Engineer’s Choice

Top recording engineer, John Eargle picks his favorite demo tracks.

“An extraordinary classical collection from Delos…the Mercury of the 90s.” – Stereophile 

One of the great classical recording engineers of our day, audio guru John Eargle, picks his favorite demo tracks. Celebrating over a decade of acclaim for his spectacular, leading-edge recorded sound on Delos, the master recordist guides the listener through his favorite recordings. Through his years with Delos, and in his role as a sound recording guru, Mr. Eargle has been asked many times by audiophiles to come up with true audiophile material. This gave him the idea to put together a disc containing the items that keep cropping up as he replies to these requests. In this album you will find a wide variety of sonic textures and recording styles: piano music, organ music, chamber music, vocal, choral, and orchestral music. Recording is both a science and an art, says Mr. Eargle, and he proceeds to define for the listener the elements that belong to each. A short, illuminating commentary accompanies each track on the disc. Eargle describes the musical and sonic challenges involved in recording a particular track. He tells how he went about meeting each challenge, and what made the result successful. Much comment has been made about the soundstage associated with Mr. Eargle’s recordings. There is a dimensional, almost visual sense of the orchestra – clarity of the parts and impact of the whole. Large works such as ‘Daphnis and Chloe’ have a glowing ambience which the famed recording engineer has created while preserving that astonishing clarity.
  1. SHOSTAKOVICH: SYMPHONY NO. 10, Scherzo / James DePreist, conductor / Helsinki Philharmonic (DE 3089) 
  2. SCHIFF: GIMPEL THE FOOL, ‘Jester’s Song and Mazel Tov’ (excerpt) / David Shifrin, clarinet, and members of Chamber Music Northwest (DE 3058) 
  3. TAYLOR: THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS, ‘Looking Glass Insects’ / Gerard Schwarz, conductor / Seattle Symphony Orchestra 
  4. GROFE: GRAND CANYON SUITE, ‘Sunset’ / Gerard Schwarz, conductor / Seattle Symphony Orchestra 
  5. COPLAND: BILLY THE KID, ‘Gun Battle’ / Gerard Schwarz, conductor / Seattle Symphony Orchestra 
  6. HANSON: SYMPHONY NO. 6, Movements III and VI / Gerard Schwarz, conductor / Seattle Symphony Orchestra 
  7. GRIEG: PIANO CONCERTO, Adagio / Bella Davidovich, piano / Gerard Schwarz, conductor / Seattle Symphony Orchestra 
  8. VAUGHAN WILLIAMS: WASSAIL SONG / Roger Wagner, conductor / The Roger Wagner Chorale (DE 3072) 
  9. POULENC: FLEURS / Arleen Auger, soprano / Dalton Baldwin, piano (DE 3029) 
  10. POPPER: MENUETTO / Janos Starker, violoncello / Shigeo Neriki, piano (DE 3065) 
  11. HAYDN: SYMPHONY NO. 51, Finale (Allegro) / Gerard Schwarz, conductor / Scottish Chamber Orchestra (DE 3064) 
  12. BENNETT: SUITE FOR SKIP AND SADIE, ‘Good Morning’ / Richard Rodney Bennett and Carol Rosenberger, piano duet (DE 6002) 
  13. TCHAIKOVSKY: PIANO TRIO, Tema con Variazioni (Variations I and III) / Mona Golabek, piano / Andres Cardenes, violin / Jeffrey Solow, violoncello (DE 3056) 
  14. ALBERT: TREESTONE, ‘Tristopher Tristian’ / Lucy Shelton, soprano / David Gordon, tenor / Gerard Schwarz, conductor / New York Chamber Symphony 
  15. RACHMANINOFF: PRELUDE IN G MINOR / John Browning, piano (DE 3044) 
  16. ROREM: A QUAKER READER, Movements IV and VIII / Catharine Crozier, organ (DE 3076) 
  17. BARTOK: THE MIRACULOUS MANDARIN (excerpts) / Gerard Schwarz, conductor / Seattle Symphony Orchestra and Chorale 
  18. PISTON: SYMPHONY NO. 6, Scherzo (Leggerissimo vivace) / Gerard Schwarz, conductor / Seattle Symphony Orchestra 
  19. DIAMOND: SYMPHONY NO. 2, Finale (Allegro vigoroso) (excerpt) / Gerard Schwarz, conductor / Seattle Symphony Orchestra 
  20. RESPIGHI: ROMAN FESTIVALS (excerpts) / James DePreist, conductor / The Oregon Symphony (DE 3070) 
  21. FALLA: NIGHTS IN THE GARDENS OF SPAIN (excerpts) / Carol Rosenberger, piano / Gerard Schwarz, conductor / London Symphony Orchestra (DE 3060) 
  22. RAVEL: DAPHNIS AND CHLOE (excerpt) / Gerard Schwarz, conductor / Seattle Symphony Orchestra and Chorale John Eargle, Delos Director of Recording