Minor Major – Oslo String Quartet – Beethoven: String Quartet No. 11 in F minor Op. 95 ‘Serioso’, Schubert: String Quartet No. 15 in G Major, D887 2L Cat # 2L135SABD (10/6/17) 2 disc Blu ray audio and SACD – ****:
2L can always be counted on for exceptional audiophile pleasing fidelity, and they always seem to get the music right in terms of performance and selection.
The disc is an interesting pairing of Schubert’s last string quartet, with one of Beethoven’s shortest works in that idiom.
The performances are faultless and passionate. The sound, as always, it seems, from 2L is exceptional.
2L provides 2 discs, an SACD multichannel 5.1 mix, along with a compatible CD later. The Blu-ray comes in several formats, 2.0 LPCM 192/24, 5.1 DTS HDMA 192/24, 9.1 Auro-3D , and 9.1 Dolby Atmos. I listened to the 9.1 channel Atmos mix, although my equipment collapses the format to 7.1. 2L also provides a downloadable MP3 and Hi-resolution version which can be taken off the Blu-ray disc if you have the proper equipment to retrieve it. Also on offer are MQA versions of the audio, touted by some as the ‘next big thing’ in audio, and by others as a yawn. So far, my ears haven’t been impressed by MQA, but it’s a debate for another venue.
The Atmos mix is a very satisfying sound, utterly realistic, with the rear channels providing ambiance cues from the recording site, the Jar Church in Norway. I also listened to the 2 channel mix on high quality headphones and found the experience realistic as well, and even in 2 channel, the sound of the church was very well preserved.
2L is to be applauded both for the quality of this release, but also the multitude of options provided for listening. Everything from 2 channel, 5.1, and all the way to 9.1, this is a disc that will please audiophiles, regardless of your equipment setup.