BRATLIE: Vers la Lumière – Bratlie, piano; David Bratlie – electro-acoustic transitions – 2L

by | Feb 7, 2017 | SACD & Other Hi-Res Reviews

JENS HARALD BRATLIE: Vers la Lumière – Bratlie, piano; David Bratlie – electro-acoustic transitions [track list fellows] 2L 2L-132-SACD Pure Audio Blu-ray + multichannel SACD, DTS-HD MA 192kHz/24 bit 5.1, DTS-HD MA 96kHz/24 bit, PCM 192kHz/24-bit stereo, Dolby Atmos, 9.1 Auro 3D, mShuttle: stereo MQA 96kHz + MP3 TT: 57:00 (Blu-ray is region free) (12/16) [Distr. by Naxos] ****:

A piano/electronic combination that largely succeeds. 

Vers la LUMIÈRE is an interesting disc from the folks at 2L. It’s a collection of classical piano music, with each work featuring a ‘transitional work’ by pianist Jens Harald Bratlie’s son David. What we get is piano music interspersed with electro-acoustic music. On paper, such a hybrid program should not work, but actually, to my ear, it works quite well and it makes for an interesting musical journey.

The classical pieces were chosen for their moodiness and introspection, including works by Liszt, Messiaen, and Bibalo. Between them are three short pieces by the younger Bratlie.  The standard repertoire is played in lovely fashion. Each work follows nicely from the previous one. The more contemporary transitions don’t interrupt the program, but in fact enhance it, as was the original intent.

The disc itself is a sonic feast. Recorded in the Sofienberg Church in Norway, the acoustics are lush. Pianos are actually quite hard to record accurately, and listening to this disc I felt I was  hearing an extremely accurate rendering of an acoustic piano. It was placed solidly between my front speakers, and my audition of the Blu-ray audio disc nicely captured the sound of the recording venue.

As usual, 2L gives us a multitude of ways to listen to this music. Two discs are included, including a hybrid SACD,  with a two-channel and 5.1-channel recording. The second disc contains a two-channel recording (192/24), a 5.1 DTS recording (192/24), a 9.1 Auro 3D recording and a Dolby Atmos which will play in 7.1 for those without height speakers. The disc also offers MQA encoded downloadable files and more standard but lesser-quality MP3 files.

All in all this is an interesting audio experiment, that seems to work rather well. Some will find the David Bratlie compositions perhaps ‘too electronic’, but I think this father-son compilation rewards with an adventuresome program and firstrate sounds.


  1. Sonata No. 2 for Klavier, “La Notte” by Antonio Bibalo
    Vers la Lumière by David Bratlie
  2. Annees di pterinage: Callee d’Obermann by Liszt
  3. Vers de Lumière II – Bratlie
  4. Vingt Regards sur l’Enfant – Jesus by Olivier Messiaen
  5. Vers la Lumière III – Bratlie
  6. Vingt Regards sur l’Enfant-Jesus – Regard du Pere by Olivier Messiaen

—Mel Martin

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