That generation of singers, conductors and musicians came mostly from a Germany and Austria that had, almost along the way, revolutionised the recording industry. When the first American engineers arrived in Munich and Berlin and saw what BASF/AEG and their reel-to-reel machines were able to do with music and radio, it resulted, I would suggest, in a bigger step change than that from tape cassettes to CD or CD to MP3 (indeed we all know many who would regard those last two step changes as step changes in the wrong direction. Vinyl or reel-to-reel for them: and tube/valve amplifiers too while we’re at it.)
The modern age of stereophonic High Fidelity, or HiFI as it was known, had arrived. Voices and (in the case of opera) cast and creatures could be “placed” in studio stereo stages, instruments could be “desked” in knew ways that smote the musical world much inn the way that the first cleanings of the old masters did at around the same time. When played back, people found a new direct engagement with music that had for hundreds of years before only been heard live in bandstands and concert halls and subsequently on hissing 78 RPM shellac discs. I love concert halls, I love 78s – but this truly was something extraordinary.