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Bolivar Soloists: Musica De Astor PiazzollaRainer Maillard (Producer of the direct-to-disc recording):
I met the five members of the Bolivar Soloists during a recording session with Rolando Villazon and was immediately thrilled by their passion, joy in music-making, musicality, virtuosity and temperament. Everything just gushed out of them in profusion. I asked them if they would like to make a direct-to-disc recording with me. Well, actually I had to first explain to them what was meant by the term. They had no idea what it was - and how should they? After all, these days all recordings are made using the most advanced technology available. We, on the other hand, would have a completely analogue recording and reproducing chain, but that was not the crucial factor. I explained to them that they would not only have to play a complete work but a whole LP side in a single take, and that not even one note could be corrected later; the recording sessions would be far more intensive, their pulse rate would rocket during the recording, they would have a quite different feeling when listening to the recording on LP rather than CD, and the musicians and recording team would work together very closely. Ultimately, a direct-to-disc recording would definitely sound quite different to a CD production. That was what I told them. The Bolivar Soloists accepted the offer and it was immediately clear to them that for such a unique project they would record works by their revered Astor Piazzolla.
Time passed, but at last we arrived at a date for the recording of seven tangos. The whole process of making a direct-to-disc recording is completely different from a usual recording. During our four days together the first day was given over completely to rehearsing, without a single microphone in the recording studio. The reason is simple: the musicians simply cannot depend on the technical refinement and possibilities of modern sound manipulation. No overdubbing or editing is possible. What one played was exactly what would be heard later - nothing more and nothing less. There were no compromises - preparation is everything. On day three we concerned ourselves with the sound check. The positioning of the musicians, the microphones to be used and their positioning, the level ratio, the echoes, everything was checked and re-checked again and again (we used an analogue tape recorder for this) and then optimized, because of course the same thing was applicable to both the recording team and the musicians: once the recording has taken place, nothing can be done to alter the sound.
On the evening of the third day we all felt confident enough to be able to make the real recording the next day. And we even ventured to make a further experiment in that we invited friends and colleagues to attend the recording session.
On 17 January 2012 our direct-to-disc recording finally took place. The musicians stood in a circle, surrounded by a small audience. The timing of the beginning of the actual recording had to be discussed briefly because the musicians can only begin with the recording when the lead-in groove of the lacquer disc has been cut. And then we were off; there was no second chance. The Bolivar Soloists played like the devil (or like angels, depending on how you look at it). We cut five lacquers in all, three times the A side, and twice the B side. In between the recordings we took a short break during which intensive discussions took place. After the last take (in this case this was equivalent to the cutting of an LP side) the tension subsided, and we all hugged one another. Juan Manuel, the violinist, even asserted that he had never played so well in all his life. What a statement! And what better reason could one have for using this particular recording technique. Now all we had to do was write the numbers of the recordings on the lacquer discs and cross our fingers that nothing disastrous would happen to them during transport or at the pressing plant. You see, during the pressing procedure of a direct-to-disc recording the adage still holds good: a re-do or undo is just not on.
Recording: January 2012 at Meistersaal, Emil Berliner Studio, Berlin, by Tim Tautorat and Maarten de Boer
Production: Rainer Maillard & Stephan Flock
- Efrain Oscher (flute, arranger, conductor)
- Rhodri Clarke (piano)
- Juan Manual Gonzàles (vocal)
- Pablo Bercellini (cello)
- Johane Gonzáles (bass)
This title is not eligible for discount.1. Decarisimo
2. Fuga Y Misterio
3. Allegro Tangabile
4. Tema de Maria
5. Adios Nonino
6. La Muerte del Angel
7. Oblivion$39.99180 Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Piazzolla: Salvatore AccardoTwo genuine art pieces for orchestra and solo violin are on the program on this record: Astor Piazzolla's composition Tanti Anni Prima in a version for string orchestra and solo violin, and composer Leonard Bernstein's five-movement Serenade for Violin, String Orchestra, Harp and Percussion. Piazzolla's Tanti Anni Prima shows the grand master of tango nuevo of his tender, lyrical side, the turn of Italian violin virtuoso Salvatore Accardo and his Orchestra Da Camera Italiana will serve excellently. Bernstein's Serenade, however, is a virtuoso tour de force that demands not only a soloist but also a few strings and percussion machine operators. But Accardo proved himself as a soloist and as an orchestra conductor in top form. The transparent and detailed room-filling sound of this recording, making Bernstein's colorful arrangement here in addition, a special experience. The recording was purely analog Giulio Cesare Ricci absorbed through Neumann microphones at a Ampex two-track analog machine. Even the one-stage cut is implemented as pure analog. The LP was pressed in Germany on high quality 180-gram virgin vinyl. Strictly limited to 496 pieces!Astor Piazzolla
1. Tanti anni prima
Serenade for Violin, String Orchestra, Harp and Percussion
2. Lento, Allegro
6. Molto tenuto, Allegro molto vivace$49.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Bolivar Soloists: Musica de VenezuelaIn Venezuela, at any gathering, musicians will take out their instruments and play traditional music for hours. This is a wonderful tradition, deeply missed when Venezuelan musicians go to live abroad. One of the triggers for the creation of Bolivar Soloists was the need to play our music, share it with our colleagues and perform it for audiences around the world. The original tunes have very distinctive characters and evoke simple but powerful emotions. It was a true challenge to bring these tunes into to a classical format trying both to keep the essence of the original and create a classical work to give it a faithful frame. These pieces convey the spirit of Venezuelan music making but also appeal to classical audiences who will enjoy the fine playing and fantastic musicianship.
After their debut record with music from Astor Piazzolla for Berliner Meister Schallplatten, the Bolivar Soloists make their second LP with a new formation: flute, oboe, clarinet and string quintet. Powerful and flexible, this ensemble is joined by the Cuatro - Venezuelan national instrument, a four-stringed guitar - which plays a very important role in this repertoire. The players, who come from South America and Europe, became very intimate with the music, allowing them to perform it with great rhythmical accuracy but with freedom and spontaneity. As this performance was recorded direct to disc, leaving no possibility of post-production, audience were invited to the studio to create the right atmosphere and make the musicians feel at home.
Recording: May 2013 at Emil Berliner Studio 1, Berlin, by Stephan Flock
Production: Rainer Maillard & Stephan FlockNo Tracklist Available$39.99180 Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
DMM Direct Cut From 24/96 Hi-Res Master
180 Gram Audiophile Pressing
He came from the 'Land Of The Midnight Sun', sparkled on the jazz-rock stage as an 'Elegant Gypsy', came up trumps in the 'Casino' with all the right chords and melodies, and his 'Splendido Hotel' was the number one address for fusion fans around the globe. He finally achieved immortality together with John McLaughlin and Paco de Lucia on 'Friday Night In San Francisco'. From his early days as a rising star i right up to the present day, he has continually managed to refine his qualities: breathtakingly fast picking, skillful percussion effects the like of which had never been heard before, the effortlessness with which he can instantly switch from muscular axe-man rock to spinning gentle, romantic webs of melody. In the nineties, inspired by his love of the acoustic sounds of Latin America and the works of nuevo tango pioneer Astor Piazzolla, he made some delightful chamber music recordings.
On more recent albums all these penchants, influences and musical movements have fused into an unmistakable sound. 'Elysium' is the climax of this process so far. The artist has arrived where he always wanted to be. He himself thinks of Elysium as a 'place of perfect happiness'. A paradise where acoustic and electric components, triumphant rock and finely entwined jazz, delicate and pumping rhythms, guitars and keyboards, wide panoramas of rock and diaphanous carpets of sound come together in harmony. The gates to paradise for guitar aficionados are open to everyone - with 'Elysium.'
- Al Di Meola: Guitars
- Barry Miles: Keyboards
- Mario Parmisano: Keyboards
- Piano Philippe Saisse: Keyboards, Piano, Marimba
- Rhani Krija: Percussion
- Peter Kaszas: Drums
4. Purple and Gold
3. Etcetera in E-major (Intro)
4. Etcetera in E-minor
7. Monsters$34.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP 45 RPM - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
- Al Di Meola: Guitars