Review of Two New UltraAnalogue Tapes

astrotoy

VIP/Donor
May 25, 2010
1,130
398
525
SF Bay Area
Earlier today I received a big package from Canada with Ed Pong's seven latest tapes. Here are some comments about two of them that I listened to this evening.

Three of the tapes were by violinist Angelo Xiang Yu accompanied by pianist Noreen Polera. The other four tapes are by pianist Vadym Kholodenko. Both sets of tapes were recorded at live concerts held in Ed's home concert venue.

Both Angelo and Vadym (as well as Noreen) are major prize winners in international competitions (Angelo winning the 2010 Yehudi Menuhin Competition and Vadym winning the 2013 Cliburn Competition. Noreen won the accompanying prize at the 8th Tchaikovsky Competition.) It continues to amaze me how Ed finds these incredibly talented musicians.

By now, with over 50 tapes released over the past eight years, Ed has learned how to capture the wonderful acoustic of his home concert hall on his Studer machine with custom electronics by Tony Ma. These tapes are no exception. However, what is exceptional is the music captured on the tapes.

I'll start with Angelo and the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto, Ed's first recording of a concerto. To fit in his concert space, Ed had Angelo play the piece with Noreen playing the orchestral part reduced for piano. The Tchaikovsky is the violin concerto I have known the longest, starting with the inimitable Heifetz Reiner recording from the mid-'50's on RCA Living Stereo. I started with the record and a few years ago was lucky to acquire a 1/2" safety master of the recording. I also have an original pressing of the great Leonid Kogan recording on EMI Columbia as well as a 15ips 2 track tape of Erica Morini on Westminster and several other versions. Angelo plays the concerto with virtuosity it requires. Not as fast as Heifetz (no one plays it as fast as Heifetz), but more like Kogan or Morini. That means also that this is the longest tape that Ed has ever released, about 37 minutes long. I didn't check whether there is a splice in the tape or he used 12" pancakes (which can go about 44 minutes). Needless to say, the tape reel is very full. What was most intriguing to me was to hear the violin against the piano, rather than an orchestra. One can really hear all the intricate details of the violin part, since they are not covered by an orchestra. Angelo is a top notch violinist and I hope Ed will give us some more violin concerti (or maybe even a couple of Mozart piano concerti which have alternative accompaniment with a string quartet).

The second tape is the Chopin Etudes arranged (really transformed) by Leopold Godowsky. The original Chopin Etudes are no easy feat to play (they are composed of two sets of 12 etudes each Opus 10 and 25, and three Nouvelle Etudes.) The greatest Chopin artist, Arthur Rubinstein, recorded all the piano works of Chopin except for the Etudes. He said "they scare me." Well, what Godowsky did was to create over 50 studies based on all except one of the etudes. In some cases he created multiple studies from one etude so that by the end there were 54 studies. So while the original Chopin Etudes were too difficult for Rubinstein to record, critic Harold C. Schonberg called the Godowsky studies "the most impossibly difficult things ever written for the piano." One technique Godowsky used was to take a difficult etude for the right hand and transpose it so it is played solely by the left hand. Vadym plays nine of the studies on the tape I heard this evening. Another tape contains a 10th study. The tape is a tour de force of piano playing. In many places I was asking myself - how can he be playing that? This tape is something very special - and before a live audience. It is also a very full tape - about 33 minutes long.

Looking forward to hearing the rest of the tapes.

Larry
 

Edward Pong

Industry Expert
Jun 24, 2013
304
67
258
Locust Hill, Ontario
I actually have planned a recording of the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto, with Alena & Vadym on March 7, 2020 - AND working on a date to record the Paganini Violin Concerto No.1 with Tatsuki Narita & Mami Hagawara, in the spring!

Ed
 

Steve Williams

Site Founder, Site Owner, Administrator
I'll let you know when I've finalized a date for Tatsuki... will be worth the trip to see him live..!

Ed
He IS my favorite of all of your performers
 

Steve Williams

Site Founder, Site Owner, Administrator
Steve,
Tatsuki has confirmed the date he will play at our place - Saturday June 13, 2020...!

Program: Paganini Violin Concerto No.1, & likely Mozart Violin Concerto No.5

Ed
I'm going to seriously consider it Ed
 

Edward Pong

Industry Expert
Jun 24, 2013
304
67
258
Locust Hill, Ontario
I'm going to seriously consider it Ed
This was the video I saw 6 yrs ago, after which I said I have to find him & bring him to TORONTO... he had never been to North America & he came for 3 days - the rest is history....
So happy to have him play the Paganini Concerto in our place, the piece I found him in....
Ed
 
Last edited:

johnmburke

New Member
Jan 7, 2020
3
0
1
72
The new Godowsky Chopin Etudes by UltraAnalogue is superb in both sound quality—loud is loud and soft is soft, but what especially good is Vadym’s melodic, rhythmic, and harmonic grace. I have an Ashkenazy Master tape of Chopin’s Etudes 1-24 and Godowsky is another Ashkenazy, magnificent!
 

johnmburke

New Member
Jan 7, 2020
3
0
1
72
Earlier today I received a big package from Canada with Ed Pong's seven latest tapes. Here are some comments about two of them that I listened to this evening.

Three of the tapes were by violinist Angelo Xiang Yu accompanied by pianist Noreen Polera. The other four tapes are by pianist Vadym Kholodenko. Both sets of tapes were recorded at live concerts held in Ed's home concert venue.

Both Angelo and Vadym (as well as Noreen) are major prize winners in international competitions (Angelo winning the 2010 Yehudi Menuhin Competition and Vadym winning the 2013 Cliburn Competition. Noreen won the accompanying prize at the 8th Tchaikovsky Competition.) It continues to amaze me how Ed finds these incredibly talented musicians.

By now, with over 50 tapes released over the past eight years, Ed has learned how to capture the wonderful acoustic of his home concert hall on his Studer machine with custom electronics by Tony Ma. These tapes are no exception. However, what is exceptional is the music captured on the tapes.

I'll start with Angelo and the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto, Ed's first recording of a concerto. To fit in his concert space, Ed had Angelo play the piece with Noreen playing the orchestral part reduced for piano. The Tchaikovsky is the violin concerto I have known the longest, starting with the inimitable Heifetz Reiner recording from the mid-'50's on RCA Living Stereo. I started with the record and a few years ago was lucky to acquire a 1/2" safety master of the recording. I also have an original pressing of the great Leonid Kogan recording on EMI Columbia as well as a 15ips 2 track tape of Erica Morini on Westminster and several other versions. Angelo plays the concerto with virtuosity it requires. Not as fast as Heifetz (no one plays it as fast as Heifetz), but more like Kogan or Morini. That means also that this is the longest tape that Ed has ever released, about 37 minutes long. I didn't check whether there is a splice in the tape or he used 12" pancakes (which can go about 44 minutes). Needless to say, the tape reel is very full. What was most intriguing to me was to hear the violin against the piano, rather than an orchestra. One can really hear all the intricate details of the violin part, since they are not covered by an orchestra. Angelo is a top notch violinist and I hope Ed will give us some more violin concerti (or maybe even a couple of Mozart piano concerti which have alternative accompaniment with a string quartet).

The second tape is the Chopin Etudes arranged (really transformed) by Leopold Godowsky. The original Chopin Etudes are no easy feat to play (they are composed of two sets of 12 etudes each Opus 10 and 25, and three Nouvelle Etudes.) The greatest Chopin artist, Arthur Rubinstein, recorded all the piano works of Chopin except for the Etudes. He said "they scare me." Well, what Godowsky did was to create over 50 studies based on all except one of the etudes. In some cases he created multiple studies from one etude so that by the end there were 54 studies. So while the original Chopin Etudes were too difficult for Rubinstein to record, critic Harold C. Schonberg called the Godowsky studies "the most impossibly difficult things ever written for the piano." One technique Godowsky used was to take a difficult etude for the right hand and transpose it so it is played solely by the left hand. Vadym plays nine of the studies on the tape I heard this evening. Another tape contains a 10th study. The tape is a tour de force of piano playing. In many places I was asking myself - how can he be playing that? This tape is something very special - and before a live audience. It is also a very full tape - about33 minutes long.

Looking forward to hearing the rest of the tapes.

Larry
Larry,
You are right on target with this review, Godowski’s studies are presented with great aplomb by Vadym!
 

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