A Landmark Pure DSD Release
On the album Tuhu, winner of the Alessandria Competition, French guitar virtuosa Gaëlle Solal delivers a buoyant, heart-filled, Villa-Lobos-based program she has put together after several years of research and writing her own arrangements.
Works of the great Brazilian composer alternate with delicate and exuberant compositions of Pixinguinha, Nazareth, Jobim and Dyens, among others. A gem that merges Brazilian folk with Classical music into a unique, passionate album.
Tuhu was recorded at the Auditorio San Francisco Avila in Avila, Spain on September 10-12, 2019 in Stereo and Multichannel DSD 256 without DXD processing using the Merging Technologies Horus Analog to DSD Converter and Microphone Preamp, Sonodore, Neumann U89 and Schoeps microphones, Dutch & Dutch 8c Monitor Speakers and Sennheiser headphones.
Tuhu is exclusively available in Stereo and 5 Channel Surround Sound Pure DSD 256 at NativeDSD!
Gaëlle Solal – Guitar
TracklistPlease note that the below previews are loaded as 44.1 kHz / 16 bit.
Total time: 00:58:49
Horus, Merging Technologies
Rondine by Walter Verreydt & Martina Gozzini
Horus, Merging Technologies
Sonodore, Neumann U89 & Schoeps
|Original Recording Format|
Auditorio San Francisco in Avila, Spain on September 10-12, 2019
Pyramix, Merging Technologies
|Recording Type & Bit Rate|
Dutch & Dutch 8c
Savarez Cantiga Rouge
|Release Date||December 4, 2020|
This is a wonderful recording of delightful Villa-Lobos works alternating with delicate and exuberant compositions of Pixinguinha, Nazareth, Jobim and Dyens. Solal brings out the beauty of these compositions more than the “fire” often attributed to Latin-American guitar playing. Her playing is sensitive and virtuosic as she gives us “a gem that merges Brazilian folk with Classical music into a unique, passionate album.” (liner notes) Listen for the very end of “Pixinguinha” (track 2)—what a delightful final, very delicate string pluck with which to end. Her entire performance is filled with delicate touches like this.
Opus d’Or Award
Guitarist Gaëlle Solal is a real phenomenon. She shows it here, with gusto, as part of a musicality in which fine playing is not the least merit. It should be said outright: this album is one of the greatest recordings devoted to the classical guitar of the past ten years.
All here is perfect balance, virtuosity full of emotion, tangibly breathtaking musicality, in a sound recording that is detailed and precise to perfection in pure DSD 256.
The program is made up, most notably, of the following composers: Roland Dyens with “Homage to Villa-Lobos” and the piece “Tuhu,” title of the album; Pixinguinha with “Carinhoso” in an arrangement signed Marco Pereira; Heitor Villa-Lobos with “Choros Nº1,” Brazilian Popular Suite;” “Tristorosa” in an arrangement by Marcello Gonçalves and Gaëlle Solal, “Prelude Nº2,” “Modinha” arranged by Isalas Savio and Egberto Gismonti; and “Agua e Vinho” also arranged by Gaëlle Solal.
In short, this is a collection performed with brio. Most assuredly, this is a landmark DSD release.
French guitarist Gaëlle Solal has recorded a program centered on music by Heitor Villa-Lobos. Alongside compositions by Pixinguinha, Nazareth, Jobim and Dyens among others, mostly in very cleverly done arrangements.
The album is called Tuhu after the 4th part of Hommage à Villa-Lobos by composer Roland Dyens. Tuhu (little flame) was the nickname given by Villa-Lobos’ mother to her son.
Gaëlle Solal’s inspired performances are virtuoso but also sensitive, rich in contrast, and give the works a fresh look.
For me, there is only one guitar and that is the classical acoustic guitar. This is the guitar that sings, evokes real emotion, and gets to the soul of things. And Gaëlle Solal is here to prove it. Back from a trip to Brazil, she recorded her newly won inspiration in the San Francisco Auditorio, Ávila, Spain, under the technical supervision of Gonzalo Noqué. Those familiar with Gonzalo’s recordings on the Eudora label will know that Gaëlle could not have selected any better platform. With an original format of DSD256 (11.289mHz) in 5.0 surround, even the most demanding sound buff could not have asked for more. Indeed, Gonzalo doesn’t go for less.
In case you were wondering, ‘Tuhu’ is Heitor Villa-Lobos’ nickname and for this recording taken by Gaëlle Solal from the title of Roland Dyens’ ‘Hommage à Villa-Lobos’ suite, with which, as she calls it, the ‘Villa-Lobos-based’ program opens. Apart from the Frenchman Dyens, all composers are Brazilian. In her notes, Gaëlle explains how she has been inspirited by Heitor-Villa Lobos and his composer friends’ music for guitar or arranged for it (and some of it by herself). The result is an anthology of Brazilian guitar music. And for those less familiar with it details about each composer are given in her liner notes.
My first listening session turned out to be an hour of sheer enjoyment. I find her playing sensibly reflective. With a kind of Brazilian phlegm, she brings out the beauty rather than the fire we sometimes associate with Latin-American guitar playing. Her technique is nonetheless as fabulous as one may expect from a high-octane guitar player. Leaving it to the listener to savor the different pieces, one will be pleased to know that Nokia’s default ring tone is also present. No, not in the form of the Gran Vals ‘The Nokia Tune’ by the Spanish composer Francisco Tarrega, but in the ‘soundalike’ Prelude no. 2 by Villa-Lobos!
I do not doubt that many classical guitar fans will be very pleased with this release and many others quite possibly as well.
Performance: 4.5 out of 5 Stars, Sonics (Multichannel): 5 out of 5 Stars
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