After having worked as a freelancer in the recording industry since 2002, I decided to start the record label Navis Classics in 2013. In all recording projects I did in the past I was working with artists, making the dream of releasing their music to the audience come true. Navis Classics is based on that principle and for that you could say that we are a true ‘artist based’ label. Our artists have very strong ideas about the repertoire and the way to perform it and they record it when they are ready for it. You could say that we like slow cooking. Repertoire has to ripen and at a certain point it is just the right moment to capture it on tape. That’s my job, to capture the music when it is as beautiful as can be.
The Winterreise project with international soloists Dimitris Tiliakos and Vassilis Varvaresos is a typical example of a Navis Classics production. Dimitris sings in nearly all major opera houses in Europe but has a deep passion for Schuberts lieder. Vassilis is not only a brilliant soloist but also a composer and chamber music lover. They met at a festival in Greece and found out that they shared a wish to perform the Winterreise cycle so they did. After very successful concerts in Athens and Paris the idea came to record the cycle and I was directly interested to release it on the label. The result is, well… let’s not talk too much about the music but I invite you to listen and judge it yourself. By the way, you will be listening to the first Winterreise that was recorded in DSD256.
In the booklet, Dimitris makes an interesting link to the ancient Greek history. Dimitris and Vassilis are both Greek and however this is not a Greek version of the Winterreise so to say, there is an intersting connection. He points out that the principle of Eros-Thanatos (Love and Death) is one of the main themes of all Greek tragedy’s. We often talk about Life and Death but isn’t Love and Death exactly what the Winterreise is about? It struck me.
From the recording point of view the setup was very simple. Using stereo (A-B) technique and center and surround microphones for the Multichannel version I had already the main ingredient for the recording. I added two stereo pairs for both Dimitris and Vassilis just to get that little extra crisp to the sound. There are hardly any edits in the material so you can see this as a more or less live recital in your living room. This was also the way we worked. We used five days in a row but spent only a couple of hours per day for the recording. In this short time we recorded for each song a couple of very focussed takes and afterwards chose the best one.