“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 Alone linger in my mind after the last notes fade.

The multichannel tracks of the String Quartet and the song cycle were recorded in November 2015 in DSD256 by Tom Caulfield, using his array of five DPA 4006A microphones and a Merging Technologies Horus A/D converter… .

–Kalman Rubinson, Stereophile February, 2017

Read the whole article on Stereophile.com.

Special thanks to our valiant executive producers who made this recording!

CD: J and Helen Schlichting
DSD: Philip O’Hanlon
String Quartet vinyl: Elliot Midwood
Violin Concerto vinyl: Sally Swab Austin & Bradford L. Austin
Times Alone vinyl: Doug Weaver

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