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Barbra Streisand - Love Is The Answer (2009) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/44.1kHz

Artist: Barbra Streisand
Title: Love Is The Answer
Genre: Pop, Vocal, Smooth Jazz, Easy Listening, American Popular Song
Label: © Columbia Records
Release Date: 2009
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 44,1kHz/24bit
Source: Qobuz
Duration: 00:58:40
Recorded: 2008–2009


Even before their first session together, Barbra Streisand and collaborator Diana Krall designed Love Is the Answer as a deeply emotional record: "each song an exploration concerning matters of the heart." And with the arrangements of maestro Johnny Mandel simply drawing occasional shading around Streisand's expressive voice -- and often leaving her voice as the only instrument -- the album goes well beyond the usual saloon-song tropes to become a heart-wrenching experience with virtually every song. Additionally, although much was made of the collaboration, Krall's piano stays in the background, and Streisand's is the only voice heard. But the song choices also were tailored to maximize the emotional impact of Love Is the Answer, and Streisand's incomparable voice. Nearly every song is a classic of tender balladry, despite the fact that none had been put on album by Streisand before during her long career. Those facts alone should leave Streisand fans in ecstasy, as practically nothing stands in the way of her voice as she sings some of the best songs of the last century, aching and sincere with every melancholy or lovelorn ballad, tenderly strident with every (ultimately) uplifting anthem. "Spring Can Really Hang You Up the Most" opens up like a flower akin to some of her best performances, and the same goes for "Make Someone Happy," composed by the classic team of Jule Styne, Betty Comden, and Adolph Green (Styne composed the music for Streisand's Funny Girl). Elsewhere, more classics of the American songbook -- "Here's That Rainy Day," "Where Do You Start?," "In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning," "Smoke Gets in Your Eyes," "Gentle Rain" -- prove themselves irresistible to the Barbra Streisand treatment. The overall effect is that this is one of the Streisand albums most appealing to her fans and her potential fans -- which includes nearly everyone who appreciates a singer singing like she's lived every line of her songs. --John Bush
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Johann Sebastian Bach - Sonatas & Partitas for Solo Violin, BWV 1001-1006 - Julia Fischer (2004) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/96kHz

Сomposer: Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)
Artist: Julia Fischer
Title: J.S. Bach: Sonatas and Partitas for Solo Violin BWV 1001-1006
Genre: Classical
Label: © PentaTone Classics
Release Date: 2006
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 96kHz/24bit
Source: pentatonemusic.com
Duration: 02:29:00
Recorded: Polyhymnia, Doopsgezinde Singelkerk, Amsterdam, Netherlands, December 2004. DSD


Having been a fan of Julia Fischer from my first encounter with her, I leapt on this disk with the highest expectations. I was not disappointed. Julia Fischer is no longer a talented child; she is a highly skilled young woman of 21 who, as preparation for these recordings, played on the piano the Busoni transcription of the ciaccona (!) then began to expand her own violin performance in light of what Busoni had shown was possible. In the interview with Harriet Smith, Fischer tells us in her delightful manner and fluent English how she grew up in a musical household, how it was only an accident that she became a violinist instead of a pianist and that she feels at home on both instruments.

The argument that a 21 year old can’t play profound music because she hasn’t suffered enough is belied by the fact that we do most of our suffering during adolescence; note the high suicide rate for teenagers. If we are lucky, as we age we gain compassion, insight, toleration, and we become weaker in the face of what sufferings remain. Hopefully, experience should teach us that other people have good ideas, too, and we become less assertive of our originality. But, most important, we lose finger co-ordination, so however Julia Fischer plays these works when she is sixty, she won’t play them with as much confidence or agility or purity as she plays them right now. You may want to buy this disk now for comparison later, as there is no doubt we will be hearing a great deal from Julia Fischer in the years to come.
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Anthony Phillips - The Geese & The Ghost (1977/2015) DVD ISO


Artist: Anthony Phillips
Title: The Geese & The Ghost
Genre: Rock, Folk Rock, Art Rock, Prog Rock
Label: © Esoteric Recordings
Release Date: 1977/2015
Recorded: August 1973 – October 1976 at Argonaut Galleries, Island Studios and Send Barns Studios
Quality: DVD V/A
Duration: ~
DVD-Video section has the following audio tracks:
- DTS 5.1 Surround
- Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
- LPCM Stereo 48 KHz / 24 Bits
DVD-Audio section has the following audio tracks:
- MLP 5.1 Surround 48 KHz / 24 Bits
- MLP Stereo 48 KHz / 24 Bits


Genesis founding member Anthony Phillips has his 1977 debut album The Geese and the Ghost reissued as a deluxe 2CD+DVD set in March. The album has been newly re-mastered (from the original tapes) by Simon Heyworth and comes with a bonus CD of demos and early versions of the tracks from the album, as well as two previously unreleased songs from 1973 (Silver Song and Only Your Love) that feature Phil Collins as a vocalist. Even better, the DVD includes a new 5.1 surround sound mix of the album (by Andy Myles and Simon Heyworth) and everything is packaged in a smart clamshell box, which also finds room for an illustrated booklet with new essay by Jonathan Dann. This three-disc ‘definitive edition’ of The Geese & the Ghost will be released on 9 March 2015 via Esoteric Recordings.
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Anthony Phillips - The Geese & The Ghost (1977/2015) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/48kHz

Artist: Anthony Phillips
Title: The Geese & The Ghost
Genre: Rock, Folk Rock, Art Rock, Prog Rock
Label: © Esoteric Recordings
Release Date: 1977/2015
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 48kHz/24bit
Source: DVD
Duration: 00:49:32
Recorded: August 1973 – October 1976 at Argonaut Galleries, Island Studios and Send Barns Studios


Anthony Phillips' first post-Genesis solo album was an extension of the pseudo-medieval folk elements found on Trespass, the last of his Genesis albums. Much of this recording sounds like a lost Genesis album, understandable since Phil Collins does a lot of the singing, and Michael Rutherford is present on guitar, bass, and keyboards, and also shares composer credits with him on major parts of this album. Portions of the material here, in fact, seem to have been derived from pieces they composed together in Genesis' early days that proved unsuitable for performance on-stage. Thus, The Geese & the Ghost comes off as a sort of throwback, picking up stylistically where Trespass or Nursery Cryme (check out the second part of the title track) left off nearly six years earlier. "Henry: Portraits from Tudor Times" can still hold the patient listener's attention, as it moves from bold synthesizer-generated fanfares to intimate classical guitar passages into soaring movements for electric guitar, flute, and oboe no less (there are three flutists here, plus one violinist, two cellists, and a pair of oboists, Bob Phillips and Laza Momulovich, who often get placed very prominently in the mix, probably a first on a rock album) -- but these movements would work better if they weren't quite so repetitive. The 15-minute two-part title track is hopeless -- gorgeous, luscious, languid, and utterly pointless in terms of presenting ideas of any worth or resolving them in any serious way; this is the sort of material that first-year composition students turn in as exercises, but only in the fading glow of the prog rock boom would it see the light of day on a commercial release. It's very arty in an early-'70s manner, midway between early Genesis and Amazing Blondel (note that neither of those groups still existed in their progressive rock incarnations in 1977), without the vibrancy that the former could generate or the impressive musical language or vocalizing of the latter. What Phillips failed to recognize, or couldn't emulate, was the fact that Genesis, Yes, King Crimson, and other bigger-than-footnote prog rock outfits always made sure their music was exciting, as well as pretty and complex. Still, it is pretty, and the CD reissue (which is devoid of instrumental credits) has a demo, "Master of Time," as a bonus. That song, a fey mix of sci-fi and faux-medieval sensibilities, never made the final cut of the album, and the demo runs two minutes too long for its own good, but it is sung by Phillips solo (he doesn't have much of a voice, hardly an octave range to judge from this) in a passionate manner, and is played -- on acoustic and electric guitars, with piano and no classical musicians added -- with some effort at excitement and vibrancy. --Bruce Eder
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Angus & Julia Stone - Angus & Julia Stone (2014) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/96kHz

Artist: Angus & Julia Stone
Title: Angus & Julia Stone
Genre: Folk, Indie, Singer/Songwriter
Label: © Republic Records
Release Date: 2014
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 96kHz/24bit
Source: HDTracks
Duration: 01:12:04
Recorded: Shangri La Studios in Malibu, California. Additional recording at The Complex in LA, California and Grand Street Recording in New York, NY.

The brother and sister duo, Angus & Julia Stone present their third, self titled album. After taking a break as a creative pair to focus on individual albums, the two artists are back together again with their latest record from American Recordings. Producer Rick Rubin comments on the album and the siblings, "This album is extraordinary; Angus and Julia are truly unique musicians. They are authentic and pure people who do things from the heart. I’ve never worked with anyone like them before.”
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Alice Cooper - Welcome to my Nightmare (1975/2001) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/96kHz

Artist: Alice Cooper
Title: Welcome to my Nightmare
Genre: Rock, Hard Rock, Heavy Metal
Label: © Atlantic Records
Release Date: 1975/2001
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 96kHz/24bit
Source: HDTracks
Duration: 38:36
Recorded: Soundstage, Toronto; Plant East, Electric Lady and A&R Studios, New York, 1974-1975

With the 1974 disintegration of the original Alice Cooper group, Alice was free to launch a solo career. He wisely decided to re-enlist the services of Bob Ezrin for his solo debut, Welcome to My Nightmare, which was a concept album tied into the story line of the highly theatrical concert tour he launched soon after the album's release. While the music lost most of the gritty edge of the original AC lineup, Welcome to My Nightmare remains Alice's best solo effort -- while some tracks stray from his expected hard rock direction, there's plenty of fist-pumping rock to go around. The disco-flavored, album-opening title track would be reworked on the stage as more of a hard rock tune, while "Some Folks" dips into cabaret territory, and "Only Women Bleed" is a sensitive ballad that became a Top Ten hit. But the rockers serve as the album's foundation -- "Devil's Food," "The Black Widow," "Department of Youth," and "Cold Ethyl" are all standouts, as is the more tranquil yet eerie epic "Steven." Despite this promising start to Cooper's solo career, the majority of his subsequent releases were often not as focused and were of varying quality. --Greg Prato
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