Fernando Sor - William Carter - Gramophone (High Fidelity)

Another exemplary release from Linn, a company never afraid to stray beyond mainstream repertoire. What a find this is: Carter plays Sor's music not with the nails but with the pads of his fingers. It's a tricky technique, apparently, but gives greater warmth and subtlety than the all-out attack of the conventional style.

The disc, in 5.0-channel DSD, is gloriously intimate and yet atmospheric, the surrounds offering just a little reverberation: the focus is always on the instrument, the music and the superb performance. If anyone ever tells you multichannel music is all about gimmicks and effects or that SACD has nothing to offer over CD, point them in the direction of this disc.


12 March 2010