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From the Recording Session - Vivaldi Bassoon Concertos

01 March 2016

Academy of St Martin in the Fields, Antonio Vivaldi, PENTATONE, DSD SURROUND, FLAC SURROUND, DSD STEREO, FLAC STEREO

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Erdo Groot, sound engineer at Polyhymnia International gives us another intriguing account of a recent session with the bassoon soloist Gustavo Núñez  together with the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, recording a selection of bassoon concertos by Vivaldi for PENTATONE.

Last April my colleague Lauran Jurrius and I went to London for a great PENTATONE recording project. Bassoon soloist Gustavo Núñez had arranged to record with the world renowned Academy of St Martin in the Fields a series of selected bassoon concertos by Antonio Vivaldi.

We parked the van with our recording equipment outside the famous church in St John's Smith Square, a place that is always great to come back to for a recording. It was long ago transformed into a concert hall, with good reason, as it has one of the finest acoustics for both listening and recording. This would be our second time using our newly refurbished, original, tube design, Neumann M-50 microphones, both for the orchestra as well as the soloists stereo microphone set up. The combination of these classic vintage tools with our high resolution recording equipment provides for the best of 2 worlds; a full warm intimate sound, with all the micro detail as well. 

St. John's Smith Square, London

The pieces Gustavo has selected are wonderful examples of the rich musical fantasy of Vivaldi and still today they really communicate well. The outer movements are usually fast, with uplifting moods, and lively themes, embellished with many notes in the bassoon. They demand a lot from the soloist and the orchestra – real virtuoso playing by Gustavo with precise and dedicated accompaniment by the orchestra. The chamber music character in the slow inner movements brings out the  introspective mood in a lyrical singing tone. The wonderful John Constable on harpsichord is joined by Stephen Orton on the cello and Lynda Sayce on the theorbo (sometimes also with Linda Houghton on double bass) to play the basso continuo group and together with Gustavo make these slow movements really stand out.

We came back from London with several fantastic takes that, combined, make for a great listen and I wish all as much enjoyment with these performances as I have had working on them. 

Erdo Groot
Erdo is a sound engineer at Polyhymnia International and is widely recognized for his expertise and contributions in the areas of surround recording and Super Audio CD, and participates regularly in professional forums.  In 1996, Erdo started working with Philips and Sony on the development of multichannel Super Audio CD, making many of the first-ever multichannel surround recordings. Read about his experience of recording Scriabin's Poem of Ecstasy and the Shostakovich Symphony No. 7, for which he was nominated for a Grammy.

Vivaldi - 6 Bassoon Concertos


Remko remko posted 2 years ago

I would love to attend a recording session! Especially with all the vintage mics and the high-end equipment combined with skilled players and good music!

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Remko remko posted 2 years ago

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