A recording is a composition too. Not only does it contain compositions, but together they form a new entity. At least, that is the case with this new recording by the Dutch pianist and Liszt Competition prize winner Mengjie Han. He deliberately links Isaac Albéniz and Maurice Ravel. Strange bedfellows, those two? One of them epitomising all things Spanish, the other a Frenchman through and through. And rising between them, literally and metaphorically, the imposing peaks of the Pyrenees.
However, nothing is as it initially appears to be. Although of course Albéniz’s Iberia and Ravel’s Le Tombeau de Couperin can only be played consecutively, Mengjie Han would have preferred them to be heard ‘simultaneously’, so as to demonstrate how interwoven their idioms are. After all, Ravel is a lot more Spanish than you might expect, and Albe?niz more French. Ravel incorporates Spanish rhythms, often with that typically Spanish ambiance that you could – somewhat paradoxically – describe as rough and sultry; Albe?niz on the other hand scaled the greatest heights only after discovering French impres- sionism. They cross the Pyrenees in opposite directions, as it were, breathe in the foreign influences and use them to enrich their work.
TracklistPlease note that the below previews are loaded as 44.1 kHz / 16 bit.
Total time: 01:03:21
Microphone cables & Interlinks, Acoustic Revive
Brüel & Kjaer, modified by Rens Heijnis
The recording was originally digitized using the dCS 904, which operated at DSD64.
The original session tracks were edited and rebalanced (which meant going through the mixer) in the only available format for that purpose; the Pyramix 352.8KHz/24bit PCM (DXD). Prior to the advent of direct digital delivery, the next step in the production process from 352.8KHz/24bit PCM would be the DSD64 edited master for SACD production. What we have done now is also make a direct conversion to DSD128 and DSD256 from that original DXD edited master, without going through any interim processing steps.
Those DXD to DSD conversions are not up-samplings, as they would be going from one PCM sampling rate to another, for they are different encoding systems. PCM is a digital value sample based system, and DSD is a digital bit density modulated system. Conversion from any PCM sample rate to any DSD bit rate system is a remodulation, not an up-sampling.
We feel there is an audio advantage to this process in using the original files so we give you the choice and you can decide.
|Original Recording Format|
January 18, 19, 20 & 21, 2017
Westvest90, Schiedam, The Netherlands
|Recording Type & Bit Rate|
|Release Date||September 8, 2017|
Stretto, Oct 2017
Het bijhorende boekje bevat bijzonder interessante en uitvoerige informatie van de Nederlandse componist en publicist Stephen Westra.
Basia Con Fuoco
Han is a very imaginative pianist. Something that is definitely due to his colorful, imaginative playing. Because he has a complete technical mastery of it, he can concentrate on the stories behind the notes and convey them – seemingly effortlessly – to the listener.
His playing is so incredibly engaging that I could listen to it endlessly. Something I often do. The ‘repeat button’ is often on in my listening room.
Opus Klassiek, okt 2017
“Mengjie Han raakt de sfeer van ‘Iberia’ bijna intuïtief, melancholie en uitbundigheid contrastrijk afgewisseld, zonovergoten en volbloedig, maar ook dichterlijk verbeeldend.”
This is a really amazing album. It is a remarkable showcasing of the music of Isaac Albeniz and Maurice Ravel and Mengjie Han’s most unique way of coaxing the music out of the piano. Well done!
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