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RCA Red Seal Records is a classical music label and is now part of Sony Masterworks.

The Red Seal label was begun in 1902 by the Gramophone Company in the United Kingdommarker and was quickly picked up by its United Statesmarker affiliate the Victor Talking Machine Company by its president Eldridge R. Johnson. The distinctive red label inspired the name. Led by the great tenor Enrico Caruso, Victor's Red Seal Records changed the perception of recorded music. The first Caruso 10 inch 78 rpm records were issued in 1903 and became wildly successful, attracting other legendary opera stars to the Gramophone Company and its affiliates in Europe and to the Victor Talking Machine Company, thus consolidating Victor's place as the market leader in recordings.

The early acoustic recordings were excellent for voices, but not for musical instruments. The introduction of "Orthophonic" electrical recording in 1925 allowed for better reproduction of music. In 1929, Victor was purchased by the Radio Corporation of America (RCA) and the company became RCA Victor Records.

RCA Victor's Red Seal series continued its preeminence from the 1930s through the 1950s due partly to one of the greatest conductors of the time, Arturo Toscanini. Nearly all his recordings were issued on Red Seal, most of them with the NBC Symphony Orchestra (NBC was a subsidiary of RCA at the time). Conductor Eugene Ormandy made his first recordings with the Philadelphia Orchestra for Red Seal, and returned to the label in 1968, after spending many years with Columbia Masterworks Records. Leonard Bernstein also made his first recordings for RCA, and another best-selling RCA Red Seal conductor was Arthur Fiedler, who made many recordings with the Boston Pops for the label.

In 1950 RCA finally began releasing long-playing gramophone records, or LPs (originally introduced by Columbia Records in 1948), because they were losing artists and sales due to the company's resistance to adopting the new format.

In 1954 RCA began experiments with stereophonic recording. Their first "Stereo Orthophonic" reel to reel tapes were issued in 1955. When stereo long-playing records first appeared in 1958, RCA introduced their highly regarded "Living Stereo" albums, many of which are available on CDs. During this period RCA was consistently seen as producing some of the finest-sounding recordings available.

It wasn't until 1968 when RCA changed logos, deemphasizing the Victor name, that the label came to be known as "RCA Red Seal Records" After General Electric bought RCA in 1986 and sold its interest in the record company to Bertelsmannmarker, the RCA Victor name was revived so the label became "RCA Victor Red Seal Records" before eventually dropping the Victor name again and reverting to "RCA Red Seal" due to the fact that Victor Entertainment now owns the trademark rights to the Victor record label in Japanmarker.

Some RCA Red Seal recording artists

The following artists, conductors, and orchestras have all made RCA Red Seal recordings. Some have also recorded or may be currently recording for other labels.

See also

External links

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