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Reviews: Rubio - Johan Brouwer

Reviews: 1

Review by Fugue October 19, 2011 (3 of 3 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:  
This is simply a wonderful recording. The title refers to David Rubio, famed harpsichord, lute, and guitar maker. (In fact, Julian Bream helped to get Rubio on the map by commissioning some guitars from him.) The music ranges from some sublime pieces by Renaissance composer William Byrd to JS Bach and his virtuosic "Chromatic Fantasy and Fugue." Brouwer uses four different instruments, so the listener must adjust to some fairly major differences in sound and tuning (the specs for each instrument are listed), but I did not find it that distracting. The instrument used for the opening Byrd pieces is startling in its presence and clarity. Indeed, clarity is one of the hallmarks of this SACD, as all four instruments are recorded quite closely, but the venue was a church, so there is still some ambiance. Personally, I enjoy hearing a harpsichord from a close perspective as long as the mechanical sounds are not too intrusive, which they are not on this disc.

One puzzling aspect is the year of recording--1995, despite being listed as a DSD recording. Either the year is a typo, or they simply used a DSD recorder to transfer the original recording. Also, the room sound fades between tracks--I prefer that engineers leave it running so the sound is more seamless, but this is a minor niggle. Regardless, the sound is spectacular, as is Brouwer's playing, so if you like the harpsichord, I can safely recommend this recording.

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