My latest discovery, which I appreciate, is UltraAnalogue Recordings. These recordings cannot be called typical audiophile digestion, but they are real gems, capturing very different and emotional performances, recorded at the right time, in the right place, and with the right know-how.
“Danse Macabre” Narita, Lee Tatsuki Narita comes with a sheer degree of the emotional impact of varying degrees and with the unchanged liveliness, something rarely achieved in the digital realm. But then again, these are all transmissions directly from the analogue master tapes.
There are many schools of thought when it comes to recording the piano. To bring this great string instrument to life is an art in itself. Techniques have changed over the decades, but as with everything to do with music, a credible reproduction is never a task to be taken lightly.
Vadym Kholodenko Godowsky Studies after Chopin is another great album from UltraAnalogue Recordings that offers another level of emotional bonding. The “No.42” alone is enough to form a valid opinion of how close to the reality a high-end audio system or speakers can come.
I appreciate the natural air around the piano and such a microphone arrangement where notes can easily overlap and form harmonies and chords, etc.
Putting two microphones inside the piano and expecting the piano to breath fully and reproduce the sound is a rather far-fetched undertaking. It takes a different approach to make a piano sound like a piano. The first is to record a credible presentation, and the second is to find the right acoustic “lenses” that can convey it.
With “Danse Macabre” Edward Pong used 2 microphones, 10′ from the piano and about 7′ from the violinist. With such a placement a good balance between direct and reflected sound can be achieved. This allows the piano to breathe fully. Vadym Kholodenko shares the same tonal qualities and really allows the piano to have a credible three-dimensional projection.
Matej Isak – Mono and Stereo High-End Audio Magazine www.monoandstereo.com