Mobile Fidelity Tri-Vista SACD Player
Sunfire Classic Tube Preamplifier
Tara Labs RSC Air 1 Interconnects
Kimber Kable Select KS-3035 Speaker Cables
MIT Z-Cord III Power Cord
Virtual Dynamics Nite Power Cords
Manley Labs Mahi Monoblock Tube Amplifiers
Red Rose Rosebud MKII Speakers
07/01/2003 9:30p ET
Brett Rudolph - Reviewer
Canto das Aquas is a fun release, especially if you happen to love acoustic guitar. The music is both deep and well thought out with a definite Latin American flair. The combination of acoustic guitar, bass, percussion and keyboards is top rate.
The album’s repertoire was composed and the guitar parts performed by Andre Geraissati. According to the liner notes he strives to use instruments to their absolute fullest extent and in various different types of musical styles. It isn’t really difficult to see the truth in this statement since from the first track through the last there is no question that is exactly what he has done. And that is to produce a wide and varied collection that celebrates the guitar.
CAVI Records, a newly formed record label has released this album. They were, according to the notes, extremely thrilled to be able do a recording with Andre Geraissati. Listening to the music, one can sense the genuine concern for detail and perfection in the recording. While the record label gives praise to Reference Studio in Sao Paulo, Brazil as being the most advanced recording studio, which might be true, it is also impotant that the record company itself take some of the credit.
The album is released as a hybrid stereo SACD. For those of you who have been reading my reviews, I must apologize for reciting, yet again, what the format is, but it is important for those who don’t know, to understand. The hybrid stereo SACD format contains essentially two layers; the first has a standard CD version that can be played on virtually any equipment that can play CDs. The second layer is the SACD layer which contains the new high resolution format which is capable of reproducing far more dynamic range and musical detail when reproduced on a proper system.
The CD version of Canto das Aquas is all that one might expect from a well recorded and produced CD. It captures the basic essence of the performers in the reproduction of the music. While it might not quite be as dynamic as one might like when listening to acoustic guitar, it certainly does a good at providing a genuinely good listening experience.
Compositionally, Cantos das Aquas is experimental and lush without being too overbearing musically. Every piece is an expression of self, an exploration of tone and note. Its passion is the key to its success and to its ability to communicate with the listener in a deep sense.
“Bengurla,” track nine, is a great example of the skill that was used in recording and mixing the album. The stereo separation is extremely evident and allows the listener to feel as though they are “there” in the recording session. It fills the room with the sounds of all the instruments and immerses the listener in a world filled with delightful music, without growing the least bit restless by being too forward in its presentation style.
It is the SACD version of this album where Canto das Aquas really shines. With its improved ability to reproduce the dynamic range and capture a greater amount of transient detail, the instruments really come fully alive. The acoustic guitar which even on the best of CDs is somewhat difficult to capture fully, especially when a performer uses it as fully as Andre Geraissati does on this album. However, the SACD version has no such limitations.
“Canto das Aguas,” track three, is a solo performance by Andre Geraissati. As I mentioned before, he truly seeks to use the acoustic guitar to as full an extent as possible. However, unlike the sounds heard on the CD version where one can sense there is more than what one hears, that becomes a moot point on the SACD layer. Each note can be fully absorbed from the moment is it struck till the moment it decays. This creates a fuller experience where the listener gets a true sense of this masterful piece.
“Kenya,” track six, is a wonderful blend of all the instruments used in the performance. It also is a great example of just how good SACD sounds. With the improved ability to capture transients, the slightest misstep in recording or mixing is likely to be heard almost immediately, even by the least concerned listener. However, in this piece, there is not one error to be heard. Instead, the blending of the instrumental work is so precise that the music makes you feel as though you are actually experiencing the piece without leaving the comfort of your own seat.
I will admit that I enjoyed listening to a somewhat different style of music then I am used to in reviewing Canto das Aquas. It is the combination of excellent recording, superior talent, and SACD technology that causes this title to rise above the norm. It comes highly recommended.
Copyright © 2002-2003 Matthew Rowe. All rights reserved.
Canto das Aguas
Released: May, 2002
Jose Alexandre Carvalho: