The Netherlands Symphony Orchestra, Jan Willem de Vriend – Mendelssohn: Symphony No. 2 “Lobgesang” (2013) High-Fidelity DSF Stereo DSD128/5.64MHz

             


Artist: The Netherlands Symphony Orchestra, Jan Willem de Vriend
Title: Mendelssohn: Symphony No. 2 "Lobgesang"
Genre: Classical
Release Date: 2013
Duration: 01:02:32
Quality: High-Fidelity DSF Stereo DSD128/5.64MHz
Label: Challenge Records
Source: https://challengerecords.nativedsd.com/albums/symphony-no-2-lobgesang

It is June 1840, you are in the Thomaskirche in Leipzig, the church where the famous composer Johann Sebastian Bach was once kapellmeister. You are there to attend the premiere of a piece of music on the occasion of the 400th anniversary of the invention of the printing press by Johannes Gutenberg. The successful composer Felix Mendelssohn will conduct his own music. Mild excitement takes hold of you; you feel that it is going to be a magnificent concert, with orchestra, choir, soloists. Finally, it starts. The trombones begin with a regal theme that resounds through the church. The orchestra takes over the theme. You are immediately swept up by, immersed in the music -- an overwhelming experience. That must certainly have been the experience of the audience at this first performance of Mendelssohn's symphony-cantata, as he liked to describe it. That the beginning of the piece is so overawing, by the nature of the theme and scoring of wind instruments, is not something you immediately expect from a composer such as Mendelssohn. He is known more for refinement, a cultivated melancholy that is fascinating, but does not threaten to make off with you. And of course, there is the virtuosity, which never stoops to affectation and always remains functional.1 As impressive as the regal trombone theme is, other passages of Lobgesang have probably moved audiences more deeply.

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Kuijken Quartet – Beethoven: String Quartets Op. 59, String Quintet Op. 29 (2011) High-Fidelity DSF Stereo DSD64/2.82MHz

             


Artist: Kuijken Quartet
Title: Beethoven: String Quartets Op. 59, String Quintet Op. 29
Genre: Classical
Release Date: 2011
Duration: 02:16:52
Quality: High-Fidelity DSF Stereo DSD64/2.82MHz
Label: Challenge Records
Source: https://challengerecords.nativedsd.com/albums/string-quartets-op-59-string-quintet-op-29

This recording, by two generations of musicians from the Kuijken family (Veronica, Sigiswald, Sara and Wieland Kuijken), with my wife Marleen Thiers, 2nd viola in the quintet, was made with so-called 'modern' instruments. Although our name is generally linked with 'period performance practice', listeners should not expect or seek a deliberate, specific 'historic' tendency in this recording: this was not what defined our collaboration for this production... I would even venture to say that in the first place we allowed ourselves to be moved and motivated by the immense strength exuded by these Beethoven pieces, based on our own musical experience and intuition; what we shared was astonishment -- and joy. As we went along we became increasingly aware that it can be a gift to have kindred genes; and that an instrument is simply an instrument, no more... Sigiswald Kuijken

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Rusty Bryant – Fire Eater (1971/2017) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/192kHz

             


Artist: Rusty Bryant
Title: Fire Eater
Genre: Jazz
Release Date: 1971
Duration: 00:35:13
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/192kHz
Label: Original Jazz Classics

Recorded and released in 1971 on Prestige Records, this historic reissue finds saxophonist Rusty Bryant grooving hard on a stretched-out, funky set of four originals with a combo that features Idris Muhammad on drums, Wilbert Longmire on guitar and both Bill Mason and Leon Spencer Jr. on organ. While perhaps not as instantly recognizable by name as other greats of tenor saxophone such as John Coltrane and Sonny Rollins, Bryant's fiery and athletic approach here sets him apart from his peers as a force to be reckoned with.

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Quatuor Manfred – Schumann & Tchaikovsky (2017) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/88,2kHz

             


Artist: Quatuor Manfred
Title: Schumann & Tchaikovsky
Genre: Classical
Release Date: 2017
Duration: 01:05:39
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/88,2kHz
Label: Paraty Productions

A` l'occasion des 30 ans de la creation de notre quatuor, nous avons souhaite au travers de cet enregistrement, evoquer notre gure patronymique Manfred. Manfred, gure essentielle et representative du romantisme europeen, est totalement lie a` son createur, George Gordon Baron dit Lord Byron (1788-1824). Annoncant le cele`bre Voyageur contemplant une mer de nuages peint l'annee suivante par Caspar David Friedrich, Manfred est un drame en vers publie en 1817. Sorte de Promethee moderne, le personnage de Manfred envou^te immediatement le monde des arts, mais contrairement a` Faust dont la posterite musicale est foisonnante, peu de compositeurs ont ose dompter celui qui incarne la revolte de l'homme contre la vie et qui communique avec le monde invisible. Deux compositeurs se sont empares du texte : Schumann avec son poe`me dramatique Manfred opus 115 ecrit a` partir de 1848 et cree en 1852, pour recitant, parties solistes parlees, chour et orchestre. Tchaikovsky avec sa Symphonie Manfred opus 58 de 1885, creee en 1886, pour orchestre. Par l'intermediaire de Manfred, Byron s'interroge : Pourquoi tant de beaute...? Schumann et Tchaikovsky se sont laisse nourrir et porter par ce texte, choisissant ce nom, nous adherions a` un ideal d'approche since`re et sans compromis de l'art musical, aussi nous esperons que cet enregistrement des pages pour quatuor de ces compositeurs incomparables puisse a` son tour nourrir votre imaginaire, vos passions. Les membres du Quatuor Manfred

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Pokey LaFarge – Manic Revelations (2017) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/96kHz

             


Artist: Pokey LaFarge
Title: Manic Revelations
Genre: Americana
Release Date: 2017
Duration: 00:35:49
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/96kHz
Label: New Rounder Records

Pokey LaFarge's anticipated album Manic Revelations was recorded in his hometown of St. Louis and co-produced with his band the Southside Collective and Tony Hoffer. The album's lead track, the ripped-from-the-headlines Riot In The Streets, deals with the subject of racial tension and police violence in St. Louis. "It is a tough thing to write about, but as a citizen of St. Louis and as an artist, I had to say something. Hopefully this song does more good than bad and, ultimately, gets the dialogue started. Although it's also important to not forget the peaceful protests and those that spread the message of love in the pursuit of justice and equality, this particular song is about people being marginalized and brought to the brink. It was only a matter of time before they fight back. I hope you feel that tension in the song, even from the first bass click." - Pokey LaFarge

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Paolo Conte – Amazing Game – Instrumental Music (2016) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/96kHz

             


Artist: Paolo Conte
Title: Amazing Game - Instrumental Music
Genre: Jazz
Release Date: 2016
Duration: 01:06:32
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/96kHz
Label: Decca/London

Paolo Conte has captivated audiences the world over for the past four decades. With his gruff voice and unmistakable style, he tells the tales of his humorous but poignant views of the world through his music. Amazing Game is the first-ever instrumental album by the Italian singer/songwriter and consists of recordings made at different times (from the '90s to the present day), for soundtracks of theatre productions and for experimental purposes -- all showing off his skills in improvisation.

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Nelly Furtado – The Ride (2017) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/96kHz

             


Artist: Nelly Furtado
Title: The Ride
Genre: Pop
Release Date: 2017
Duration: 00:45:37
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/96kHz
Label: Nelstar Music Inc.

Emerging as an independent act after a five-year absence, Nelly Furtado seizes the opportunity to open another chapter of her career with The Ride. Originally recorded for Interscope, Furtado wrangled control of the album as she left the label and, fittingly enough, The Ride is perched between the mainstream and the fringe. Much of the latter is due to the presence of John Congleton, the producer best known for helming albums by St. Vincent, and the vivid, elastic soundscapes of Annie Clark's records are certainly an inspiration for Furtado. The Ride may not be as daring as St. Vincent's work, but that's relative. In its own way, the album is as much a redefinition for Furtado as Loose was a decade earlier, positioning her as a mature pop artist with adult alternative undertones. Structurally, many of the songs here recall the moodier moments on 2012's The Spirit Indestructible and can even evoke ghosts of her ambitious sophomore set, Folklore, but she hasn't abandoned the deep bass and dance beats that propelled Loose. Often, these electronic rhythms have been tamed and turned into texture that complements glassy washes of synthesizers and occasional percolating melodies. Even when the tracks are insistent -- which they often are -- they're not designed for dance; this is music for meditation, not activity. Furtado underscores how The Ride represents a new beginning by hinting at images of rebirth -- to top it off, the album closes with a ballad called "Phoenix" -- and while this record certainly supports these assertions, what's striking about it is that Furtado hedges her bets slightly by retaining conventional pop structure throughout the record. What gives The Ride its personality how these hooks bend through Congleton's production and Furtado's subdued delivery, shifting this mainstream pop just into a fringe where this singer/songwriter now seems happy to be.

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Australian Chamber Orchestra, Richard Tognetti – Mozart: Mozarts Last Symphonies (2016) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/96kHz

             


Artist: Australian Chamber Orchestra, Richard Tognetti
Title: Mozart: Mozarts Last Symphonies
Genre: Classical
Release Date: 2016
Duration: 01:33:41
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/96kHz
Label: ABC Classics

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart composed his last three symphonies in the summer of 1788, and since then they've usually been regarded as a set, even though there's little reason to believe he intended them to be performed together. Unlike Nikolaus Harnoncourt, who came to regard these symphonies as a kind of symphonic oratorio in 12 movements, Richard Tognetti thinks of them as separate pieces that Mozart wrote opportunistically, possibly for a commission that fell through, though beyond that, he lets the music speak for itself. Tognetti and the Australian Chamber Orchestra play the Symphony No. 39 in E flat major, the Symphony No. 40 in G minor, and the Symphony No. 41 in C major, "Jupiter" in accepted Classical style, with Tognetti leading as concertmaster, though there's no attempt to unify the performances or to claim any special insights about Mozart's inner state. Listeners may find that these energetic and radiant performances don't need much explanation to enjoy the period style and finesse of the playing, which is brilliant in these ABC Classics recordings. No theory or biographical facts are needed to appreciate the crisp performances or the wonderful sonorities of this exceptional orchestra, and the interpretations work because Tognetti relies on the music's inner logic, rather than on the mythology that has developed around these masterworks. The reproduction is clear and close-up, affording the listener front-row seats to some delightful and genuinely exciting music-making. Highly recommended.

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Quatuor Debussy – Mellits: String Quartets No, 3, 4 & 5 (2017) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/48kHz

             


Artist: Quatuor Debussy
Title: Mellits: String Quartets No, 3, 4 & 5
Genre: Classical
Release Date: 2017
Duration: 00:54:39
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/48kHz
Label: Evidence

Sometimes out of time, sometimes disorientating and hectic, Marc Mellits's music skillfully mixes sleek and diaphanous textures with passages that are totally unrestrained. In the wake of American minimalist composers such as Steve Reich and Philip Glass, the energy of Mellits's works more closely resembles rock music. Quatuor Debussy take us on an adventurous sonic journey with the world premiere recordings of the composer's String Quartets No.3, 4 and 5.

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Joe Sullivan Big Band – Unfamiliar Surroundings (2017) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/44,1kHz

             


Artist: Joe Sullivan Big Band
Title: Unfamiliar Surroundings
Genre: Jazz
Release Date: 2017
Duration: 01:38:34
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/44,1kHz
Label: Effendi Records

Call me nostalgic, but in a world that seems to admire novelty above all else, I still love big band jazz. I love all the same stuff I was attracted to right from the start...energy, sound, time, groove...edgy trumpets and old bendy blue notes...bright, aggressive trombones....well you get the picture. So before making this record, I went to my old pal an dlong-time collaborator Jean Frechette and asked him to help me make a disc we could both be proud of. It started with a marathon 2-day big-band-binge, me and him, a big pile of vinyl and CDs, and a significant quantity of more than passable hooch. At the end, shaky but otherwise unscathed, we had agreed on the sound we wanted: resonant, alive, the sound that knocked us out back in the day and made us want to play jazz...Thad Quincy, Francy Boland...like I said, nostaliga. The session was laid out so that people felt at ease and could hear each other (no headphones for the horns!) and Jean went for the bright, clear mix we wanted. After all is said and one, I hope we've made a record that is vibrant and swinging -- and I hope all you jazz-lovers out there will enjoy listening to it! (Joe Sullivan)

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