The Not-So-Classical Chamber Ensemble/ Richard Amoroso – Classical Expressions (1981) [TrackList follows] – DIR/ HDTT 192K/24-bit DVD-R (www.highdeftapetransfers.com) ****:
High Definition Tape Transfers has expanded their original practice of offering hi-res reissues of consumer-level prerecorded stereo tapes, to stereo LPs and especially high fidelity analog tapes from various sources. This is one of the latter, recorded originally using two Schoeps mics and an analog open reel deck in 1981 by Direct-to-Tape Recording Co. in Haddon Heights, NJ. I still have some of their open-reel tapes in my library and they are of exceptional fidelity. No compression, equalization, limiting or editing was used on the original tapes. It was transferred by HDTT using DSD to a 192K/24 DVD-Audio disc which plays on any DVD player. The idea was to preserve the sound of the music as one might hear it in a live performance.
The Ensemble came out of a cello recital given by leader Amoroso which used many exotic instruments in unique combination. He put together an ensemble focusing primarily on light Romantic-period music, with an emphasis on Spanish music. Most of the other musicians of the ensemble come out of a classical background. There is accordion, mandolin, harp, marimba and piano.
The program sounds something like one might hear at an informal concert accompanying some sort of art or fund-raising event. The arrangements and instrumentation sound slightly dated but are enjoyable nevertheless. The fidelity is superb and perhaps the main attraction here. The album is also available at either 192K/24 or 96K/24 FLAC downloads at the HDTT store.
Sabre Dance, Nostaliga, Whirlwind, Orientale (Spanish Dance No. 2), Zapateado, Prelude in G, Piece in the Form of a Habanera, The Bee, Prelude No. 2, Flight of the Bumble Bee, The Girl with the Flaxen Hair, Tico Tico