LP Recordings

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.

Listening System Test Recordings (Do these first)

01-Channel_ Left, Right 

(Stereo systems only- swap input connectors to fix)


02-Balance, Phase_ Center, In Phase, Out Of Phase

(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 Hogwood

Conductor: 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

17th Century Side 1

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


17th Century Side 2

Band one: Giovanni Legrenzi, Sonata “LaBuscha”  Op. 8
Band two: Giovanni Gabrieli, Sonata Piane Forte
Band three: Giovanni Battista Buonamente, Cazona a5
Band four: Girolamo Frescobaldi, Canzona a5
Band five: Giovanni Paulo Gina, Sonata per il violino, cornetto e violene


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


Bach Side 1

Band one: Sonata No. 1 in B Minor, BMV 1030


Bach Side 2

Band one: Sonata No 2. in E Flat Major, BMV 1031
                    Sonata No. 6 in E Major, BMV 1035 

GMFD 1-76-003  JS Bach Complete Flute Sonatas

Bach Side 3

Band one: Sonata No. 3 in A Major/Minor BMV 1032
                    Sonata No. 5 in E Minor, BMV 1034

Bach Side 4

Band one: Sonata No. 4 in C Major, BMV 1033
                    Sonata No. 7 in G Minor, BMV 1020


GMFD 1-76-004  Music for Percussion Volume One

(there is no Volume Two)

Tristan Fry Percussion Ensemble

Producer: Graham Whiting
Recording engineer: Tryggvi Tryggvason
Recording assistant: Judith Agar
Technical supervisor: Ira Gale
Notes: James Blades and Mierion Bowen



Nick Cole
Steven Coltrini
John Donaldson
Tristan Fry
Peter Greenham
Bob Howes
Ronnie McCrea
Derek Price
Michael Skinner
Andrew Smith

Percussion Side 1

(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


Percussion Side 2

(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 Whiting

Recording engineer: Tryggvi Tryggvason
Recording assistant:  Judith Agar
Technical supervisor: Ira Gale
Piano: Steinway & Sons

Beethoven Side 1

Band one: Waldstein, Allegro con brio
Band two: Waldstein, Adagio- Allegretto moderato


Beethoven Side 2

Piano Sonata No. 23 in F major, Opus 57, Appassionata
Band one:  Allegro assai
Band two: Andante con moto
Band three: Allegro ma non troppo- Presto 

GMFD-1-76-006  Schumann Frauenliebe und Leben  Brahms Lieder

Soprano: Sheila Armstrong
Piano: Martin Jones
Producer: Graham Whitting
Recording engineer:  Tryggvi Tryggvason
Recording assistant: Judith Agar
Technical Supervisor: Ira Gale

Shumann Side 1

Robert Schumann, Frauenliebe und Leben, Op. 42

Band 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


Brahms Side 2

Johannes Brahms

Band 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

 Limited Edition (No. 479) Package (White Cover)

 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


2 Responses to LP Recordings

  1. In following up on Michael Fremer’s article about the Gale turntable, I came across mention on your web site of the Gale recordings. I purchased, and still have, a complete black box copy (including all paperwork) of the 1976 recording of Seventeenth Century Italian Music, Volume 1. However, the registration form is missing, so I can only assume that I filled it out and returned it at time of purchase. The recording is in prime condition, and I doubt that I’ve played it more than half-a-dozen times since purchase. It is not for sale, tho.

  2. I do have three of the Gale records and love them!
    No one made records with such attention to detail! No one!
    Although multi-miked, they are superb sounding!
    I believe a highly moded Nagra Vs was used to make the recordings…
    How about an interview with Tryggvi Tryggvason?!

    Great site! Keep uup the good work!


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