The young Fidelio Records sees itself as representing the cutting edge among labels with audiophile aspirations, and at the same time as a melting pot of unusual musicians whose aim is to separate themselves from mainstream based musical projects, and pursue the highest level of artistic expression. The Canadian label’s target group is listeners who use technology that’s close at hand as a vehicle to penetrate to core of the music, obtaining this mainly through high-resolution downloads. In contrast to the decades of active competition from competitors who at their peak have created recordings of dubious artistic quality for the high-end, with equipment that from a technical standpoint can best be described as ‘long on the tooth’, Fidelio Records places equally high value on artistic quality, and brings to the market recordings which in terms of both technical and artistic quality have earned State of the Art status. Fidelio Records confirms that it uses the 32 bit/352.8 kHz DXD format for digital recording without the use of mixers. On the front end, only a minimal number of microphones are used to ensure three dimensional stereo image. Music is not recorded onto hard drives with moving parts, but only onto SSD semiconductor memory. Analog vacuum tube amplifiers, which are used for the microphones, utilize battery power exclusively. And when power must be used, complex filters provide clean AC. As for the implementation of DXD on FLAC, nothing yet has been announced. This sounds like pristine conditions for successful hightech recordings. These recordings generally take place not in the studio, but in acoustic locations chosen for the respective music and with distinctive spatial characteristics, such as chapels and church environments. The album, ‘Rain’, by Pascal Mailloux – who is washed with all waters, studio-tested universal artist in the best sense of the word, who is equally at home in jazz as well as world music, and active on this album as pianist and composer – this album is no exception. The rain, or more precisely, water droplets in various manifestations from fog to a rainbow, together with sensations derived by the viewer of the picturesque scene presented by the musical program – these are all part of this album. Who’s not seen rain as only an unfriendly counterpart to sunshine? This is something that just might be dispelled here, and as a result you may be converted to a permanent appreciator of this weather phenomenon by jazz musicians, acoustically alienated, multi-formed lookalikes, yet through it all playing with a placid fluency that will astonish listeners. It’s always beautiful, sometimes borderline beautiful; just beyond this border is where kitsch begins. But the delicate music on this album always manages to stay on this side of the border, not drowning in kitsch. There’s the merit of the composers, the passing landscapes in the rain that light up and shimmer, and celebrated pastoral moods, where a Ludwig van Beethoven in searching for his famous pastoral would have found joy. And naturally, there’s the clean recording chain of Fidelio Records, and the multi-colored, delicately woven, and the relaxed, flowing music of Pascal Mailloux and his colleagues; and the rather delicately realized nuances of the music and mood down to the finest detail. These elements, the rainy mood, and the contoured transparency conveyed in this recording make the assertion by this label that ‘we capture the feeling’ possible.
Sampling rate 176,4 kHz, DSD 2,8 MHz: verified
Bit depth 24 bit: okay
The available technical spectrum is fully utilized.