Chasing The Dragon - Vivaldi's 4 Seasons - Reel To Reel Tape
Produced by Mike Valentine
“…the playing is spirited and unrestrained and the recording superbly transparent and three-dimensional … for this kind of small, nine person ensemble, I think producer Mike Valentine’s “minimalist with some spotlight mike enhancement” approach works really well. … A superbly produced, engineered, performed and presented edition of the ‘Four Seasons'”. — Music = 10/11; Sound = 10/11 — Michael Fremer, AnalogPlanet.com. Read the whole review here.
A dynamic performance, a pure analog delight! Vivaldi’s best known work, The Four Seasons, is given new life in this Audiophile Direct to Disc recording from Chasing the Dragon. In order to make this D2D recording, the Interpreti Veneziani Chamber Orchestra performs each album side live in the studio, recorded via state of the art, all-tube valve microphones, fed to a Neve Desk, and then via a pure analogue path directly to the Neumann VMS80 lathe.
The brilliantly captured session was carefully engineered, and mixed live, no overdubs! During the performance, the Neumann VMS 80 Cutting head engages the master lacquer (“stamper” used for pressing LPs) and is not stopped until the entire side is complete! The results are amazing! A more accurate recording, a greater immediacy and interaction among the players, less background noise through the elimination of master tapes, overdubs, etc. by directly cutting the recording to vinyl. A dynamic album that needs to be heard!
“The playing is extremely vigorous in places, which adds to the dynamics and drama, and credit should be given to the nine musicians in Interpreti Veneziani and the many period instruments they play…It’s the combination of the original sound, coupled with the shortness and purity of the signal chain, which make this such an astonishing record …a lot more robust that most I’ve heard.” — Hi-Fi+ Magazine
“Producer Mike Valentine used all-tube microphones, and the sound is as you might expect… String tones were rich and fully expressed, yet the somewhat distantly placed harpsichord had appropriate transient zip and definition.” – Michael Fremer, Stereophile Magazine.
“In creating this direct cut album, we had to overcome many challenges. Because the album had to be recorded ‘live’ I had to first find a piece of music which would the perfect length. Obviously, I found the answer in Vivaldi’s Four Seasons. Next came the musicians and I was so lucky to have the opportunity of bringing over from Venice, the leading Venetian chamber orchestra, Interpreti Veneziani. Finally, I had to find a recording studio which not only had a superb space, it also had to have an engineer versed in the black art of cutting live vinyl. Well, have we succeeded? Please judge for yourself, for I hope you have as much fun in listening as we had in cutting this disc!” — Mike Valentine, producer/engineer