As a kid, I remember hearing the "Living Stereo" series of RCA-produced LP recordings on my uncle's expensive (for the time) "Hi-Fi" setup, and being totally impressed with the sound of the recordings. This SACD-DSD re-issue brings it all back, and today my surround-sound system far surpasses what my uncle had way back then, and the sound is so much more impressive (you do need a SACD-capable player to fully appreciate the sound technology built-into this disc, however, but I have also played it on one of my standard CD players and it still sounds amazing).
The music on this disc was originally recorded in 1959 and 1961 on 3-track professional tape, which RCA would mix-down to the standard 2-track stereo for the LP record. The "Living Stereo" series of recordings that RCA made used specially-selected microphones, and were recorded with minimal or no electronic processing or equalization on the 3-track tape. When transferred to LP, some of the dynamic range in the original recording was lost, however, due to the constraints of the LP as a recording and playbeck medium at the time (some equalization had to be added). For this SACD re-issue, the original 3-track tapes were apparently used, and the full dynamic range of the original recordings seems to be present. Note that, if you listen to this disc using a SCAD player and a surround-sound system, you will find that only the front-left, front-right, and center channel speakers are active, just the way it was originally recorded.
This recording was made in Symphony Hall in Boston, not in a recording studio, by Arthur Feidler and the Boston Pops Orchestra, featuring Earl Wild on the piano. I've been lucky enough to have attended concerts at Symphony Hall, and to my ears, I can actually hear the sonics of the hall in this recording. As for Earl Wild on piano, I imagine him to be channeling George Gershwin himself (I've always loved this music, and I find the performances on this disc to be extrememly satisfying).
While I own other recordings of this same music by other performers, on standard CD and also LP, in my opinion this "Living Stereo" re-issue by BMG is the most satisfying of them.