The Absolute Sound Top New Vinyl Release of 2016!
180g Audiophile Direct to Disc LP! A dynamic performance, pure analog delight!
Vivaldi's best known work, The Four Seasons is given new life in this Audiophile Direct to Disc recording from Chasing the Dragon. In order to make this D2D recording, the Interpreti Veneziani Chamber Orchestra performs each album side live in the studio, recorded via state of the art, all-tube valve microphones, fed to a Neve Desk, and then via a pure analogue path directly to the Neumann VMS80 lathe.
This Direct to Disc performance is a pure analog delight! The brilliantly captured session was carefully engineered, and mixed live, no overdubs! During the performance, the Neumann VMS 80 Cutting head engages the master lacquer ("stamper" used for pressing LPs) and is not stopped until the entire side is complete! The results are amazing! A more accurate recording, a greater immediacy and interaction among the players, less background noise through the elimination of master tapes, overdubs, etc. by directly cutting the recording to vinyl. A dynamic album that needs to be heard!
"The playing is extremely vigorous in places, which adds to the dynamics and drama, and credit should be given to the nine musicians in Interpreti Veneziani and the many period instruments they play...It's the combination of the original sound, coupled with the shortness and purity of the signal chain, which make this such an astonishing record ...a lot more robust that most I've heard." -Hi-Fi+ Magazine Read more!
"Producer Mike Valentine used all-tube microphones, and the sound is as you might expect... String tones were rich and fully expressed, yet the somewhat distantly placed harpsichord had appropriate transient zip and definition." - Michael Fremer, Stereophile Magazine Read more!
"In creating this direct cut album, we had to overcome many challenges. Because the album had to be recorded 'live' I had to first find a piece of music which would the perfect length. Obviously, I found the answer in Vivaldi's Four Seasons. Next came the musicians and I was so lucky to have the opportunity of bringing over from Venice, the leading Venetian chamber orchestra, Interpreti Veneziani. Finally, I had to find a recording studio which not only had a superb space, it also had to have an engineer versed in the black art of cutting live vinyl. Well, have we succeeded? Please judge for yourself, for I hope you have as much fun in listening as we had in cutting this disc!" - Mike Valentine, producer/engineer
"How did it come out? Sonically the perspective seems a bit clop up: I never felt I was hearing an ensemble deployed realistically in a convincing space. Despite the absence of digital intervention, the tonal balance isn't warm; on the contrary, it's somewhat brightly lit, though very dynamic. Performance? The restricted instrumental compliment took me a movement or two to get used to, but I did like the overall vigor and drive, not to mention the really strong, powerful attacks on tutti chords ("Winter" is quite sensational). This can hardly be a first recommendation, but if you hanker for a different Four Seasons, it might appeal." - Paul Seydor, The Absolute Sound, Buyer's Guide to Cables, Power Products, Accessories, and Music 2016
"...the playing is spirited and unrestrained and the recording superbly transparent and three-dimensional... For this kind of small, nine person ensemble, I think producer Mike Valentine's, "minimalist with some spotlight mike enhancement" approach works really well...if harmonic structure is King and transparency Queen, then this recording rules." - analogplanet, Music 10/11, Sound 10/11 Read more!
"The audiophile world involves a staggering amount of minutia. Everything leads, however, to an emotional payoff, as you're constantly reminded while rubbing shoulders with people devoted to good sound. So while, if you study the literature on, say, speaker placement or multichannel audio, you might expect everyone who cares about such matters to walk around with a pencil protector in his shirt pocket, instead you're much more likely to encounter someone whose passion for audio can hardly be contained and who has a lively sense of humor. Those points were underscored when I began correspoding with Mike Valentine, the owner of the UK audiophile label Chasing the Dragon...He isn't afraid to say something controversial (certainly his statement, "The sound quality here...is better than sex!" could spark a heated debate), and because he's filmed underwater sequences for over 90 films, including five James Bond movies, you quicky understand that he knows how to pursue lofty professional goals and have fun." - Jeff Wilson, The Absolute Sound, theabsolutesound.com blog February 10th, 2017 Read more!
Directly cut to vinyl
Pressed at Record Industry
Gefell/AKG/Flea Valve Microphones, AIR Custom Neve Recording Desk, Neumann VMS 80 Cutting Lathe
Interpreti Veneziani Chamber Orchestra
Giacobbe Stevanato, violin
Nicola Granillo, violin
Sebastiano Maria Vianello, violin
Pietro Talamini, violin
Anania Maritan, violin
Sonia Amadio, viola
Davide Amadio, cello
Angelo Liziero, double bass
Paolo Cognolato, harpsichord
Antonio Vivaldi (1678-1741)
The Four Seasons