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Epica - Retrospect: 10th Anniversary (2013) {2-Disc Edition} Blu-ray 1080p MPEG-2 DD5.1 2.0

Title: Epica – Retrospect – 10th anniversary
Released: 2013
Genre: Symphonic metal, gothic metal, progressive metal
Performers: Mark Jansen – rhythm guitar, grunts, screams; Coen Janssen – synthesizer, piano; Simone Simons – lead vocals; Ariën van Weesenbeek – drums, grunts, spoken words; Isaac Delahaye – lead guitar, backing vocals; Rob van der Loo – bass.

Released: Nuclear Blast
Duration: 1:34:24
Quality: Blu-ray
Container: BDMV
Video codec: AVC
Audio Codec: AC-3, PCM
Video: MPEG-2 24998 kbps 1920 * 1080p / 23,976 fps / 16: 9
# 1 Audio: English Dolby Digital 5.1 / 48 kHz / 448 kbps
Audio # 2: English LPCM 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1536 kbps / 16-bit
Size: 19.3 GB+23 GB

With more than half a million albums sold and multiple triumphant tours across Europe, North America, South & Central America, Asia and Australia, EPICA has more than earned its reputation as one of Holland’s most popular musical exports. Now the band will celebrate a decade of success by once again raising the bar for symphonic metal across the world with »Retrospect«, which will be released on November 8, 2013 by Nuclear Blast Records as 2 DVD/3 CD and 2 Blu-ray/3 CD. The show was filmed with 10 high-definition cameras and is edited, mixed and mastered by Jochem Jacobs (TEXTURES) at Split Second Sounds. »Retrospect« was captured this past March during the band’s very special sold-out tenth anniversary performance in front of thousands of ecstatic fans at Klokgebouw (Bell Building) in Eindhoven, the Netherlands. Add a couple of thousand additional fans who streamed this unique event live in their homes, and you can imagine the impact of this evening. The three-hour concert – which included accompaniment from the seventy piece Extended Reményi Ede Chamber Orchestra and The Miskolc National Theatre Choir – is presented here up-close and in-your-face, with a level of energy, musicianship, and dynamism about which most bands can only dream. In addition to a collection of the band’s biggest hits from across the spectrum of their entire catalog, this once-in-a-lifetime spectacular also features the live debut of the previously-unreleased ‘Retrospect’ and fan favorite ‘Twin Flames’, covers of classics of Vivaldi, Pergolesi, and Oscar-winning film composer John Williams, two guest collaborations with the venerable Floor Jansen (NIGHTWISH, REVAMP), and a very special performance of their breakthrough single, ‘Quietus’, with founding members Jeroen Simons, Ad Sluijter, and Yves Huts. »Retrospect« features the unforgettable performance in its entirety, as well as exclusive interviews with all band members and behind-the-scenes footage from the show. Fan reverence for EPICA has grown exponentially since the release of their acclaimed 2003 debut, »The Phantom Agony«. Their most recent release, last year’s »Requiem For The Indifferent«, not only broke the top 10 of the charts in the band’s native Holland, but also breached the top 40 in Germany, France, Austria, Switzerland, Portugal, Finland and Belgium, the top 50 in Australia, the Czech Republic and Sweden, and the top 100 in the U.S. and the U.K. Always looking for new opportunities, the band has performed in over 50 different countries worldwide, drawing crowds of up to 4,000 fans per night in South and Central America, up to 4,500 fans per night in Europe, Asia and Australia, and up to 1,500 fans at each performance in North America. With almost 2 million likes on Facebook, 100,000 followers on Twitter, tens of millions of views on YouTube, EPICA’s popularity shows no signs of hitting a ceiling anytime soon. »Retrospect« is destined to take the band to the next level.
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Cannonball Adderley with Bill Evans - Know What I Mean? (1961/2002) High-Fidelity DSF Stereo DSD64/2.82MHz

Artist: Cannonball Adderley with Bill Evans
Title: Know What I Mean?
Genre: Jazz, Hard Bop, Piano Jazz, Soul Jazz, Saxophone Jazz
Label: © Riverside Records | Analogue Productions
Release Date: 1961/2002
Quality: DSF Stereo DSD64/2.82MHz
Source: SACD ISO
Duration: 51:41
Recorded at Bell Sound Studios, New York City; January 27 (2-3, 7, 9-10), February 21 (5, 6), and March 13 (1, 4, 8), 1961.

What's better than a Bill Evans Trio album? How about a Bill Evans trio album on which the bassist is Percy Heath, the drummer is Connie Kay, and the leader is not Evans but alto sax god Cannonball Adderley, making the group actually a quartet? It's a different sort of ensemble, to be sure, and the musical results are marvelous. Adderley's playing on "Waltz for Debby" is both muscular and sensitive, as it is on the other Evans composition here, a modal ballad called "Know What I Mean?" Other treats include the sprightly "Toy" and two takes of the Gershwin classic "Who Cares?" The focus here is, of course, on Adderley's excellent post-bop stylings, but it's also interesting to hear Evans playing with a rhythm section as staid and conservative as Kay and Heath (both charter members of the Modern Jazz Quartet). It's hard to imagine any fan of mainstream jazz not finding much to love on this very fine recording. --Rick Anderson
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Johannes Brahms - The Piano Concertos - Stephen Hough, Mark Wigglesworth, Mozarteumorchester Salzburg (2013) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/96kHz

Сomposer: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Artist: Stephen Hough, Mark Wigglesworth, Mozarteumorchester Salzburg
Title: Brahms - The Piano Concertos
Genre: Classical
Label: © Hyperion Records
Release Date: 2013
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 96kHz/24bit
Source: hyperion-records
Duration: 97 minutes 53 seconds
Recorded: January 2013 at Salzburger Festspielhaus, Austria

This attractively priced double set is one of Stephen Hough’s most important recordings. ‘Britain’s greatest living pianist’ (The Mail on Sunday) is joined by the Mozarteumorchester Salzburg and international conductor Mark Wigglesworth in their Hyperion debut for Brahms’s Piano Concertos. These works are among the greatest in the genre, and shore up Brahms’s reputation as both a symphonist and a piano composer. Separated by twenty-two years and widely differing in their reception (the first was scorned and the second a huge success), they are monumental in scale, impassioned and truly romantic, forward-looking in form and requiring both great virtuosity and intimacy from the pianist. Stephen Hough has performed them in concert for many years to ecstatic acclaim: this new recording is surely one of his most desirable offerings.
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Bill Evans Trio - Sunday At The Village Vanguard (1961/2002) High-Fidelity DSF Stereo DSD64/2.82MHz

Artist: Bill Evans Trio
Title: Sunday at the Village Vanguard
Genre: Jazz, Post Bop, Modal, Piano Jazz
Label: © Riverside Records | Analogue Productions
Release Date: 1961/2002
Quality: DFF Stereo DSD64/2.82MHz
Source: SACD ISO
Duration: 01:08:38
Recorded by Dave Jones live at the Village Vanguard, New York City; June 25, 1961.

Sunday at the Village Vanguard is the initial volume of a mammoth recording session by the Bill Evans Trio, from June 25, 1961 at New York's Village Vanguard documenting Evans' first trio with bassist Scott LaFaro and drummer Paul Motian. Its companion volume is Waltz for Debby. This trio is still widely regarded as his finest, largely because of the symbiotic interplay between its members. Tragically, LaFaro was killed in an automobile accident ten days after this session was recorded, and Evans assembled the two packages a few months afterward. While "Waltz for Debby" -- in retrospect -- is seemingly a showcase for Evans' brilliant, subtle, and wide-ranging pianism, this volume becomes an homage, largely, to the genius and contribution of LaFaro. That said, however, this were never the point. According to Motian, when Evans built this trio based on live gigs at the Basin Street East, the intention was always to develop a complete interactive trio experience. At the time, this was an unheard of notion, since piano trios were largely designed to showcase the prowess of the front line soloist with rhythmic accompaniment. Here, one need listen no further than the elegant and haunting, graceful modal reading of "My Man's Gone Now" from Porgy & Bess to know that there is something completely balanced and indescribably beautiful in their approach. Motian's brushes whisper along the ride cymbals and both Evans and LaFaro enter into a dialogue that emerges from a darkly hued minor mode, into the melody and somehow beyond it, into a form of seamless dialogic improvisation to know that in the act of one musician slipping over and under another -- as happens with all three in an aural basket weave -- is something utterly new and different, often imitated but never replicated. But in a sense it happens before this, on LaFaro's "Gloria's Step," which opens the recording. His thematic statement includes the briefest intro, hesitant and spacious before he and pianist enter into a harmonic and contrapuntal conversation underscored by the hushed dynamics of Motian's snare, and the lightning-fast interlocutions of single string and chorded playing of LaFaro. The shapshifting reading of Miles Davis' "Solar," is a place where angularity, counterpoint, and early modalism all come together in a knotty and insistent, yet utterly seamless blend of post-bop aesthetics and expanded harmonic intercourse with Motian, whose work, while indispensable in the balance of the trio, comes more into play here, and is more assertive with his half-time accents to frame the counterpoint playing of Evans and LaFaro. This is a great place to begin with Evans. --Thom Jurek
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Bill Evans Trio - Portrait In Jazz (1960/2003) High-Fidelity DSF Stereo DSD64/2.82MHz

Artist: Bill Evans Trio
Title: Portrait In Jazz
Genre: Jazz, Cool Jazz, Modal Music, Post-Bop, Piano Jazz
Label: © Riverside Records | Analogue Productions
Release Date: 1960/2003
Quality: DSF Stereo DSD64/2.82MHz
Source: SACD ISO
Duration: 52:15
Recorded: December 28, 1959 at Reeves Sound Studios, New York City

The first of two studio albums by the Bill Evans-Scott LaFaro-Paul Motian trio (both of which preceded their famous engagement at the Village Vanguard), this Portrait in Jazz reissue contains some wondrous interplay, particularly between pianist Evans and bassist LaFaro, on the two versions of "Autumn Leaves." Other than introducing Evans' "Peri's Scope," the music is comprised of standards, but the influential interpretations were far from routine or predictable at the time. LaFaro and Motian were nearly equal partners with the pianist in the ensembles and their versions of such tunes as "Come Rain or Come Shine," "When I Fall in Love," and "Someday My Prince Will Come" (which preceded Miles Davis' famous recording by a couple years) are full of subtle and surprising creativity. A gem. --Scott Yanow
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Bill Evans Trio - Moon Beams (1962/2002) High-Fidelity DSF Stereo DSD64/2.82MHz

Artist: Bill Evans Trio
Title: Moon Beams
Genre: Jazz, Post-Bop, Modal Music, Cool Jazz, Piano Jazz
Label: © Riverside Records | Analogue Productions
Release Date: 1962/2002
Quality: DSF Stereo DSD64/2.82MHz
Source: SACD ISO
Duration: 39:10
Recorded: June 2, 1962 (#2-4, 6, 7); May 29, 1962 (# 1, 8); May 17, 1962 (#5), Sound Makers Studio, New York City

Moonbeams was the first recording Bill Evans made after the death of his musical right arm, bassist Scott LaFaro. Indeed, in LaFaro, Evans found a counterpart rather than a sideman, and the music they made together over four albums showed it. Bassist Chuck Israels from Cecil Taylor and Bud Powell's bands took his place in the band with Evans and drummer Paul Motian and Evans recorded the only possible response to the loss of LaFaro -- an album of ballads. The irony on this recording is that, despite material that was so natural for Evans to play, particularly with his trademark impressionistic sound collage style, is that other than as a sideman almost ten years before, he has never been more assertive than on Moonbeams. It is as if, with the death of LaFaro, Evans' safety net was gone and he had to lead the trio alone. And he does first and foremost by abandoning the impressionism in favor of a more rhythmic and muscular approach to harmony. The set opens with an Evans original, "RE: Person I Knew," a modal study that looks back to his days he spent with Miles Davis. There is perhaps the signature jazz rendition of "Stairway to the Stars," with its loping yet halting melody line and solo that is heightened by Motian's gorgeous brush accents in the bridge section. Other selections are so well paced and sequenced the record feels like a dream, with the lovely stuttering arpeggios that fall in "If You Could See Me Now," and the cascading interplay between Evan's chords and Israel's punctuation in "It Might As Well Be Spring," a tune Evans played for the rest of his life. The set concludes with a waltz in "Very Early," that is played at that proper tempo with great taste and delicate elegance throughout, there is no temptation by the rhythm section to charge it up or to elongate the harmonic architecture by means of juggling intervals. Moonbeams was a startling return to the recording sphere and a major advancement in his development as a leader. --Thom Jurek
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Bill Evans Trio - Explorations (1961/2011) High-Fidelity DSF Stereo DSD64/2.82MHz


Artist: Bill Evans Trio
Title: Explorations
Genre: Jazz, Modal, Post-Bop, Piano Jazz
Label: © Riverside Records | Universal Music Japan
Release Date: 1961/2011
Quality: DSF Stereo DSD64/2.82MHz
Source: SACD ISO
Duration: 51:01
Recorded: February 2, 1961 at Bell Sound Studios, New York City


When this album was recorded in February of 1961, it had been more than year since the Portrait in Jazz was issued, the disc that won the critics over. By the time of this issue, Evans had released four albums in six years, a pace unheard of during that time. Most musicians were issuing two, three, and even four records a year during the same era. Many speculate on Evans' personal problems at the time, but the truth of the matter lies in the recordings themselves, and Explorations proves that the artist was worth waiting for no matter what else was going on out there. Evans, with Paul Motian and Scott LaFaro, was onto something as a trio, exploring the undersides of melodic and rhythmic constructions that had never been considered by most. For one thing, Evans resurrects a number of tunes that had been considered hopelessly played out, and literally reinvents them -- "How Deep Is the Ocean" and "Sweet and Lovely." His harmonic richness that extends the melodic and color palette of these numbers literally revived them from obscurity and brought them back into the canon. He also introduced "Haunted Heart" into the jazz repertoire, with a wonderfully impressionistic melodic structure, offered space, and depth by the understatement of Motian and extension by LaFaro's canny use of intervals. Also noteworthy is Miles Davis' "Nardis," which Evans first played on a Cannonball Adderley set a couple of years before. The rhythmic workout by the Motian and LaFaro places Evans' own playing in a new context, with shorter lines, chopping up the meter, and a series of arpeggios that open the ground for revelatory solo in counterpoint by LaFaro. Explorations is an extraordinary example of the reach and breadth of this trio at its peak. --Thom Jurek
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Bill Evans - Interplay (1962/2011) High-Fidelity DSF Stereo DSD64/2.82MHz

Artist: Bill Evans
Title: Interplay
Genre: Jazz, Post Bop, Modal, Piano Jazz
Label: © Riverside Records | Universal Music Japan
Release Date: 1962/2011
Quality: DSF Stereo DSD64/2.82MHz
Source: SACD ISO
Duration: 00:38:59
Recorded: Nola Penthouse Studio, New York City on July 16-17, 1962

Interplay stands as some of Bill Evans' most enigmatic and unusual music in makeup as well as execution. It was recorded in July 1962 with a very young Freddie Hubbard from the Jazz Messengers, guitarist Jim Hall, bassist Percy Heath, and drummer Philly Joe Jones performing five veteran standards. Evans has a more blues-based approach to playing: harder, edgier, and in full flow, fueled in no small part by Hall, who is at his very best here, swinging hard whether it be a ballad or an uptempo number. Hubbard's playing, on the other hand, was never so restrained as it was here. Using a mute most of the time, his lyricism is revealed to jazz listeners for the first time -- with Art Blakey it was a blistering attack of hard bop aggression. On this program of standards, however, Hubbard slips into them quite naturally without the burden of history -- check his reading and improvisation on "When You Wish Upon a Star." Ironically, it's on the sole original, the title track, where the band in all its restrained, swinging power can be best heard, though the rest is striking finger-popping hard bop jazz, with stellar crystalline beauty in the ballads. --Thom Jurek

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Bill Evans - At the Montreux Jazz Festival (1968/2004) High-Fidelity DSF Stereo DSD64/2.82MHz

Artist: Bill Evans
Title: At the Montreux Jazz Festival
Genre: Jazz, Post-Bop, Modal Music, Piano Jazz
Label: © Verve Records | Universal Music Japan
Release Date: 1968/2004
Quality: DSF Stereo DSD64/2.82MHz
Source: SACD ISO
Duration: 00:52:20
Recorded: June 15, 1968, Montreux Jazz Festival, Casino De Montreux, Switzerland

Bill Evans' 1968 release, At the Montreux Jazz Festival, marks the beginning of stylistic changes for the legendary pianist. Only one year earlier, his At Town Hall release found his approach generally more introspective and brooding. In contrast, this set is more lively, playful, and experimental. Much of this is down to the active and intense drumming of Jack DeJohnette, who had joined the trio only a short time before this concert was recorded; longtime bandmate Eddie Gomez is also featured on this album. His energetic soloing adds veracity to tunes such as "Embraceable You" and "A Sleeping Bee." DeJohnette, too, is given several opportunities to display his drumming skills. His lengthy solo on "Nardis" displays his technical prowess and four-way coordination; such acumen would later cause jazz fans and critics alike to hail DeJohnette as one of the world's premier jazz drummers. Evans, famous for a soft-spoken pianistic touch, seems driven to new vistas on this album. He experiments more with harmonic dissonance and striking rhythmical contrasts, making this his most extroverted playing since his freshman release, New Jazz Conceptions. --Rovi Staff
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