Visions and Variations (2018)

Prokofiev, Wood, Mozart, Britten

A Far Cry

Dreams and Prayers featuring A Far Cry and David Krakauer is one of the all-time best-selling DSD albums at Native DSD Music. It also introduced our headphone listeners to the joys of Binaural DSD music and was one of our initial releases in DSD 128 Stereo.

Now the talented ensemble of 17 musicians of A Far Cry brings us their newest release Visions and Variations, an album nominated for 2 Grammy Awards (Best Engineered Album - Classical and Best Chamber Music - Small Ensemble Performance), that features the music of Benjamin Britten, Ethan Wood, and Sergei Prokofiev. The album was recorded at Mechanics Hall in Worcester, MA by Producer Jesse Lewis and Recording Engineer Tom Caulfield in DSD 256 Stereo, Surround Sound and Binaural. One listen to this album in DSD will quickly tell you why this is a multi-Grammy nominated performance!

This is a DSD Exclusive release, Not Available on SACD. You can get it at the NativeDSD Music store in Stereo, Surround Sound and Binaural DSD 256, DSD 128, DSD 64, and DXD.

The Criers say "Each of the three selections on this album offers a journey into one miniature world after another. Every one colorful, characterful, complete. Just as the Criers strive to honor each musician’s individual voice in the context of something larger, these works contextualize dozens of distinct visions, pulling them together into a wonderful form of unity. We hope you’ll be as inspired and captivated by these fleeting glimpses, and the stories they suggest, as we are."

The Native DSD Blog notes "Visions and Variations is the double Grammy Award-nominated new album from Crier Records featuring A Far Cry, one of America’s premiere chamber orchestras. In works by Britten, Prokofiev, and a Mozart-inspired premiere from Ethan Wood, this album features some of the most characterful and beloved music ever written for strings.

Variations on a Theme – alchemical. A set of variations is a chance to bring small disparate units together to create a sum greater than the totality of its parts. Just like the Criers, each individual movement is a complete world, but the worlds combine and transform – they play with each other, they reference each other, and before you know it you’re standing in a world that is bigger and more beautiful than you ever imagined.

You know that you’re in for a journey, but it’s the type of journey that’s not about the destination – it’s a journey filled with beautiful sights along the way. It’s a kind of traveling that we don’t really do anymore – like walking rather than taking the subway, gives you an appreciation for the totality, the greater beauty.

Prokoviev’s a bunch of visions, but so is Wood and Britten. Ethan also had his own vision in re-imagining the Mozart. With this album, we invite the listener into the world of three of our favorite pieces. Perhaps in them, we see a reflection of ourselves – each individual movement a complete world but interacting, playing, referencing each other, they combine into something greater… We hope you’re inspired and distracted by these glimpses, these visions, and variations, as are we.

Glimpses, sketches – small parts that combine, like the Power Rangers. But when brought together, something newer and larger emerges. Perhaps that’s why we love these sets of variations – in them, we see a reflection of ourselves. Musicians coming together to create a VISION which honors each individual voice, but which transcends them All!"

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A Far Cry

Since its founding in 2007, the Grammy-nominated string orchestra A Far Cry has developed a distinct approach to music-making, with playing and programming that encourage risk-taking and exploration for both player and audience. This year, A Far Cry was selected as Boston’s 2018 best classical ensemble by The Improper Bostonian, with one of its albums ranking at the top of Billboard’s Traditional Classical Chart. The self-conducted orchestra is a democracy in which decisions are made collectively and leadership rotates among the players (“Criers”). This structure has led to consistently thoughtful, innovative, and unpredictable programming — and impactful collaborations with celebrated performers and composers. Boston Musical Intelligencer sums up the group: “In its first decade, this conductor-free ensemble has earned and sustained a reputation for top-drawer playing, engrossing programming, and outstanding guest artists.”

A Far Cry’s omnivorous approach has led to collaborations with artists such as Yo-Yo Ma, Simone Dinnerstein, Roomful of Teeth, the Silk Road Ensemble, Vijay Iyer, and David Krakauer. A Far Cry’s twelfth season in 2018-19 includes nine Boston-area concerts as part of the group’s own series, and three pairs of concerts as part of A Far Cry’s long-standing residency at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. New projects include commissions from composers Jessica Meyer and Grammy- nominated oudist/composer Mehmet Ali Sanlikol. A Far Cry will also collaborate with Boston’s Lorelei Ensemble in a new work by Syrian-American composer Kareem Roustom focusing on the women of the Odyssey.

A Far Cry’s Crier Records launched auspiciously in 2014 with the Grammy-nominated album Dreams and Prayers. In September 2018, Crier Records released A Far Cry’s Visions and Variations, which recently received two Grammy nominations in the categories of Best Engineered Album (Classical) and Best Chamber Music/Small Ensemble Performance (Classical). Dreams and Prayers and Visions and Variations are available from the NativeDSD Music store.

Committed to maintaining their strong roots in the community, the Criers live and work in Boston, rehearsing at their storefront office in Jamaica Plain and fulfilling the role of Chamber Orchestra- in-Residence at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. A Far Cry is dedicated to passing on the spirit of collaboratively-empowered music to the next generation, and works closely with local students through educational partnerships with the New England Conservatory and Project STEP.

Megumi Stohs, one of the Criers and also the label manager, of Crier Records, explains: “Crier Records was born from the desire to take A Far Cry’s concert programming to the next level. Having our own label provides the utmost flexibility to create and release our musical experience to the world in a way that is beautiful inside and out, and to find a unique expression for every project. We are thrilled now to share our whole process – from the spark of a Crier's idea, to the creation of a program, through the rehearsing, the concert, the recording process, and finally the completed realization of that initial spark: something you can hold in your hand and share with the world.”

Audiophile quality is a hallmark of Crier Records; every release will be made using DSD technology, and released in both standard and high resolution versions.    

 

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Visions and Variations (2018)

Prokofiev, Wood, Mozart, Britten

A Far Cry

    NativeDSD Senior Reviewer

2019 has brought us two recordings of the Bridge Variations. The American chamber orchestra A Far Cry presents a beautifully played and engineered recording which also includes music by Mozart and Prokofiev.

Bill Dodd, Native DSD Senior Reviewer[read full review]

Visions and Variations (2018)

Prokofiev, Wood, Mozart, Britten

A Far Cry

Assistant Engineer: Sean Patterson
Editing Engineers: Shauna Barravecchio, Zenas Hsu, Brett Leonard and Jesse Lewis
Mastering Engineer: Jesse Lewis
Microphones: DPA, Schoeps, Sanken, Neumann and Royer
Producer: Jesse Lewis
Recording Engineer: Tom Caulfield
Recording location: Mechanics Hall, Worcester MA, Recorded January 17-19, 2017
Recording Type & Bit Rate: DSD 256

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Quality

This album is available as ST+MCH download (Stereo + Multichannel)
Stereo version included when purchasing Binaural with an active NativeDSD Plus subscription.
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Album Download duration price
CR1801: Visions and Variations
01:10:52   Select quality & channels above
Tracks.
1.
Variations on a Theme by Frank Bridge - Introduction and Theme
Britten
00:01:53   Select quality & channels above
2.
Variations on a Theme by Frank Bridge - Adagio
Britten
00:02:26   Select quality & channels above
3.
Variations on a Theme by Frank Bridge - March
Britten
00:01:09   Select quality & channels above
4.
Variations on a Theme by Frank Bridge - Romance
Britten
00:01:24   Select quality & channels above
5.
Variations on a Theme by Frank Bridge - Aria Italiana
Britten
00:01:23   Select quality & channels above
6.
Variations on a Theme by Frank Bridge - Bourree Classique
Britten
00:01:18   Select quality & channels above
7.
Variations on a Theme by Frank Bridge - Wiener Walzer
Britten
00:03:03   Select quality & channels above
8.
Variations on a Theme by Frank Bridge - Perpetuo
Britten
00:01:16   Select quality & channels above
9.
Variations on a Theme by Frank Bridge - Funeral March
Britten
00:03:37   Select quality & channels above
10.
Variations on a Theme by Frank Bridge - Chant
Britten
00:01:43   Select quality & channels above
11.
Variations on a Theme by Frank Bridge - Fugue and Finale
Britten
00:07:30   Select quality & channels above
12.
Ah Vous dirais-je, Maman - Theme and Variations
Wood,Mozart
00:16:47   Select quality & channels above
13.
Visions Fugitives, Op.22 - Lentamente
Prokofiev
00:01:12   Select quality & channels above
14.
Visions Fugitives, Op.22 - Andante
Prokofiev
00:01:28   Select quality & channels above
15.
Visions Fugitives, Op.22 - Allegretto
Prokofiev
00:01:05   Select quality & channels above
16.
Visions Fugitives, Op.22 - Animato
Prokofiev
00:00:57   Select quality & channels above
17.
Visions Fugitives, Op.22 - Molto giocoso
Prokofiev
00:00:23   Select quality & channels above
18.
Visions Fugitives, Op.22 - Con eleganza
Prokofiev
00:00:35   Select quality & channels above
19.
Visions Fugitives, Op.22 - Pittoresco - Arpe
Prokofiev
00:02:17   Select quality & channels above
20.
Visions Fugitives, Op.22 - Commodo
Prokofiev
00:01:19   Select quality & channels above
21.
Visions Fugitives, Op.22 - Allegretto tranquillo
Prokofiev
00:01:14   Select quality & channels above
22.
Visions Fugitives, Op.22 - Ridicolosamente
Prokofiev
00:00:51   Select quality & channels above
23.
Visions Fugitives, Op.22 - Con Vivacita
Prokofiev
00:01:30   Select quality & channels above
24.
Visions Fugitives, Op.22 - Assai moderato
Prokofiev
00:01:59   Select quality & channels above
25.
Visions Fugitives, Op.22 - Allegretto
Prokofiev
00:00:55   Select quality & channels above
26.
Visions Fugitives, Op.22 - Feroce
Prokofiev
00:01:03   Select quality & channels above
27.
Visions Fugitives, Op.22 - Inquieto
Prokofiev
00:01:02   Select quality & channels above
28.
Visions Fugitives, Op.22 - Dolente
Prokofiev
00:03:01   Select quality & channels above
29.
Visions Fugitives, Op.22 - Poetico
Prokofiev
00:01:22   Select quality & channels above
30.
Visions Fugitives, Op.22 - Con una dolce lentezza
Prokofiev
00:01:45   Select quality & channels above
31.
Visions Fugitives, Op.22 - Presto agitatissimo e molto accentuato
Prokofiev
00:00:49   Select quality & channels above
32.
Visions Fugitives, Op.22 - Lento irrealmente
Prokofiev
00:02:36   Select quality & channels above

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