ESOTERIC is proud to introduce a new hybrid Super Audio CD recording to celebrate the brand’s 30th Anniversary.
This recording of piano works is the third title from ESOTERIC label, produced by bringing together the knowhow of ESOTERIC and Octavia Records, with the goal being a high-quality DSD recording primarily targeting audiophiles. The resulting recording promises a new level of excitement by bringing to the listener not only high sound quality, but also the captivating musical power embodied in the original works themselves.
Super high quality recording
“Absolutely no compromise” – this is the mission statement of the ESOTERIC recordings produced by Motoaki Ohmachi. The recording took place at “i Plaza hall” located in Tokyo. The sound of i Plaza hall is the best available in Tokyo – very clear reverb, no unwanted reflections, woody and musical. We searched for the ultimate piano for this recording, and finally brought a very special piano into i Plaza hall; 150th anniversary Steinway Concert Grand D-274, No.562364, manufactured in the early 2000’s. This particular piano was selected and brought from Germany to Japan by a special request from pianist Krystian Zimerman for his performance in Japan.
The recording engineer Mr. Tomoyoshi Ezaki of Octavia Records Inc. provided us the best sound quality. From the selection of microphone cables to his choice of special customized equipment, his approach is unique but common with ESOTERIC’s audio engineering style. Mr. Ezaki extensively and constantly had discussion with piano technician, Mr. Adachi and micro-adjusted the key touch constantly during recording session. The result is the best tonal response from the fingers of Zarafiants you can hear from this marvelous recording works.
Engineered to enable the selection and comparison of sound captured by each microphone, set at different positions. (SACD layer / Chopin works only)
The Chopin tracks were recorded using two sets of different microphones. On the back cover of the disc sleeve, there is a track list. You can choose between multiple microphone setup (“multi”) and one-point microphone setup (“one point”) for the two Chopin SACD layer tracks. For “multi” tracks, we set the microphone at audience listening position, and blended hall ambience recorded with another set of microphones. For “one point” tracks, we set the microphone at player’s position without using ambient microphone to capture more direct sound from the piano.
Definitive sound quality sought from the DSD recording stage to the clock generator, lines, and power cables used in mastering.
The highest quality ESOTERIC products were used for the power cables and line cables used on the AD converter, the rubidium clock generator, and the hard disk drive. To reduce noise interference, devices were removed from racks and matched with compatible insulators. Our uncompromising approach was also extended to working times. Mastering was done late at night to ensure a more stable power supply.
Evgeny Zarafiants (piano)
Evgeny Zarafiants was born in 1959 in Novosibirsk, Russia, and raised by musician parents. At the age of eight, he entered the Russia’s most prestigious Central Music School at the Moscow State Conservatory, where he received the elite education for musically gifted children. There he studied along with Mikhail Pletnev and Ivo Pogorelich, both of them his schoolmates. In 1975 he went on to study at the Gnessin State Musical College and later graduated with top honors from each of the following: the Orsk Music Academy, the Glinka Conservatoire and the Glinka Conservatoire Graduate School. During that time he won the prizes at numerous piano competitions including the All-Russian Piano Competition.
It was, however, in 1995 that he rose to international prominence after winning the second prize at the Pogorelich International Piano Solo Competition in Pasadena, California.
He then moved to Croatia to teach at Mirković Music Academy and the Music Academy of Zagreb and has staged numerous concerts since, mainly in Germany and Japan.
In 2004 he played Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No.1 with the Russian Philharmonic Orchestra, in 2005 – Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 3 with the Prague Philharmonic Orchestra and in 2006 – Rachmaninov’s Piano Concerto No. 2 with the Zagreb Philharmonic Orchestra.
In 2007 he achieved a major success by staging the recital at the Tokyo Kioi Hall celebrating his ten year anniversary in Japan and by performing throughout Japan.
Over the last few years he has also held recitals at the Tokyo Bunka Kaikan Small Hall, Kobe Asahi Hall, Oji Hall and Gotanda Music Hall, all of which have been received with a great admiration.
The world of Evgeny Zarafiants is one of the tremendously beautiful resonance and the highly spiritual sound that deeply touches his listeners’ hearts and strikes the chord with his audience, thus adding even more to his reputation as “The Poet of the Piano”.
In April 2015 he was invited to teach at Aichi Prefectural University of Fine Arts and Music as a visiting professor. Besides that he has given masterclasses and has been highly praised for his passionate and finely tuned instruction (in Japanese)
Currently, he is based in Japan and greatly enjoys Japanese traditional culture and life in general.