Pianist László Borbély returns to NativeDSD with his 5th DSD release. Songs of Sorrow and Consolation feature his performances of Late Piano Pieces composed by Franz Liszt on a Steinway & Sons Model D Grand Piano.
The new album from Hunnia Records is a Pure DSD release. It was recorded Live in Stereo DSD 256 at SuperSize Recording Studios in Hungary. The album is available at the recorded DSD 256 bit rate as well as Stereo DSD 512, DSD 128 and DSD 64 created in the DSD domain by Tom Caulfield at the NativeDSD Mastering Lab using the Signalyst HQ Player 4 Pro mastering tools.
Hunnia Records says “The purpose of this compilation cannot be much more than giving an insight into the subversive world that Liszt’s last works represent. As we listen to these works, we must look inwards continuously; their transcendental nature is only revealed if we let ourselves be surrounded by this almost otherworldly silence.
The juxtaposed works interact in a peculiar, unrepeatable manner, which is unique to each listening. The compilation therefore does not follow (and cannot follow) any chronological order.
The selection is spearheaded by the Mephisto-Walzer No.3 (1883), whose very beginning is already shocking. The Man of the World, the Artist, the prominent figure of salons, the celebrated personality of his time, the great romantic composer starts his work with such harsh, assertive, dare we say, blasphemous chords?
Although this may sound strange, even after repeated listening, it stems from the puritanical simplicity that is a characteristic of all his late works. The tone of the piece (only seemingly contradicting this) is symphonic; it might even be one of several symphonic poems not prepared for an orchestra. The spirit of the work is almost prophetic. In it, Liszt is very laconic, strictly focused on the essence.”
László Borbély – Pianist
TracklistPlease note that the below previews are loaded as 44.1 kHz / 16 bit.
Total time: 01:01:52
|Analog to Digital Converter|
Hapi, Merging Technologies at DSD 256
Tom Caulfield at NativeDSD Mastering Labs
AEA R88 Stereo Ribbon Microphone, DPA Microphones DPA 4007 & DPA 4047
|Original Recording Format|
Steinway & Sons Model D Grand Piano
Róbert Zoltán Hunka
Recorded Live to Stereo DSD 256 at the Supersize Recording Studio in Hungary on September 25, 2021
Pyramix, Merging Technologies
|Release Date||October 29, 2021|
I’ve come to be quite a fan of pianist László Borbély. He is simply very interesting, his playing style is definitively his own, and his interpretations are always very much worth hearing. That he also is quite comfortable playing “live” before an audience and recording in Pure DSD at the same time is a real credit to him as a performer. That is what is known as a high wire act! And he pulls it off supremely well.
This recording was made before a live audience on September 25, 2021, in Hunnia’s Supersize Recording Studio, Budapest, Hungary. The piano is a Steinway & Sons Model D Grand Piano and the primary microphones were AEA R88 Stereo ribbons, with DPA 4007 and DPA 4047 for ambient studio pickup. This is the same microphone complement used in the other excellent Hunnia recordings of Borbély in the studio, all of which I commend to you. The Pure DSD256 sound quality is simply stunning. The timbre and resonance of this concert grand piano is captured beautifully—it truly sounds like a real instrument played in a real natural acoustic space.
László Borbély’s performances of these late Liszt piano works are thought provoking. He plays with dramatic power when called upon, but that is only one small aspect of his approach to Liszt. The more important aspects of his playing is his ability to render these works with a tremendous depth of interpretive nuance, creating great atmosphere. These are not bombastic works, but they are challenging. These are works of the mature Liszt filled with introspection, challenge, frustration and frequent lances of merciless humor with which Liszt seems to poke, almost stab, at his listeners…
I have had the opportunity to hear László Borbély’s piano-playing several times. In person, I was able to meet an extremely mature artist with an individual voice.
His playing of Liszt is characterized by dramatic power, depth, the ability to create an atmosphere and superb instrumental skills. His interpretation, program composition and explanation of the performed pieces always leads me to further reﬂection.
I heartily recommend this album to music listeners’ everywhere.
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