Sony Classical has released the newest album by Pianist Arcadi Volodos in Surround Sound SACD. Titled Volodos Plays Liszt, the disc is the artist’s first album that solely focuses on compositions by Franz Liszt.
Continuing the practice used at SonyBMG’s RCA Red Seal and BMG classical labels, the new Volodos Plays Liszt is a Single Inventory Hybrid Surround Sound SACD. The SACD serves as both the SACD and CD edition of the album and features Surround Sound SACD, Stereo SACD and CD Audio versions of the music on the album on this disc.
Moving Towards the BMG Approach to SACD Labeling
The disc is also noteworthy by its labeling. For this SACD, Sony Classical has dispensed with the familiar black SACD sticker on the cover of the disc.
Instead, it features a sticker that mirrors the ones we see on BMG and RCA Red Seal Single Inventory Classical Music SACDs. The sticker picks up the colors of the album cover and notes that the album is a “Hybrid Super Audio CD, Plays on All CD and Super Audio CD Players.” On the back of the SACD Jewel Box, the SACD and CD logos appear along with the same notation along with information that the disc includes “Super Audio CD Surround, Super Audio CD Stereo and CD Audio”. I wouldn’t be surprised to see future Single Inventory Sony Classical SACD releases to continue to follow the BMG and RCA Red Seal SACD labeling.
Volodos Plays Liszt
SACD Surround Sound/SACD Stereo/CD Audio
(Sony Classical 82876-87380-2)
Volodos Plays Liszt is the pianist’s sixth album for Sony Classical and his fourth Super Audio CD release. With this album, Volodos plays ten compositions by Franz Liszt.
The SACD’s liner notes say that “Liszt’s enthusiastic piano transcriptions, his fiery etudes or the Hungarian Rhapsodies are still regarded with their breakneck, or better brek-finger cascades of notes as the Gradus ad Parnassum of any pianistic training.”
Sony Classical describes the album by saying that “This long awaited album confirms Arcadi Volodos as exceptional as a pianist. With pieces like the “Funйrailles” or his own version of the “Hungarian Rhapsody” No. 13, Volodos presents his phenomenal virtuosity. The Liszt Portrдit begins with famous pieces from the “Pilgerjahr”, as well as from Michelangelo’s sculptures (“IL Penseroso”) and Raffael paintings (“Sposalizio”). This new Super Audio CD is a fantastic sound experience.”
Volodos Plays Liszt was recorded at Teldex Studio in Berlin in May, August and September 2006. It was produced by Friedemann Engelbrecht and engineered by Philipp Knop and Julian Schwenkner. The Hybrid Layer Surround Sound SACD disc was made by Sonopress at their plant in Germany.
The Volodos Plays Liszt SACD has won early rave reviews for the quality of its sonics as well as the dazzling piano performances on this disc by Arcadi Volodos.
1. Annйes de pиlerinage I, No. 6 “La vallйe d’Obermann”
2. Annйes de pиlerinage II, No. 2 “Il penseroso”
3. St Franзois d’Assise, No. 1 “La prйdication aux oiseaux”
4. Bagatelle sans tonalitй
5. Hungarian Rhapsody No. 13
6. Annйes de pиlerinage II, No. 1 “Sposalizio”
7. Prelude in F minor after Bach “Weinen, Klagen, Sorgen, Zagen”
8. Harmonies poйtiques et religieuses, No. 7 “Les Funйrailles”
9. La lugubre gondola (Trauergondel) No. 2
10. En rкve (Nocturne)
Earlier Super Audio CDs by Arcadi Volodos
If you like the performances on this SACD, you may want to seek out the earlier Super Audio CD releases by Arcadi Volodos. They have also received high praise for both their sonics and musical performances.
The last 4 of his albums are available in Super Audio CD, with his previous album also available as a Single Inventory Surround Sound SACD. Here is a list of the Volodos SACD Super Audio CD catalog from Sony Classical:
Hybrid Layer Surround Sound SACDs – SACD Surround Sound/SACD Stereo/CD Audio
Single Layer Stereo SACDs – SACD Stereo – Only Playable on SACD Compatible Equipment
Earlier Classical and Movie Soundtrack Releases in Surround Sound SACD from Sony Classical
Prior to the Volodos Plays Liszt, Sony Classical also released the debut album by composer Jay Greenberg and an original symphony composed by artist Danny Elfman in Surround Sound SACD. Elfman’s music from this composition was also featured in the Soundtrack to the Imax movie Deep Sea 3D.
I should also mention that while the focus from SonyBMG Masterworks in the last year or so has been on Classical Music releases, Sony Classical has released some movie soundtrack Surround Sound SACDs as well. If you’re a fan of high resolution audio and surround sound, you may want to give these SACDs from Sony Classical a listen as well:
Sony Classical – SACD Surround Sound SACD/SACD Stereo/CD Audio – Classical Releases
Sony Classical – SACD Surround Sound SACD/SACD Stereo/CD Audio – Movie Soundtrack Releases
The Volodos Plays Liszt Surround Sound SACD is now available at Classical Music stores. It is also available at web sites that carry Super Audio CDs including Acoustic Sounds, CD Universe, Elusive Disc, Music Direct, Amazon.Com and TowerRecords.Com.