AudioNautes AN-1401 - 180 Gram Virgin Vinyl
Half Speed Mastered by Stan Ricker - Pressed at Pallas Germany
The Absolute Sound List of Must-Hear Audiophile Recordings
Unumbered Limited Edition - BIS LP-163/164
AAA 100% Analogue This LP was Remastered using Pure Analogue Components Only, from the Master Tapes through to the Cutting Head
The Absolute Sound Super Disc List TAS Harry Pearson Super LP List
Most highly recommended Music 10/10 Sound 11/10 Michael Fremer Analogue Planet
On The Absolute Sound's 'Super Disc' list since dinosaurs ruled.
Reissued on 180-gram vinyl for the first time since it was recorded
Half-speed mastered from the original analog tapes by Stan Ricker, plated and pressed at Pallas in Germany
Double 33 1/3 RPM gatefold LP limited to 1,000 copies
On the The Absolute Sound list of must-hear audiophile recordings
Cutting notes from Stan Ricker
The tapes sound rather Marvellous concerning the Huge dynamic range in this music they where made for half speed mastering
This may cause tracking problems if your system is not perfectly aligned
This double LP set has resided on The Absolute Sound's 'Super Disc' list since dinosaurs ruled. It has an incredible variety of music and instruments from a 200-year period. There are no voices. The sound is very clean, transparent, complex and extended in the highs. The harmonic richness and decay within the hall is outstanding.
The soundstage is very deep, but it is not unusually wide.
The disc is simply ravishing. It's a classic analogue recording from 1980, lovingly produced, engineered and edited by Robert von Bahr using a Revox A77 and two - presumably spaced — simple Sennheiser MKH105 omni condenser mikes (vintage early '60's design); it amply shows the merits of a simple signal path, combined with minimal intervention and post-processing.
The recording immediately astonishes with its fluid, natural and utterly truthful sound, And the acoustic of the Chapel of the Imperial College, Madrid is just beautiful. The music, all 80 minutes of it, features variations on three archetypal Spanish themes (La Spagna, a Spagnoletta and Pavane), as interpreted by different composers such as Praetorius, Farnaby, Negri, Josquin Desprez, Ortiz and others. Aided by impeccable playing and 'realisation' of the basic themes, the end result is lively, fun and eclectic.
This is the very first audiophile version of this disc.
Originally released in 1980 on the Swedish BIS label, the double LP la Spagna XV-XVI-XVII Centuries became an instant, certified “audiophile classic”. It was on the late Harry Pearson’s “Super Disc” list since forever, with used copies regularly fetching upwards of $200.
The music can generally be described as “ancient dance music” of the XV, XVI and XVIIth centuries played mostly on original instruments by the Atrium Musica De Madrid under the direction of Gregorio Paniagua. Recorders, a dizzying variety of stringed and percussion instruments that set a mood at once exotic and yet familiar thanks to elements used in late ‘60s popular English folk music (or, for example, in Roxy Music’s “Triptych”).
More specifically, the eighty minutes of music features various composers of the era working in three basic Spanish musical archetypes: “La Spagna”, “a Spagnoletta” and “Pavane”—but don’t let an academic description turn you off here because the music creates an atmosphere that is magical and intensely visual. the spectacular sound should be apparent.
The original was recorded by Robert von Bahr live to a Revox A77 using but a spaced pair of Sennheiser MKH 105 condenser microphones. The simple chain produces a recording of astonishing transparency, three-dimensionality and coherency, though of course the perspective is also somewhat distant. The perspective generates rich atmospherics and mystery, while the recording’s purity and transparency maintain remarkable transient detail.
This reissue on Fabio Camorani’s AudioNautes Recordings label is special in a number of ways. First of all it utilizes the original session tapes provided by the producer/engineer Robert von Bahr, but most importantly it’s one of the late Stan Ricker’s final projects and I cannot think of a more fitting and fantastic tribute than this reissue to Stan Ricker’s half-speed mastering brilliance and the quality of his cutting system electronics custom designed and hand-crafted by Keith O. Johnson.
Ricker went through many lacquers and even broke a cutter head in an effort to inscribe onto the lacquers all of the percussive transient detail on the tape. In his back cover note Ricker can’t imagine how the original real-time cut could have managed without high frequency limited on the whip and tambourine parts.
Fresh cut lacquers were immediately sent to RTI for plating and then shipped to Pallas for pressing. Production doesn’t get any better than this and the stunning sonics provide confirmation.
Now another generation of vinyl lovers has a chance to enjoy and treasure this superb double LP set. I don’t have an original but I can’t imagine it attains or surpasses what Stan Ricker has managed to put into the grooves of this reissue. (Warning: this record may mis-track if your cartridge is less than perfectly aligned). Thanks Fabio! And thanks to you Stan! Most highly recommended
1. Spagna Contrapunto
3. Danza Alta, Sobre "La Spagna"
4. Basse Danse Du Roy De Spaingne A XLIIII Notes A VI Measures
5. Triste Espana
6. Triste Espana
7. Historia Baetica
8. La Spagna
9. Calata A La Spagnola I
10. Calata A La Spagnola II
11. Calata A La Spagnola III
12. Calata A La Spagnola IV
13. Spaniol Kochesberger
14. Spaniol Tancz
15. The Old Spagnoleta
17. Triste Espana
18. Re Di Spagna
19. La Bassa Castiglya - Falla Con Misuras
20. La Spagna
21. La Spagna
22. Olvida Tu Perdicion Espana
1. Spagnioler Tancz
2. Hopper Dancz "Spagna"
6. Villanicco Di Spagna
7. Pavaniglia Di Spagna
8. Spagnoletto Da Capo
9. La Spagna A 5
10. Recercada Primera Sobra Canto Llano La Spagna
11. Recercada Segunda
12. Recercada Tercera
13. Recercada Quarta
14. Recercada Quinta
15. Recercada Sesta
16. Gagliarda Quarta A 5 Alla Spagnola
17. Een Spaense Voys
18. Pavana Hispanica
19. The Spaynard
20. The Spanish Pavane
21. Triste Espana
22. Ricercar Spagnuola "Duna Cossa Spagnola"
23. Ain Spaniyelischer Hoff Dantz
24. Tres Sobre El Canto Ilano De La Alta
25. Triste Espana
26. Spagnoletta Nuova Al Nodo Di Madrigal
27. Furioso Alla Spagnuola
28. Padvana Hispanica