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Lutoslawski, Bartok - Musique funebre - Stuttgarter Kammerorchester, Dennis Russell Davies (2012) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/44.1kHz


Сomposer: Witold Lutoslawski (1913–1994), Béla Bartók (1881–1945)
Artist: Stuttgarter Kammerorchester, Dennis Russell Davies
Title: Lutosławski, Bartók - Musique funèbre
Genre: Classical
Label: © ECM Records GmbH
Release Date: 2012
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 44,1kHz/24bit
Source: highresaudio.com
Duration: 01:00:45
Recorded: May 2004 and February 2010, Liederhalle, Stuttgart


Conductor Dennis Russell Davies leads the Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra in a program of music by, and dedicated to, Béla Bartók. The disc opens in the latter vein with Witold Lutosławski’s Musique funèbre, composed between 1954 and 1958 for the 10th anniversary of Bartók’s death. The title, often erroneously translated as “Funeral music,” is better rendered as “Music of mourning,” and connotes homage to one of Lutosławski’s greatest inspirations, if not the greatest, for he never dedicated a work to another composer. Although the piece’s overarching development resembles Bartók’s Music for Strings, Percussion and Celesta, the opening cellos closely prefigure the robust, overlapping memorial of Henryk Górecki’s Symphony No. 3, even if they do chart a vastly different geography, from collective to individual landing. That initial feeling of density and weight gives way to a dark airiness. Motives bend and sway—at moments pliant, at others sharply angled. Darting violins bring us closer to a sense of inner turmoil and bold reckoning. The Bartókian flavor is clear yet faged, and falls back where it began: in the solemn cellos. Ashes to ashes.
As Wolfgang Sandner observes in this album’s liner notes, for Bartók the music of Hungary’s peasants “was the source of a radical new musical system, not material for reverting to a nostalgic transfiguration of the original sounds.” In light of this, we might reckon his Romanian Folk Dances of 1917 not as an archival storehouse but, more like Estonian composer Veljo Tormis’s choral arrangements, as an experiment made fresh by extant impulses. While for me the reference recording by Midori and Robert McDonald (1992, Sony Classical) gets to the core of the music in ways I’ve not since heard, the Stuttgarters’ soaring performance of this 1937 arrangement for string orchestra by Arthur Willner articulates the orbits of its moons with surprising precision. A delicate piece of nevertheless sweeping proportions, it moves by a hand unseen. The solo violin stands out like a red rose among a field of black, its changes organic, even a touch mournful, in the present setting. As the mosaic evolves, it gives light to the translucent cells of its becoming. The flute-like strings in the enlivening finale give us reason to rejoice in the shadows.
So, too, does the Divertimento. Composed 1939 in dedication to Paul Sacher (who commissioned the work) and the Basler Kammerorchester, it achieves novel balance of spiritedness and restraint under Davies’s direction. Its unmistakable beginning lures with its insistent rhythm but would just as soon fragment into multiple galaxies of melodic thought. There is a smoothness of execution in the tutti passages and a paper-thin delicacy to the solo strings. While one might expect that energy to be sustained, it waxes and wanes in a most natural, thought-out-loud sort of way that lends especial insight into Bartók’s compositional process. The second movement proceeds slowly at first, but then, with the coming of dawn, stretches its gravity. The lower and higher strings forge an implicit harmony, an acknowledgment of the invisible forces connecting them both. The contrast between double basses and violins is one not of tone but of purpose: the lowers an unstable fundament, the uppers a firmament in turmoil. This chaos they share as if it were blood. The final movement returns the promise of that dance with wit. There are, of course, intensely lyrical and slow-moving parts, with the violin carving surface relief, but always returning with that whirlwind of fire.
In the wake of this dynamism, selections from Bartók’s 27 Two- and Three-Part Choruses (1935-41) come as something of a breather. They are not adaptations of folksongs, but were composed in such a style at the behest of Zoltán Kodály. With evocative titles like “Wandering,” “Bread-baking,” and “Jeering,” each is a vignette of imagined life. A snare drum pops its way through the choral textures, by turns martial and lyrical, adding colors of interest throughout. And while these pieces hardly hold a candle to his a capella choruses (the orchestral writing feels at points superfluous), they provide welcome contrast to the veils that precede it with gift of vision. --ecmreviews.com
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Lionel Richie - Lionel Richie (1982/2015) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/192kHz


Artist: Lionel Richie
Title: Lionel Richie
Genre: Soul, Funk, R&B, Soft Rock, Quiet Storm
Label: © Motown Records
Release Date: 1982/2015
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 192kHz/24bit
Source: Qobuz
Duration: 00:38:04
Recorded: 1981–82 at A&M Recording Studios, Hollywood, CA.


Lionel Richie is forever enshrined in the popular imagination for his ballads, but his first solo album is more wide-ranging than that. Besides the three hit singles ('Truly' and 'My Love' are classic Richie ballads, while the sleek and slightly more uptempo 'You Are' is possibly Richie's finest solo single), „Lionel Richie“ focuses primarily on glossy early '80s dance pop/R&B. Richie and Commodores producer James Anthony Carmichael move beyond that band's beginnings as a loose, horn-led funk group, using synths and bell-like electric pianos over metronomic (but not stiff or artificial) rhythm tracks. Although „Lionel Richie“ came out several months prior to Thriller, that album is a very close comparison sonically; slick pop-R&B grooves like 'Serves You Right' and 'Tell Me' have a similar mix of Top 40 smarts and soulful heart.
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Lionel Richie - Back To Front (1992/2015) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/96kHz


Artist: Lionel Richie
Title: Back To Front
Genre: Soul, Funk, R&B, Disco
Label: © Motown Records
Release Date: 1992/2015
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 96kHz/24bit
Source: Qobuz
Duration: 01:00:40
Recorded at A&M Recording Studio, Hollywood, CA; Conway Recording Studio, Hollywood, CA; Devonshire Recording Studios, North Hollywood, CA; Motown Recording Studio, West Hollywood, CA; Oceanway Recording Studio, Hollywood, CA.


Richie's fourth album, originally released in 1992, was his first compilation album containing 14 tracks, four of them recorded with the Commodores. Also included in the track listing is Endless Love, his duet with Diana Ross.
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Kyle Eastwood - Timepieces (2015) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/44.1kHz


Artist: Kyle Eastwood
Title: Timepieces
Genre: Jazz
Label: © harmonia mundi s.a. | JazzVillage
Release Date: 2015
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 44,1kHz/24bit
Source: HDTracks
Duration: 01:15:41
Recorded: Studios 7e ciel Issy Les Moulineaux June 2014


Time Pieces, the new album by double-bass player Kyle Eastwood, is a musical self-portrait. Organized around the quintet's often collective compositions, Eastwood offers a couple of covers (Herbie Hancock and Horace Silver) that show his passion for lyrical hard bop, and a fresh interpretation of one of his compositions for the cinema — one of the main focal points of Eastwood's career. Full of melodic elegance and a sustained sense of groove, Time Pieces puts us right at the heart of a modern, contemporary jazz songbook. Eastwood is joined by Brandon Allen on sax, Quentin Collins on trumpet and flugelhorn, Andre McCormack on piano and drummer Ernesto Simpson.
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Kenny Wheeler - Songs for Quintet (2015) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/96kHz


Artist: Kenny Wheeler
Title: Songs for Quintet
Genre: Jazz, Modern, Avant-Garde, Post-Bop, Trumpet Jazz
Label: © ECM Records GmbH | ECM Player
Release Date: 2015
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 96kHz/24bit
Source: highresaudio.com
Duration: 52:14
Recorded: December 2013 and mixed September 2014 at Abbey Road Studios, London.


Kenny Wheeler (1930-2014) was an unassuming giant of modern jazz, a daring improviser, and a writer of many beautiful and slyly unorthodox tunes. His recorded legacy includes albums now regarded as contemporary jazz classics such as Gnu High, Deer Wan, Music For Large And Small Ensembles and Angel Song. In December 2013 he recorded what was to be his last album. Songs for Quintet, an inspirational session featuring Wheeler compositions of recent vintage (plus a fresh approach to “Nonetheless”, first heard on Angel Song), was recorded in London’s Abbey Road Studio with four of Kenny’s favourite players. Stan Sulzmann, John Parricelli, Chris Laurence and Martin France work together marvellously as an interactive unit, solo persuasively, and provide support for the tender and lyrical flugelhorn of the bandleader. Songs for Quintet is issued on January 14, 2015, which would have been Kenny Wheeler’s 85th birthday.
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Keith Jarrett - The Survivors' Suite (1977/2015) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/192kHz

Artist: Keith Jarrett
Title: The Survivors' Suite
Genre: Jazz, Avant-Garde, Piano Jazz
Label: © ECM Records GmbH
Release Date: 1977/2015
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 192kHz/24bit
Source: Qobuz
Duration: 00:48:39
Recorded: April 1976 at Tonstudio Bauer, Ludwigsburg.


A quick perusal of the personnel and mechanics of this album is practically all one needs to get an idea of the tonal colors and moods with which its imagery is composed. The Survivors’ Suite finds Jarrett in a multi-instrumental role along with the all-star cast that makes up his American Quartet. The sheer synergy of the playing truly makes this music shimmer. For this reason, I hesitate to single out particular solos and motifs. Suffice it to say each member has his moment of glory in the concisely knit fabric of the album’s 49-minute duration.
The music shifts dramatically from soulful dirges to upbeat thematic variations in a vibrant flow of ideas. A sense of control reigns. One never feels lost while listening (or is, in fact, lost but doesn’t care), for the surroundings are so resplendent with life. This is a supremely evocative experience and the similarity of associations it has inspired in so many listeners is striking to say the least (peruse a few other reviews, and you’ll see what I mean). The Survivors’ Suite reaches beyond jazz, even if firmly rooted in jazz’s soil. Its sound is vast yet intimate, breathing with the sheer life force of its music-makers. There is a marked difference between its two sections, simply titled “Beginning” and “Conclusion.” They are not polar opposites and are more than complementary. They walk the same trails, perhaps pointing out different sights along the way, all the while knowing they will soon meet again. Where the former is timid yet progressive, the latter is democratic and viscous.
This is, without a doubt, a high point among Jarrett’s many ECM outings. It is expertly recorded (as evidenced by its superb balance of warmth and coolness), fluidly played, and widely cherished, as I am sure it will continue to be for decades to come. --ecmreviews.com
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Keith Jarrett - Shades (1976/2015) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/192kHz


Artist: Keith Jarrett
Title: Shades
Genre: Jazz, Post-Bop, Piano Jazz
Label: © Impulse! Records | The Verve Music Group
Release Date: 1976/2015
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 192kHz/24bit
Source: HDTracks
Duration: 33:59
Recorded: Tracks 1, 3 recorded December 11, 1975; Tracks 2, 4 recorded December 12, 1975 at Generation Sound Studios, NYC


Pianist Keith Jarrett's mid-'70s quintet was the strongest regular group that he ever led and all of its recordings (even some that ramble a bit) are worth picking up. Thanks to its strong start, Shades is one of this unit's most rewarding recordings. "Shades of Jazz" has a memorable melody and logical (if unpredictable) improvisations by Jarrett and tenor-saxophonist Dewey Redman. The momentum slows down a bit with the gospellish "Southern Smiles" and "Rose Petals" but picks up again with the final number, the rather intense "Diatribe," an excellent vehicle for this classic group. Throughout, bassist Charlie Haden, drummer Paul Motian and percussionist Guilherme Franco keep the band's juices flowing. --Scott Yanow
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Keith Jarrett - Mysteries (1976/2015) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/192kHz


Artist: Keith Jarrett
Title: Mysteries
Genre: Jazz, Avant-Garde Jazz, Post-Bop, Piano Jazz
Label: © Impulse! Records | The Verve Music Group
Release Date: 1976/2015
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 192kHz/24bit
Source: HDTracks
Duration: 42:16
Recorded: Generation Sound, NYC, December 1975


Another in Impulse's extensive series of Keith Jarrett Quintet recordings, this CD isn't one of the more coherent products of the run. It opens on a faltering note with the hopelessly diffuse and rambling "Rotation," and "Everything That Lives Laments" doesn't really get going until a lyrical Vince Guaraldi-like statement from Jarrett sets the track in motion. "Flame" is certainly novel, with Jarrett on Pakistani flute and Dewey Redman on Chinese musette, which combined with the percussion makes for a diverting India/Third World jam. The Coltrane-ish 15-minute title track has passages of meditative beauty and others of listless torpor. For completists only. --Richard S. Ginell

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Keith Jarrett - Fort Yawuh (1973/2015) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/192kHz


Artist: Keith Jarrett
Title: Fort Yawuh
Genre: Jazz, Avant-Garde Jazz, Post-Bop, Piano Jazz
Label: © Impulse! Records | The Verve Music Group
Release Date: 1973/2015
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 192kHz/24bit
Source: HDTracks
Duration: 42:12
Recorded live at the Village Vanguard, New York City on February 24, 1973.


On Fort Yawuh, Keith Jarrett is joined by Dewey Redman (tenor sax), Charlie Haden (bass), Paul Motian (drums), and Danny Johnson (percussion) to produce this set recorded live at the legendary Village Vanguard in New York City on February 24, 1973. About two minutes into "Fort Yawuh," Jarrett prepares the listener for a piano solo by announcing himself with quick and sharp keyboard jabs that evolve into spared and beautiful crescendos that before too long involve the soulful wails of Redman on the sax. The following song, "De Drums," is the one track that really swings on this album. Another long one, at 12 minutes in length, "De Drums" is much more focused on a steady and consistent rhythm that is established immediately by a smooth five-note bassline accented by the piano and shakers. Although describable as smooth and cool, this song has a palpable energy perhaps due to the construction of the bassline whose pauses give an enjoyable sense of suspense. A little more than five minutes into this song there is a thematic shift that speeds up the tempo and makes this title swing even more while involving Redman's sax and Motian's drum kit. Half past the eight-minute mark the tempo settles back down to its original drawl, and the song finishes with a lazy bop that makes this the standout track on the album. Fans of Jarrett's avant-garde liberalism will find "De Drums" to be the track most unlike the other four selections on this album. "Still Life, Still Life" is more like a ballad in that it's very slow, but it still maintains the structural freedom featured in the "Fort Yawuh," "(If the) Mysfits (Wear It)," and "Roads Traveled, Roads Veiled." --Qa'id Jacobs
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Keith Jarrett - Facing You (1972/2015) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/192kHz


Artist: Keith Jarrett
Title: Facing You
Genre: Jazz, Free Jazz, Modal, Mainstream Jazz, Post-Bop, Piano Jazz
Label: © ECM Records GmbH
Release Date: 1972/2015
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 192kHz/24bit
Source: Qobuz
Duration: 00:47:39
Recorded: November 10, 1971 at Arne Bendiksen Studio, Oslo


The stunning ECM debut that unleashed one of the greatest piano players of our time. Using jazz as an excuse, Jarrett initiated and indoctrinated us with improvised solo piano, something to which listeners would become used to over the next three decades. Facing You is boogie-woogie, country hoedown, blues, folk, rock 'n' roll-flavoured jazz, and is still an astonishing album. The music press at the time of issue were bereft of ideas about how to categorize him; it would have been much simpler just to wallow in the music. Much of Jarrett's and Manfred Eicher's future musical philosophy started out with this important record.
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