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Reviews: Eliot Fisk plays Bach and Scarlatti (Volume 6)

Reviews: 4

Review by jbcortes May 10, 2003 (1 of 1 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
Having never heard of Eliot Fisk, I was a little worried as a classical music lover to get another one of those "audiophile" records when I bought this SACD. Well it's artistically a great, great surprise. Eliot Fisk is an amazing guitar player, he obviously plays with his soul and this is obvious all through the record. Those who like Hopkinson Smith on the lute should love Eliot Fisk.
Sound is first rate, the guitar is sweet yet very clear. And although the analogue tape's hiss is audible, this is for once a transfer that fully benefits from the DSD technology. Obviously, the recording would have been even better as a native DSD recording, but that doesn't prevent me from giving 5 stars to the sonics. Mark Levinson has done a great job here.

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Review by JW August 12, 2003 (2 of 2 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
I bought this SACD because ML's recordings on Red Rose Music were highly thought of - sonically speaking that is. Most of the stuff he brought out is audiophile nonsense and self-agrandization in my view, but I did hear about this nice guitar recording by Eliot Fisk. When I had the opportunity to get it for 9 bucks I thought it a good time to try it.

Like the other reviewer I was pleasantly surprised. The guitar playing is sensitive and articulate. I would caution the casual listener though as this is an entire disc by 'one man and his acoustical guitar'. You gotta love it, as they say. But it's beautifully recorded, tape hiss and all, and it's just beautiful music. Would I have bought it at full price? I don't think so, but that does not detract from the other comments made by me and the previous reviewer.

Jw

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Review by analogue February 17, 2009 (1 of 2 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
I purchased this sacd without hearing any samples of Elliot Fisk at all. My love for guitar music compelled me to give it a try. Then on youtube I looked him up and was really dissapointed. He did not play in a style that I liked. It seemed very rushed and sloppy..almost chaotic. As he was considered a master and is a well known teacher of classical guitar, I was confused and worried that I wouldn't enjoy his playing or the sacd. I am happy to report that this sacd and the playing was stupendous. I was so relieved. Red Rose Music and Mr. Levinson have very strong opinions on what constitutes a good sounding sacd. He makes a great point. No cd layer included at all as he believes the music will sound better that way. He is a strong proponent of pure dsd recording and I can't disagree with him at all. As far as the sound is concerned it is warm, detailed and articulate. He plays fairly fast on some pieces and each note is articulated well. After the first track tape hiss is fairly prominent and the sound seems to be recorded lighter but overall this is a very pleasing sacd if you love guitar music and can sit through a session just listening to this sort of music. I can;t say how well Elliot Fisk plays in 2008 but in 1977 when this was recorded he was amazing.

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Review by Fugue February 17, 2009 (3 of 4 found this review helpful)
Performance:   
I love this SACD! I've enjoyed the 30 year old 45 rpm LP over the years and was thrilled to see it issued on SACD. In fact, this SACD is the reason I bought an SACD player. Eliot's guitar sounds far warmer and "woodier" on this release than on most of his other CDs. (I too am a classical guitarist, so I am perhaps more sensitive to tone than non-guitar listeners.) Some feel that Fisk is too wild and intense, but for me, few can approach him in Baroque repertoire. His Scarlatti transcriptions are far more faithful to the originals than many other players': his extraordinary technique allows him to include fuller textures. He's pretty much the same risk-taking player today that he was back when this was recorded--perhaps a bit more mature. For heaven's sake, don't judge his playing by some of those horrid YouTube videos! He was captured on a night when things did not go well. I've made a few videos of him performing jaw-dropping feats of prestidigitation. Anyway, this SACD is warmly recommended to all music lovers, and not just to guitar lovers.

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