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Thread: Mike Marshall & Caterina Lichtenberg - JS Bach

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    Default Mike Marshall & Caterina Lichtenberg - JS Bach

    The Mandolin Cafe has posted the following news release:
    Mike Marshall & Caterina Lichtenberg - JS Bach

    Mike Marshall and Caterina Lichtenberg have released JS Bach, their world premier recording of Johann Sebastian Bach's Two-Part Inventions, Organ Duets and Canons from the Art of the Fugue arranged for mandolin and mandocello.



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    Registered User Niavlys's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mike Marshall & Caterina Lichtenberg - JS Bach

    Now that's nice. I'll definitely ask for this to be my birthday gift.

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    Default Re: Mike Marshall & Caterina Lichtenberg - JS Bach

    What a lovely recording, the sample sold me instantly! I love the nuance of Bach's counterpoint and have enjoyed many of these on piano or organ. The timbre of mandolin and mandocello together breathes new life; so brilliantly that novice listener might even assume this was Bach's original instrumentation. Tutti bravi Mike and Caterina!

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    Default Re: Mike Marshall & Caterina Lichtenberg - JS Bach

    The performances are sublime ...but there is SO MUCH REVERB on this recording. I really wish it was a dry studio recording.
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    Default Re: Mike Marshall & Caterina Lichtenberg - JS Bach

    I wouldn't call it REVERB. That is a term better applied to electric instruments. The recordings were made in a live room which in my opinion is more in keeping with the way the music was originally heard.
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    Default Re: Mike Marshall & Caterina Lichtenberg - JS Bach

    I assumed it was natural. What, exactly, would you call that, if not reverb? Presence?

    I do understand it's more in keeping with the way the music was originally heard. It's just my personal preference (obviously). I find it easier to hear details and individual notes when a recording sounds dryer.
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    Default Re: Mike Marshall & Caterina Lichtenberg - JS Bach

    I guess reverb is as good a word as any. I agree it would be interesting to hear a "dry" recording. That is one of the great things about music...how it can change with the enviornment it is played in.
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    Registered User tkdboyd's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mike Marshall & Caterina Lichtenberg - JS Bach

    German bowl backs have that "Reverb" built in from what I have been able to hear. The live pieces from Chris Acquavella always sound like he has his reverb set at 11. The dryest I have ever heard is this video:
    And Mike Marshall's Monteleone Mandocello can ring for days, so it would be interesting to know what the studio was like when the recorded this album.

    My copy is waiting for me at home. I am very much looking forward to listening to this cd!

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    Default Re: Mike Marshall & Caterina Lichtenberg - JS Bach

    I'm hoping they'll publish a book of the arrangements they used.
    Phil Vinyard
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    Default Re: Mike Marshall & Caterina Lichtenberg - JS Bach

    I just downloaded it from Amazon yesterday and've been listening to it since then. Excellent work. Compares favorably with Chris Thile's and Bela Fleck's similar Bach endeavors (which I've also been listening to.)

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    Default Re: Mike Marshall & Caterina Lichtenberg - JS Bach

    Look at the liner notes. "Additional reverb added at..(German studio name).

    Not a deal breaker for me, I hear natural sounding, well played instruments on a great recording (listening to the CD on a high quality nearfield system).

    Mike/Caterina were there, and I am sure they know how the instruments sounded. If additional tweaks to the recording were needed to get the sound they wanted, I wouldn't call them out on it. Besides, who is to say a flat transfer of the studio recording would be any better, perhaps the intent of the studio recording was to get the detail and dynamic range, to be further produced into the final product.

    PJ Doland, I would be curious what format you are listening to, the CD or iTunes. Perhaps the mastered for iTunes is to blame?

    Now that you brought the reverb thing up, time to put on the Grado RS1 headphones and see what those say, my system is rather revealing, and I would be curious to see if my initial thoughts on the quality of the recording stand.
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    Default Re: Mike Marshall & Caterina Lichtenberg - JS Bach

    I listened to the 320kbps high-quality stream on Spotify through my Westone 4R in-ear quad-driver headphones.
    PJ Doland
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    Default Re: Mike Marshall & Caterina Lichtenberg - JS Bach

    My copy is from Amazon and I'm sure I'm hearing what they intended on my Grado headphones. And it is superb. Baroque music is often played on old churches with exactly this kind of echo. Of course it is a matter of personal taste and Avi Avital has less echo on his recording. A quick listen to Chris Thile jumps to really dry and sort of un-natural sounding Bach. And then over to Hilary Hahn on violin and yikes, she has the echo going like in a huge, marble cathedral. So the three bears huh? Momma bear is the middle ground and Caterina is the momma bear. I love her! And you too Mike, ha, ha.

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    Default Re: Mike Marshall & Caterina Lichtenberg - JS Bach

    Only Four inventions in so far, listening on the headphones, and I agree DouC. Superb!
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    Default Re: Mike Marshall & Caterina Lichtenberg - JS Bach

    I bought it as an MP3 download... Love it.

    Jamie
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    Default Re: Mike Marshall & Caterina Lichtenberg - JS Bach

    I need to wait a few days for my emusic credits to refresh. So happy that it's available via that 'record club'-like service. Can't wait to hear.

    Questions of 'how close to mic' and consequently 'how much ambient sound in the recording' and 'where to record' make a tremendous difference in the sound of a recording. To my more contemporary oriented ear, many classical recordings sound as if they're in a cave or down a well -- or in a large stone cathedral - and for this listener it can be very off-putting.

    As for choice of American v European style mandolins, here's what Thile had to say in my interview with him for the Cafe a while back:
    "I haven't interfaced with the classical mandolin scene that much, so I don't really know. I've talked to Caterina (Lichtenberg) a little about it. She prefers the bowl-back mandolin, probably for the same reasons that I prefer the American mandolin. That's what she's used to. And the funny thing is, she defends the European mandolin with the same language that I use for the American mandolin. She finds more complexity of tone (in the bowl-back) — more sound around the sound — and she describes the F-5 as sounding more delicate. And to my ear it's the opposite. I think that bowl-back mandolins sound less complex and less substantial. I would never consider switching, but that's just me. It's not an indictment of that style of instrument."
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    Default Re: Mike Marshall & Caterina Lichtenberg - JS Bach

    I think it is important to learn about the other styles of music and other ways of doing things. It is good to expand your own realm of abilities but it is also good to understand how other musicians understand music.

    This includes recording engineers. And the listening public.

    Decipit exemplar vitiis imitabile

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    Default Re: Mike Marshall & Caterina Lichtenberg - JS Bach

    Mike and Caterina got a nice mention in the prominent music blog Slipped Disc, one of the few music blogs I follow closely because the owner is incredibly connected to the music community and routinely shares information I find important.
    Last edited by Scott Tichenor; Feb-01-2016 at 10:59am. Reason: removed broken link

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    Default Re: Mike Marshall & Caterina Lichtenberg - JS Bach

    I finally received this from Amazon.ca yesterday. I am listening to the glorious music now. I love the beautifully shot photos of both Caterina and Mike in the liner notes.

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