Ensemble Meridiana - Tastes of Europe - Positive Feedback Online

Linn gained fame for their early turntable designs and now are developing a fine reputation as Linn Records (Gramophone's Label of the Year 2010). To turn out the best possible audio at this time the SACD hybrid (playable on any CD or SACD player) system is being used as expected. This recording definitely offers top audio quality with particularly outstanding detailed quality and very extended frequency response. Some of the early baroque period instruments seem to put out great output in the treble ranges and particularly noticed because of relatively less output in bass and lower midranges than more modern orchestral instruments. If your system is a bit lacking in high end range quality the result may be at least a subtle hint of irritation or harshness resulting in listening fatigue. Unfortunately the quality problems in the high end or so called treble range are not limited to being found with CD or SACD players. Along with trying to extend the frequency range of tweeters, manufacturers often have to deal with more resonances particularly with metallic cones of various exotic materials and so on. This group consists of violin, viola de gamba (almost a cello) basso continuo, oboe and recorder. Most of the compositions here are the trios, so fullness is perhaps slightly lacking and I have no idea why that would be done. In any event the performances are easily top notch and the audio quality even in the stereo SACD mode seems to have a definite projection quality in addition to great depth for such a small group. Outstanding audio is not true of all Telemann (my favorite baroque composer) though it is certainly here on this release, a larger group or a bit different combination of instruments would have been more readily appreciated by those newly exposed to baroque music. Those with great interest will like the inclusion of the Italian style (sharp and colorful) the French style (flowing and tender) and the later German style (mixed taste); that accounts for the heading of this fine release. Personally I shall look forward to a release adding a couple more players to this fine group for potentially more appeal to more listeners to discover what Linn Records is doing with SACD. It rates recommendation to any listener interested in music from that time period of long ago, the baroque period

01 March 2012