176.4kHz/24-bit FLAC, Wilson Audiophile Recordings (supplied by www.highresaudio.com)

This is one of the analogue recordings produced and engineered by David Wilson now being distributed in high-res digital transfers via Naxos (in the States). These two sonatas appeared on LP in 1984 [W-8315] and were recorded at a hall in Oakland, California, using a simple Schoeps mic set-up suspended high over the players. Abel and Steinberg play respectively a Guarneri violin and a Hamburg Steinway D. It’s a pleasure to hear such clean, true piano sound, albeit with some pedal noise – although the violinist proves the more interesting interpreter. The notes are there but these sonatas require more: if you have the Kremer/Argerich Op.96 [DG] you’ll only listen to these players once, while the Enescu was most empathetically realised in 1936 by the young Menuhins, brother and sister (it’s been uploaded to YouTube). CB

Sound Quality: 65%

Hi-Fi News Lab Report

I’ve read that Wilson’s original analogue recording was recently digitised via an EMM Labs ADC. This makes sense because the spectra (above) look very much like a DSD encode, downsampled to 176.4kHz. Music reaches tape noise at <20kHz. PM