More Additions To My Ultraanalogue tapes

steve williams

Site Founder, Site Owner, Administrator
#1
I have been waiting for these most recent 5 new tapes from Ultraanalogue Recordings and they finally arrived yesterday and as always they came impeccably packaged by Ed

Today is going to be a fun day

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steve williams

Site Founder, Site Owner, Administrator
#4
I listened to 2 of the 5 albums

Specifically the 2 played by cellist

Narek Hakhnazaryan and pianist Vadym Kholodenko

Passionately performed is an understatement

The music draws you in and it is music I have never heard before yet the quality of the recording was brilliant.Gives you goosebumps.

Tomorrow Alena Baeva on the violin
 

astrotoy

VIP/Donor
May 25, 2010
969
226
43
SF Bay Area
#5
I got a chance to listen to the three tapes by cellist Narek Hakhnazaryan and his accompanist Noreen Polera (not Vadym Kholodenko who is partnering with violinist Alena Baeva).

First a note on the quality of the musicians in these albums (both Narek and Alena and also Vadym). As most of you who follow the growth in the companies producing high quality tapes (all 15ips 2 track), only two companies, Tape Project and Acoustic Sounds, licenses great old tapes, using master tapes from decades ago. The rest use up and coming artists or lesser known orchestras or groups. What, I think is amazing, is that Ed Pong has in the past few years been able to record some of the very top current artists. How is that determined? Currently, the best way to measure the talent of young classical artists is to see what competitions they have entered and how they have done. The three main artists featured in these tapes have each won the very top competitions in the world. Alena Baeva won the Wieniawski Competition (awarded every five years) in 2001 at the age of 16 (the same competition where the great Ginette Neveu beat David Oistrakh when she was 16 years old in 1935). She went on to win two more international competitions, the Moscow Paganini Competition and the Sendai Competition in Tokyo. Vadym won the Van Cliburn piano competition in 2013 (awarded every four years) and Harek Nakhnazaryan won the Tchaikovsky Cello Competition in 2013 (awarded every four years) .

Narek's three tapes exhibit Ed's typically outstanding sonics that he captures in his home concert venue (before a live audience). Narek played a varied program with Noreen Polera his accompanist over the past decade (who won the Tchaikovsky accompanist prize herself). My favorite is the rarely heard Grieg Cello Sonata, a piece of great emotional beauty. A second reel is composed of two pieces by Beethoven, the Variations on a theme from Mozart's Magic Flute - "Bei Mannern", and one of my favorite cello sonatas, the great A major Op.69. Finally, there are some transcriptions of Chopin pieces and the famous Paganini Moses Variations. Here is a youtube of Narek playing the piece at the Moscow Conservatory in 2008 when he was a student.
Notice that the entire piece is played on one string (the G string). Notice one of the comments on the youtube is from famed cellist Lynn Harrell!

If I were to get one tape, I would start with the Grieg Sonata, followed by the Chopin/Paganini. But my favorite pieces are the two Beethovens, so I got all three!

Larry
 
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steve williams

Site Founder, Site Owner, Administrator
#6
IMO the tape where Narek plays the same piece but with different bows was simply amazing. It is an instant A/B test with my favorite being the second time he played the piece with a bow that is 100's of years old. IMO there was no comparison as that ancient bow lit up my ears

As Larry said , what makes Ed's tapes so unique us his uncanny ability to find serious young and upcoming world class performers.This coupled with the recording itself will lift you to a new height. And finally, unlike Larry I don't know any of the selections that were recorded. It is all new music to my ears but coupled with the performers and the performance it is for me an experience as if I were there. When the applause comes in at the end I swear I am at that performance

Kudos Ed
 
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Edward Pong

Industry Expert
Jun 24, 2013
242
19
18
Locust Hill, Ontario
#7
Thank you Steve & Larry!
I wanted to bring the music, that I love, to all classical music lovers and also those who don’t think classical music is exciting or interesting.... with these artists now, I can say truly they will captivate you with their musicality & draw you in - without you realizing it...
It is one thing to win these major competitions, but if you look at their concert schedules, & careers, throughout the world, you begin to realize these are the stars of today!!! Not tomorrow...
To have a new 15 ips tape recording of them, is beyond unreal... I sometimes have to pinch myself... Ha!
There is no cellist on the world stage today that has the stuff Narek has... these 3 tapes show this in spades...(sorry to sound so bold, it is not me, but once you hear these I think you will agree...) Ha!
Ed
 
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steve williams

Site Founder, Site Owner, Administrator
#8
Ed

Is there any thought in the future to enlarge the size of your ensembles to trios or even larger?

I know we’ve discussed this before but I still feel there are so many members who either don’t have a tape deck or a turntable but still love classical music that I believe there is a market for your music in vinyl as well as digital be it a CD and/or hires digital files. Your music should reach all formats. IMO
 

Edward Pong

Industry Expert
Jun 24, 2013
242
19
18
Locust Hill, Ontario
#9
Steve
I’m working on a Piano Trio concert with Alena, Narek & Vadym... it has to be planned 1-2 seasons ahead due to their schedules playing all over the world... i’m also in talks with a quartet & will see where that goes...
To bring world class artists together is not easy nor cheap...
I have tested a 2xDSD download off my website which worked well but for now have decided to stick to the analogue tape...
Vinyl is interesting & I may go that path before digital...
Right now, I’m having too much fun bringing these concerts together as the artists, on hearing the “tape sound” are so captivated, they are fully on board!
I may do a production CD for Narek & Noreen & one for Alena & Vadym this year...we’ll see what happens..
Ed
 
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kodomo

Well-Known Member
Apr 26, 2017
387
310
63
#10
I watched the attached video of Narek and then watched some more. I loved his solo Bach interpretations as well. I have ordered the Grieg cello concerto and Chopin, Paganini tapes but I will be getting them one by one. We have a new policy in Turkey stating there is a 5 item per month limit to importing stuff personally! This is very bad news for me as I buy lots of records and books from outside of Turkey...
 
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kodomo

Well-Known Member
Apr 26, 2017
387
310
63
#11
I got the Chopin, Paganini tape. What a wonderful performance! The trial of different bows is also very educational. The recording is very good as expected, kudos to Ed.

I generally try to find direct copies from old masters because of the quality of the performances. New recordings by some companies sound nice but either music is derivative or not by outstanding musicians of this calibre. So even if they are recorded good they become boring. This one though checks all the boxes!

Overall a very enjoyable tape and I am with Steve on this one, wholeheartedly recommended.
 
May 25, 2010
969
226
43
SF Bay Area
#12
Have you been to an audio show where the attendees broke out into applause after hearing a piece being playing through the equipment? It happened this weekend. We were playing excerpts from Ed's tapes at the California Audio Show in Oakland. After the Meditation by Massenet, playing from the UltraAnalogue tape played by violinist Tatsuki Narita, the 30 people in the room broke out into applause.

Larry
 

steve williams

Site Founder, Site Owner, Administrator
#13
Ed knows how to pick his performers and I am reasonably certain I have most if not alll of his released tapes. My favorite violinist to date has been Tatsuki Narita although I am liking the female touch of Alena this year
 

kodomo

Well-Known Member
Apr 26, 2017
387
310
63
#14
This was not my first Ed Pong tape and certainly won't be the last but I buy one by one, so it takes time :)

My next tape is Grieg Cello Sonata, Ed has already prepared it. Then I will get two more, Beethoven's violin sonata 3 , Ravel Tzigane and Beethoven's violin sonata 8 tape which the audience at the Larry's presentation applauded.
 

Tango

VIP/Donor
Mar 12, 2017
2,928
1,696
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Bangkok
#15
This was not my first Ed Pong tape and certainly won't be the last but I buy one by one, so it takes time :)

My next tape is Grieg Cello Sonata, Ed has already prepared it. Then I will get two more, Beethoven's violin sonata 3 , Ravel Tzigane and Beethoven's violin sonata 8 tape which the audience at the Larry's presentation applauded.
I recommend this one.

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kodomo

Well-Known Member
Apr 26, 2017
387
310
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#16
I can get this one instead of Beethoven 3 with Ravel's Tzigane. I think you already got both and you recommend this tape. Thanks @Tango
 

steve williams

Site Founder, Site Owner, Administrator
#17
I recommend them all!!

I have been collecting Ed's tapes for years now and each one is simply new and different to my ears. Almost all are unknown pieces to me but they have me glued to my seat.

His recent tape where the same piece was played with a current day bow and then again with a bow that was 100's of years old. The difference in sound and texture was astonishing and could be appreciated immediately. I know the feeling of people standing and applauding after Ed's tapes. I have had that happen in my own house with guests present on several occasions
 
May 25, 2010
969
226
43
SF Bay Area
#18
Kodomo,

Thanks. The Massenet Mediation from Thais actually comes from Ed's tape called 'Tatsuki Narita'. He rerecorded the Meditation for this album which has several shorter pieces. I have both that tape and the Beethoven Violin Sonata 8 tape. Both very much worth having.

Larry
 
Jul 18, 2010
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#19
I just got to listen to the Tatsuki Narita and Yung Yang Lee and it is hard just getting past the first song. This is the Violinist, Violin, song and the absolute perfect sound quality you, as an audiophile wait for. If it gets better I have not heard it in my 50 years of being an audiophile. This recording is that good. I took some recording of Heifetz and after listening, Narita is clearly better along with a better sounding Violin. Ed wrote me a not that the Bow that was done in France had a big part of the sound. If Ed Pong is on line could you tell the full story of the bow and his very special violin. Heifetz has always been my favorite but no longer. Narita has so much emotion. I equate him with Cameron Carpenter the organist. He is the top guy and so smart it is a pleasure to watch. These recordings are just masterpieces in all ways. I have to get past the first cut and will probably add more comments. Steve was very correct when he said how good the sound is.
 

steve williams

Site Founder, Site Owner, Administrator
#20
I totally agree.

Over the years Ed has had some exceptional talent with Alena Baeva his most current and is excellent. Having said that however, like you Narita was my all time favorite. He continued to bring goose bumps to my skin
 

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