It is a real pleasure to be in the Spotlight and being able to introduce some of our albums here at Nativedsd. I’m a fervent admirer of the recording philosophy of using as less microphones as possible, choosing the best possible acoustics and spending the needed time with the best possible equipment until getting the right sound. And I truly believe that that’s where DSD shines like no other format does. When all this elements fit together you get a holographic feeling of being there that makes each of this production an extremely rewarding process. I thank NativeDSD for creating a platform where the fruits of this philosophy can be brought to you, the DSD and music lover.
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Enrique Bagaría plays Haydn (EUD-DR-1601)
I’d like to start by introducing an album that I feel specially connected to. As both musician and producer, I’ve been lucky to know many great musicians, but it is very rare to find someone like Enrique Bagaría, who transcends the instrument and “simply” speaks the language of music. When he plays, you just forget thatthere’s an instrument at play, you connect with the language of the music at a higher level. Enrique gives each note he plays the importance it has in the musical context, there’s not a single note played carelessly, everything just sounds as it should in order to communicate the musical idea. These Haydn sonatas are outstanding, some of them Beethovenian “avant la lettre”, and I chose a microphone technique that highlighted Bagaría’s outstanding pianism and Haydn’s compositions, getting slightly closer to the piano than I would usually do, and letting all the refined details of the playing be clearly heard.
Ricardo Gallén – En Silencio (EUD-DR-1801)
As a guitarist myself, I knew how fortunate we were to count Ricardo Gallén for our very first album. Ricardo is a unique guitarist, one that frees the instrument from its complexity to flow with all its magic. Several years later, Ricardo and us work together for this great album that it’s just a pleasure listening to. Ricardobrings poetry to each note he plays on a copy of a 1864 Antonio de Torres guitar by Paco Santiago Marín. We recorded it in the 13th Century Church of San Francisco, in Ávila (Spain), a location which has one of the most amazing acoustics I know of. For this recording the outstanding Sonodore microphones were used, unbelievable microphones for unbelievable artist and acoustics!
Josep Colom – Confluences (EUD-DR-1703)
Every time I listened to this album, I feel like I’m having a single narrative experience, not an album made up of several tracks or works, such is the unique idea and vision of Josep Colom. He brings out Bach and Chopin connection by pairing Bach’s Preludes and Chopin’s Études and Nocturnes on the basis of shared or contrasting key signatures, similar instrumental treatment or texture, subtle harmonic links, dialectic oppositions or spiritual affinities, and with the help of finely-drawn improvisatory passages that either connect a prelude to an étude or act as a transition into a new pairing. For this project, recorded with an outstanding 1957 Steinway & Sons piano (a full-bodied and with a unique wooden sound piano), we were lucky to work in the amazing Mozart Hall, in Zaragoza, Spain, which has huge, ethereal and magical acoustics. Like with Ricardo Gallén’s albums, we used the extraordinary Sonodore microphones: listen to the low register of Chopin’s Étude op.10/9, it is hard to hear more corporeal basses, you can almost feel them in your body!
The Brahms Project – The Complete Piano Quartets (EUD-DR-1701)
I’m in love with Brahms’s Piano Quartets, a fact that made this project an intense journey. Such profound and transcendental compositions, such lyrism, formal perfection and inspiration are emphasized by The Brahms Project, four of the foremost Spanish musicians of their generation who joined forces in exploring this repertoire. We were again lucky to record in the amazing Mozart Hall, in Zaragoza, Spain, and I feel especially proud that you’re listening to just two microphones (or five in the case of the surround version); I was extremely meticulous with the microphone positioning and worked hard looking for right spot where the perfect balanced could be achieved, it wasn’t easy!
Brahms & Franck – Ana María Valderrama & Víctor del Valle (EUD-DR-1802)
I left to the end our latest release, which you can enjoy as an exclusive early release here at NativeDSD. Ana María Valderrama & Víctor del Valle are winners of the Pablo Sarasate and the ARD Competitions respectively, and the two main works recorded here are amazing masterpieces. For this recording, I used for the first time my Neumann U89 microphones after the modification made by Rens Heijnis: he changed the electronics and made it active (with their own power supply), and the results are simply amazing; the U89s are now an amazing pair of microphones I’m in love with, such a pure, neutral yet silky and magical sound that it’s so hard to find.