Yarlung Records Organ Recital at Walt Disney Concert Hall on Tape

May 25, 2010
1,104
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#1
Jung-A Lee at WDCH.jpg
Bob Attiyeh, based in Los Angeles, is one of five producer/engineers of high quality commercial reel to reel tapes in North America, through his company Yarlung Records. Two are the big boys in the field - the granddaddy Tape Project and Chad Kassam's Ultra Tapes. Both of these license famous and occasionally not so famous albums to transfer to tape. The other three, Yarlung, IPI (Jonathan Horwich in Chicago) and Ultra Analogue (Ed Pong in Toronto) record their own artists. What sets Bob and Yarlung apart, is that he chooses a very wide range of repertoire and artists, from solo and chamber music (both classical and jazz) to very large ensembles - a Mahler symphony and a large choral recital, all recorded in Los Angeles area concert venues and studios. This recording was done at the Walt Disney Concert Hall in downtown Los Angeles, famed for its design by star architect (my architect daughter tells me the proper term is the portmanteau "starchitect") Frank Gehry and home to the Los Angeles Philharmonic. It is a solo recording, but features the great Rosale Organ, designed and built for the Walt Disney Hall which opened in 2003. The organ is massive - 6134 pipes, reaching down to 16Hz with a 32 foot long pipe. The highest fundamental frequency is 10,548 Hz, so an organ can play both higher and lower than any other instrument - aptly named the "king of instruments."

What makes this album, entitled "A Private Organ Recital in Walt Disney Concert Hall" so fascinating for me is the sheer joy in the playing. I had a smile on my face as well as a look of amazement, while listening to the album, which I played straight through because it was so entertaining, something I rarely if ever do with an organ album. This is a complete private concert, attended by the recording engineers and a small number of invited guest (who are completely silent), composed of 12 pieces, lasting a total of 75 minutes. The first piece in the album Adam Gilbert's "Brooks and Streams" is a fun piece that makes use of the range of sounds that an organ can make, while the last piece is a tour-de-force romantic era set of variations on the US National anthem, "The Star Spangled Banner." In between there are pieces by Bach, Buxtehude, Vierne, Messiaen, and others. The album is three tapes long, making it longer than most. Jung-A Lee is a virtuoso organist, who plays in concerts around the world. She has a master's from Yale and doctorate from Boston University. While in Boston she was a resident organist at the Harvard Memorial Church. The sonics are spectacular - Bob has captured a wonderful acoustic of Walt Disney (I have attended an LA Philharmonic concert there, but never have heard the organ), so it is a real show piece for your system, particularly if it goes very deep.

The compositions range from pre-baroque to modern. Here is a listing of the pieces, with short excerpts.

https://www.nativedsd.com/albums/YAR77215DSD-junga-lee-a-private-recital-in-walt-disney-concert-hall

Yarlung has released this album on several formats - the analogue tape version, a CD, and several downloads, including from Native DSD (the link provided) and Hi Tracks (which only has the 96/24 version). At $500, the three reel album is obviously not cheap, but a relative bargain, compared to most commercial albums which range up to $300 and more a reel. Bob is able to control his prices by having people sponsor the recordings, subsidizing the cost of making the albums. Even Tape Project and Ultra Tapes are $450 for their two reel sets. Those of you who are tape fanatics are familiar with the prices. Those who want to get the album on hirez digital, the Native DSD offers a 256DSD in both stereo and mch. (the Multichannel engineer was Tom Caulfield, who does the multichannel engineering for Channel Classics) for around 30 euros or less, while the 94/24PCM version from HD Tracks is $20.

If you haven't heard a classical pipe organ, this is a great way to start.

Larry
 

Kal Rubinson

Well-Known Member
May 5, 2010
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#2
Those who want to get the album on hirez digital, the Native DSD offers a 256DSD in both stereo and mch. (the Multichannel engineer was Tom Caulfield, who does the multichannel engineering for Channel Classics) for around 30 euros or less,
HIghly recommended.
 

PeterA

Well-Known Member
Dec 7, 2011
6,706
1,812
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North Shore of Boston
#3
Thank you for bringing this to our attention. You you know if Bob will be releasing a vinyl version, either at 33.3 or 45?
 
May 25, 2010
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#4
I checked on the Yarlung website and I don't see a vinyl version. BTW, the price of the three tapes is $600 (not $500 which I paid earlier). Larry
 

Yarlung Records

Industry Expert
Dec 21, 2014
29
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#5
Thank you Larry! What a terrific article. Jung-A's playing does make me very happy. I am glad her sense of humor and virtuoso flair came across so directly in your listening room.

This was an especially fun and challenging recording to make. My fellow engineers Arian Jansen and Elliot Midwood worked with Jung-A and me for hours setting the microphones. 90% of what you hear comes from Ted Ancona's "Frank Sinatra" AKG C24, which we placed on a very tall stand right in front of the organ. It was much closer than I anticipated, and it worked well there. Ted had this particular mic stand in his garage at home. I nicknamed it the "missile launcher" because of its size and weight. We needed something extremely stable and yet one that would extend 30 feet tall.

We knew Walt Disney Concert Hall from prior recordings, and this helped. We recorded both of the Martin Chalifour albums in the hall, as well as Suryodaya. But everytime one returns with a different instrument, all bets are off and one has to start from scratch with the acoustics and setup. Happily, we found a configuration that Jung-A loved and that satisfied our audio cravings as well.

Our generous CD and digital executive producer Jim Mulally was one of the people at this private concert. I will never forget his grin as he sat with us on stage next to Jung-A and the organ console.

Thanks for the great review, Larry. I am glad you are enjoying your tapes so much.

--Bob Attiyeh
 
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Likes: Ron Resnick
Jan 18, 2012
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Drobak Norway
#8
and folks it was definitely worth the wait!
fantastic recording....after 20 seconds I was blown away....really activating my horn subs...he-he
and great performer too...will enjoy through weekend despite 30c outdoors and "tropical nights"
not often I endure a full reel of organ music, but this makes me want to put on reel 2 as soon as 1 is ready
excellent 20200626_205056.jpg
 
Last edited:
Jan 18, 2012
883
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Drobak Norway
#9
actually I ended up playing all 3 reels in a row on full throttle and it was a real treat and downright fun experience.......you feel the performer is really having a good time and so was I
highly recommended
 

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