Patrick O'Byrne Ravel Miroirs & Gaspard De La Nuit Direct Cut Hybrid Stereo SACD
Patrick O'Byrne, internationally renowned pianist and professor of piano in Bremen, with an excellent recording of famous piano pieces from Maurice Ravel.
This recording has it all: Impressionistic sound to enjoy and savour... the quiet dreaminess of La Vallee des cloches - this symphony uses the whole sonic spectrum of bells and embodies this magnificent theme. Le Gibet evokes the sombre image of gallows at dusk.
This SACD release from Stockfisch displays the pianistic virtuosity to the highest degree, of which the Alborada del gracioso from "Miroir" and Ondine or Scarbo from "Gaspard de la nuit" are very fine examples. Miroirs and Gaspard de la nuit belong to the most difficult pieces ever written for piano. Maurice Ravel himself once said that overcoming technical problems is a form of art in itself. The exceptional musical quality of this recording once again delivered by Stockfisch seems to be superb proof of Ravel's statement.
What is a DIRECT-CUT-SUPER-AUDIO-CD?
On the Super Audio CD (SACD) the sound is recorded in DSD (Direct Stream Digital) format. The sampling frequency (2.8224 MHz) is 64 times that of a traditional CD. Furthermore, DSD uses 1-bit quantization. With the aid of this technology an even broader frequency range (up to 100 kHz) and even greater dynamics (120 dB) can be achieved over the entire useful audio range.
Until now it was practically impossible to maintain the DSD format throughout the entire edit/mix/mastering sequence during production. This was because no system is yet available which permitted the necessary processing in the 1-bit format after a DSD recording. This meant that the unavoidable editing procedures such as gain leveling, mixing, cross-fades or even additional EQing or dynamics processing could be achieved only by downconverting to PCM format (i.e. the Pulse Code Modulation format of the traditional CD).
Stockfisch used a SADiE DSD8 system for the recording, processing and mastering of this DIRECT-CUT-SUPER-AUDIO-CD: a brand-new system that allows simultaneous recording of 8 channels. The analogue signal from the microphone is converted at the input to DSD and is also maintained in DSD-Wide format with 2,8224 MHz throughout the processing stages already mentioned. The end result is then obtained in the SADiE DSD8 – the "cutting master" (AIT tape) – which is then transferred directly to an SACD glass master in the pressing plant.
This DIRECT-CUT-SUPER-AUDIO-CD will enable you to hear a 5.1 DSD surround mix (if available) as well as a DSD stereo mix on the SACD layer, and the 16-bit PCM stereo program on the hybrid layer which guarantees downward compatibility. So this gives you the first ever opportunity of comparing a real(!) DSD recording with the conventional CD format.
• Super Audio CD
• SACD Stereo SACD Layer
• This Hybrid SACD contains a 'Red Book' Stereo CD Layer which is playable on most conventional CD Players!
• Direct Cut SACD
Patrick O'Byrne, piano
Maurice Ravel (1875-1937)
2. Oiseaux tristes
3. Une Barque sur l'ocean
4. Alborada del gracioso
5. La Vallee des cloches
Gaspard De La Nuit
7. Le Gibet
Total Time: 48:50
"Pianist O'Byrne... plays an Italian Fazioli piano on the recording, which is not multichannel but recorded with great transparency and detail. From several recent CD and SACDs I'm beginning to think the Fazioli is the best-sounding piano I've heard on recordings. It's free of the ringing and metallic sound in the extreme treble on most Steinways." - John Sunier, audaud.com