Hi-Res Downloads, May 2022

hfnalbumDanny Holt
Piano Music Of Mike Garson (44.1kHz/24-bit, WAV)
www.innova.mu; Innova Recordings n/a cat no.

Mike Garson is perhaps best-known as a long-time collaborator of David Bowie, for more than four decades after 1972. So it's no surprise that this set includes a 'Tribute To David Bowie' near the start of the album. But Garson is also a prolific composer/performer, and here his works are played by acclaimed pianist Danny Holt, who has a similar 'big piano' approach to Garson, creating a dramatic sound. The two first came together back in 2004, when Garson heard Holt play and decided the pianist was a good fit for his music, going on to produce Holt's Fast Jump release in 2009. On this album the virtuoso playing is a fine match for Gerson's big, bold writing, creating a wonderful wash of sound as captivating for the immediacy of the solo instrument as it is in the quality of both writing and performance. Garson draws on a wide range of influences, both classical and beyond, and Holt turns them into a tour de force. AE

Sound Quality: 90%


Lab Report
Offered in 16-bit and 24-bit resolutions, the bandwidth available to the Yamaha piano(s) clips the highest harmonics at ~21kHz, but the dynamic range is generous and headroom well used with no peaks above –1dBFs. PM


Mendelssohn Violin Sonatas
Alina Ibragimova/Cédric Tiberghien (44.1kHz/16-bit & 96-192kHz/24-bit, FLAC)
www.hyperion-records.co.uk; Hyperion CDA68322

Of the four violin sonatas here, only one – the Op. 4 – was published in the composer's lifetime, the others being left in manuscript. That includes the superb F major that forms part of this intense, gloriously played set by violinist and 2009 Classical BRIT Young Performer of the Year Alina Ibragimova, accompanied by much-awarded pianist Cédric Tiberghien. The two first met on the BBC Radio 3 New Generation Artists scheme back in 2005, and have since performed together extensively – and it shows in the way they present these works, at times lyrical, at times dramatic. The recording, at 192kHz, is to the usual exemplary Hyperion standards, being made in the subtly reverberant acoustic of St Silas the Martyr in London's Kentish Town, which allows the two distinct sounds to breathe and intermingle beautifully. AE

Sound Quality: 90%


Lab Report
A digital recording but with a hint of analogue noise, our 96kHz file was just sufficient to accommodate the astonishing 40kHz+ bandwidth of violin harmonics. Dynamic range is excellent but the 192kHz file may win out. PM


Leonore Piano Trio

Bargiel Piano Trios Nos 1 & 2 (96kHz/24-bit, FLAC)
www.hyperion-records.co.uk; Hyperion CDA68342

It's always fascinating to discover unfamiliar music, and this pairing of the first two of the three piano trios by 19th Century German composer Woldemar Bargiel, the half-brother of Clara Schumann, is certainly a rewarding find – not least due to the sparkling playing of the Leonore Trio. With a clutch of acclaimed Hyperion recordings behind them, the Leonores deliver a generous package here, running to over 70 minutes. With a beautiful combination of focus and space in the sound, aided by the Henry Wood Hall acoustic, one is swiftly drawn in by the stately opening of the first trio, then taken on an exciting ride of fascinating music and fine performances. Rhythms are tight and well-defined, the dynamics are excellent, and there's a very real sense of the performers being placed before the listener. I think I'll be coming back to this one again and again! AE

Sound Quality: 85%


Lab Report
This is a genuine 96kHz file offering excellent dynamic range and peaks that hold within –0.6dBFs. The ~48kHz bandwidth is more than sufficient for the ~15kHz range of the Steinway but the violin harmonics run to the edge! PM


Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Orch.
All My Yesterdays: The Debut 1966 Recordings At The Village Vanguard (Remastered) (DSD64-512; DXD; 96-192kHz/24-bit, FLAC)
www.nativedsd.com; 2xHD 2XHDRE1225

Fine 2xHD transcriptions of vintage tapes are no stranger to these pages, but even by those high standards this one is a stormer. Recorded using a two-track Crown tape machine at the band's New York debut in 1966 by the then 19-year-old George Klabin – who would go on to be a major force in the archiving and preservation of great jazz recordings – the sound has a wonderful directness and immediacy. The 18 musicians, led by Jones on trumpet and flugelhorn with Lewis on drums, sound bright, tightly meshed and vibrant, with the rhythm section underpinning the ensemble playing. This is more than a simple historical document: the quality of the performances, the quality of the sound and the sense at being in at the start of something big makes it a thrilling listen. AE

Sound Quality: 80%


Lab Report
Captured via a Crown stereo recorder and portable, four-input Ampex mixer, this recording was latterly restored in DXD [red/blue traces] and also offered in DSD [128, black]. Bandwidth and dynamic range are of the period. PM


The Lovecraft Sextet
Nights Of Lust (48kHz/24-bit, FLAC)
www.denovali.com; Denovali LC-27117

We've encountered the faintly disturbing Gothic 'Darkjazz' of Jason Kohnen's Lovecraft Sextet before with In Memoriam [HFN Nov '21] but on this second release, complete with '50s horror comic cover art, things take a further turn to the dark side. Drawing inspiration from the movie scores of John Carpenter and Angelo Badalamenti, complete with deep, sweeping waves of synthesisers and ominous bass chords, the ambience is described as 'the movie The Thing located in a Twin Peaks scenery with an '80s setting', and that just about nails the unsettling washes of atmosphere here. They won't have you tapping your toes, and neither should this album be suggested for late-night listening with a storm outside, but there's no denying that it sounds deeply – and I mean – deeply impressive. I'd still suggest a streaming 'try' before you buy as this is something of a divisive album. AE

Sound Quality: 80%


Lab Report
Heavily synthesised music often contains lower sample rate content within a higher sample rate mix. So it is here with some native 32/44.1kHz effects [black] buried into the 48kHz master. Also, every track is normalised to –0.2dBFs here. PM