Pepe Romero, guitar; Chano Lobato, singer; Maria Magdalena, dancer; Paco Romero, dancer. LIM K2HD 022.
There is no doubt this K2HD LIM remastering of the 1988 Philips album "Flamenco" sounds fabulous. The dynamic range is exceptionally wide; the transient attack and impact are as strong as they could possibly be; the width and depth of image places the performers at realistic distances across and behind the speakers; and the whole show possesses an ambient naturalism that puts the listener in the very room with the artists. The sound is superclean and amazingly vivid.
The only problem I had with the music is that I don't personally care all that much for flamenco. Understand, I love Pepe Romero's guitar playing, and I have a number of his recordings, including a Mercury disc of flamenco music he made almost thirty years before this one.
The Romeros obviously have flamenco in their blood, and Pepe was probably born with a guitar in his baby hands. The playing here is terrific, to say the least. But for me, a couple of the tracks became a little nerve-wracking, especially the several cuts that contain dancing, which started to give a bit of a headache. Nor did I particularly care for Chano Lobato's singing in several other numbers. Fortunately, that still left enough purely instrumental tracks that I could appreciate fully.
As I say, this is splendid flamenco playing, one of the best flamenco albums ever recorded, and LIM's disc reproduction does it justice. If you like the music, I'd have to say this one is a must.
About the Author
Understand, I'm just an everyday guy reacting to something I love. And I've been doing it for a very long time, my appreciation for classical music starting with the musical excerpts on The Big John and Sparkie radio show in the early Fifties and the purchase of my first recording, The 101 Strings Play the Classics, around 1956. In the late Sixties I began teaching high school English and Film Studies as well as becoming interested in hi-fi, my audio ambitions graduating me from a pair of AR-3 speakers to the Fulton J's recommended by The Stereophile's J. Gordon Holt. In the early Seventies, I began writing for a number of audio magazines, including Audio Excellence, Audio Forum, The Boston Audio Society Speaker, The American Record Guide, and from 1976 until 2008, The $ensible Sound, for which I served as Classical Music Editor.
Today, I'm retired from teaching and use a pair of bi-amped VMPS RM40s loudspeakers for my listening. In addition to writing the Classical Candor blog, I served as the Movie Review Editor for the Web site Movie Metropolis (formerly DVDTown) from 1997-2013. Music and movies. Life couldn't be better.
It is the goal of Classical Candor to promote the enjoyment of classical music. Other forms of music come and go--minuets, waltzes, ragtime, blues, jazz, bebop, country-western, rock-'n'-roll, heavy metal, rap, and the rest--but classical music has been around for hundreds of years and will continue to be around for hundreds more. It's no accident that every major city in the world has one or more symphony orchestras.
When I was young, I heard it said that only intellectuals could appreciate classical music, that it required dedicated concentration to appreciate. Nonsense. I'm no intellectual, and I've always loved classical music. Anyone who's ever seen and enjoyed Disney's Fantasia or a Looney Tunes cartoon playing Rossini's William Tell Overture or Liszt's Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2 can attest to the power and joy of classical music, and that's just about everybody.
So, if Classical Candor can expand one's awareness of classical music and bring more joy to one's life, more power to it. It's done its job.
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