Opus 3 Records, the audiophile record label based in Sweden is celebrating their 30th Anniversary with a new Super Audio CD. Titled the 30th Anniversary Celebration Album, the Surround Sound SACD covers the label’s 30 years of recordings with 19 selections from their catalog.
As with all of the recent Opus 3 Surround Sound SACD releases, the 30th Anniversary Celebration Album is a Single Inventory Hybrid Layer Super Audio CD release. It has Surround Sound SACD, Stereo SACD and Stereo CD Audio versions of the music on the album on each disc. The Super Audio CD serves as both the SACD and CD edition of the album.
30th Anniversary Celebration Album
Various Artists (See List Below)
SACD Surround Sound/SACD Stereo/CD Audio
(Opus 3 CD 22060)
The Opus 3 Records 30th Anniversary Celebration album features a mix of music previously released in Super Audio CD Surround Sound with other favorites from the Opus 3 catalog that are making their first appearance in SACD with this release. The SACD features highlights from Opus 3’s many recordings over the years that feature Blues, Jazz, Classical and World Music.
In the liner notes, Matt Harrison chronicles the label’s history including its move from analog to 16 Track Direct Stream Digital (DSD) recordings using the Genex DSD Recorder and the EMM Labs Meitner 4th Generation DSD DACs. Harrison notes that Eric Bibb’s Just Like Love SACD was the “first Super Audio CD released in Northern Europe” in 2000 and this was followed a year later by Opus 3’s move to direct to DSD Surround Sound recording which has been employed on all of their sessions since the 2001 release titled “Rauk” by the Global Percussion Network.
Opus 3 Producer, Engineer and Owner Jan Eric-Persson says that “When I first heard about SACD in 1999 I was very interested and excited indeed. At last, a new high resolution Stereo format but still a disc, which everyone could play on and ordinary CD player – the Dual Layer Hybrid SACD. After 25 years of strictly analog recording, I felt that the digital media had finally reached maturity.
In 2001, SACD included a third part – High Resolution 5.1 Surround Sound. When SACD Surround Sound came along, we found the perfect recording and storage medium for surround sound. At last the old ‘high fidelity dream’ of really producing a 3-dimensional listening experience, giving the listener the feeling of literally being there among the audience at a real live performance, could be achieved. This has been the aim that we had at Opus 3 since our very first recording in 1977.”
The new 30th Anniversary Celebration Album is an excellent introduction to the Opus 3 catalog and recordings. Most of the performances are captured with the label’s minimalist recording approach and feature an ambient approach to the 4.1 Channel Surround Sound tracks. (The track by the Global Percussion Network is a notable exception). The selections, especially the more recent recordings that were done Direct to DSD really shine in terms of their definition and natural sound quality. If you’ve wanted to delve deeper into Opus 3’s catalog or just get a flavor for its recordings and SACD releases, this is an excellent place to start.
Peder af Ugglas
Bert “East” Ostlund
Kenny Davern, Tomas Ornberg, Holger Gross & Bo Juhlin
Knud Jorgensen Jazz Trio
The Swedish Jazz Kings
Omnibus Wind Ensemble
Stockholm Guitar Quartet
Mattias Wager and Anders Astrand
The Erik Westberg Vocal Ensemble
Global Percussion Network
1. Don’t Ever Let Nobody Drag Your Spirit Down – Eric Bibb
2. Harvest Song – Peder af Ugglas
3. Dreamsville – Maria Winther
4. Cliffhanger – Bert “East” Ostlund
5. Crazy Rhythm – Kjell Ohman
6. Sweet Georgie Fame – Lars Erstrand
7. Tain’t Nobody’s Bizness if I Do – Kenny Davern, Tomas Ornberg, Holger Gross & Bo Juhlin
8. Softly As in the Morning Sunrise – Knud Jorgensen Jazz Trio
9. Out of Nowhere – Benny Waters
10. Buddy Burtons Jazz – The Swedish Jazz Kings
11. Pathfinder – Bert “East” Ostlund
12. Frank Zappa: Sinister Footwear, 2nd Movement – Omnibus wind Ensemble
13. Junco Moreno – Munolo Yglesias
14. When I Feel the Sea Beneath My Soul – Tiny Island
15. Larghetto in C minor – Stockholm Guitar Quartet
16. Soon – Mattias Wager and Anders Astrund
17. Jul, Jul, Stralande Jul – The Erik Westberg Vocal Ensemble
18. Air – Mattias Wager
19. Aurora Borealis – Global Percussion Network
The new Opus 3 Records 30th Anniversary Celebration Album Surround Sound Super Audio CD is now available for purchase from the Opus 3 Records web site in Sweden. It was released in the U.S. market at the recent CES 2007 show in Las Vegas by U.S. distributor May Audio and is available on their web site. The new Surround Sound SACD is also available from web sites that carry Super Audio CDs including Acoustic Sounds and Elusive Disc.