192kHz/24-bit FLAC/ALAC, Linn Records CKD 432 (supplied by www.linnrecords.com)

This second Linn album by the young Japanese artist Kuniko Kato comprises arrangements, mostly for marimba, of well-known minimalist pieces by Steve Reich and Arvo Pärt. She also plays a solo work by Hywell Davies, Purl Ground, premiered by Kuniko at Cheltenham in 2011. Reich’s New York Counterpoint works better in transcription here, I feel, than Fratres [marimba/vibraphone], Spiegel im Spiegel [marimba/bells] or the Cantus in Memory of Benjamin Britten, although Kuniko hopes her own versions might attract an even wider audience. The elaborately multi-tracked recordings took place in three Japanese locations each with a different acoustic character: eg, an ancient church for Für Alina [vibraphone/crotales] where the ‘soft sounds of ladybirds travelled through the stained glass’. (Who mentioned ‘Pseud’s Corner’…?) Audiophile material of the first order. CB

Sound Quality: 90%

Hi-Fi News Lab Report

Few tracks occupy anything of the range offered by a 192kHz recording, but the gentle percussion from Für Alina clearly shows harmonics out to 60kHz! The noise floor varies by 10dB between tracks but remains very low throughout. PM