Ira Gale’s first audio project was not a speaker or a turntable, but rather producing a series of six classical LP’s under his own label called Gale Maximum Fidelity Recordings. Much coveted in the collector market today (they sell anywhere from $35 to $100 US each), each of these discs was supplied in a special “Black Box” package complete with a highly detailed booklet covering both the production and recording aspects of the disc in great detail. Each band is discussed, providing the history and inspiration of each choice. The technical discussion of the recording aspects alone are well worth reading.
(Stereo systems only- swap input connectors to fix)
(Stereo systems only- reverse speaker connections to one speaker only to fix)
The Complete List of
Gale Maximum Fidelity Recordings
(click to listen, takes a moment to load)
GMFD 1-76-001 Seventeenth Century Italian Music Volume One
Christopher HogwoodConductor: Michael Laird Producer: Graham Whiting Recording Assistant: Judith Agar Technical Supervisor: Ira Gale Paul Beer: tenor sackbut Colin Billham: vialone Roger Brenner: alto sackbut Steven Cleobury: harpsichord, chamber organ David Corkhill: percussion Martin Gatt: baroque bassoon Peter Goodwin: tenor sackbut Roger Groves: tenor sackbut Michael Laird: cornett Catherine Mackintosh: baroque violin Martin Nicolls: bass sackbut Nigel North: theorbo Anthony Pleeth: boroque cello David Purser: tenor sackbut Jan Schlapp: baroque viola Brian Sewell: baroque bassoon Colin Sheen: tenor sackbut Adam Skeeping: violone Eleanor Sloane: baroque violin William Stokes: cornett John Turner: soprano recorder Richard Tyack: bass sackbut Richard Webb: baroque cello Graham Whiting: cornett Peter Holman: musicologist Band one: Pietro Baldassari, Sonata No 1 in F Band two: Giovanni Pittoni, Sonata da Chiesa Op. 1/5 Band three: Allesendro Pogliette, Sonata a tre in C Band four: Triburtio Massaino, Capzon per otto tromboni
GMFD 1-76-002 JS Bach Complete Flute Sonatas
(2 and 3 are packaged together)Christopher Taylor, Flute Leslie Pearson, Harpsichord Dennis Vigay, Cello Producer: Grahm Whiting Recording engineer: Tryggvi Tryggvason Recording assistant: Judith Agar Technical supervisor: Ira Gale Notes: Adrian Brett and Lucy Robinson
GMFD 1-76-003 JS Bach Complete Flute Sonatas
GMFD 1-76-004 Music for Percussion Volume One
(there is no Volume Two)
Tristan Fry Percussion EnsembleProducer: Graham Whiting Recording engineer: Tryggvi Tryggvason Recording assistant: Judith Agar Technical supervisor: Ira Gale Notes: James Blades and Mierion Bowen
EnsembleNick Cole Steven Coltrini John Donaldson Tristan Fry Peter Greenham Bob Howes Ronnie McCrea Derek Price Michael Skinner Andrew Smith
(Loud dynamics at 9:39 and 11:46 in the recording. Be careful with your HF2000’s)Band one: Carlos Chavez, Toccata for Percussion Instruments Band two: Alan Hovhaness, Bacchanale
(Loud dynamics at 6:41, 12:18, and 18:10.)Band one: Alan Hovhaness, October Mountain for Percussion Sextet Band two: Jose Serebrier, Symphony for Percussion
GMFD 1-76-005 Beethoven Piano Sonatas Op 53 & 57 (1977), Peter Frankl
Producer: Graham WhitingRecording engineer: Tryggvi Tryggvason Recording assistant: Judith Agar Technical supervisor: Ira Gale Piano: Steinway & Sons
GMFD-1-76-006 Schumann Frauenliebe und Leben Brahms LiederSoprano: Sheila Armstrong Piano: Martin Jones Producer: Graham Whitting Recording engineer: Tryggvi Tryggvason Recording assistant: Judith Agar Technical Supervisor: Ira Gale
Robert Schumann, Frauenliebe und Leben, Op. 42Band one: Seit ich ihn gesehen Band two: Er, der Herrlichste von Allen Band three: Ich Kann’s nicht fasse, nicht glauben Band four: Du Ring an meinem Finger Band five: Helft mir, ihr Schwestern Band six: Susser Freund, du blickest Band seven: An meinem Herzen, an meiner Brust Band eight: Nun hast du mir den ersten Schmerz gethan
Johannes BrahmsBand one: Es steht ein Lind Band two: Schwesterlein Band three: Aud dem See, Op. 106, No. 2 Band four: Alte Liebe, Op. 72, No. 1 Band five: Das Madchen, Opus. 95, No. 1 Band six: Sommerfaden, Op 72, No. 2 Band seven: Der Jager, Op. 95, No. 4 Band eight: Der Tod, das is die Kuhle Nacht, Op. 96, No. 1 Band nine: Wir Wandelten, Op. 96, No. 2
The Black Boxes
Ira Gale produced six LP recordings of classical music packaged in elegant black boxes. Recordings were made without compression or any other signal processing, with a claimed frequency response of 27 Hz to 22 kHz, plus or minus 1 dB.
Dynamic range of the master recordings exceeded 86 dB. Gale Maximum Fidelity recordings were pressed from new compound of 95% virgin vinyl along with a lubricant, stabiliser, plasticiser, and carbon black.
Boxes were specifically designed to minimize warpage and were covered under a ten year warranty which could be exchanged for any reason (scratched, warped, broken, or even worn) once the enclosed registration form was completed. An enclosed booklet provided detail on both the content and recording process.
Gale Maximum Fidelity Recordings were distributed by audio-technica in the United States.
The White Box
Compilation Repackage of All Six Discs (2000 Copies)
A limited “White Box” edition (2,000 copies) compilation of all six LPs (479) was also sold with a white cover by a German distributor (all notes are in German as well). (Typical sell price around $350- $600 US).
Per Member Lothar, the translated text illuminates some detail on the compilation,
“The Gale records were sent to London after production, where they stayed in a warehouse for several years, as the addressee could not be found any more. At the end of 1980 the former German importer of Gale products got the offer from a London broker to buy 12,000 records of classical music. The samples that arrived were just the start of a GREAT find: 2,000 copies each of of the records that had been stored in the port of London, untouched, as nobody seemed to be interested in them. They had been produced by Teldec in Nortorf near Hamburg, Germany. That company had also produced the Sheffield, Miller & Kreisel, Crystal Clear and Telarc records.”
So they then took the records, produced a box and a 1:1 copy of the English booklet, translated into German, and published the “White Box” = a limited edition of 2,000, and there will be NO second edition of it.
Teldec was a joint venture between Telefunken and Decca to produce high quality records, and exited the LP business in 1983. The local town (Nortorf, near Hamburg) will have a museum display dedicated to Teldec. Nortorf is known as the “Home of the LP Record”. http://www.museen-sh.de/ml/inst.php?s=2&t=1&sparte=museen&pid=mvxcO8A1tTNUwtknc4HSo080828&in=10&inst=2000