96kHz/24-bit, FLAC; Dancing Cat/RCA Records (no cat no) (supplied by www.highresaudio.com)
Definitely smarter than your average charity album, this one has been produced by the veteran pianist to benefit the Southern Californian hospital where he received bone transplant surgery a few years back, spending his recovery time in the hospital auditorium composing the pieces here. OK, so all very worthy, but this is also a great album, both in the ease and fluidity of the playing and above all in the superb sound quality on offer. For anyone thinking that dynamics are all about the punch of a rock track or the Sturm und Drang of a big orchestra, the way this set captures the power, light and shade of Winston’s piano will be quite an eye-opener. From the tinkling ‘Carousel 1’, opening the album, through to the infectious ‘Requited Love’, this is a masterclass in vibrant, enchanting piano recording. A superb performer at work, in luminous sound, and all in a good cause – what’s not to like? AE
Sound Quality: 90%
Hi-Fi News Lab Report
George Winston’s 14th album was recorded by Howard Johnston onto analogue tape (hence the elevated noise) with subsequent mastering in the digital domain at 96kHz. A thundering dynamic range is still maximised, however. PM
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