96kHz/24-bit, FLAC*; Orchid Classics ORC100084 (supplied by www.highresaudio.com)
If your image of the saxophone is all stabbing interjections, screaming high notes and parps, and close-miked clattering keys, prepare to have your thoughts rearranged. These pieces, written for the instrument, and some arrangements by Wiggin, are by turns lyrical and rhythmic, and gorgeously recorded. Wiggin – Prof. of saxophone at London’s Royal Academy of Music, no less – plays a Selmer soprano sax here. He’s accompanied by pianist John Lenehan, with appearances by harpist Oliver Wass, captured with consummate skill by Alexander Barnes, giving the instruments space to breathe and develop their timbres. Standouts? Wiggin’s arrangement of Saint-Saëns’ The Swan, and Paule Maurice’s evocative Tableaux de Provence, written ‘for saxophone (or piano)’, but then this is an album packed with delights, and a truly scintillating sound. AE
Sound Quality: 85%
Hi-Fi News Lab Report
While the available dynamic range is well managed – Huw Wiggin’s saxophone occupying the uppermost 10dB but never clipping – the original music file is evidently sampled at 48kHz, and offered here upsampled to 96kHz. PM
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