COMPOSERS: Tchaikovsky; Nielsen
ALBUM TITLE: Souvenir II
WORKS: Tchaikovsky: Serenade; Nielsen: Suite
PERFORMER: Trondheim Soloists/Oyvind Gimse
CATALOGUE NO: 2L090PABD
After their sensational Divertimenti disc, any new release from the Trondheim Soloists on the 2L label is cause for anticipation. This new collection, Souvenir, does not disappoint. As before, and recalling Decca’s experiments with the possibilities of stereo, the approach to recording is innovative. The usual instrumental groupings were broken up and the players placed in a circle surrounding the microphones, so the listener is immersed in the sound. The result is an immersive experience that’s thrillingly different from the norm. For ultimate audiophiles, 2L has even provided a 3D 9.1 mix for a combination of high and low speakers, and there is the capacity to extract MP3 or FLAC files.
Nonetheless, while the playing is generally wonderful and the sound is extraordinary, there is a danger that the music-making is relegated to a secondary component. This is a superbly constructed programme, but the booklet muses on the nature of listening, without considering what is being heard. The Nielsen Suite is beautifully performed, as is much of the Tchaikovsky. However, while fast passages sound viscerally exciting, they periodically lack direction.