Wolfgang Muthspiel : Rising Grace (mqa)


88.2kHz/24-bit, FLAC; MQA; ECM ECM2515 (supplied by www.highresaudio.com)

This contemporary jazz release covers a wide territory – the title track which opens the album is a sort of exposition with a restless introspective quality that draws the listener in, provoking without providing resolution. The questioning continues with each succeeding track – from the hesitant, semi-morose ‘Intensive Care’ to the almost-uplifting ‘Triad Song’ and ambling ‘Wolfgang’s Waltz’. Most pieces here are lengthy, taking their time to roll out, but all have the sense of being fully developed compositions rather than improvisational exercises. Performances are moderately paced and melodically engaging, but sacrifice emotional engagement for intellectual stimulation. The recording has the excellent sense of tempo and depth perspective found only in meticulous productions – the sonic verity sought by hi-fi fans and found at audio shows. BW

Sound Quality: 85%

Hi-Fi News Lab Report

This ‘single-folded’ 88.2kHz MQA file reveals spurious ultrasonic content from the piano rather than percussion/guitar/brass feeds on the original ECM recording. The undecoded file appears as if sampled at 44.1kHz [red]. PM