the rediscovery of the wonders of UltraAnalogueRecordings

Jan 18, 2012
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732
640
Drobak Norway
hello
It´s about 6 years now, since I started out with R2R and in the first couple of years, part of the challenge was to find "commercially" available recordings with meaningful music, not just show off demo crap.
In this persuit I quite early discovered a few labels that was worthy of my attention
One of them was Ed Pongs creation, The UltraAnalogue label.
I thoroughly enjoyed every of the recordings I bought from them, both for sheer musical performance and technical sound quality.
For a periode we had quite a lot of exchanges on experiences with our Studer A80s and different tweaks to further improve a superb piece of Swiss engineering.
However the world goes on and in the meantime I´ve bought lots of safetymasters and production copies in all different styles of music, since I´m a musical "all-eater"
Then one day earlier this year ,by sheer coincidence, I bumped into Ed once again, and after a few mails back and forth and a little research in his online sample library, we agreed on some titles that was particularly tempting.
Just now I´m listening to Debussy Rhapsody for Clarinet and it is a harmonic revelation and a joy to have this performance presented at home in my living room. Even my wife who never bothers said.....listen ..I hear the breathing....
This level of recording demands a particular dedication to details in the whole recording chain......and when listening it´s very obvious, nothing is left to coincidence.
This goes for all from locating the performers, suppliyng them with the instruments and how the´re allowed to shine with their unique talents.
I could go on about this forever, but the same feeling occur for every time I play a tape from Ed and "his crew"
Every time I read a review or presentation of one of his recordings, I wholeheartedly agree with the admiration and awe that shines through between the lines.
It´s all true, and anyone who still hasn´t heard any of his tapes, should get their act together and listen in on the online library for a sample
For my part, this feels like having come back home after a couple of years astray.......
best
Leif
 
Last edited:

Steve Williams

Site Founder, Site Owner, Administrator
I have most of Eds tapes and as you said they are all spectacular
 

Edward Pong

Industry Expert
Jun 24, 2013
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100
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Locust Hill, Ontario
For my part, this feels like having come back home after a couple of years astray.......
Wonderful to have you back Leif!!
Thank you for your kind words!

I'm feel very blessed to have been recording 3 amazing, international soloists, in the last 3 yrs:
violinist, Alena Baeva, - winner of the Wieniawski Comp at age 16!
cellist, Narek Haknazaryan - winner of the Tchaikovsky Comp in 2011
pianist, Vadym Kholodenko - winner of the Van Cliburn Comp in 2013

I had a Piano Trio concert, for these 3 cancelled on Nov 15, 2020, due to the pandemic.
I would've recorded the Beethoven Archduke Trio, Schubert Notturno & Mendelssohn Piano Trio....
Trying to book this for 2022... fingers crossed!

Ed
 
Last edited:

Steve Williams

Site Founder, Site Owner, Administrator
Wonderful to have you back Leif!!
Thank you for your kind words!

I'm feel very blessed to have been recording 3 amazing, international soloists, in the last 3 yrs:
violinist, Alena Baeva, - winner of the Wieniawski Comp at age 16!
cellist, Narek Haknazaryan - winner of the Tchaikovsky Comp in 2011
pianist, Vadym Kholodenko - winner of the Van Cliburn Comp in 2013

I had a Piano Trio concert, for these 3 cancelled on Nov 15, 2020, due to the pandemic.
I would've recorded the Beethoven Archduke Trio, Schubert Notturno & Mendelssohn Piano Trio....
Trying to book this for 2022... fingers crossed!

Ed
I'd be interested in time and date Ed. I have always wanted to attend one of your recording sessions
 

Edward Pong

Industry Expert
Jun 24, 2013
324
100
383
Locust Hill, Ontario
This Clarinet tape was recorded 9 years ago, but our battery supplies to the 1st stages of both the record & playback amps for the Studer, created 3 yrs ago, allowed much more resolution of the master tape, even thought that master was not recorded with the NOS 1956 WE300b in the mic-pre amp. Of course masters recorded from 2018 on have the benefit of those great tubes as well.

My sense is, the real master tape has a LOT of low level detail, where I feel the real music lives. The finer our playback electronics are, the more we will be able to resolve & hear....
No free lunch in audio!

Ed
 
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astrotoy

VIP/Donor
May 25, 2010
1,271
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SF Bay Area
I received Ed's Clarinet tape last week. It begins with the Beethoven Moonlight Sonata with Julio Elizalde playing the piano. We heard Julio two or three times in the past few years, accompanying the great violinist Sarah Chang in recitals. The first movement of the Moonlight is probably the most familiar of Beethoven's piano sonatas, and played by many students, who also play the second movement. However, it is the ultra difficult and virtuosic third movement that shows off the technical abilities of the performer as well as the dynamic range of the recording. I believe this is the first recording of the Moonlight that Ed has released. The real treats for me in this tape are the two clarinet pieces, played by YaoGuang Zhai, who has been the principal clarinet of the Baltimore Symphony since 2016. At the time of the recording he was the associate principal of the Toronto Symphony. There are not a lot of chamber or concerto repertoire for clarinet (or any wind instrument) and the Debussy Rhapsody is one of the best known (I have recordings of it with clarinet and orchestra). It is a delightful work as is the Weber Clarinet Concertino, which I didn't know. Zhai is a fine clarinetist and Ed's tape puts you in the room with the clarinet and piano - a startling sense of virtual sonic reality, where the clarinet is palpable in my system.

Very enjoyable program, particularly nice to have Ed recording the clarinet. I scanned through my UltraAnalogue tapes and I believe this is the first recording that Ed has released featuring a woodwind. More please.

Larry
 

Steve Williams

Site Founder, Site Owner, Administrator
I received Ed's Clarinet tape last week. It begins with the Beethoven Moonlight Sonata with Julio Elizalde playing the piano. We heard Julio two or three times in the past few years, accompanying the great violinist Sarah Chang in recitals. The first movement of the Moonlight is probably the most familiar of Beethoven's piano sonatas, and played by many students, who also play the second movement. However, it is the ultra difficult and virtuosic third movement that shows off the technical abilities of the performer as well as the dynamic range of the recording. I believe this is the first recording of the Moonlight that Ed has released. The real treats for me in this tape are the two clarinet pieces, played by YaoGuang Zhai, who has been the principal clarinet of the Baltimore Symphony since 2016. At the time of the recording he was the associate principal of the Toronto Symphony. There are not a lot of chamber or concerto repertoire for clarinet (or any wind instrument) and the Debussy Rhapsody is one of the best known (I have recordings of it with clarinet and orchestra). It is a delightful work as is the Weber Clarinet Concertino, which I didn't know. Zhai is a fine clarinetist and Ed's tape puts you in the room with the clarinet and piano - a startling sense of virtual sonic reality, where the clarinet is palpable in my system.

Very enjoyable program, particularly nice to have Ed recording the clarinet. I scanned through my UltraAnalogue tapes and I believe this is the first recording that Ed has released featuring a woodwind. More please.

Larry
Love reading your synopses and history thereof Larry. You are a virtual walking encyclopedia of classic music. Having been to your house several years ago I know why that is the case. You have a library of IIRC 20,000 albums of all the great classics. This and your wife who is a pianist has provided you with an amazing repertoire of symphonies heard all over the world. Not to mention your book as well.

Kudos Larry

My copy of Ed's clarinet tape arrives Thursday and there are no clarinetists in any of my previous tapes. I must have close to 30 now of Ed's tapes. Not sure if you play digital Larry but it would be worth getting some of Ed's Hi res files and have a listen as to how great they sound
 

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