From Analog Tape

Beethoven: Violin Sonata, Op. 96 – Enescu: Violin Sonata, Op. 25

David Abel, Julie Steinberg

Original Recording Format: Analog Tape
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This composition occupies a special place among Beethoven’s creations because it shows aunique quality: there is an olympian elegance, a profound gentleness that pervades the entire work. Nowhere does Beethoven the earth shaker appear. Even the scherzo movement does not disturb this sustained thoughtfulness. 
Violin and piano begin trading short thematic statements in quick exchange from the first notes of the first movement. Parallel arpeggios create a growing intensity. The middle section of the movement is characterized by abrupt modulations and an increased pace of exchanges. A striking procedure is the use of a seemingly interminable trill, nearly heart-stopping in its intensity. 
The second movement, Adagio expressivo, one of Beethoven’s floating Adagios, is based on the compulsion of a slow intense bass movement. The serenity of this movement is not disturbed by elaborate decoration from both instruments. And this stillness is further emphasized by a fourteen measure repeating pedal point (nearly one-fifth of the movement) which closes it.

Enescu absorbed the folk styles of his country in all of their complexity. He found slides, microtones, augmented seconds, insistent repeated notes played on the cimbalom, drone effects, free rhythms, four and five note gapped scales, tone patterns that repeat over and over (ostinatos). Important notes in melodies were approached by a fast swarming over neighboring notes.
All of these devices Enescu appropriated along with the very special folk harmonies based on chords built of as many as five consecutive thirds and of rhythms derived partly from the complexities of spoken Rumanian (termed parlando-rubato in a study of this style made by Bela Bartok), and partly from the special technical features that were used by native Rumanian instruments. Heavy accents which occur frequently in this composition were taken from the strong footfalls of folk dance.


Please note that the below previews are loaded as 44.1 kHz / 16 bit.
Violin Sonata No. 10 in G Major, Op. 96 - I. Allegro moderato
Violin Sonata No. 10 in G Major, Op. 96 - II. Adagio espressivo
Violin Sonata No. 10 in G Major, Op. 96 - III. Scherzo: Allegro
Violin Sonata No. 10 in G Major, Op. 96 - IV. Poco allegretto
"Violin Sonata No. 3 in A Minor, Op. 25, ""Dans le caractere populaire roumain"" - I. Moderato malin
"Violin Sonata No. 3 in A Minor, Op. 25, ""Dans le caractere populaire roumain"" - II. Andante soste
"Violin Sonata No. 3 in A Minor, Op. 25, ""Dans le caractere populaire roumain"" - III. Allegro con

Total time: 00:52:48

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Mastering Engineer

Analog Mastering – Bruce Leek

Analog to High Definition Digital Transfer: Bruce Brown, Puget Sound Studios Puget Sound Studios received the tapes from Wilson Audiophile Recordings, LLC, in a wooden crate. Master Tapes were then catalogued in an excel spreadsheet. Each Master Tape! was then inspected, cleaned with an anti-fungal solution, and then a lubricant was applied to prepare the Master Tapes for the transfer process. Approximately 8 of the first 13 reels had to be baked to reformulate the binding. This was done in an incubator at 135 degrees for 24 hours and then they were left to cool back down to room temperature for the next 24 hours. All splices were inspected and repaired, if necessary. 


A spaced-pair of Schoeps microphones, driving a vacuum tube line-level amplifier, are used to capture a naturally open, and dynamically accurate sonic presentation.

Original Recording Format


David A. Wilson

Recording Engineer

David A. Wilson, Sheryl Lee Wilson, David A. Wilson III

Recording location

The sonic image of the violin should originate just to the right of the inside edge of the left speaker. The overall tonal balance of this recording reflects the recording site (Mills College Concert Hall), the instruments and the recording approach, being slightly warm and never strident.

Recording Type & Bit Rate

Analog to DSD64

Release DateOctober 18, 2014

Press reviews


“To my mind, this is one of the most significant records I’ve ever heard. This record retains the virtues of an audiophile evaluation record. The violin sound captured on this disc is astonishingly real. This record captures the feeling of being at a truly inspired performance.”


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