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Bruce Springsteen - The Rising (2002/2015) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/44.1kHz


Artist: Bruce Springsteen
Title: The Rising
Genre: Rock, Rock & Roll, Heartland Rock
Label: © Columbia Records
Release Date: 2002/2015
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 44,1kHz/24bit
Source: ponomusic.com
Duration: 01:12:57
Recorded: January–March 2002



The many voices that come out of the ether on Bruce Springsteen's The Rising all seem to have two things in common: the first is that they are writing from the other side, from the day after September 11, 2001, the day when life began anew, more uncertain than ever before. The other commonality that these voices share is the determination that life, however fraught with tragedy and confusion, is precious and should be lived as such. On this reunion with the E Street Band, Bruce Springsteen offers 15 meditations -- in grand rock & roll style -- on his own way of making sense of the senseless. The band is in fine form, though with Brendan O'Brien's uncanny production, they play with an urgency and rawness they've seldom shown. This may not have been the ideal occasion for a reunion after 15 years, but it's one they got, and they go for broke. The individual tracks offer various glimpses of loss, confusion, hope, faith, resolve, and a good will that can only be shown by those who have been tested by fire. The music and production is messy, greasy; a lot of the mixes bleed tracks onto one another, giving it a more homemade feel than any previous E Street Band outing. And yes, that's a very good thing.
The set opens with "Lonesome Day," a midtempo rocker with country-ish roots. Springsteen's protagonist admits to his or her shortcomings in caring for the now-absent beloved. But despite the grief and emptiness, there is a wisdom that emerges in questioning what remains: "Better ask questions before you shoot/Deceit and betrayal's bitter fruit/It's hard to swallow come time to pay/That taste on your tongue don't easily slip away/Let kingdom come/I'm gonna find my way/ Through this lonesome day." Brendan O'Brien's hurdy-gurdy cuts through the mix like a ghost, offering a view of an innocent past that has been forever canceled because it never was anyway; the instrument, like the glockenspiels that trim Bruce Springsteen's songs, offers not only texture, but a kind of formalist hint that possibilities don't always lie in the future. Lest anyone mistakenly perceive this recording as a somber evocation of loss and despair, it should also be stated that this is very much an E Street Band recording. Clarence Clemons is everywhere, and the R&B swing and slip of the days of yore is in the house -- especially on "Waitin' for a Sunny Day," "Countin' on a Miracle," "Mary's Place" (with a full horn section), and the souled-out "Let's Be Friends (Skin to Skin)." These tracks echo the past with their loose good-time feel, but "echo" is the key word. Brendan O'Brien's guitar-accented production offers us an E Street Band coming out of the ether and stepping in to fill a void. The songs themselves are, without exception, rooted in loss, but flower with the possibility of moving into what comes next, with a hard-won swagger and busted-up grace. They offer balance and a shifting perspective, as well as a depth that is often deceptive.
The title track is one of Springsteen's greatest songs. It is an anthem, but not in the sense you usually reference in regard to his work. This anthem is an invitation to share everything, to accept everything, to move through everything individually and together. Power-chorded guitars and pianos entwine in the choruses with a choir, and Clemons wails on a part with a stinging solo. With The Rising, Springsteen has found a way to be inclusive and instructive without giving up his particular vision as a songwriter, nor his considerable strength as a rock & roll artist. In fact, if anything, The Rising is one of the very best examples in recent history of how popular art can evoke a time period and all of its confusing and often contradictory notions, feelings, and impulses. There are tales of great suffering in The Rising to be sure, but there is joy, hope, and possibility, too. Above all, there is a celebration and reverence for everyday life. And if we need anything from rock & roll, it's that. It would be unfair to lay on Bruce Springsteen the responsibility of guiding people through the aftermath of a tragedy and getting on with the business of living, but rock & roll as impure, messy, and edifying as this helps. --AllMusic Review by Thom Jurek
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Johannes Brahms - Violin Concerto, String Sextet No.2 - Isabelle Faust, Mahler Chamber Orchestra, Daniel Harding (2011) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/44.1kHz


Сomposer: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Artist: Isabelle Faust, Mahler Chamber Orchestra, Daniel Harding
Title: Brahms: Violin Concerto, String Sextet No.2
Genre: Classical
Label: © 2011 harmonia mundi sa
Release Date: 2011
Quality: Studio Master FLAC Stereo 44.1kHz/24bit
Source: Qobuz
Duration: 01:14:44
Recorded: février 2010, Sociedad Filarmónica de Bilbao (Concerto) & septembre 2010, Teldex Studio Berlin (Sextuor)


Isabelle Faust goes back to the roots of one of the most famous Romantic concertos, which is also one of the most difficult from a technical point of view: did Hans von Bülow not call it a ‘concerto against the violin’? Born of close collaboration between Brahms and the violinist Joseph Joachim, the work is a fine testimony to friendship – whereas the Sextet op.36 is directly linked to the love affair between the composer and the beautiful Agathe von Siebold.
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Boney James - Futuresoul (2015) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/96kHz


Artist: Boney James
Title: Futuresoul
Genre: Jazz, Contemporary Jazz, Crossover Jazz, Smooth Jazz, Saxophone Jazz
Label: © Concord Music Group, Inc.
Release Date: 2015
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 96kHz/24bit
Source: HDTracks
Duration: 41:29
Recorded by Dave Rideau and Boney James at The Backyard, Los Angeles, CA and Sunset Sound, Hollywood, CA


Four-time Grammy nominee and multi-platinum selling saxophone player Boney James continues his artistic evolution with the dynamic album futuresoul. Fusing his love for vintage soul music with his mastery of modern production, James has created another genre-bending work following on the heels of his 2014 Grammy nominated album The Beat.

“The forms I’m working with are rooted in my early influences. But recently I’ve been listening to contemporary artists like Tinashé, Sam Smith and Ellie Goulding and I’m inspired by the sound of their recordings. The production is so cool and evocative. As I started the new record, I was in my backyard studio messing around with this 'gearhead' stuff I’ve collected. Ideas started flowing and it sounded like modern soul music to me. I thought to myself, ‘What is this?’… And then it hit me: futuresoul.” --Boney James
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Bobby McFerrin - spirityouall (2013) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/44.1kHz


Artist: Bobby McFerrin
Title: spirityouall
Genre: Jazz, Vocal Jazz, Spirituals, Gospel
Label: © Sony Masterworks
Release Date: 2013
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 44,1kHz/24bit
Source: Qobuz
Duration: 00:51:16
Recorded: Avatar Recording, Shelter Island Sound.


Bobby McFerrin surprises us again, bringing it all back home with his new album, spirityouall. Now Bobby invites us to sit on the stoop awhile and listen as he throws some unexpected new ingredients into the melting pot and reinvents Americana. He invites us back to the great folk tradition of lifting our voices to sing together through life’s trials and triumphs.
spirityouall features beloved familiar tunes like “He’s Got the Whole World In His Hands” and “Every Time I Feel The Spirit” alongside original songs which explore Bobby’s everyday search for grace, wisdom, and freedom. The new material ranges from a celebratory hoedown (“Rest”) to a polemic anthem (“Woe”), to a down and dirty blues setting of Psalm 25:15. This project embraces Bobby’s folk, rock, and blues influences without abandoning his fearless improvisational approach or his never-ending exploration of the human voice. He moves seamlessly between lyrics and wordless lines, trading phrases with his band, inviting the audience to sing along. Bobby loves to sing this music, and it shows: spirityouall raises the roof with joyful grooves.
spirityouall continues Bobby’s life-long quest to integrate all the influences of the musical universe. But as in so many great American tales, sometimes it turns out that everything one is searching for is in one’s own backyard. The project honors the legacy of Bobby’s father, the great operatic baritone Robert McFerrin, Sr., the first African-American to sign a contract with the Metropolitan Opera Company and a renowned interpreter of the American Negro Spiritual. ” I always thought that someday I’d sing these songs,” Bobby says, “and that I’d have to find a way of doing it that was completely different from my father’s approach. I think the idea has been kicking around for at least a couple of decades. And it was finally time.”
Three of the traditional numbers featured on spirityouall —the opening track “Every Time I Feel the Spirit,” “Swing Low Sweet Chariot” and “Fix Me Jesus”—also appeared on the senior McFerrin’s 1957 album Deep River, but similarities end there. The spirituals are about liberation and courage, the human condition, the pioneering spirit, the search for strength in the face of adversity, and the journey toward a better place, and Bobby’s versions reach for new territory.
spirityouall is a deeply personal statement for Bobby McFerrin. “I couldn’t do anything without faith,” he says. “I couldn’t open up my eyes, I couldn’t walk, I couldn’t speak, I couldn’t sing. What I want everyone to experience at the end of my concerts is . . . .this sense of rejoicing. I don’t want the audience to be blown away by what I do, I want them to have this sense of real joy, from the depths of their being. Then you open up a place where grace can come in.” Lift your voice, open your heart, and sing along.
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Leonard Bernstein - West Side Story - San Francisco Symphony, Michael Tilson Thomas (2014) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/96kHz


Сomposer: Leonard Bernstein (1918-1990)
Artist: San Francisco Symphony, Michael Tilson Thomas
Title: West Side Story (Based on a Conception of Jerome Robbins; Book by Arthur Laurents; Music by Leonard Bernstein; Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim)
Genre: Classical, Stage & Screen, Soundtrack
Label: © SFS Media
Release Date: 2014
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 96kHz/24bit
Source: HDTracks
Duration: 01:22:51
Recorded live in PCM 96 kHz/24-bit audio June 27 - July 2, 2013 at Davies Symphony Hall — a venue of the San Francisco War Memorial and Performing Arts Center, City and County of San Francisco.



Michael Tilson Thomas and the Grammy Award-winning San Francisco Symphony present a new live recording of the first-ever concert performances of Leonard Bernstein’s complete score for the beloved musical West Side Story. The recording boasts a talented cast of Broadway actors led by Alexandra Silber (Maria) and Cheyenne Jackson (Tony) alongside members of the San Francisco Symphony Chorus. This Collector’s Edition 2-Disc Set includes a 100-page booklet featuring a new interview with MTT, notes from Rita Moreno and Jamie Bernstein, as well as a West Side Story historical timeline, archival photographs, complete lyrics, and rehearsal and performance photos. Presented in a High Definition Premium Audio Hybrid SACD* Set, this must-have album is the latest treasure from the Orchestra’s very own SFS Media label.
The performances were recorded live at Davies Symphony Hall in late June and early July 2013 after Michael Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony became the first orchestra to receive permission from all four West Side Story rights-holders to perform and record the musical score in its entirety in a concert setting. Of the new recording, Michael Tilson Thomas said, “This is a new and rare opportunity to hear Bernstein’s complete score sung by a sensational young cast and a knock-your-socks-off orchestra. The San Francisco Symphony totally understands and feels this music. We show the Broadway roots of the piece and how its universal qualities translate into the way we think about it today.”
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Ludwig van Beethoven - Cantata on the Death of Emperor Joseph II; Symphony No. 2 - San Francisco Symphony, Michael Tilson Thomas (2013) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/96kHz


Сomposer: Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827)
Artist: San Francisco Symphony, Michael Tilson Thomas
Title: Beethoven: Cantata on the Death of Emperor Joseph II; Symphony No. 2
Genre: Classical
Label: © SFS Media
Release Date: 2013
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 96kHz/24bit
Source: HDTracks
Duration: 73:20
Recorded live in PCM 96 kHz/24-bit audio May 2-3, 2013 at Davies Symphony Hall — a venue of the San Francisco War Memorial and Performing Arts Center, City and County of San Francisco.


Beethoven's colossal Cantata on the Death of Emperor Joseph II for chorus, soloists, and orchestra and his playful, upbeat Second Symphony combine on this powerful new recording from Michael Tilson Thomas and the Grammy Award-winning San Francisco Symphony and Chorus. Rarely performed and recorded, this gripping and profoundly moving funeral cantata proved a revelation during the Symphony's May 2013 Beethoven Project. The recording features the Symphony, Chorus, and a glorious solo quartet - soprano Sally Matthews, mezzo-soprano Tamara Mumford, tenor Barry Banks, and bass-baritone Andrew Foster-Williams - all conducted by MTT. Presented as a premium audio hybrid SACD, this album is the latest addition to the San Francisco Symphony's ever growing collection of Beethoven recordings.
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Ludwig van Beethoven - Symphonies Nos.7-9 - Wiener Philharmoniker, Christian Thielemann (2011/2015) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/48kHz


Сomposer: Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827)
Artist: Wiener Philharmoniker, Christian Thielemann
Title: Beethoven - Symphonies Nos.7-9
Genre: Classical
Label: © Sony Music Entertainment
Release Date: 2011/2015
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 48kHz/24bit
Source: Qobuz
Duration: 02:16:48
Recorded: Wiener Musikverein; Nos. 7-8: November 2009; No. 9: April 2010



At a time when it seems that the contemporary movement for historically informed practices has won over most performers of Ludwig van Beethoven's nine symphonies, along comes Christian Thielemann to spin the clock back to the mindset of the mid-20th century. Interpreting the symphonies with a conventional, even hidebound, approach that bears no sign of late Classical scholarship (streamlined tempos, smaller orchestras, original instrumentation, or other aspects of the way the music was actually played in the composer's time), Thielemann presents a Beethoven that is rather more in the manner of Wilhelm Furtwängler than of, say, John Eliot Gardiner. Listeners who have not yet taken the plunge into authentic period practices may have wondered where the traditionalist could turn for old-fashioned, Teutonic performances that employ a full modern orchestra, conform to expected (i.e., slower) tempos, and generally have a homogenized orchestral blend with thick textures. Here is Thielemann, unapologetic and confident, and for what it is, his set is a solid, dependable cycle that doesn't pretend to be something it isn't, and it will not disappoint its intended audience. Indeed, the Vienna Philharmonic is one of the last bastions of tradition, and Thielemann surely will satisfy all who are nostalgic for the old style. There are some eccentricities of particular interest in the Finale of the Ninth, where Thielemann surprises with sneak-attack accelerandos, and his breakneck speed in the final pages will leave anyone breathless. But on the whole, this is a conservative's vision of Beethoven, and the live performances really bring the not-so-distant past to life. This deluxe box set offers six CDs and a DVD, Making van Beethoven, stored in a hard cover book with liner notes and a cloth-covered slipcase. --Blair Sanderson
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Ludwig van Beethoven - Symphonies Nos.4-6 - Wiener Philharmoniker, Christian Thielemann (2011/2015) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/48kHz


Сomposer: Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827)
Artist: Wiener Philharmoniker, Christian Thielemann
Title: Beethoven - Symphonies Nos.4-6
Genre: Classical
Label: © Sony Music Entertainment
Release Date: 2011/2015
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 48kHz/24bit
Source: Qobuz
Duration: 01:56:26
Recorded: Wiener Musikverein; Nos. 4: March 2009; Nos. 5-6: April 2010


At a time when it seems that the contemporary movement for historically informed practices has won over most performers of Ludwig van Beethoven's nine symphonies, along comes Christian Thielemann to spin the clock back to the mindset of the mid-20th century. Interpreting the symphonies with a conventional, even hidebound, approach that bears no sign of late Classical scholarship (streamlined tempos, smaller orchestras, original instrumentation, or other aspects of the way the music was actually played in the composer's time), Thielemann presents a Beethoven that is rather more in the manner of Wilhelm Furtwängler than of, say, John Eliot Gardiner. Listeners who have not yet taken the plunge into authentic period practices may have wondered where the traditionalist could turn for old-fashioned, Teutonic performances that employ a full modern orchestra, conform to expected (i.e., slower) tempos, and generally have a homogenized orchestral blend with thick textures. Here is Thielemann, unapologetic and confident, and for what it is, his set is a solid, dependable cycle that doesn't pretend to be something it isn't, and it will not disappoint its intended audience. Indeed, the Vienna Philharmonic is one of the last bastions of tradition, and Thielemann surely will satisfy all who are nostalgic for the old style. There are some eccentricities of particular interest in the Finale of the Ninth, where Thielemann surprises with sneak-attack accelerandos, and his breakneck speed in the final pages will leave anyone breathless. But on the whole, this is a conservative's vision of Beethoven, and the live performances really bring the not-so-distant past to life. This deluxe box set offers six CDs and a DVD, Making van Beethoven, stored in a hard cover book with liner notes and a cloth-covered slipcase. --Blair Sanderson
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Ludwig van Beethoven - Symphonies Nos.1-3 - Wiener Philharmoniker, Christian Thielemann (2011/2015) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/48kHz


Сomposer: Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827)
Artist: Wiener Philharmoniker, Christian Thielemann
Title: Beethoven - Symphonies Nos.1-3
Genre: Classical
Label: © Sony Music Entertainment
Release Date: 2011/2015
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 48kHz/24bit
Source: Qobuz
Duration: 01:57:11
Recorded: Wiener Musikverein; Nos. 1-2: December 2008; Nos. 3: March 2009


At a time when it seems that the contemporary movement for historically informed practices has won over most performers of Ludwig van Beethoven's nine symphonies, along comes Christian Thielemann to spin the clock back to the mindset of the mid-20th century. Interpreting the symphonies with a conventional, even hidebound, approach that bears no sign of late Classical scholarship (streamlined tempos, smaller orchestras, original instrumentation, or other aspects of the way the music was actually played in the composer's time), Thielemann presents a Beethoven that is rather more in the manner of Wilhelm Furtwängler than of, say, John Eliot Gardiner. Listeners who have not yet taken the plunge into authentic period practices may have wondered where the traditionalist could turn for old-fashioned, Teutonic performances that employ a full modern orchestra, conform to expected (i.e., slower) tempos, and generally have a homogenized orchestral blend with thick textures. Here is Thielemann, unapologetic and confident, and for what it is, his set is a solid, dependable cycle that doesn't pretend to be something it isn't, and it will not disappoint its intended audience. Indeed, the Vienna Philharmonic is one of the last bastions of tradition, and Thielemann surely will satisfy all who are nostalgic for the old style. There are some eccentricities of particular interest in the Finale of the Ninth, where Thielemann surprises with sneak-attack accelerandos, and his breakneck speed in the final pages will leave anyone breathless. But on the whole, this is a conservative's vision of Beethoven, and the live performances really bring the not-so-distant past to life. This deluxe box set offers six CDs and a DVD, Making van Beethoven, stored in a hard cover book with liner notes and a cloth-covered slipcase. --Blair Sanderson
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Art Blakey - Art Blakey Big Band (1957/2013) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/96kHz


Artist: Art Blakey
Title: Art Blakey Big Band
Genre: Jazz, Bop, Hard Bop, Big Band
Label: © Bethlehem Records | Verse Music Group
Release Date: 1957/2013
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 96kHz/24bit
Source: ProStudioMasters
Duration: 34:35
Recorded: New York City, December, 1957


Quite an unusual record from Art Blakey – a rare big band session, recorded with a lineup that's quite different than the usual Jazz Messengers! Turns out, Blakey's quite good in this setting – and has the same firey energy to direct a larger ensemble that he has when working with a smaller quintet. The added players here really help him express some new musical ideas with greater depth – almost like the added percussionists on some of his drum-heavy Blue Note dates of the late 50s.
Members of the group include John Coltrane and Al Cohn on tenor, Sahib Shihab on alto, Donald Byrd and Idrees Sulieman on trumpet, Melba Liston on trombone, and Walter Bishop on piano – and titles include 'Last Date', 'The Outer World', 'Midriff', 'Tippin', and 'Pristine'.

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