Early Release in Pure DSD – Recorded, Mixed and Balanced in the DSD Domain
Exclusively available at NativeDSD.com
Berlin Philharmonic member Joaquín Riquelme and pianist Enrique Bagaría explore a century of viola and piano masterpieces, including spellbinding performances of Brahms’ Sonata op. 120/1 and Hindemith’s Sonata op. 11/4. Schumann’s lyrical and brilliant Adagio and Allegro op. 70 and Enescu’s virtuoso Concertstück complete this masterly performed recording in DSD 256.
For this release, NativeDSD Mastering Engineer Tom Caulfield has teamed with Eudora’s Producer and Recording Engineer Gonzalo Noque to take the album’s original DSD 256 recording session takes and then mixed and balanced them in the DSD domain using the Signalyst HQ Player Pro 4 mastering tools.
Each DSD bit rate is individually mixed, balanced, and remodulated to the DSD delivery quality in a separate individual pass. Bringing NativeDSD listeners an exclusive bonus – this wonderful album in Pure DSD! (Other editions of this album, including the Hybrid Super Audio CD (SACD) release were mixed in DXD.)
Joaquín Riquelme – Viola
Enrique Bagaría – Piano
Total time: 00:59:23
|Analog to Digital Converter||
Horus Analog to Digital and Digital to Analog Converter and Microphone Preamplifier with Pyramix Workstation software from Merging Technologies
Mixed, Balanced & Mastered in the DSD Domain using the album’s original DSD 256 Stereo and DSD 256 Multichannel takes with Signalyst HQ Player 4 Pro Mastering Software by Tom Caulfield at the NativeDSD Mastering Lab in Marshfield, MA
Gefell M296, Neumann U89, Coles & Schoeps
|Original Recording Format|
Auditorio y Centro de Congress Victor Villegas, Sala Narciso Yepes, Murcia, Spain on February 5-6, 2019
Dutch & Dutch 8c
|Release Date||March 11, 2021|
How many Maserati’s do you have in your neighborhood? Less than one, I suppose. But they continue to be produced. Likewise, for the several labels that continue to cater to those who value music at the highest attainable resolution. We ought to give them our business.
Eudora is such a label, and its mastermind, Gonzalo Noqué, leaves no stone unturned to arrive at the ultimate result for the ‘beau monde’ with the right equipment to savor it to the fullest extent. And if the musicians are of the same standard, what more can we wish for than to enjoy the beauty of ‘musical encounters’, such as the ones here on offer.
The binding element is the Viola, ‘the intellectual of the (string) family” (William Primrose), though often and unjustly seen as the unobtrusive instrument somewhere in the middle of an orchestra, filling in the harmonies between the ‘frivolous’ Violins and the ‘serious’ Cellos. Taken out of context (so to speak) we discover that this noble instrument, having some of the characteristics of either side, will succeed in pleasing any intellectual music lover because of its expressive sonority and glowing warm sound.
Brahms liked the Viola, and he arranged his two Sonatas for Clarinet and Piano for Viola, of which Joaquín Riquelme (Berlin Philharmonic) opens the program with Op. 120 No. 1. His amazing account does not only prove Primrose’s view of the instrument, but it also renders full justice to the sadness Brahms must have felt at the end of his life and the disappearance of his closest friends. In the final movement Riquelme enhances the various moods with a sturdy ‘we shall overcome’ character, impressively supported by his partner, Enrique Bagaría, at the concert grand. Stating their case so clearly, I must say that I now prefer the Viola over the original Clarinet version.
When virtuosity was of overriding importance for soloists of name and fame, the Viola was not seen as a suitable instrument. As a result, few composers wrote concertante or even chamber works for it. This has changed for the better ever since other, nobler qualities of the instrument gained wide acceptance. Nonetheless, Paul Hindemith, with his beautifully crafted Sonata Op. 11/4 proved the ‘soloists of name and fame’ wrong. Apart from its melodious impressionism, it expertly exploits the virtuoso possibilities, thus taking “the Viola’s expressive language into a new dimension”, as demonstrated so gorgeously by Joaquin Riquelme.
Robert Schumann’s Adagio und Allegro, initially composed for horn and piano, will not fail to please the listener either, and certainly not in Riquelme’s considered reading. As does George Enescu’s Concertstück, commissioned by Gabriel Fauré for the annual alto contest of the Paris Conservatorium, and hence full of lyrical hurdles, jumped by Joaquín Riquelme with ease and enthusiasm to conclude an hour of excellent and intellectual Viola music.
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