A Gorgeous Debut from the Sibelius Piano Trio

…once you hear [The Sibelius Piano Trio’s debut album] from Yarlung Records, best appreciated via stereo and multi-channel DSD downloads from NativeDSD.com… you’ll understand why their debut recording of trios by Sibelius and contemporary composers deserves a place in your collection. [Pianist Juho Pohjonen] is distinguished by deep sensitivity and lucid insights. Like him, violinist Petteri Iivonen (b. 1987) and cellist Samuli Peltonen (b. 1981) have won top prizes in national and international competitions, and used them to launch international careers. IIvonen is actually famed Finish composer Kaija Saariaho’s violinist of choice for her Violin Concerto, which is saying quite a lot. Together, these three friends formed the Sibelius Piano Trio just two years ago. For a new ensemble that has only performed once in the U.S., and does not yet have a viable website, they’ve certainly racked up several impressive commissions. The discs contain three intriguing works written for Continue Reading →

“James Matheson” earns coveted spot in the Stereophile Magazine “Records to Die for 2017” lineup!

James Matheson: Violin Concerto, String Quartet, Times Alone Baird Dodge, violin; Esa-Pekka Salonen, Chicago Symphony Orchestra; Color Field Quartet; Laura Strickling, soprano; Thomas Sauer, piano The two-channel version of this release, fine in its own right, is available on CD and on three individual LPs: Yarlung YAR65005-670V, YAR25668-670V, and YAR25669-670V. However, my real motivation for this R2D4 listing is the DSD256 five-channel version, downloadable from NativeDSD. With no prior knowledge or expectations of James Matheson’s music, the slashing opening of Taut, energetic, the aptly titled first movement of his String Quartet, hooked me. Not only was the music gripping and appealing, the multichannel sound was completely involving. Matheson is a living composer for whom direct and emotional communication is not compromised by an unintelligible style or obscured by adherence to dated ones. His String Quartet is dramatic, his Violin Concerto virtuosic and witty, and oh, the lovely songs of Times Continue Reading →

Dr. David W. Robinson awards a 2016 Brutus Award to Yarlung Records

The Great Dr. David W. Robinson awards a 2016 Brutus Award to Yarlung Records, with special mention of Yarlung’s analog tape releases and “James Matheson” on DSD: I can’t complete this set of Brutus Awards without a special tip o’ my hat to Bob Attiyeh and Yarlung Records. His production values and remarkable recordings in classic 15 IPS half-track analog tape on a fabulous SonoruS RTR recorder, and then transferred to Quad DSD via a Merging Technologies Hapi Quad DSD ADC and available on the NativeDSD.com site, have been a wonderful treat for me for the past several years. Bob has a lovely sensibility for the music, energized by an inspiring passion for both fine classical and jazz recordings. This year has seen more brilliant work from Bob, all of which can be accessed at his store on NativeDSD.com. Bob, this one’s for you! A Brutus Award for the Matheson Continue Reading →

Merry Christmas! A gift from the Sibelius Piano Trio

Today marks the release of Sibelius Piano Trio in DSD, from executive producer Philip O’Hanlon.  Ann Mulally served as executive producer for the CD and HDTracks releases. Warm thanks to our executive producers, and to Juho, Petteri and Samuli who created this fabulous music at Segerstrom Center for the Arts. Our Gift to You! Enjoy this free download of the exhilarating final movement of Sibelius’ Korppoo Trio. Please read Mark Lehman’s review in The Absolute Sound. Artwork and liner notes are here. Have a wonderful holiday, and thank you so much for your support.  You made Yarlung’s 10th anniversary a year to remember. Sincerely and best wishes, Bob Attiyeh, producer www.yarlungartists.org www.yarlungrecords.com Sibelius Piano Trio DSD artwork. Click to enlarge.

Sibelius Piano Trio Yarlung (2 CDs)

by composer and music critic Mark Lehman Though renowned for his symphonic works, Sibelius wrote a lot of chamber music too, much of it in his early career, that remains little known.  This includes several piano trios from the 1880s that the young composer (an accomplished violinist) wrote to play with his brother and sister.  They sound nothing like his mature masterpieces but are nevertheless charming, expertly made, and brimming over with dandy tunes, inventive but always idiomatic and transparent instrumental textures, and a youthful, high-spirited delight in music-making. Korppoo Trio is the most ambitious and expansive of the three Sibelius trios on Yarlung’s program, coming in at 26 minutes, its fluent, melodic opening allegro interrupted on occasion by stabbing, rather Beethovenian assertions and even a clean-lined fugato at one point, though the overall form is classic in outline and clear as a bell.  The second movement unfolds elaborate episodes that Continue Reading →

Award-Winning Label Achieves State-of-the-Art Sound

Yarlung Recording Session – by Robert Harley Though a small label, Yarlung Records has, since releasing its first album in 2005, made itself noticed in the audiophile community and beyond, appearing on TAS’ newly updated Super LP List and winning a Grammy® award.  So I was excited to have an opportunity to attend a recent Yarlung recording session and witness firsthand the extraordinary engineering behind the company’s releases.  The recording session was more like a concert performance for a small invited group, with movements performed in their entirety rather than stitched together later in the editing room. The recording venue was the sonically and visually gorgeous Samueli Theater, part of the larger Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Costa Mesa, California.  Samueli’s smaller space is ideal for chamber music. The team set up three entirely separate recording chains, each with its own microphones, recorders, and engineers.  The three chains represented Continue Reading →

Obsidian CLARA SCHUMANN: KLAVIERWERKE

This new CD, Obsidian, pays homage to the piano music of Clara Schumann. Clara Schumann’s music has been neglected in recordings.  The album also pays homage to the two men in Clara Schumann’s life, Robert Schumann and Johannes Brahms, interwoven with her as they were into a close friendship and kind of love triangle. The album takes its name from Obsidian Liturgy, written by composer Max Grafe on the occasion of the 120th and 160th birthday of Clara and Robert Schumann in 2016 and in honor of Clara Schumann and Mika Sasaki, our piano soloist on this recording. Grafe’s 10-minute work includes several sections: “Invocation”, “Canticle”, “Incantation”, “Trance”, “Peal”, “Benedictus” and “Ite, missa est.” The intense musical language and the pianist genius of Clara Schumann are particularly evident in the Scherzo in C minor, op. 14, the Three Preludes and Fugues Op. 16, and the variations on a theme by Continue Reading →

Carlos Guzmán raves about Smoke & Mirrors

Mono & Stereo Senior Contributor Carlos Guzmán raves about Smoke & Mirrors: “…the sound of this production is exquisite. A great ambiance is captured in this tape and the effortless flow of music is graciously submitted with precision and focus. The instrument timbres are accurate and the performance is second to none. “…Game of Clocks [by Argentine composer Diego Schissi] is a valuable tool for audiophiles evaluating Hi End equipment as it’s capable to exhibit the weakness and strength of the gear in question. “…Geographical Fugue is highly adventurous and novel. I was so engaged in the Game of Clocks flow that when the next track opened with a loud “TRINIDAD” I jumped [off] my sofa…! Very ingenious combination of percussion and vocal performance. “The quality achieved by the Yarlung’s team is excellent and their commitment to their label is clearly expressed in their recordings. The use and combination of Continue Reading →

James Matheson on “New Music Box”

BY JAMES MATHESON OCTOBER 19, 2016 Originally Published on NewMusicBox.com If experience is the primary generator of wisdom, it’s unfortunate that wisdom often comes at a high and sometimes painful price. All told, I can recall moving 22 times since I was an undergraduate, with at least another half dozen moves before then. Usually I would throw everything I owned in a car and drive. Eventually I started renting U-Hauls.  The last couple of moves I hired movers, like grown-ups do. Everywhere I went I took my crates of LPs. AC/DC, Zeppelin, Psychedelic Furs, Solti’s complete Ring Cycle with Birgit Nilsson, Dorati’s complete Haydn Symphonies, most of Zappa’s records – and many more. In one of the later moves, my Denon turntable broke. And I now had crates of CDs to drag around, too. Perhaps, dear Reader, you can feel where this tale of too-late wisdom is heading… In 2012 Continue Reading →