Recording Reports

Recording Lisa Jacobs’ Locatelli

After her extremely well received debut album in 2013, violinist Lisa Jacobs joins The String Soloists for her second album ‘L’Arte del Violono’ featuring violin concertos composed by Pietro Antonio Locatelli. The String Soloists’ was founded by Lisa herself in 2014. This is a dynamic international string ensemble based in Amsterdam. It has 14 string players who perform under the leadership of its concertmaster Janneke van Prooijen and its artistic leader Lisa Jacobs. Their approach to music-making without a conductor is what distinguishes the group from regular chamber orchestras. It demands intensive involvement from all the musicians – which you will hear on this recording.

it is important that the extremely virtuosic cadenzas are not drowned out in acoustics and can be heard clearly

I think Locatelli’s baroque repertoire featuring violin, a string orchestra and harpsichord lends itself to a large acoustic. But at the same time it is important that the extremely virtuosic cadenzas are not drowned out in acoustics and can be heard clearly. Initially we wanted to record this production in the Walloon Church in Amsterdam. But because of the busy schedules of all involved parties, we found (for us) a new recording location: The Cunarakerk in Rhenen, Netherlands.

Recording Lisa Jacobs in the Cunarakerk in Rhenen, Netherlands.

This church was found to meet all of our needs. It has a quiet area without street noise, smooth and silent heating and of course great acoustics with a perfect reverberation radius. To be assured of a warm string sound, we have laid a wooden floor on which the orchestra performs. All string players except the celli and bass were standing up during the recording session.

For this recording we used 5 B&K 4003 microphones (modified by Rens Heijnis) for the DSD Stereo and Multichannel versions of the album. For the DSD Binaural version, we used the KU-100 Neumann microphone system (see picture above).

The difference between the DSD Binaural version and the DSD Stereo version is a matter of taste.

The difference between the DSD Binaural version and the DSD Stereo version is a matter of taste. The DSD Binaural version delivers a very precise image that sounds especially good when heard on headphones. The DSD Stereo version presents more of the rich sound quality of the ensemble when heard on loudspeakers. I leave it up to the listener as to which version you’d like to enjoy this music.

The convincing performance of Lisa Jacobs and her ensemble is a joy to listen to. In the recording we succeeded in keeping a perfect and natural balance between the soloist and ensemble. Sometimes the soloist completely blends with the group. Where needed she makes a big contrast with the ensemble without any technical help from the recording process.

Haydn Violin Concertos – Same Church, different cables…

Funny enough this Haydn repertoire is rarely heard on stage. So it was time to make a great recording to be able to share the joy of this repertoire and these musicians. As an extra we can hear Lisa playing her own cadenzas!

For the recording we had the same approach as last year with the Locatelli. I just used only a main system of B&K microphones. But there is a difference: this year we were able to use interlinks microphone cables and interlinks of Acoustic Revive.

This Japanese company developed single core cables (instead of wired). After some trial projects in 2016 we decided to collaborate for future Cobra projects. For us the use of these cables with our (by Rens Heijnis) modified B&K mikes is really perfect, the result is astonishing. These cables give a significant more open and transparent sound.

I think you are going to like these two, enjoy!

Written by

Tom Peeters

Tom is the founder, producer and recording engineer at Cobra Records with a demonstrated history of working in the music industry. Skilled in Audio Engineering, Record Labels, Audio Recording and Audio Post Production. Tom produced over 400 recordings for many international artists. Many recordings were reviewed internationally very well, several albums were awarded with an important international nomination and in the Netherlands it resulted in several Edison awards.