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Meav - The Calling (2013) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/48kHz

Artist: Méav
Title: The Calling
Genre: Folk, Celtic, Classical Crossover
Label: © Warner Classics
Release Date: 2013
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 48kHz/24bit
Source: HDTracks
Duration: 43:42
Recorded: October - November, 2012

Multi-million selling world music artist Méav teams up with Grammy award-winning producer Craig Leon (Blondie, Talking Heads, Ramones, Pavarotti) to record folk-pop album The Calling.
Méav returns to her musical origins with The Calling, 12 tracks of newly written songs, folk ballads and fresh interpretations of timeless classics. Produced and co-written by the Grammy award-winning producer Craig Leon, responsible for iconic records by Blondie, Talking Heads, Ramones and Pavarotti amongst others, The Calling showcases Méav’s crystal clear voice, fusing her classical training with her folk roots.
From an early age Méav displayed an exceptional musical talent, immersed in Irish traditional music at her family home in Dublin. She went on to study classical voice, harp and piano while simultaneously studying Law at Trinity College. Her professional career was established with the Riverdance Choir, before going on to star in Lord of the Dance and embarking in three US tours with the Irish National Concert Orchestra.
This brought her to the attention of Celtic Collections who released three Méav solo albums including Celtic Journey with EMI, which debuted in the Billboard World Music top 10. In 2004, Méav was invited to be one of the five founding members of female supergroup Celtic Woman, who have sold six million records in the US and worldwide. It is remarkable that every album Méav recorded with Celtic Woman reached number 1 in the Billboard World Music Charts.
Méav left Celtic Woman in 2008 to start a family and resumed her solo career in 2010, performing to a sell-out crowd at New York’s Carnegie Hall. In 2012, Méav met legendary producer Craig Leon in Abbey Road Studios, London while working together on the score of a space film in collaboration with NASA. Despite their different musical backgrounds in pop and world music, they quickly realized that they shared a love of song-writing and ethnic music. This resulted in The Calling, a contemporary pop treatment of new songs and folk classics from Ireland, England, Scotland, Brittany, Galicia and America.
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Masterpieces in Miniature - San Francisco Symphony, Michael Tilson Thomas (2014) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/192kHz

Сomposer: Various
Artist: San Francisco Symphony, Michael Tilson Thomas
Title: Masterpieces in Miniature
Genre: Classical
Label: © SFS Media
Release Date: 2014
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 192kHz/24bit
Source: HDTracks
Duration: 01:18:08
Recorded live at Davies Symphony Hall — a venue of the San Francisco War Memorial and Performing Arts Center, City and County of San Francisco. Ives/Brant The Alcotts from A Concord Symphony recorded in 96 kHz/24-bit audio (February 2–6, 2010), all others in PCM 192 kHz/24-bit audio (September 26–28, 2013, and May 22–25, 2014).

In honor of their twentieth season together, Music Director Michael Tilson Thomas (MTT) and the San Francisco Symphony (SFS) release Masterpieces in Miniature, a collection of short orchestral works, on their in-house label SFS Media. Masterpieces in Miniature includes Henry Litolff’s Scherzo from Concerto symphonique No. 4 featuring pianist Yuja Wang, Gustav Mahler’s Blumine, Charles Ives / Henry Brant’s “The Alcotts” from A Concord Symphony, Gabriel Fauré’s Pavane, Claude Debussy’s La Plus que lente, Franz Schubert’s Entracte No. 3 from Rosamunde, Sergei Rachmaninoff’s Vocalise, Antonín Dvořák’s Legend for Orchestra, Jean Sibelius’s Valse triste, Frederick Delius’s On Hearing the First Cuckoo in Spring, Edvard Grieg’s The Last Spring, Léo Delibes’s Cortège de Bacchus from Sylvia, all recorded live in performance at Davies Symphony Hall. With this collection MTT shares some of his most treasured musical memories.
About the recording MTT says, “The short pieces in this album exist in various versions. Many began as piano pieces but were, except for the Ives, orchestrated by their composers. They were often played as encores by musicians who took special delight finding the most personal way of presenting them. This recording pays homage to the tradition of these pieces. It marks the beginning of my twentieth season as Music Director of the San Francisco Symphony and my seventieth birthday. On these occasions, I wanted to give a present to our whole San Francisco family and to our listeners everywhere. What better way than to fashion a garland of these charming pieces? Playing them is now nearly a lost art. The musicians and I have taken a wonderful voyage in creating these performances, which are a mixture of my musical memories and the imagination and virtuosity of my colleagues.”
As acclaimed interpreters of the music of Mahler, MTT and the Orchestra have included their performance of the composer’s Blumine as part of this special collection. Their self-produced Mahler recording project, launched in 2001 and concluded in 2010, encompassed all of Mahler’s symphonies and works for voice, chorus and orchestra. The Orchestra’s Mahler cycle on SFS Media has been recognized with seven Grammy Awards and MTT was named Gramophone Artist of the Year in recognition of his work on the recording cycle. For the 2011 Mahler centennial, the SFS performed his music in a four-concert engagement at the famed Vienna Konzerthaus in May, an honor rarely extended to American orchestras and a keystone of the city’s commemoration of the Mahler anniversary. MTT and the SFS’s Keeping Score: Mahler PBS Television documentary and concert is available on DVD and Blu-ray.
MTT and the SFS’s recording of “The Alcotts” movement from A Concord Symphony, an orchestration of Charles Ives’s “Concord” Sonata arranged by Henry Brant, was originally released in a 2011 recording of the full work. In his San Francisco Chronicle review, Joshua Kosman wrote, “To listen to ‘A Concord Symphony’…is to feel an exhilarating sense of discovery and dramatic vigor, an explosive dynamism that emanates from all the participants…Thomas and the orchestra…convey every bit of the score's boisterous vitality in a performance of magnificent virtuosity - it's a landmark achievement.”
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Mariah Carey - Music Box (1993/2015) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/96kHz

Artist: Mariah Carey
Title: Music Box
Genre: Pop, R&B, Pop Rock, Vocal Pop, Dance Pop, Electronic, Swing, Downtempo
Label: © Columbia Records
Release Date: 1993/2015
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 96kHz/24bit
Source: AcousticSounds
Duration: 00:41:44
Recorded: August 1992–May 1993, Right Track Recording, The Plant Studios, Axis Studios, Electric Lady Studios, House Of Sounds, Criteria Recording Studios

Linda Ronstadt was America's sweetheart of the '70s, because she was able to combine a pretty face, a pretty voice and a safe personality. Her songs might be full of big notes and high emotions, but they satisfied every predictable expectation of a love ballad or good-time rocker. Mariah Carey is America's sweetheart of the '90s for the exact same reasons. Music Box topped the Billboard album charts, yielding number-one singles like "Dreamlover" and "Hero." The titles, one a hollow Minnie Riperton knock-off and the other a stiff Barbra Streisand imitation, are tip-offs to Carey's reliance on untethered fantasy (she's the fantasizer in the lyrics and the fantasy object in the videos). These songs, co-written and co-produced like most of the album by Walter Anasieff and Carey herself, are constructed to show off her dizzying soprano, not to provide an original approach to a well-worn subject. Even when she gets a strong ballad to sing, like her current singles--Babyface's "Never Forget You" or Badfinger/Nilsson's "Without You"--she overdoes the self-pity bit so much that the song loses its dramatic tension.
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Manu Katche - Neighbourhood (2005) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/96kHz

Artist: Manu Katché
Title: Neighbourhood
Genre: Jazz, Modern Creative, Progressive Jazz
Label: © ECM Records GmbH
Release Date: 2005
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 96kHz/24bit
Source: Qobuz
Duration: 00:54:52
Recorded: March and November 2004, Rainbow Studio, Oslo

Neighbourhood is an astounding, if subdued, meeting of minds. Like other ECM projects of its ilk, this congregation feels as if it arose out of a fundamental and inescapable desire to create music for the sheer enjoyment of it. There is no showing off here. This is laid back, burnished, melt-in-your-mouth jazz perfect for a quiet evening or a rainy afternoon. That being said, this is a far cry from what might elsewhere derogatorily pass for “smooth.” In spite of its overall delicacy the album is not without solid grooves (how can we not bob our heads to the piano-driven ride that is “Number One” or to the swinging horns of “Take Off And Land”?), effectively concise solos (cf. Garbarek’s gorgeous outburst in “Good Influence” and titillating turns from Wasilewski and Stanko in “Lovely Walk”), and enough stellar moments overall to turn any depressing day into a blissful mental excursion. The ensemble plays us out beautifully with “Rose.”
As the brainchild of Manu Katché and producer Manfred Eicher, Neighbourhood is essentially a rhythmic enterprise. Katché’s percussion work provides the crowning motifs to which his compatriots are each a shining jewel. Multiple listenings reveal new nuances of texture and interaction every time. A very fine but impermeable thread connects these musicians and Katché never dominates, waiting in the wings as his motifs take shape of their own volition. The title of the sixth cut says it all: “No Rush.” Take your time with this one and it will reward you greatly. Just press PLAY and you’re there.
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Manu Katche - Playground (2007) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/44.1kHz

Artist: Manu Katché
Title: Playground
Genre: Jazz, Modern Creative, Progressive Jazz
Label: © ECM Records GmbH
Release Date: 2007
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 44,1kHz/24bit
Source: Qobuz
Duration: 01:10:07
Recorded: January 2007 at Avatar Studios, New York

Playground is the spiritual successor to drummer Manu Katché’s auspicious ECM leader debut: Neighbourhood. Auspicious, because said debut practiced just the communal sort of sharing it preached. The lineup here replaces saxophonist Jan Garbarek with the multi-talented Trygve Seim and adds to its ranks trumpeter Mathias Eick—neither strangers to one another since their appearance on Iro Haarla’s Northbound. Rounding out the cast are two thirds of the Marcin Wasilewski Trio (bassist Slawomir Kurkiewicz and Wasilewski himself at the keys), as well as guitarist David Torn. Aside from the latter’s ambient contributions to its bookends, the album luxuriates in the all-acoustic interplay of Katché’s simple yet potent tunes.
Of those tunes, we get 11 artfully crafted gems, gradated from sunrise to sunset. From the first, there is a sort of lush Americana that pervades each smooth turn of phrase, swaying like poplars in anonymous urban landscapes—a result, perhaps, of these European jazzmen soaking in the spell of New York City, where Playground was recorded. Either way, one can hear the pulse of the city’s history in the underlying beat textures. In this regard, Wasilewski’s pianism is striking for both its sink and swim. In the album’s opener it acts as an intermediate force between Katché’s supporting brushes and Eick’s leading stare, while in “Song For Her” (and its variation, which ends the set) it enables reflective bassing, pinging like pachinko balls in slow motion. Here, as elsewhere, the horns build to the non-invasive sort of head at which Katché’s writing excels.
Tracks are designated by names that are as descriptive as they are simple. Most are relatively obvious. “Motion,” for example, moves flexibly. Noteworthy is Wasilewski, given free reign in one of the session’s strongest improvisational showings, of which there are a strategic few (others being Seim’s chromatic solo in “Inside Game” and Eick’s skyward lob in “Project 58”). Despite the groundedness of Katche’s drumming, there is always something airborne about the melodic front line, so that tracks like “So Groovy” showcase Katché’s multidirectional awareness. What distinguishes his grooves, then, is less their sense of push than of pull. Here, as in “Snapshot,” the music draws ocean waters like the moon. Whether piecing together the cymbal-happy backbone of “Clubbing” or paving the smooth runway of “Morning Joy,” Katché finds strength in his attractions to kindred spirits. They clearly take inspiration from him in kind, for by the end one feels the cycle ready to repeat for a third round.
The title of the second track, “Pieces Of Emotion,” describes it best: each fragment builds a larger mental whole, a place built on togetherness, listening, and, above all, synchronicity.
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Melody Gardot - Currency Of Man (2015) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/44.1kHz

Artist: Melody Gardot
Title: Currency Of Man
Genre: Jazz, R&B, Singer/Songwriter, Jazz Blues, Retro-Soul
Label: © The Verve Music Group
Release Date: 2015
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 44,1kHz/24bit
Source: ProStudioMasters
Duration: 01:08:25

Currency of Man from singer-songwriter Melody Gardot is an intensely creative milestone, transcending musical distinctions of jazz, blues and R&B to offer a stirring social and musical statement. Gardot once again joins forces with Grammy-winning producer Larry Klein, long associated with Joni Mitchell. A striking musical partnership, their previous collaboration, 2009’s My One and Only Thrill, sold over a million-and-a-half copies and yielded songs that have become modern classics. Currency of Man marks a substantial leap forward as Gardot takes her gift for songwriting in a a completely different direction from her preceding album, the critically acclaimed The Absence. This "artist's cut" deluxe edition includes five bonus tracks.
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Melody Gardot - The Absence (2012) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/96kHz

Artist: Melody Gardot
Title: The Absence
Genre: Jazz, Vocal Jazz, Vocal Pop, Bossa Nova, Soul Jazz
Label: © The Verve Music Group
Release Date: 2012
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 96kHz/24bit
Source: Qobuz
Duration: 43:24

The Absence is the third record from Grammy-nominated Melody Gardot. Produced by Heitor Pereira, renowned for his work as a film composer (Despicable Me, It's Complicated, From Prada to Nada) and world-class session guitarist (Sting, Seal, Caetano Veloso), the Brazilian-born, US-based artist shared Melody's enthusiasm for driving off the beaten path of Western pop, jazz, blues and soul. And he was as adventurous as Melody when it came to inventive sonic ideas. From the deserts of Morocco to the streets of Lisboa, from the tango bars of Buenos Aires to the beaches of Brazil, The Absence captures the essence of each of these exotic locales, while at the same time remaining quintessentially Melody Gardot.
Written by Melody and produced by composer and guitarist Heitor Pereira – who also composed all the orchestral arrangements on the album – ‘The Absence’ is a stunning 11-track culmination of Melody’s year-long globetrotting experiences. From the deserts of Morocco to the beaches of Brazil, ‘The Absence’ pulses to the hypnotic rhythms of Fado, Tango and Samba. Melody is joined on the album by acclaimed musicians; bassist John Leftwich, percussionist Paulihno DaCosta and drummers Jim Kelter and Peter Erskine among many others.
Lead track ‘Mira’ is a warm bossa nova accent with a heart of gold, accompanied by a vibrant video shot in the streets and alleyways of Rio de Janeiro. Then there’s ‘Lisboa’, a glimpse of Melody’s stay in the Portuguese capital capturing the musical sounds of the streets.
Other album highlights include the classic Gershwin swell of ‘So We Meet Again My Heartache’, the tango-ready ‘Goodbye’, and the uplifiting world-beat of ‘Amalia’ – the first single, released May 21st which was co-written by Pereira and Phil Roy.
A renowned film composer (Despicable Me, Its Complicated, From Prada To Nada) – Heitor Pereira has also worked with Simply Red, Sting and Seal as a world-class session guitarist. “It was a beautiful connection,' Melody says of their meeting. 'I needed a partner - a collaborator, and a bit of genius in his own right. Someone crazy enough to understand how serious I am when I say, 'I want to play palm leaves and a washboard’ - and make it work.”
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Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart - Sonatas For Piano & Violin - Mitsuko Uchida, Mark Steinberg (2005/2012) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/96kHz

Сomposer: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791)
Artist: Mitsuko Uchida, Mark Steinberg
Title: Mozart - Sonatas For Piano & Violin
Genre: Classical
Label: © Decca is a Universal Music Company
Release Date: 2005/2015
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 96kHz/24bit
Duration: 1:09:51
Recorded: June-July 2004, Snape Maltings Concert Hall, Suffolk, United Kingdom

In perusing CDs of Mozart's sonatas for piano and violin, a lot can be guessed in advance by noticing which performer is featured prominently, and who is relegated to second place. In these sonatas the violin is minimized to an obbligato accompaniment. Legendary pianist Mitsuko Uchida is clearly the dominant partner, and rising violinist Mark Steinberg is only her deferential sidekick. The usual problems of balance between the piano and violin are exacerbated by such a lopsided pairing, and it is inevitable that Uchida's interesting interpretations, refined expression, and impeccable execution will outshine Steinberg's efforts; no matter how desperately he tries to get on an equal footing with her, he must fail. As it happens, his playing eventually becomes an annoyance, little more than a doubling or elaboration of the melodic line, with little independence of thought, expression, attack, or color. Strangely, one wishes to hear Uchida's playing unadorned, without the chattering fiddling going on beside her, but this is just further evidence that this duo is mismatched. The sound quality is decent, except that the highly resonant acoustics emphasize the piano to the violin's further detriment. --AllMusic Review by Blair Sanderson
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Of Monsters And Men - Beneath The Skin (2015) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/96kHz

Artist: Of Monsters And Men
Title: Beneath The Skin
Genre: Pop Rock, Indie Folk, Alternative, Indie Rock
Label: © Republic Records
Release Date: 2015
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 96kHz/24bit
Source: HDTracks
Duration: 01:05:39
Recorded: 2014-15

Four years after the band's quadruple-platinum debut album comes Beneath The Skin, the sophomore release from Icelandic outfit Of Monsters And Men. The lead single Crystals is another powerfully beautiful anthem, expanding the signature sound countless fans fell in love with. The group spent a year working on Beneath The Skin with co-producer Rich Costey (Muse, Foster The People, Interpol) between studios in Iceland and Los Angeles. This deluxe edition contains two bonus tracks and two remixes.
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Ophelie Gaillard - Schumann - Liszt (2012) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/48kHz

Сomposer: Robert Schumann (1810-1856), Franz Liszt (1811-1886)
Artist: Ophélie Gaillard
Title: Schumann - Liszt
Genre: Classical
Label: © Aparté/Little Tribeca
Release Date: 2012
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo (#1-3) 48kHz/24bit; (#4-8) 88,2kHz/24bit
Source: Qobuz
Duration: 00:50:09
Recorded: Radio Romania Concert Hall (Schumann), IRCAM (Liszt)

After Dreams, and the Bach Cello Suites, two recordings that enjoyed both critical and public acclaim, Ophélie Gaillard turns here to Robert Schumann's Cello Concerto and the complete music for cello and piano of Franz Liszt. The result of this juxtaposition of two worlds, those of two composers of great sensitivity, is a programme captivatingly combining passion with an expression of the mysteries of life. Once again we see the eclecticism that Ophélie Gaillard has always shown. For the Schumann Concerto, this brilliant young cellist is accompanied by the National Radio Orchestra of Romania (which has played with the likes of Yehudi Menuhin, David Oistrakh, Martha Argerich and Mstislav Rostropovich), under the young conductor Tiberiu Soare (a favourite of the singer Angela Gheorghiu).
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