Ad Illam (For Her) is the debut album on Eudora Records from pianist Susana Gómez Vázquez. It is a voyage through a universe of unique colors and sonorities, different works melting into one another as they guide listeners on their musical journey. Ad Illam features pieces either dedicated to or written by women, and together they help us explore the different facets of the feminine personality through timeless preludes, lullabies, and the sonata.
The works are by Ravel, Chopin, Lili Boulanger, Nadia Boulanger, García Demestres, Piazzola, Susana Gómez Vázquez, and Ginastera. These musical jewels reflect the romantic woman, the woman as mother, as teacher and point of reference, the sensual woman, the liberated woman.
Susana Gómez Vázquez says, “For me, an album has to be an extra-sensorial experience, a journey through the universe that the musician wants to create, and this is what I wanted to achieve with this project.”
The album was recorded at the Auditorio de Zaragoza, Sala Mozart in Zaragoza, Spain on October 26-27, 2020. Producer and Recording Engineer Gonzalo Noque used Sonodore RCM-402, Pearl CC-22 & Schoeps microphones, the Horus Analog to Digital Converter and Microphone Preamplifier from Merging Technologies, Dutch & Dutch 8c speakers and Sennheiser headphones in the recording process. The music was played on a Steinway and Sons piano.
This is a Pure DSD release that was recorded in Stereo and 5 Channel DSD 256. The additional DSD bit rates available at NativeDSD (DSD 512, DSD 128, DSD 64) were created in the DSD Domain from the DSD 256 edit masters by NativeDSD Mastering Engineer Tom Caulfield using the Signalyst HQ Player 4 Pro mastering tools.
Susana Gómez Vázquez – Piano
Total time: 00:59:44
DSD 512 fs, DSD 256 fs, DSD 128 fs, DSD 64 fs, FLAC 192 kHz, FLAC 96 kHz
Boulanger, Chopin, Demestres, Ginastera, Piazzolla, Ravel, Vazquez
|Analog to Digital Converter||
Horus, Merging Technologies
Tom Caulfield at NativeDSD Mastering Lab – DSD 256 to DSD 64, DSD 128, DSD 512 created in the DSD Domain with Signalyst HQ Player 4 Pro mastering tools
Horus, Merging Technologies
Sonodore RCM-402, Pearl CC-22 & Schoeps
|Original Recording Format|
Steinway & Sons
Auditorio de Zaragoza, Sala Mozart in Zaragoza, Spain on October 26-27, 2020
Pyramix, Merging Technologies
Dutch & Dutch 8c
|Release Date||August 19, 2021|
With delicate precision, Susana Gómez Vázquez illuminates these piano pieces with a scintillating beauty, each carefully shaped and presented like jewels on velvet cushions. Both the performances and the recorded sound quality, in Pure DSD 256, are a treasure.
Opening with Ravel’s crystalline Prelude M.65 at a bit under 1.5 minutes, the album moves to five preludes from Chopin’s 24 Preludes, Op. 28, most under 2 minutes each, and then gradually into slightly longer pieces from sisters Lili and Nadia Boulanger, Alberto García Demestres, Astor Piazzola and Alberto Ginistera.
Framed by Piazzolla’s 3 Preludes and Ginastera’s Piano Sonata No. 1 is Vázquez’ own composition, Ella, which, with very quiet opening rising into dissonance and a thunderous salvo before achieving a tenuous balance punctuated by deeply resonate pounding bass chords.
Susana Gómez Vázquez performs with assurance, precision, power, and utterly conviction. At the one hand, she is delicate, softly evocative. Then, alternately, commandingly in control with drive and power. All as required to communicate the music and her interpretation of its meaning. She has a perspective, a point of view, about the works she has programmed for this album—they combine to tell the story she has chosen to convey. And she, and they, do so powerfully.
This is not an album to be taken lightly. This is not background music to play mindlessly as one pursues other activities. No, this is an album that shares with us something special from the mind, spirit and soul of our performer who has chosen to open herself to us in this most vulnerable manner. I feel privileged to listen.
Producer and Recording Engineer Gonzalo Noque has yet again given us a recording of piano that is most exquisite. There is magic to his touch when it comes to recording piano. Captured in DSD256 directly from the microphones, this recording is a very pure and direct capture of the sound of a beautiful Steinway & Sons grand piano. As you can see in the photo, Gonzalo places his microphones somewhat back from the piano rather than directly into the piano body as might some other recording engineers. To my ears, the result is a sweeter, more open sound that captures more of the overall ambiance of the room while still preserving all of the transients impact of the piano.
Recorded in the Auditorio de Zaragoza, Sala Mozart, Zaragoza, Spain, Gonzalo confirms my suspicion that these tracks are captured in long takes with minimal editing and certainly no mixing. Each channel is fed from a single microphone. Editing was accomplished via the Pyramix digital audio workstation and I asked Gonzalo via an email to explain how this works without resampling the data file to PCM or DXD. He replied:
“The Pyramix workstation does not convert to DXD when DSD rendering a DSD edited project. The processing remains DSD. Even the crossfades now stay in the DSD realm (since at least v. 12). It is only when you create a final file that you have two options: either you go the DSD render route (no DXD processing) or you do a DXD mixdown (converted to DXD and back to DSD if you want to). I go the DSD render route to create a DSD 256 edit master. Tom Caulfield at NativeDSD then uses that DSD 256 edit master to create the other sample rates DSD files (DSD 64, DSD 128, and DSD 512) which NativeDSD makes available. He does this using Signalyst HQ Player 4 Pro mastering tools to stay entirely within the DSD domain for all the DSD sample rates.”
This album on Eudora is her debut album and I highly recommend it to you. I am now hoping for many more in the future.
Eudora has released Ad Illam (For Her), an album with the young Spanish pianist Susana Gomez Vazquez, on which she plays a colorful program of Preludes, pieces by Ravel, Chopin, Boulanger and Piazzolla, plus her own composition Ella.
As a reflection of the rest, this piece changes from quiet and introspective to agitated. The finale is Alberto Ginastera’s Piano Sonata, with its energetic dance movements, but also lingering melancholy.
Gomez Sanchez plays with a fine touch and great clarity, without any sentimentalism. In the Ginastera Sonata, the playing never becomes harsh, shimmering in many colors.
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