For those who are already enamoured with classical music, the name Wilma Cozart Fine will not be unfamiliar. Along with husband, Robert Fine, Cozart was responsible for producing and engineering Mercury’s superb-sounding series of “Living Presence” classical recordings in the 1950s and ’60s. These recordings have truly stood the test of time and arguably still represent the closest facsimile of a live orchestra when played back on a system with true fidelity to the master tape. For those who are late to the party or new to classical music an opportunity currently exists to purchase a large slice of the Mercury Living Presence catalogue at a bargain price. The first box set of 50 CDs is already out of print so you will have to do some serious hunting. I picked mine up at Presto Classical in the UK but I note that the no longer list it in their inventory. The second box set of 55 CDs is available right now so don’t delay. Both come very highly recommended based on both musical content and sonic performance. Wilma Cozart Fine was personally responsible for the transfer of the original analogue master tapes to the digital versions available here which, in her words, come closest to the original sound.

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