Iona Brown & The Norwegian Chamber Orchestra : Schubert/mendelssohn


192kHz/24-bit; ALAC/FLAC/WAV, naimcd026 (supplied by

Recorded live in Hamar, Norway in August 1997, this is the later of Iona Brown’s two Naim programmes with the orchestra, resampled from co-producer Ken Christianson’s original tapes [see also HFN Oct ’13, p103]. She had almost reached the point where arthritis stopped her from playing the violin and allegedy she was found to be a hard taskmaster by the young Norwegian players. Although the resonant acoustic slightly clouds the sound, these are thoroughly recommendable performances – she creates a long line in Mendelssohn’s slow movement, for instance, with vigour in the Saltarello finale and a rapid speed for (iii), ‘con motor moderato’, as the booklet has it! Keen allegros in the Schubert too, with relaxation for lyrical passages but no abrupt gear-changing. In fact, two wholly unmannered readings to relish. CB

Sound Quality: 80%

Hi-Fi News Lab Report

One of a series of 192kHz ‘True Stereo’ remasters from the Nagra of engineer Ken Christianson, the realistic but limited harmonic range of the orchestra illustrates the level of artifice in many modern recordings. It’s the ‘real deal’. PM