February 6, 2013

Yarlung Goes Vinyl

Yarlung Records


By David Thomson

What separates Yarlung Records from most others is that engineer/owner Bob Attiyeh is not only a purist about accurately reproducing the acoustic merits of the recording, but he feels it’s just as important to capture the emotion of the performance.

Maybe, that’s why the GRAMMY® winning Antonio Lysy at the Broad: Music from Argentina, recently released on 180 gram vinyl, was honored as an Absolute Sound album pick of the year–both in music and recording categories.

This is high praise, indeed. The CD, previously mentioned in an editorial featuring Yarlung in RCN Jan/Feb 2011, was so well received that Yarlung fans nagged and nagged until Bob finally relented and ventured into the previously uncharted territory of vinyl.

Antonio LysyIn the comfort of collaboration with renowned mastering engineer Steve Hoffman, and utilizing Elliot Midwood’s Messenger technology, Bob delved deep into the mastering process. Once triumphant, he then entrusted the vinyl mastering to the equally talented Doug Sax and Sangwood Nam.

This record sounds just like the master tape

The results? As Bob states, “Thanks to Doug’s all-tube mastering equipment, this record sounds just like the master tape.” (Attention Yo Yo Ma fans: the deep, reverberating echo of the cello has never been so richly, or accurately, reproduced.)

The compositions of Argentinians Ginastera, Piazzolla and, the more recognizable Lalo Schifrin, take us on a journey through Gaucho and Inca rhythms.

The album, Lysy enthuses, “…highlights the ‘cello as a solo instrument and illustrates the impact of pre-Hispanic Amerindian traditions and Spanish based Creole influences as well as the effect of more modern musical developments like the tango on Argentinian composers.”

Antonio continues, “Rhythmic passages where you can hear the galloping horses of proud gauchos on their stallions…haunting phrases illustrate the vast, open skies of the Pampas…followed by an ostrich hunt…and the evening asado feast with dancing and drums.”

Antonio’s eloquent album cover notes truly enhance the listening experience–both aural and visual. This LP truly is a treat. Not only do we experience the music, but our emotions–ours and the artist’s–run rampant.

SuryodayaAs occasional RCN contributor, and Stereophile analog reviewer, Michael Fremer effuses, I’ve played this record repeatedly over the past few days and I can’t get enough. When it’s over, you will sit in stunned silence.”

High praise indeed. There’s much more at If we nag him enough, Bob promises he will release more of these exquisite recordings on vinyl.

Other memorable Yarlung releases include their 2nd vinyl masterpiece, The Art of the Violin, with Petteri Iivonon. Also, on CD: Smoke and Mirrors (a percussion ensemble featuring among others: Steve Reich), the mystical Suryodaya, a violin and tabla delight with Robert Gupta and Badel Roy, and Barefoot, with piano virtuosa Joanne Pierce Martin.


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