Contrasts in Concerts (2015)

Falla, Faure, Kodaly, Dvorak

Drinkall-Baker Duo

The concert literature for every instrument is dominated by the concertos written for them. These massive works are the most iconic challenges every player faces. The cello is no exception. Its repertoire is rich with concertos, some of them among the finest works of the composers who wrote them. One might make a case for the Dvorák cello concerto being as fine a work as any Dvorák wrote. If this and a few others are the foundation of the cello literature, then perhaps the many cello sonatas are the next tier which rest on the foundations of the concerto masterpieces. Above the tier of sonatas, further up the structure, come the small works that fill out recital programs, salon performances, and encores. Cello recitals are replete with smaller works that add variety and showcase the instrument in unique ways, and many of these smaller works become some of the most well known and beloved pieces in the canon. A good example of this is the Fauré Elégie heard on this album, enjoying at least as much familiarity as any of the big concertos. The other works on this album are all fine examples of this body of small works for cello. Each one is unique and endearing, and each one is lovingly performed by the Drinkall/ Baker Duo.

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Drinkall-Baker Duo


Any two accomplished musicians, given enough rehearsal time, can produce a competent performance. Roger Drinkall and Dian Baker, however, go far beyond the merely competent, rising to a higher plane where technical mastery and a perfect melding of mind and spirit make each performance pure magic.

In the eight years since they formed the Drinkall-Baker Duo, the two musicians have taken that magic to more than six hundred concerts all over the world, garnering critical acclaim and a growing international reputation.

The pair's approach is unique. They do not regard themselves as soloist and accompanist, but rather as two soloists, a true partnership of two equals. This philosophy brings to their playing a striking unity of thought and execution.

“At times, both piano and cello seemed to merge to become a single entity," wrote a reviewer in the New Straight Times of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. “They played with an intensity and passion that one rarely sees in classical musicians."

In addition, the duo’s extensive repertoire - ranging from Bach, Beethoven and Chopin to Ginastera, Kodaly and Weill- is entirely memorized, giving them an intimacy with the music and a freedom from the page that is clearly reflected in their playing.

The combination of these qualities means that Drinkall and Baker never merely play it safe. They embrace each piece completely, playing with a sure elegance and verve that opens new vistas.


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Contrasts in Concerts (2015)

Falla, Faure, Kodaly, Dvorak

Drinkall-Baker Duo

Digital Converters: Emm Labs
Mastering Engineer:

A total of five different Analog-to-Digital converters were used to provide samples for the Wilsons to evaluate. Ultimately an EMM Labs ADC-8 Mk IV, custom modified by Andreas Koch, was chosen by Dave and Daryl Wilson for the transfers from the UltraMaster using the original Master Tapes into a Sonoma DSD workstation for capture and editing. Monitoring from the Sonoma DSD workstation was routed though a modified Playback Designs MPS-5 via USBX with Light Harmonic USB cable. All DSD files were transferred into a Merging Technologies Pyramix DSD/DXD Masscore workstation for sample rate conversion, format conversion, and meta-data tagging. The Pyramix Hepta filter was used for conversion to PCM. Files were then listened to for quality assurance.

Analog to High Definition DSD Transfer: Bruce Brown, Puget Sound Studios

Original Recording Equipment: Analog. Ultramaster, Wilson Audio's exclusive 30 ips analog recorder. This instrument, designed and built by John Curl, is fully direct-coupled, and exhibits a record/playback frequency bandwidth of over 45 KHz. The mastering tape used was 3M 996
Producer: Bruce Leek
Recording Engineer: David Wilson, Bruce Leek
Recording location: Maurice Abravanel Hall (1995)
Recording Type & Bit Rate:


This album was recorded to Analog tape. It was then transferred to the DSD bit rate indicated above.

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Wilson9534: Contrasts in Concerts
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Suite populaire espagnole - I. El pano moruno
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Suite populaire espagnole - II. Nana
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Suite populaire espagnole - III. Cancion
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Suite populaire espagnole - IV. Polo
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Suite populaire espagnole - V. Asturiana
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Suite populaire espagnole - VI. Jota
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Elegie, Op. 24
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Cello Sonata, Op. 4 - I. Fantasia: Adagio di molto
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Cello Sonata, Op. 4 - II. Allegro con spirito
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Polonaise in A Major, B. 94
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