Our film series concludes with a look at the digital revival of the Mercury Living Presence catalogue and the role that dCS played in bringing Mercury's beloved classical recordings to digital formatsTags: Mercury Living Presence, Music, Technology & Innovation, Culture,
Throughout this year, dCS has been documenting the history of Mercury Living Presence–the pioneering label behind a much-loved and hugely influential collection of classical recordings. Working in partnership with Decca Records, we've created a three-part podcast and documentary series commemorating the label's 70th anniversary and the launch of an ongoing project to re-release the entire Mercury Living Presence catalogue on streaming services.
The first instalment of our documentary series traced the birth and evolution of Mercury Living Presence, documenting how the label's production team recorded over 200 LPs with leading orchestras in the US and Europe during the 1950s and 60s. It also examined how Mercury's meticulous approach to production, imaginative choice of repertoire and minimalist recording techniques combined to create a catalogue that was renowned for its remarkable sound quality.
Our second and final film, which premiered this week on the dCS YouTube channel, charts how the catalogue was transferred to the digital domain in the 1980s and 90s using dCS's first ever audio device, the dCS 900 A-D converter.
The film explores how Dennis and Wilma remastered some of Mercury's most celebrated recordings for CD, and reveals how the dCS 900 allowed them to produce a series of digital reissues that still sound remarkable 30 years on. Dennis Drake discusses how he and Wilma approached the remastering process, while dCS founder Mike Story reflects on the 900's creation, and the unique technology at its core. Plus, Tom Fine explains how Dennis and Wilma's remasters are being given a new lease of life on streaming services.
Featuring exclusive interviews and archival footage, the film celebrates the enduring appeal of the label's music, and the skill, artistry and innovation involved in bringing the Mercury Living Presence catalogue to digital formats.
You can watch the film in full below, or head to the dCS YouTube channel to see the full series.
For more on Mercury Living Presence, listen to our three-part podcast at trust-your-ears.simplcast.com.