Beethoven, Schubert, Dvorak & Mendelssohn: new master tapes from UltraAnalogue Recordings

I had an excited message from Ed Pong of UltraAnalogue Recordings the other day. Ed sounded like he was on the kind of high that you only get from those peak musical experiences (you know the ones!) – and with good reason, since he’s just finished making several new master tape recordings of a stunning live classical performance.

What we have here is: four composers, a trio of musicians at the top of their game, and two master tape copies – just released by UltraAnalogue.

Both tapes are recordings of a live performance in UltraAnalogue’s bespoke concert venue-cum-studio setting in Toronto, Canada, and both feature star violinist Alena Baeva, cellist Narek Hakhnazaryan and pianist Vadym Kholodenko.

Alena Baeva, Narek Hakhnazaryan & Vadym Kholodenko perform at UltraAnalogue Recordings, Toronto

It’s been a long time coming, given the way the world has been in recent times.

“Finally,” says Ed, “I got Alena, Narek and Vadym here for our piano trio concert! It was spectacular – amazing music, incredible performances”.

“I’ve just listened again to the master tapes and, in many ways, I think they may be our best ones yet. Of course there’s the musical content: these piano trios are simply wonderful compositions – the interplay between the three instruments is more involving than a solo, or even than an accompanied solo or duet. And, sonically, for these very special recordings I used 1956 vintage new old stock WE437a and WE300b tubes in my bespoke microphone preamplifier. In addition, Alena is playing with a rather special bow. It’s got power and intense focus but it’s also very sweet.  It can cut through the thickest piano and cello sounds and Alena soars like an angel.”

As a huge fan of Alena’s work, I can’t wait to hear that!

Here are the new tapes – click the links to find out more and order:

Beethoven Piano Trio No.6 Op.97 (Archduke), Schubert Nocturno D.897, Dvorak Humouresque (Live) (a double tape)

Mendelssohn Piano Trio No.1, Op.49 (Live)

You can see / hear samples of these musicians performing on UltraAnalogue’s YouTube channel – I’m hoping Ed will add some extracts from this latest performance too!