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» Articles for 02.04.2015
Ari Hoenig - Punkbop: Live at Smalls (2012) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/88.2kHz

Artist: Ari Hoenig
Title: Punkbop: Live at Smalls
Genre: Jazz
Label: © SmallsLIVE
Release Date: 2012
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 88,2kHz/24bit
Source: HDTracks
Duration: 01:12:54
Recorded: February 8th, 2010 at Smalls Jazz Club, Greenwich Village NYC

Smalls Jazz Club in New York was founded in 1994, and co-owner Spike Wilner has been documenting every note blown in the place since he got involved four years ago. Stars including the Bad Plus's Ethan Iverson, saxophonists Chris Potter, Mark Turner and Jon Irabagon, and pianist Fred Hersch, are among those who have given Wilner permission to record, archive, and live-stream their performances at smallsjazzclub.com. Ari Hoenig's Punk Bop session is one of the picks of the bunch, even if its name suggests rawness more than it reflects its subtle character. Hoenig is famous for tuning his drums to play melodies, but his punchy band (including UK-born saxophonist Will Vinson and the fluent, somewhat Methenyish guitarist Jonathan Kreisberg) doesn't dwell on that, instead concentrating on being a musical and swinging contemporary ensemble. Vinson is a nimble bebop player, and the opening Birdless is a subtle, mixed-tempo update of the style, while Green Spleen is an exploration of growling long notes, crunching guitar chords and throbbing bass-drum hits that gets obliquely funky, and Ska has something of a Bobby Previte busyness. The Smalls output will be worth keeping an ear open to. --John Fordham, Guardian
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Arcadi Volodos plays Mompou (2013) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/96kHz

Сomposer: Frederic Mompou (1893-1987)
Artist: Arcadi Volodos (piano)
Title: Arcadi Volodos plays Mompou
Genre: Classical
Label: © Sony Music Entertainment
Release Date: 2013
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 96kHz/24bit
Source: Qobuz
Duration: 01:03:03
Recorded: Teldex Studios Berlin, Germany, October 25-28 & December 17-19, 2012

Fans of Catalonian miniaturist Frederic Mompou are used to looking in out-of-the-way places for his music: small labels, encores of recitals. Yet here he is, presented in full major-label splendor by Sony Classical, with a substantial hard-bound booklet, performed by Russian pianist Arcadi Volodos. It may be that confusing times are good for the reputation of this most inward of composers, but whatever the reason, this recording will introduce a lot of people to Mompou's fascinating world. His music is essentially a compressed version of the Impressionist language, with dashes of Satie's elliptical mode and perhaps the mysticism of Scriabin. Mompou goes further in the directions of both dissonance and diatonic harmony than did the Impressionists, and his use of simple harmony as a kind of color effect is unique in the entire concert music repertory. Some people are completely puzzled by Mompou, most of whose music proceeds at the same basic slow-to-moderate tempo. Try Volodos out! He has the knack of getting strong profiles of individual phrases while still keeping the whole thing at a sort of glimmering level. You can get a foothold with the Musica callada XV (track 20), which seems to take Chopin's Prelude in E minor, Op. 28/4, as a point of departure. From its opening figure the listener is drawn into Mompou's murky yet gentle world, which some filmmaker ought to exploit. The difficult-to-translate Musica callada (¡callate!, be quiet, mothers say to their children; "Music that Has Become Quiet" is close) is Mompou's greatest work; in it, his extremely concise language, almost completely eschewing motivic development, is brought to a fascinating extreme. Volodos has the control to get something like the last bars of Schubert's Winterreise out of the music here: it really does seem to exist on the lip of nothingness. Strongly recommended for all, and really something of a milestone. --James Manheim
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Anonymous 4 - Secret Voices: Chant and Polyphony from the Las Huelgas Codex (2011) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/88.2kHz

Composer: Anonymous
Artist: Anonymous 4
Title: Secret Voices: Chant & Polyphony from the Las Huelgas Codex, c.1300
Genre: Classical
Label: © harmonia mundi
Release Date: 2011
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 88,2kHz/24bit
Source: HDTracks
Duration: 58:16
Recorded: November, 2009 and April, 2011 at Sauder Concert Hall, Goshen College, Indiana; and Skywalker Sound, a Lucasfilm Ltd Company, Marin County, California

Anonymous 4 revisit their favourite era in repertoire that illuminates medieval women’s affinity for the most complex polyphony of their time. Spanning the entire 13th century — from virtuosic motets and conductus to heartfelt laments and sacred songs—the remarkable Las Huelgas manuscript was compiled for a convent of aristocratic Castilian women who (in spite of a rule forbidding Cistercian nuns from singing polyphony) sang the most beautiful, advanced and demanding music from all across Gothic-era Europe.
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Albrecht Mayer - Lost and Found (2015) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/44.1kHz

Сomposer: Various
Artist: Albrecht Mayer, Kammerakademie Potsdam
Title: Lost and Found
Genre: Classical
Label: © Deutsche Grammophon
Release Date: 2015
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 44,1kHz/24bit
Source: Qobuz
Duration: 01:12:59
Recorded: Jesus-Christus-Kirche, Berlin-Dahlem, 1/2013

Deutsche Grammophon are very pleased to present Albrecht Mayer’s new album ‘Lost and Found’ in which he delivers a rare and sublime oboe concerti from the 18th century which he discovered in ancient music archives in Thuringia and Saxony.
Widely considered the world’s greatest oboist, Mayer with his unmistakable cantabile sound, breathes new life into these long-lost jewels of German high classicism .
The four, classically proportioned concerti are direct predecessors to Mozart – there is even evidence Mozart knew and studied these works, and may even have had a hand in the composition of the work of Kozeluch.
The music on this album is beautiful and very lyrical, and thus ideal for classical radio stations such as Klassik Radio, Classic FM etc and since his previous albums have consistently ranked in the German pop charts – the only oboist in history to have achieved such prominence and popularity- ‘Lost and Found’ will be the continuation of an incredible career of recorded success.
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Albert King - King Of The Blues Guitar (1969/2014) High-Fidelity FLAC Mono 24bit/192kHz

Artist: Albert King
Title: King Of The Blues Guitar
Genre: Blues, Modern Electric Blues, Soul Blues, Rhythm & Blues
Label: © Atlantic Records
Release Date: 1969/2014
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC 2.0 Mono 192kHz/24bit
Source: HDTracks
Duration: 34:13
Recorded: March 25, 1966 - March, 1968

King of The Blues Guitar (Atlantic 8213) is a compilation album by blues guitarist and singer Albert King. It was released by Atlantic Records in 1969 and re-released in CD format in 1989. King of the Blues Guitar essentially combines the entire Stax Records album Born Under a Bad Sign, and six of King's Stax singles.
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Adagio: A Consideration of a Serious Matter - Ensemble Caprice, Matthias Maute (2013) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/96kHz

Сomposer: Various
Artist: Ensemble Caprice, Matthias Maute
Title: Adagio: A Consideration of a Serious Matter
Genre: Classical
Label: © Analekta
Release Date: 2013
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 96kHz/24bit
Source: analekta.com
Duration: 56:09
Recorded: Church of St-Mathieu-de-Beloeil, Quebec, Canada in April 2013.

Charles Ives gave two titles to his most famous composition. The piece generally known as The Unanswered Question, featuring a trumpet call repeating the same earnest question seven times, was also listed by the composer under the title A Consideration of a Serious Matter.
This wonderful title soon became the programmatic idea behind our recording of adagios throughout the centuries. Centered around Bach’s sad yet mysteriously joyful aria Ich habe genug, there emerged a colourful array of choral and orchestral pieces, all having one element in common: they are all meditations on the fundamental questions of life and death and express something impossible to communicate through words.
As we were recording the album we began to feel as if the different pieces were “reacting” to one another. It was almost as if the composers were having an intense conversation across the centuries, with no existing time barriers.
Jan Dismas Zelenka’s 1738 Miserere, an outburst of utter despair, finds a distant echo two centuries later in Charles Ives’ The Unanswered Question. According to the American composer himself, the quartet of wind instruments expresses the growing unrest of human beings who feel increasingly unsettled as they come face to face with the inexorability of destiny, as rendered tangible by the ethereal sounds of the strings.
Throughout history, composers have attempted to express the seemingly endless pain of human suffering through music. The examples contained on this recording are among some of the most powerful explorations of this emotional space.
Both Jan Dismas Zelenka’s Sepulto Dominum and G.Carissimi’s dramatic outcry Plorate Israel transport us into a world where, in the face of death, “last words” are uttered. Gregorio Allegri’s famous Miserere, the score of which was held secret by the Vatican in an attempt to retain exclusive control over this powerful piece of music, combines medieval Gregorian chant with highly expressive writing in madrigal style. Culminating in a glorious high C, the soprano part symbolizes a world beyond the three-dimensional sense-perceptible one which we (wrongly!) take to be the only reality.
In a fascinating attempt to understand music from a mathematical point of view, the composer and music theorist Dmitri Tymoczko managed to prove very recently that the harmonies in Frédéric Chopin’s Prelude in E minor were already moving in a four-dimensional space at a time when mathematicians of the 19th century were just beginning to think about the possibility of the existence of more than three dimensions. In physics nowadays it is thought that our universe could contain as many as 11 hidden dimensions, and it is profoundly inspiring to realize that a composer like Chopin was at the artistic and scientific forefront as he explored the beauty of a dimension existing beyond our sense-perceptible world. By Chopin’s request, this piece was played at his own funeral, along with Mozart’s Requiem.
In an attempt to bring “Albinoni’s Adagio” back to its baroque origins, we took the liberty of recomposing the twentieth-century version set by Giazotto on the Venetian baroque composer’s original bass line.
Obviously, Giazotto’s notion of baroque music is quite different from ours nowadays and it proved to be a highly interesting task to focus on the essential elements of baroque style while at the same time attempting to preserve as many of Giazotti’s romanticism as possible.
What would Erik Satie have thought about our use of baroque instruments throughout this recording regardless of the period in which the pieces were composed? This enigmatic and witty composer, who lived in a small hotel room, the location of which he kept secret until his own death finally rendered it public, would surely have enjoyed the pure harmonies which result from playing with less vibrato than that produced by modern instruments (and performance techniques). In the case of his Gymnopédie, just as in Ives’ The Unanswered Question or in Chopin’s Prelude, the power of pure harmonies based on natural major and minor thirds creates a movingly beautiful landscape.
We dedicate this recording to the memory of Bruce Haynes, whose untimely death has deprived us of a cherished friend and colleague. For many years he was at the forefront of the early music movement as a visionary baroque oboist, after which he went on to inspire a whole generation of musicians with thought-provoking books such as The Eloquent Oboe or The End of Early Music.
It is our hope that across the boundaries of time and death Bruce is presently having a friendly conversation somewhere with Erik Satie, discussing the merits of this recording, smoking his customary pipe, amused and touched by our efforts to bring music to life.
Indeed, it is a serious matter to consider that there may be an end to early music, as there is to life itself; but assuming that there is a place beyond time and space, the music on this CD offers glimpses into how inspired composers have managed to zoom in on dimensions beneath and beyond our ordinary reality, insofar as it is humanly possible to do so. --Matthias Maute
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A Summer's Day: Swedish Romantic Songs - Anne Sofie von Otter, Bengt Forsberg (2012) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/88.2kHz

Сomposer: Erik Gustaf Geijer, Franz Berwald, Adolf Fredrik Lindblad, August Söderman
Artist: Anne Sofie von Otter, Bengt Forsberg
Title: A Summer's Day: Swedish Romantic Songs
Genre: Classical
Label: © BIS Records
Release Date: 2012
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 88,2kHz/24bit
Source: e|Classical
Duration: 74:50
Recorded: February, April and May 2010 at Nybrokajen 11 (the former Academy of Music), Stockholm, Sweden

Brought together by Anne Sofie von Otter, the four composers on this disc lived during the space of less than a century, from the birth of Erik Gustaf Geijer in 1783 to the death of Adolf Fredrik Lindblad in 1878, and thus prepared the ground for the great generation of Swedish song composers, including Stenhammar, Peterson-Berger and Rangström. The thirty-two songs selected by von Otter and Bengt Forsberg, her piano partner of long standing, provide a broad image of the early development of a Swedish Lied tradition. At one end of the spectrum is the simple grace and tunefulness of Lindblad’s and Geijer’s songs, mainly intended for domestic performance and of a highly lyrical nature, in terms of both music and texts – which were often written by the composers themselves. Incidentally both Lindblad and Geijer were inspired by the great Swedish soprano Jenny Lind, who performed songs by especially Lindblad at concerts in Sweden and abroad, including Mån tro? Jo, jo! ('Would You Think? Indeed!') and Varning ('Warning') included here. In comparison, Franz Berwald seems to have been more intent on breaking new ground with his relatively complex songs, attempting to reach an international audience through his settings of German and French texts. He wrote just a handful of songs and most of these are early, pre-dating the symphonies on which his fame rests. August Söderman, finally, was the youngest of the four, and began his career as a successful theatre musician at an early age. By the time he emerged as a composer in the 1850s, public concerts were becoming more frequent, and at the same time Söderman discovered Wagner’s music – two factors which induced him to search for new forms of musical expression in his songs, with the aim to create a broader narrative with a greater dramatic force. With her usual gift for characterization, Anne Sofie von Otter brings these largely forgotten miniatures to charming life, with the support of Bengt Forsberg, and, in two duets, the baritone Fredrik Zetterström.
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A Piacere: Music for viola da gamba - Fahmi Alqhai (2014) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/96kHz

Сomposer: Various
Artist: Fahmi Alqhai
Title: A Piacere: Music for viola da gamba
Genre: Classical
Label: © Glossa
Release Date: 2014
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 96kHz/24bit
Source: Qobuz
Duration: 00:54:04
Recorded: Sevilla in October & November 2013

In 'A piacere' Fahmi Alqhai demonstrates once again what an expressive musician he has become, and with the viola da gamba as his “Wondrous Muse”, he recreates for CD a concert programme which he has been touring and refining over recent years. Following his ensemble album 'Rediscovering Spain' (performed with Accademia del Piacere) this new release from Glossa has a distinctively soloistic feel and approach to it, with Alqhai relishing the different moods and musical directions that his chosen musical “voice” permits him to take. Considering the instrument as so much more than a relic from the decaying aristocratic age of Louis XV in France, Alqhai demonstrates – by his choice of programme and his playing – the viol’s versatility, flexibility and depth of emotional response: music from Spanish, German and French Baroque masters of the instrument are joined by Alqhai’s own version of Joe Satriani's 'Always with me, always with you' rock number. Notably in his Satriani adaptation (but also in an old Spanish popular melody featuring the cantaor Arcángel, as well as elsewhere) Alqhai receives support from musician friends gathered at sessions in Seville, all helping to create – in marvellous sound – a new demonstration of the creative freedom that old music can allow in the right hands.
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