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Mario Martinez

PlayClassics master file giveaway for CA members

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I received the download gift code from Mario promptly after my request for Iberia. As reported by others the recording quality is superb with a realistic sense of the decay of the piano along with a very spacious sound. Unlike many other "audiophile" recordings I am also pleased that the quality of the performance and the skill of the artist are also very apparent. Thank you again Mario, and I look forward to hearing more of your recordings!

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I took the Debussy Preludes. Very interesting interpretation. The pianist allows for a great deal of intimate detail to emerge without sounding overly detailed to the extent that the piece sounds mechanical. As far as sound quality I'd give it a high rating. Piano is very hard to portray realistically. One often hears "30 foot keyboards" or recordings where the resonance of the piano is lost. This sounds like you would expect a piano to sound in a rather intimate venue. The decay of the notes is perhaps the most realistic I've ever heard.

 

I'd also note that the download system is user friendly and quick. Plus they are very responsive. I got my code within hours of my email. That counts a lot for me.

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I received the "Iberia" recording yesterday from Mario and listened last night through speakers and headphones. Impressive in every way, and it's like being in the same room as the piano. I think Albeniz would be delighted with the recording technology! I look forward to some recordings of string trios or quartets. Thanks much for the listening opportunity you have provided to the forum members and best wishes for the success of this project.

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Hi Mario,

 

many thanks for this offer.

 

This “Iberia” recording is certainly one the best and most natural one I have heard.

It is very close to “live” concerts especially at realistic sound levels.

 

Well done!

 

Manfred

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I'm very impressed by your recording of Luis Grané's Iberia.

 

Iberia is a beautiful piece of music that Grané plays with aplomb. An absolute treat. Very engaging.

 

I would agree that it is a very fine piano recording that I'm sure I'll enjoy for years to come.

 

Thanks Mario for sharing your fine work with us.

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Hello Mario,

I had the chance to listen to the Polish songs (which although I am a true fan of Chopin I must admit I had never listened to). In addition to the pieces being brilliantly composed (of course) and interpreted, I was very impressed with the liveliness of the sound - very natural and powerful, truly giving the impression that the singer is in front of the listener. IMO what differred from some highrez master recordings was that it truly lacks the "digital" flare that can sometimes be a bit annoying - so I am anxiously waiting for more records from your young company. In fact I really hope you will manage to get more from Chopin - Nocturnes or Mazurkas would be a must !

Good luck with the company !

Chris

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Thank you for your wonderful feedback! It is a real pleasure to be able to share this music with you all.

 

We have given out 62 codes so far: 32 for Albéniz Iberia, 12 for Debussy Préludes Book 1, 10 for Cabrera plays Debussy, 5 for Songs of Paolo Tosti, 3 for Chopin Polish Songs.

 

In addition to the testimonials we have also received some donations; I want to tell you I am really grateful for that too.

 

Should you have any questions about the recordings, the web page, ...anything, please do ask, I will be happy to answer all your questions :)

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The Albéniz Iberia was beautifully recorded and most enjoyable. Many thanks.

 

My only other observation was that on my rig the volume was noticeably lower compared to most other recordings I have, which admittedly are mainly 16/44.1. That is not a criticism, as I hate the 'loudness wars' recordings, but an observation. It could also be hardware related of course.

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My only other observation was that on my rig the volume was noticeably lower compared to most other recordings

 

Hi Jonathan,

 

Here is why:

 

The Truthful Masters do not have any dynamic range compression. They do have a little less volume but they have the full dynamic range of the performance and the pure sound of the take.

 

We also offer Normalized MP3 files. These MP3 files do sound as loud as you would expect but they do have a little bit of dynamic range compression.

 

We offer both files for this particular reason.

 

The Truthful Masters are best for critical listening on audiophile systems. You may have to bring up the level 7dB or 8dB more than usual but you will get the sound as pure as it gets.

 

The MP3 files are a trade off, you can enjoy them on small systems or louder environments but they do have the drawbacks of dynamic range compression.

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Hi Jonathan,

 

Here is why:

 

The Truthful Masters do not have any dynamic range compression. They do have a little less volume but they have the full dynamic range of the performance and the pure sound of the take.

 

We also offer Normalized MP3 files. These MP3 files do sound as loud as you would expect but they do have a little bit of dynamic range compression.

 

We offer both files for this particular reason.

 

The Truthful Masters are best for critical listening on audiophile systems. You may have to bring up the level 7dB or 8dB more than usual but you will get the sound as pure as it gets.

 

The MP3 files are a trade off, you can enjoy them on small systems or louder environments but they do have the drawbacks of dynamic range compression.

 

I like this philosophy! Looking forward to more releases :)

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Thanks for the code, @Mario Martinez. It took me a while before I had an opportunity to sit down and listen carefully to the Debussy Preludes, Book 1, but it was well worth the listen. De Quirós's playing is impressive: Not only does he have the requisite technical proficiency, more important, his interpretation is thoughtful and extraordinarily expressive. I think the recording is terrific. I get a real sense of the physical instrument in a natural space. This is my new go-to version of Préludes, Book 1, and one of the best solo piano recordings I've encountered.

 

I'm looking forward to future releases. I wish you the best of luck growing PlayClassics.

 

--David

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We have given out 62 codes so far: 32 for Albéniz Iberia, 12 for Debussy Préludes Book 1, 10 for Cabrera plays Debussy, 5 for Songs of Paolo Tosti, 3 for Chopin Polish Songs

I'm one of the Debussy prelude album recipients. This is one of the best recordings I have in terms of both absolute SQ and the quality of the recording of a piano. The piano sounds about as close to live as I've heard on my systems in my rooms.

 

From the ambience and modest directionality (right side of keyboard sometimes R of center, left sometimes L of center, neither ever on "wrong" side, most balanced across center 1/2 to 3/4 of soundstage), I'm guessing that it was made with 2 mics placed just outside the footprint of an open grand. I don't know what the piano was - but assuming I'm right about mics and the recording is accurate, I'm going to guess that the piano is a smaller concert grand like a Kawai GX6. I don't think it's a big Steinway or Bosendorfer. Mario, how close did I come?

 

For reference, the best-sounding piano recording I own is a 45rpm RCA direct-to-disc (jrl1-1105) of Beethoven's Appassionata by Ikuyo Kamiya playing a big Bosendorfer. If the piano on this Debussy is a similar instrument, the recording's not quite as true to life. If the piano is a shorter scale as I guessed, the recording is probably equally as good (but I like the sound of the big B more).

 

Does the vinyl sound better because it's vinyl? I'd say probably not, especially if the piano on the Debussy preludes is, in fact, a smaller grand than the one on the Appassionata. But if it's 9'6"+, then maybe so.

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De Quirós's playing is impressive: Not only does he have the requisite technical proficiency, more important, his interpretation is thoughtful and extraordinarily expressive. I think the recording is terrific.

Sorry - I forgot the performer in my zeal. I hadn't heard him play before and agree that this is very fine playing and interpreting.

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