Top critical review
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Be warned - poor sound balance
on 8 January 2014
Very disappointed with this CD compared to Nicola Benedetti's other works. As one other reviewer says there are variations in sound level which make for an unpleasant experience unless you're sitting next to the volume button. The quality of playing is exquisite but the album is ruined by other issues.
The order of pieces seems to be very random and thrown together as if the producers had not thought about how the album would run cohesively as a unit. Specifically the listener is given the serenity and calm of Spiegel Im Spiegel and then the exquisite calm of the Nocturne only to be BLASTED in the ears by the Tchaikovsky Allegro Vivacissimo (track 6) which starts with a CRASH and is clearly at a far higher sound level. Then to be dropped back to the calm of the Meditation from Thais. Be warned, the difference in sound balance is so obvious it's clear nobody in production had listened to the CD in detail before it was issued. If they think this a joke to 'wake you up' with the Tchakivsky then it's lost on me, and presumably most people with educated and sensitive ears.
I normally love Benedetti's playing but feel let down by this CD. It feels cobbled together from her earlier recordings (we've had The Lark Ascending on an earlier CD and it's a long piece.. filler perhaps) and smacks of money spinning which is not something I would have associated with Benedetti... unless the profits are going to her charity/ies but there's no mention of that....
I'm going to re-burn this CD on iTunes removing the Tchaikovsky track, ditto my iPod, and then the whole album will be a more pleasant experience but way below her other albums in terms of a quality product.