SACD & Other Hi-Res Reviews

“oreloB” = RAVEL: Bolero; La Valse – Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra/ Carlo Rizzi – Tacet 180-gr. audiophile vinyl (recorded inside out!) – Tacet

Audiophiles will have a lot of fun with this one, although those not into the hobby might not quite understand.

Published on March 12, 2013

“oreloB” = RAVEL: Bolero; La Valse – Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra/ Carlo Rizzi – Tacet 180-gr. audiophile vinyl (recorded inside out!) – Tacet L207, 28:49 [Distr. by Naxos] *****:

Well, leave it to the Germans to come up with this solution to the fact that many classical works of a quarter-hour or so length begin rather quietly and build up to a great climax at the end, while mastering them on standard LPs starts at the outside edge (where there is the best frequency response and least distortion) and ends near the center label where there is the most frequency dropoff and possible distortion. This problem has concerned mastering engineers for some time. So Mr. Tacet, engineer Andreas Spreer, decided to master these two recordings the way some radio transcriptions have been mastered in the past: the grooves going from the inside label to the outer edge instead of the other way ‘round.

Thus if you still have a record changer (horrors!) or some type of semi-automatic tonearm on your turntable, you may not be able to play this special disc. Otherwise there’s no problem with the freely-moving tonearm going from the inside grooves to the outside instead of vice versa. Makes a lot of sense. Spreer has even given the album the overall title of “oreloB” to make his point. There are loads of notes inside both the double-fold sleeve and on the back, but those in English fail to reveal if the original recording for this disc was digital or analog. Either way, there is a definite improvement in the fidelity of the climatic portions of both works here.  And as with most Tacet releases, the sonics are of the highest quality. Neither climax, however, is quite as impressive as on some other competing versions, in spite of the Netherlands Philharmonic being the nation’s largest symphonic aggregation at 130 players.

—John Sunier




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