The Tube only violin
How could I resists a recording which proclaims itself tube only and AAA? Tacet seem to be a quirky German label who are as much in love with (old) technology as we are here at vinylfanatics.com. The record jacket, gatefold, goes into great detail about the recording process; microphones from 1949, tapemachines from the 1950s etc. I love it!! What we have here is a selection of excerpts from great classical pieces for violin. All are played by Daniel Gaede on violin and accompanied by Xuesu Liu on piano.
Tchaikovsky's Melody Op. 42 no.3
Schedrin's 'In the style of Albeniz'
Massenet's 'Meditation from THais'
Schubert's 'Ave Maria'
Drigo's 'Valse Bluette'
Moszkowski's Spanish Dance
Elgar's 'Salut d'Amour'
Beriot's 'Scene de Ballett'
None of these excerpts are either long enough or difficult enough to lose the casual classical listener ie. me. And several should be familiar to you.
They're gorgeous pieces to sit back and enjoy. There is a spanish/flamenco/gypsy influence, obviously, to the 'Albeniz' piece and 'Spanish Dance'. The Albeniz possibly being the most challenging piece here....but that is in very refined company. It is simply more exciting and certainly not offputting.
The Tchaikovsky, Drigo and Mozkowski are playful. The Massenet, Schubert and Elgar are laid back and gorgeous. The Beriot is the longest piece here, never coming close to outstaying its welcome and has the lyrical feel of something like Schindler's list(How awful to compare a great classical piece to such a modern film score!) before turning into something that might be played by Stephane Grapelli(a more gypsy influence).
Our last(short) piece is Ponce's Estrillita, Little star. It is perhaps a lullaby. Its simple sweet but soaring.
The sound is wonderful. It always amazes me that equipment of this vintage and now of this age can capture a piece of music so precisely and brilliantly. Strings, particularly violin, on CD often sounds too shrill and edgy to me. Vinyl and tubes moderate this somewhat, making it sound more natural and enjoyable to listen to. Yet each piece is crystal clear revealing all the detail you could wish for. Full dynamic range and soundstage are available but the pieces themselves ensure that you will never be jumping out of your armchair in shock.
I do notice several clicks and pops during listening. There seems to be no pressing defects visually so I hope that these may disappear with repeated playing. For now they are somewhat obtrusive but the overall sound is very clean and enjoyable.
Gatefold sleeve with copious sleevenotes. Inner plastic lined. This does also seem a sampler for other records by Tacet.