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PS 113

Debussy: An All-Debussy Concert
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Pristine Audio was founded in 2001 as a digital audio transfer and restoration service, coupled with occasional commercial CD releases (an early example being a collection of 78rpm transfers of music by E. J. Moeran, released through the Moeran website). In early 2005 we began our regular releases of historic recordings, with transfers of music from the 78rpm and early vinyl eras carried out by Andrew Rose at Pristine Audio, and Peter Harrison, vinyl restoration specialist at disk2disc. Pristine Audio also supplies masters for release on other labels, most notably Divine Art Historic Sound, whose release of the 1930 Columbia recording of 'Elijah' was a CD of the year in the Classic Record Collector 2005 annual awards.

In 2007 Pristine Audio announced two well-received developments in the field of historic restoration - first came Natural Sound, which aimed to improve and correct the balance of harmonics within vintage recordings by scientific analysis and corrective equalisation; later this was developed into Pristine Audio XR, a technique which both improves and refines the Natural Sound concept, but also adds the possibility of retrieving sonic information previously lost in noise, in particular the upper harmonic frequencies previously assumed not to be present on shellac discs. XR also has a valuable side-effect in the reduction of surface noise through finely-tuned high resolution equalisation, which has a number of sonic advantages over conventional noise reduction.

The best-case result of the XR process, described by Gramophone magazine as 'hugely impressive', is a near-doubling of the frequency range of 78s and a dramatic improvement in the sound quality of more recent recordings. We've also been pioneering other advanced noise removal techniques, allowing us, for example, to release for the first time the world première of Samuel Barber's Adagio for Strings, having removed the radio interference which had blighted the original Toscanini recording and kept it in the hands of a small band of dedicated private collectors.

We will continue to innovate and improve our remastering and restoration techniques, and intend to bring a wide variety of recordings into (or back into) the catalogue. As a primarily Internet-based company (we do not press or distribute CDs) we benefit from very low overheads, allowing us to invest more time and effort into remastering and to produce a regular stream of releases. We can also put out a more eclectic mix of the well-known and the truly obscure, to develop a catalogue which is truly broad-ranging, fascinating and well worth exploring in depth.


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