SACD & Other Hi-Res Reviews

MARCELLO, HANDEL & VIVALDI: Oboe Concerto, Organ Concerto; Two Sinfonias, (2002 DVD or DVD-Audio)

A fine Baroque program in great surround, though no ID of which specific works are in it.

Published on April 1, 2013

MARCELLO, HANDEL & VIVALDI: Oboe Concerto, Organ Concerto; Two Sinfonias, (2002 DVD or DVD-Audio)

Program: MARCELLO: Oboe Concerto; HANDEL: Organ Concerto; VIVALDI: Sinfonia Nos. 1 & 2 – George Enescu Philharmonic Orch./ Cristian Mandeal; Soloists: Adrian Petrescu, oboe/ Nicolae Licaret, organ
Studio: AIX Audio 81002 
Video: 16:9 (only titles)
Audio: (audio-only) 96K/24-bit recordings with 5.1 channel mixes in either “audience” or “stage” perspective, also 96/24 PCM stereo; compatible with DVD-Audio
Extras: How to Use This Disc, AIX Records, Test materials, etc.
Rating: ****

These performances were recorded in Bucharest, Romania in 2001 so I don’t know know why we are receiving them for review just now. It was evidently before AIX also made videos of performances they were recording in their alternate choice of hi-res surround options, because it is audio only. There are four different recorded versions of the same compositions, with different encoding methods. The MLP 5.1 channel surround mix will only work on DVD-A players.

All the performances are first rate, and I’ve always found the “stage” perspective of the Aix recordings to be the most clean and present of any recordings available today. Unfortunately, for someone with degrees in music, CEO and chief engineer Mark Waldrep has only identified the many Marcello oboe concertos and Handel organ concertos as: Oboe Concerto and Organ Concerto. There are 16 organ concertos by Handel and it would be really nice if the album listed which one this is so that one could make a comparison with the PentaTone complete set of the organ concerti.

However, sonics are without complaint, and the organ is less wheezy than the one used in the 1975 PentaTone SACDs. The Vivaldi concerti are also great listening, with the sweeping theme on the strings in the first movement of Sinfonia No. 2 a real delight.

—John Sunier


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