early classical EMI
quadraphonic releases. Some released, as Stereo discs are definitely
quad releases, even though the cover says stereo and the matrix number
stamped on the vinyl also has a Stereo prefix!
Early Quad releases marked as Stereo include -
1. The Great Mozart Symphonies 35/41 (now on DTS)
2. Tristan Und Isolde -complete (Wagner)
3. Der Meistersinger Von Nurembourg -complete (Wagner)
4. Fidelio -complete (Beethoven)
5. All with Karajan and the Berlin Philharmonic.
Evidence for the above being Quad is -
1. The historical record, with references in Emi's own literature to
these being Quadraphonic-recording sessions.
2. Karajan's enthusiasm for the new Quad medium.
3. Listening tests, using a Tate decoder where the original hall
acoustics are clearly defined in surround!
4. The physical groove structure is very dynamic, indicating the
presence of the helical groove structure necessary for the SQ matrix.
Some earlier releases did have a Stereo and a Quad release, for instance
Sir Adrian Boult conducts Richard Wagner vol. 1 & 2. The stereo version
clearly having a finer groove structure than the very dynamic quad
I believe from 1973 onwards all EMI classical releases were Quad,
however the rear channel information may have been reduced to appease
the Stereo purists. Remember on a Stereo system, a Quad record is not
stereo but Lt and Rt. The early quad release did have too much ambience
when played on a stereo system, when not first decoded through an SQ
matrix, to remove the rear channel information (compatible Quad).
Most EMI classical Quad were surround ambience, however a few were
discrete surround with instruments placed around the listener. ie.
UK. Recordings made for US Columbia such as Stravinsky - The Rite of
Spring/London Symphony orchestra, circle surround 25 years ago!
EMI Australia pressed many wonderful SQ records from UK masters on the
EMI label and The World Record Club labels. As time went by, and with
the confusion of competing Quad systems, the word Quad disappeared from
record covers, but a quick check of the vinyl stamper number will reveal
a Quad master!
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