Arts Music Release Labels First Two SACDs [HFR]

ARTS Music has announced the release of two new SACD titles. ARTS have previously been a supporter of the rival DVD-Audio format, but in the company’s press release and in discussions with High Fidelity Review, it appears SACD is now the label’s format of choice.

Product manager Andrea Hentschke writes:

This month it is a very big pleasure for me to introduce our first hybrid SACD recordings. We are proud to add a double SACD release – ‘Arcangelo Corellis 12 Sonatas for Violin and Cembalo’, played by Stefano Montanari (Violin) and the ‘Accademia Bizantina’, conducted by Ottavio Dantone – as well as another fantastic recording from our Shostakovich cycle – ‘Symphonie Nr.11’: Oleg Caetani conducts the Orchestra Sinfonica Milano Giuseppe Verdi – to our colorful bunch of new releases.

High Fidelity Review has learnt that both titles were recorded using DSD.

Andrea continues: “At the start of the 21st century, SACD has established itself as the preferred new medium, offering both SACD stereo and multi-channel in high resolution as well as the traditional CD and we think that it offers the perfect solution for our audiophile recordings.

I asked Andrea just what was meant by this, were ARTS saying that SACD is preferred to CD or to DVD-Audio? “We think preferred to DVD-Audio” was the clear-cut reply.

The next obvious questions were why, when DVD-Audio is currently outselling SACD in significant numbers thanks largely to DualDisc releases with high-resolution content, ARTS have only now decided to embrace SACD, and did the label feel that the absence of any bonus material would have a negative impact on sales?

We decided to release Hybrid SACD because they offer for those who are lovers of audiophile sounds a splendid happening in 5.1 multi-channel and additionally can also provide [for] people who don’t want to send money on a SACD player,” Andreas told me. “For us it looks like the perfect solution. We found out that DVD-Audio doesn’t sell well (actually there is only a good market in USA) and hybrid SACD will (compared to DVD-A) serve also all classical music lovers that bought our CDs up to now. Regarding the loss of bonus material, we have two lovely DVD-Video[s] and if there is a opportunity to do some more – why not. SACD are not made to replace DVD-V (I think that DVD-Video can only provide real bonus material!)

Whether or not a DVD-Audio disc contains bonus material (and how much) depends on many factors such as disc space and licensing rights, but many DVD-Audio discs have been released that burst at the seams with extras… including the classical titles from AIX, but the apparent lack of sales within Europe is more troubling. It isn’t yet known whether ARTS will continue to produce DVD-Audio discs.

Details of the new ARTS SACD titles are as follows, thanks again to Andrea for the valuable input.

Arcangelo Corelli 2 Discs 60055 477248 6
12 Sonate a violino e Violone o Cembalo Op. V

Stefano Montanari – violine, Ottaviano Dantone, Accademia Bizantina (Mauro Valli – violoncello piccolo, Nicola Dal Maso – violone, Tiziano Bagnati – laute, Romano Valentini – orgel)

It was probably the success of Opus V that consecrated Arcangelo Corelli as the supreme model for writing for the violin. In September ARTS Music presents this remarkable collection of twelve sonatas for violin and basso as 2 hybrid SACDs in multi-channel sound.

The soloist of this remarkable recording is Stefano Montenari who is also the first violin leader of the Accademia Bizantina since 1995. During his education as soloist and musician of chamber music he also focused on the study of performance techniques on period instruments. Today, Montenari works with the most important European ensembles of early and baroque music, especially with Christopher Rousset and the group “Les Talens Lyriques”. Furthermore he works as a teacher of baroque violin at the International Academy of Music in Milan.

Dmitri Shostakovich (1906 – 1975) ‘Symphony No. 11 – The Year 1905 1 Disc 60055 476768 0
Oleg Caetani, Orchestra Sinfonica di Milano Giuseppe Verdi

German symphonic music of the 19th century had the greatest effect on Russia. It also influenced the composer Dmitri Shostakovich, who with his 15 symphonies set the pattern for music history in the 20th century. The great 11th symphony, which was awarded the Lenin Price in 1958, is being released this month as one of the first hybrid SACD from ARTS Music in multi-channel sound.

Oleg Caetani, artistic director and permanent conductor of the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra since 2005, conducts the Orchestra Sinfonica di Milano Giuseppe Verdi, which is one of the most important ensembles in whole Italy. Founded in 1993, this ensemble tours through Europe, America and Japan. It regularly works together with great conductors like Christopher Hogwood or Riccardo Muti as well as with well-known soloists like Martha Argerich or Jean-Yves Thibaudet. Since 2003 the orchestra brings in the complete cycles of Shostakovich’s symphonies exclusively for ARTS.