A complete compilation dedicated to a single instrument? Would that work? These were our initial thoughts at the beginning of 2012 as we started work on “Uncompressed World Vol. IV”.

And: which solo instrument should we even take? Well here we agreed quite quickly on the piano. The question of whether one can dedicate a complete compilation just to solo piano is yes, you can. In fact it works really well. This is because no two pianos are the same, whether Steinway, Grotrian-Steinweg, Bösendorfer, or Yamaha. Each manufacturer of pianos has its own philosophy. Further differences are the various interpretations of the players and the recording technology used by the recording engineer. In any case, experts describe the recording of a piano as the ultimate discipline in studio miking. The background here is that a grand piano has a very wide frequency range (with resonant frequencies of the strings in the range of 27.5 to 4200 Hz and with harmonic waves up to 12 kHz) and also a very wide dynamic range. Another decisive point is whether the instrument is situated alone in a large concert hall or fills the
space of a small recording studio. Where are the microphones positioned during the recording? Classical recordings in particular place the microphones a large distance away from the instrument. The resulting acoustic pattern is indirect, with a great deal of space present. Others place the microphones very close to the source where the sound is generated. The result is an intimate sound which includes all the ambient noise. The hammer and pedal are clearly audible.

And you might find it hard to believe, but canned piano music has found its way into our compilation. Sampled sound, played on a midi keyboard, and edited on a laptop. Our recommendation: before reading the booklet, first of all listen carefully to the CD, track by track. Try to find out which track was not played with a “real” piano. We wish you lots of fun during the search and even more fun with the audio journey through the Uncompressed World of the audiophile solo piano.


Matthias Frey – Smile

Martin Tingvall – Debbie And The Dogs

Omar Sosa – Esperanza

Andreas Loh – Numinosa

Mathias Claus – Gruß an F.

Martin Vatter – Walchensee, Mondnacht

Michael Fiedler – Gedanken

Jesus Chucho Valdés – Adiva

Joerg Reiter – Sweet Delight

Lutz Gerlach & Ulrike Mai – 4 rain

Kevin Malpass – Reflection

Wolfgang Dauner – Wendekreis des Steinbocks

Jin Ju – Sonata D958-Menuetto

Caroline Fischer – Valse impromptu

Claudius Tanski – Auf Flügeln des Gesanges

Lev Vinocour – The Seasons op. 37

Elisabeth Leonskaja – Frühlingslied op. 62, 6

Kirk Monteux – Eternal Desert (La Calima Edit)