Thought it may be worth a thread for audiophile quality recordings that are also great music, with a word or two of justification.
The Tallis Scholars are perhaps the world’s finest Renaissance and Baroque vocal group. They have flourished under the leadership of Peter Phillips since 1973. He set up their own record label, Gimell, in 1980. This recording won Gramophone Record of the Year in 1986, probably the top classical award worldwide, and put Renaissance music on the map. It was digitally recorded, and released on a DMM vinyl pressing, tape and CD (available to download from Hyperion). Two sopranos were used to increase the vocal range of these masses. The sound quality off vinyl is simply astonishing.
Please no high bit or speed rates, at least until I can get my Qobuz high speed issues resolved (i88888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888 my cat just walked across my key board)
Given that lots of people have audiophile vinyl and consider 16/44 perfectly acceptable, and there are plenty of people who don’t even subscribe or pay for high resolution music, I think we should only draw the line at mp3!
I heard this jazz trio at an annual music/science festival in Oxford.
It was an experimental performance in pitch black darkness and everyone had blindfolds. That alone was quite an experience.
Although the trio had been touring extensively and recording for some 10 years with a number of releases, they wanted to do a top quality album, so hired Studio 2 at Abbey Road and recorded this album in a day. I have used the piano solo at the start of “OK Chorale” as a demo segment. It is highly original contemporary jazz, they are exceptional musicians, and they don’t do cover versions!
It is available in high res on Qobuz. The vinyl pressing is also excellent.
So I can share something that fits, what do you consider audiophile quality recordings?
There’s an old record I picked up following a friend’s recommendation. It’s a mix of big band / experimental music (for the time). I don’t have much of a backstory other than it was one of the first records that sounded to me like the band was right there in front of me.
Another, a direct to disc, that I enjoy is this. I’ve seen a flamenco performance in Spain, and I can say this recording is true to size.
This is how to do vinyl. 45rpm direct cut at Metropolis, the best studio in Europe, they have two prized lathes and a hugely talented engineering team. The set is 5 discs.
Nitin Sawhney is a superb guitarist, producer, director, composer (over 50 films) and all-round genius. One of his roles was as musical director for The Akram Company, although he’s produced the music for least 6 of their shows, he has taken centre stage in only one, shown below (pictured with Akram Khan). One Zero is focused on his Indian roots and relates to a lot of his work with Akram Khan.