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Virtual Haydn - reviews
László Somfai, author of The Keyboard Sonatas of Joseph Haydn
University of Chicago Press, 1995

"Tom Beghin belongs to the very few concert pianists with a professional musicological background who can turn his discoveries of rhetoric and other intellectual features in classical scores into fascinatingly new and impressive interpretations."

Paul Wells in MacLean's vol. 122 nr. 38 (October 5, 2009), p. 62

"You've never heard Haydn like this.  These discs capture the sounds of both original instruments and performance spaces. [...] No project during this Haydn bicentennial year is as surprising."

Full article: http://www2.macleans.ca/2009/10/01/you%E2%80%99ve-never-heard-haydn-like-this/
Chris Chipello in McGill Reporter, October 8, 2009

"Virtual Haydn: McGill team recreates 18th-century sounds."

Full article: http://reporter.mcgill.ca/2009/10/virtual-haydn-mcgill-team-recreates-18th-century-sounds/
Arthur Kaptainis in The Gazette, September 26, 2009
Jason Victor Serinus in Stereophile, accessed November 30, 2009

The world's largest classical label, Naxos of America, has released its first Blu-ray music package. The Virtual Haydn: Complete Works for Solo Keyboard contains three Blu-ray audio discs plus one three-hour Blu-ray videodisc that together hold 15 hours of music. All performances are by Tom Beghin, a baroque specialist and musicologist based at McGill University. Sound engineer Martha De Francisco, an Associate Professor at McGill, recorded the performances in high-resolution (24-bit/96kHz) PCM sound.

Beghin has recorded Haydn's music on seven modern replicas of historic keyboards ranging in age from a 1760s clavichord to a 1798 English grand piano. Three of the instruments—a 1755 harpsichord, a 1788 Tafelklavier, and a 1780 fortepiano—receive their performance premieres on The Virtual Haydn. For music lovers wishing to compare the sounds of different instruments playing music by a single composer, the project is a potential goldmine.

This collaboration between Naxos and McGill University's Centre for Interdisciplinary Research in Music Media and Technology allows audio playback in both 5.0-channel surround (DTS-HD) and hi-rez two-channel PCM. In the most novel feature of the Blu-ray videodisc, which contains three hours of HD video, viewers can shift Beghin's performances among nine "virtual rooms," each an aural replica of an actual room in which Haydn and other keyboard players of his era would have performed. At the same time, viewers can switch among the seven instruments, for a total of 63 (9 times 7) possible combinations. While this begins to sound like videogames for the Classical crowd, the brochure that accompanies the project contains many pages of detailed information by De Francisco and Wieslaw Woszczyk, James McGill Professor of Sound Recording, that explain the technical evolution and musical rationale for these 63 varieties of Haydn.

Klaus Heymann, founder and guiding light of Naxos, explains that although this one-off project came his way from McGill ready-made, Naxos "will definitely get into Blu-ray surround, sooner rather than later."

Full article: http://stereophile.com/news/naxos_blu-ray_breakthrough/

John Sunier in Audiophile Audition, November 22, 2009

We've been selected Audiophile Audition's "Multichannel Disc of the Month"!

Full article: http://www.audaud.com/article?ArticleID=6652
Jeffrey Kauffman for Blu-ray.com, December 5, 2009

"Beghin, producer Martha de Fancisco and engineer Wieslaw Woszczyk have gone the extra mile in acoustically mapping several different environments for the ultimate “period listening” experience."

"The DTS-HD MA 5.0 track is full blooded and beautifully rendered [...] This is a remarkable recording."

"This is one of the most fascinatingly technical recording enterprises I've had the pleasure of listening to, and while that technology is in and of itself mind bogglingly interesting, it's the artistry of Beghin that really shines through in these recordings."

"This is one of the best classical releases of this year and probably of the decade."

Full article: http://www.blu-ray.com/movies/The-Virtual-Haydn-Blu-ray-Review/6978/
Mike Armstrong on Global TV News, December 9, 2009
John Terauds for thestar.com, December 15, 2009

"Here are 18 hours of heaven for devotees of historical keyboards."

Full article: http://www.thestar.com/entertainment/article/738685--the-virtual-haydn-tom-beghin




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