February 15, 2011

Two Excellent Albums : "Art Pepper Meets The Rhythm Section" and "Trittico" - Part II

This is a continuation from my last post dated February 8th. Now, let me talk about the Trittico album.

This album was made by the illustrious Prof. Johnson of Reference Recordings with Frederick Fennell conducting the Dallas Wind Symphony. Since a wind band is involved, as expected the music is martial, dramatic and even bombastic many a times. Not for a quiet evening, but good for a bit of adrenalin rush.

The title composition alone from this album is worth the audiophile’s money. If you like to demo something that has big dynamic swings, which is complex with multiple musical treads intertwined, then the first movement of Trittico (also the first track on the album) will satiate you. If after that big movement, you still clamour for more, switch to track 3, it is even bigger, more complex, and hits harder.

At less than 3 minutes running time, these movements are short by classical music standard (yet they are fully formed), however, do not take them as to be like the normal audiophile chestnuts – spectacular sound but can be musically bland. These are compositions and performances that have depth. After repeated listening I could still find or learn something new from them.

In fact, the same could be said of all the compositions on this album. After Trittico, move on to ‘Feast Day in Seville’, a transcription for orchestra from a movement in Issac Albeniz’s ‘Iberia Suite’; then onto Edvard Grieg’s ‘Funeral March for Rikard Nordraak’. That is where I am at, and it is just half the album. It will take me a while more to fully explore the other compositions, which include a Symphony and a Variation in 6 movements.

The recording quality of the CD is of the usual high quality from Reference Recordings. Its sound is wide open, with the Dallas Wind Symphony clearly and cleanly recorded. The band is spread out in front of the listener and you can pick out the musical thread played by each band section – the separation is excellent and there is no muddiness in the sound.

There you go, a classical album that is great for both musical enjoyment and hifi listening.

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