A Unique Classical Guitar Collection – Opus 3

by | Nov 18, 2013 | SACD & Other Hi-Res Reviews

A Unique Classical Guitar Collection – (TrackList follows) – Opus 3 Multichannel 4.0 CD 22062, 1:14:38 ****:

Jan-Eric Persson originally recorded these guitarist in 1978 and this is one of many Opus 3 multichannel SACD releases which were created from the single-point Blumlein mic technique used on the original two-track analog tapes. The center and subwoofer channels are not used on these SACDs. but I selected the ProLogicz height channels decoding, which produced an excellent hi-res surround field. I found little difference between using the 4.0 surround feed and the 2.0 stereo feed at the analog setting for this.

The program is a varied one, selected primarily from albums by the Stockholm Guitar Quartet, who used four differently-voiced guitars to cover a wider range of the frequency spectrum than do most guitar quartets.  The SACD is filled out with selections from solo guitarist Peder Riis, who also wrote some of the enclosed notes, one track from the two-guitar duo, Duodecima, and a final couple of selections by the Stockholm Guitar Trio.

The three Bach transcriptions strike me as the most appealing on the album. The first is the Allegro from the Brandenburg Concerto No. 3, then the entire Brandenburg Concerto No. 6 – both featuring the Stockholm Guitar Quartet. The soloist Peder Riis performs three movements from the Suite No. 2 in c. The three Debussy selections by the Guitar Quartet are also delightful.

I got out the original LPs from 1978 for an A/B comparison. What I found was that they were almost identical, with a very slight edge to the vinyls in terms of slightly greater body to the sounds of the guitars, and more of realistic guitar tone.  But if the levels were exactly matched they sounded almost identical. If you don’t have the original LPs and a good turntable, you couldn’t lose with this well-designed and well-filled reissue compendium.

TrackList:

1. J.S. Bach – Brandenburg Concerto No. 3 in G major, BWV 1048: Allegro
2. Enriqué Granados – La maja de Goya, song for soprano & piano (Tonadillas al estilo antiguo, No. 8), H. 136/8
3. Felix Mendelssohn – Song Without Words for piano No. 7 in E flat major, Op. 30/1
4. Felix Mendelssohn – Song Without Words for piano No. 45 in C major (‘Kinderstück’), Op. 102/3
5. Felix Mendelssohn – Andante sostenuto & Variations for string quartet in E major, Op. 81/1
6. Johannes Brahms – Waltz for piano, 4 hands in G sharp minor, Op. 39/3
7. Johannes Brahms – Waltz for piano, 4 hands in C sharp major, Op. 39/6
8. Claude Debussy – Minstrels, prelude for piano, L. 117/12
9. Claude Debussy – Petite suite (4), for piano, 4 hands (or orchestra), L. 65: En bateau
10. Claude Debussy – Petite suite (4), for piano, 4 hands (or orchestra), L. 65: Menuet
11. J.S. Bach – Brandenburg Concerto No. 6 in B flat major, BWV 1051: Allegro
12. J.S. Bach – Brandenburg Concerto No. 6 in B flat major, BWV 1051: Adagio ma non troppo
13. J.S. Bach – Brandenburg Concerto No. 6 in B flat major, BWV 1051: Allegro
14. J.S. Bach – Partita for lute in C minor, BWV 997 (BC L170): Prelude
15. J.S. Bach – Partita for lute in C minor, BWV 997 (BC L170): Gigue
16. J.S. Bach – Partita for lute in C minor, BWV 997 (BC L170): Double
17. Fernando Sor – Fantaisie for 2 guitars, Op. 54bis: [Excerpt]
18. Enriqué Granados – Spanish Dances (12), in 4 volumes for piano, Op. 37, H. 142, DLR 1:2: Asturiana No. 8
19. Wilhelm Peterson-Berger – Frösöblomster, for piano, Op. 16: Lawn tennis
20. Wilhelm Peterson-Berger – Frösöblomster, for piano, Op. 16: Intåg i Sommerhagen
21. Wilhelm Peterson-Berger – Frösöblomster, for piano, Op. 16: Sommarsång

—John Sunier

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