Vivaldi: The Four Seasons - Ayo

Vivaldi: The Four Seasons - Ayo

Esoteric  ESSD-90238

Stereo Hybrid

Classical - Orchestral

Vivaldi: The Four Seasons*, Concertos from Op. 3: No. 6^, No. 8^/**, No. 10^/**/^^

Felix Ayo*, Roberto Michelucci^, Anna Maria Cotogni**, Walter Gallozzi^^ & Luciano Vicari^^ (violins)
Enzo Altobelli^^ (cello)
I Musici

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Analogue recording
Comments (29)

Comment by Contrapunctus - May 23, 2021 (21 of 29)

Well, I probably overreacted a bit in my last comment. It was the first time I got emotional on this forum. I actually didn't want that at all.

Of course I will stay here!

There is another reason why I almost only comment on old recordings here: I do not buy most of the new / current recordings / productions in physical form as SACD or BluRay, but as HR downloads. Since downloads are not supported on this site, I cannot write anything about them. (The topic of download integration on this page has already been addressed. And I can understand the difficulties and special problems very well. For example: in contrast to SACDs or BD, downloads do not have a clear product number.)

Mark, regarding the double purchases (Esoteric, Stereo Sound et al.): These are exceptions for me too. And I seriously ask myself whether this is still passion or already illness ...

Comment by Adrian Quanjer - May 24, 2021 (22 of 29)

Hi Contrapunctus, comments much appreciated. I share your thoughts on not being able to comment or review here on downloaded material because of technical issues you mentioned. The more so, because some good labels have or will turn to downloads only, like Lawo.

Comment by Contrapunctus - May 24, 2021 (23 of 29)

Yes, Adrian, there are indeed some very interesting recordings available in HiRes ONLY as download. One of my favorite examples are Arnold Bax symphonies (Vernon Handley / BBC Philharmonic / Label: Chandos). These recordings are only available as a download in high resolution (24/96), otherwise only as a regular RBCD. And it is precisely with these colorful and opulently orchestrated works that the difference between RBCD and HiRes is clearly noticeable. The RBCD version of these recordings was sometimes criticized because of the poor (diffuse) sound. In my opinion, this criticism definitely does not apply to the high-definition 24/96 version.

And a complete recording of Max Reger's organ works (Irenee Peyrot; Label: Querstand) is not available in physical form at all, but only as a download - of course in high resolution. I can also unreservedly recommend the 7 volumes of this excellent traversal, which was made on a single instrument (at least for organ music fans).

Comment by Desertpilot - June 1, 2021 (24 of 29)

This conversation has turned to a topic of great interest to me, HR Downloads not on SACD. A few years ago, I emailed HRAudio.Net asking why the Stockholm Syndrome Ensemble's recording "A Moveable Feast" was not listed. The reply was that it was never released on SACD. This music was recorded in DSD64 by Channel Classics (CC36916). For unknown reasons, it was released on RBCD only but it is available for download on the Channel Classics website in DSD64 multichannel or stereo. I enjoy this album very much. Here we are, a few years later, and a lot of record companies are releasing downloads only. In fact, Native DSD now notes when an album was never released on SACD. So, this is the future. Personally, I prefer my music on my NAS rather than swapping out SACDs. But, I miss seeing these High Res albums listed on HRAudio.Net. I can't comment on what isn't here.

It is interesting to note that I have downloaded many Chandos recordings in 24/96 FLAC. This was the original recording format (recording engineers Ralph Couzens, Alex James). But, it was also produced on SACD (for example, all of conductor John Wilson's albums with Sinfonia of London). The SACDs are listed and some are reviewed here. What is the difference? Were these albums re-mastered for DSD? Are the SACD versions better? I don't know. Maybe I will email the recording engineers and find out.

Forgive my mini-rant. Thanks for listening.

Marcus DiBenedetto
Las Vegas, NV

Comment by Athenaeus - June 1, 2021 (25 of 29)

This is a rather small site and I doubt the people who keep it running make much money out of it, if they make any at all. I'm sure they just put in the work it takes because they're passionate about high-resolution music. As the SACD market is not a very big one, it probably isn't too time-consuming to keep the site up to date for those releases. And even then, judging by the occasional delays and omissions, I suspect that they're sometimes struggling to keep up. I may be wrong but I have a feeling that expanding the scope to include downloads might be too much for the site's resources.

Comment by Desertpilot - June 1, 2021 (26 of 29)

Athenaeus, you are most likely correct. I greatly value the reviews here so I just wanted to express my wish for expanded coverage.

Las Vegas, NV

Comment by Mark Werlin - June 2, 2021 (27 of 29)

Beyond the limitation of a small number of reviewers and administrators, there are technical barriers that prevent adding hi-res download albums to this site. It's a constraint, but the focus of the site is on releases in physical format. The searchable database of SACDs, including out of print titles, is a very useful free tool for collectors.

Site members and reviewers are free to recommend and discuss alternative recordings in hi-res in the comments to SACDs of those same works.

Marcus: the 24/96 files of recent Chandos recordings may not sound exactly the same as the SACD release of the same recording, depending on the quality of the audio playback system and the ability of the listener to hear those subtle differences. Professional mastering engineers aim to bring out the best qualities of the underlying recording, regardless of source resolution, in the final SACD mastering.

Comment by sancho santos - June 2, 2021 (28 of 29)

The Stereo Saond disc is much worse than Esoteric's. The sound is thinner, it lacks body. Esoteric's sounds much more natural. My Stereo Saund record is going to ebay soon.

Comment by Desertpilot - June 3, 2021 (29 of 29)

Mark, thank you very much for providing us an insight in to HR Audio's review policy. I will certainly enjoy adding comments if a download release of the same music is worthy of consideration. I've downloaded all of John Wilson's Chandos releases. I think I will get a couple SACDs and make comparisons. This will be fun.

Thanks again!
Marcus DiBenedetto
Las Vegas, NV

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