Arcangelo Corelli: Concerti Grossi, Op. 6 Hybrid SACD - DSD
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Arcangelo Corelli: Opus 6: Concerti Grossi
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|Audio CD, Hybrid SACD - DSD, October 30, 2012||
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'Recordings Of The Year 2012' MusicWeb International
'...the sense of ensemble is faultless and, in the faster movements, breathtakingly impressive.' Gramophone
'sheer excellence.' The Independent
'...suave, personable performances' Sunday Times
'...relaxed and purposefully pointed.' The Irish Times
'the consistently excellent musicians develop exactly the right amount of force to bring a vibrant, radiant interpretation of the way that leaves nothing lacking in precision and clarity.' Codaex
'not to be missed' Musique pour tous
'...highly refined and some have extremely virtuosic parts...' Audiophile Audition
'...a strong claim to offer the lightest and airiest accounts that I've heard...' Music Web International
'The Avisons get the mix for this set of famous concerti absolutely right.' Music Web International
'Interesting releases October 2012' Codaex
'outstanding new version' classicalcdreview.com
'Delightfully amiable, effervescent performances of all twelve concertos recorded with an enjoyable level of warmth and detail.' BBC Radio 3
Top customer reviews
If you've taken the time to read the reviews on these releases, or even of any of the Avison Ensemble's earlier recordings, you'll be sure to see the universal acclaim for both the performances and the technical recordings that are a part of all these releases. I have to say that, when I first purchased in 2012 the Avison's release of Handel's Concerto Grossi opus 6 recordings, I was simply amazed and astounded at both the performances and the recordings themselves. It was a bit of a shock, as I felt that nothing would ever be able to live up to the Pinnock's recordings (Handel: Concerti Grossi, Op. 6, Nos. 1-4,Nos. 5-8,Nos. 9-12) of these with the English Chamber Orchestra (and which remain deep favorites of mine), but there could be no denying the power and impact of the Avison's release of these pieces, and the quality of the sound that burst from the discs was extraordinatry. Of course, that album went on to win the Grammophon Album of the Year award, and reviewers from around the world were as effussive in their own estimation of that release.
It's with this background in mind so many people who had prior experience with the Avison Ensemble and Linn Records were so excited to hear of their new Corelli recording cycle project. And the excitement was found to be completely warranted: this first recording of Corelli's opus 6 Concerti Grossi is every bit as wonderful as the earlier works by the Ensemble. The performance is beautiful, nuanced, dramatic, lyrical. If you enjoy Baroque music, this is not a recording to miss. When one listens to these pieces, we immediately ask, Why are not these works in greater circulation? I don't know the answer to this, but I can say that this performance by the Avison Ensemble is going to greatly increase awareness of these gorgeous pieces.
Without repeating myself too much, it can't be overstated enough that the recording prowess of Linn Records, the record company who has been recording, mixing, and mastering the Avison Ensemble's works, is achieving recordings that surely must be ranked at the pinnacle of the recording world, and that includes comparison with any of the major, more illustrious labels who have been recording classical music for nearly a century. These recordings are beautifully balanced, with a large sound stage, undetectable noise (essentially, no noise floor at all), with wide dynamic range that never sounds screechy or harsh. The sound is just lush. How they do it is anyone's guess (I'm not a recording expert), but just listening to these and comparing them with the best recording efforts shows the skill prowess of these recording experts. It's truly remarkable sound. (This disc plays on standard CD players, but is also encoded with SACD for even higher quality for those who own SACD players, and people may not be aware that the actual studio masters can be purchased from Linn for the ultimate sound experience.)
These discs are not cheap. But they are completely worth their price. And to know that these purchases are helping keep the classical world alive, as well as supporting newer groups like the Avison Ensemble that are pushing the envelop farther than could have been imagined and introducing classical to a whole new world of listeners, makes the price seem less in comparison. This is an easy up five star recommendation. If you like Baroque, Corelli, or just lovely classical music, I can't recommend them more highly. If you haven't explored this orchestra or their recordings, you are in for a BIG treat.
I must also say that the beauty of the playing here has benefited enormously from the fabulous SACD engineering which opens up the air around the Avison players and presents a fabulous "you are there" sensation that is thrilling to hear.
I urge all of you who have an SACD or universal player to get this and hear this magnificent work as never before.
Fortunately the Avison Ensemble under the conduction of Pavlo Beznosiuk is on a mission to make this music once again come alive. The fury, excitement and joy of this music infuses every measure of Corelli's works. Even if you have earlier recordings of Corelli's Concerti Grossi Op. 6 gathering dust somewhere or if you have favorites that you have been listening to years, treat yourself to this recording. You may also consider their brilliant rendering of Handel's Concerti Grossi Op. 6. Thank you Avison Ensemble!