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Rush - Moving Pictures (1981/2015) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/48kHz

Artist: Rush
Title: Moving Pictures
Genre: Rock, Prog Rock, Hard Rock
Label: © Mercury Records
Release Date: 1981/2015
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 48kHz/24bit
Source: HDTracks
Duration: 40:04
Recorded: October - November 1980 at Le Studio, Morin Heights, Quebec
Remastered by Sean Magee at Abbey Road Mastering Studios

Moving Pictures is the intersection between Rush’s ’70s art-rock style and their sequencer-laced ’80s efforts. An incredible stylistic leap for the band, the songs here incorporate reggae, percolating synth and even a new wave-tinged early ’80s pop sensibility. ‘Tom Sawyer,’ the ultimate alienated-teen saga, is the album’s best known song. ‘Red Barchetta’ picks up where 2112 left off with futuristic, sci fi-oriented lyrics. The instrumental ‘YYZ’ is as far into straight-up progressive rock as the band had ever ventured. Things get socio-political on the ominous ‘Witch Hunt,’ and a Jamaican flavor enlivens ‘Vital Signs.’ The increased reliance on synthesizers and sequencers would later become irksome to old school Rush fans, but on ‘Moving Pictures’, electronics are tastefully applied to further the group’s musical vision, making for what just might be their finest batch of songs.
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Roger Waters - Amused to Death (1992/2015) High-Fidelity DSF Stereo DSD64/2.82MHz

Artist: Roger Waters
Title: Amused to Death
Genre: Rock, Art Rock, Prog Rock, Symphonic Rock
Label: © Columbia Records | Analogue Productions XAPP38475D64
Release Date: 1992/2015
Quality: DSF Stereo DSD64/2.82MHz
Source: AcousticSounds
Duration: 01:12:35
Recorded: The Billiard Room, Olympic Studios, CTS Studios, Angel Studios, Abbey Road Studios, London; Compass Point Studios, Nassau; Devonshire Studios, Ameraycan Studios, Evergreen Recording, Johnny Yuma Recording, Los Angeles. Mix Studio: Devonshire Audio & Visual Studios, Burbank. Mastered at The Mastering Lab, Los Angeles. Remastered by James Guthrie.

DSD file created from the 192/24 digital master using Meitner DSD converters. :: An unblinking look at an entertainment-obsessed society, Amused to Death addresses issues that have only grown in complexity and urgency over the past two decades. With Amused to Death, Roger Waters sounded the alarm about a society increasingly — and unthinkingly — in thrall to its television screens. Twenty-three years later, Amused to Death speaks to our present moment in ways that could scarcely have been anticipated two decades ago. In 2015, television is just one option in an endless array of distractions available to us anytime, anywhere, courtesy of our laptops, tablets and smartphones. With eyes glued to our screens, the dilemmas and injustices of the real world can easily recede from view.
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Rock Candy Funk Party - Groove is King (2015) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/44.1kHz

Artist: Rock Candy Funk Party
Title: Groove is King
Genre: Jazz, Jazz Rock, Funk, Soul Jazz, Fusion
Label: © J&R Adventures | Mascot Label Group
Release Date: 2015
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 44,1kHz/24bit
Source: HDTracks
Duration: 01:11:44
Recorded: Tal Bergman Studios in Los Angeles, CA

Rock Candy Funk Party's Groove Is King is an aural kaleidoscope that mashes up funk, rock, dance, electronica, jazz and R&B into 14 original tracks and 2 covers full of space, texture, and virtuoso musicianship.
Powered by a lineup of world-renowned players, the group came together for the sheer fun of making music—and a mutual love of genre-blurring grooves. With collective credits including Joe Zawinul, Hugh Masekela, Prince, Ruth Brown, Chaka Khan, Simple Minds, Billy Idol, Tito Puente, Bruce Springsteen, Rod Stewart, Levon Helm, Conan O’Brien, Sheila E. and many more, they are: album producer Tal Bergman, Joe Bonamassa, Ron DeJesus, and Mike Merritt.
“This time around, the concept was less jazz and more modern dance with layered grooves. The rhythm section laid the foundation and then we’d add in strings, synths and an incredible horn section, all while keeping it funky,” says DeJesus. Ultimately, the defining influence on Groove Is King’s instrumental soundscape is the interplay between RCFP’s members – which serves as a riveting conversation all its own – and the energy in the studio.
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Ravel - Bolero; Debussy - La Mer; Mussorgsky - Pictures At An Exhibition - Berliner Philharmoniker, Herbert von Karajan (1966/2015) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/96kHz

Сomposer: Claude Debussy (1862-1918), Modest Petrovich Mussorgsky (1839-1881), Maurice Ravel (1875-1937)
Artist: Berliner Philharmoniker, Herbert von Karajan
Title: Ravel- Boléro; Debussy- La Mer; Mussorgsky- Pictures At An Exhibition
Genre: Classical
Label: © Deutsche Grammophon
Release Date: 1965/66/95/2015
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 96kHz/24bit
Source: Qobuz
Duration: 01:14:49
Recorded: 1965/1966 at Jesus-Christus-Kirche, Berlin, Germany

„Here are examples of 'The Karajan Effect' at its most positive, and sounding, in these new transfers, fractionally more open, focused and fresh than before, with the billowing bass moderated and the dynamic range extended. Along with Karajan's own imaginative deployment of orchestral colour (to take one example: the extra gong with barely damped striker at the end of Pictures), the Berlin Jesus-Christus Kirche acoustics of these 1964-6 recordings add their own wonderful coloration and atmosphere (dark and cavernous at appropriate moments in Pictures). The 1980s Berlin Philharmonic DG remakes (in their remastered 'Karajan Gold' format) offer something closer to concert-hall reality (a cleaner more neutral sound) but, on the whole, the imaginative daring and the excited discovery of new realms of creative and technical possibility are missing; certainly the 1980s performances are less given to spontaneous ignition.
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Jean-Philippe Rameau - Troisieme livre de pieces de clavecin, Suite en La & Suite en Sol - Alexander Paley (2014) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/96kHz

Сomposer: Jean-Philippe Rameau (1683 – 1764)
Artist: Alexander Paley, piano
Title: Rameau par Alexander Paley: Troisième livre de pièces de clavecin, Suite en La & Suite en Sol
Genre: Classical
Label: © La Música
Release Date: 2014
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 96kHz/24bit
Source: Qobuz
Duration: 01:19:03
Recorded: 12, 13 et 14 mai 2014 à l’Église Protestante luthérienne de Bon-Secours, Paris

My first encounter with Rameau came when I was seven years old. The piano was predominant in musical life in the Soviet Union at the time but Johann Sebastian Bach was the only composer to represent the baroque era. Ever-present in concert halls, his compositions were also the daily bread of young pianists in music school. My first teacher had been born in Paris and had a deep knowledge and strong sense of French culture, especially French literature. Thanks to him, I in turn fell in love with France in general and Rameau in particular, and Rameau has stayed with me ever since. I have always kept him in a corner of my mind without ever being able to play his music in public, because unfortunately concert organisers, including in France, then as now prefer composers better known to the general public.
The harpsichord was a rarity, to say the least, in the Russia of my childhood. It had been introduced by Wanda Landowska, who played for Leon Tolstoy at his house in Yasnaya Polyana in 1907 and 1909, but nothing ever really came of her visit. Landowska’s instrument was very different from those in use nowadays, of course, but ultimately that has no real significance. A harpsichordist is not a pianist; two different skill sets are involved. Although I could play a harpsichord – it is a keyboard instrument after all – I could not claim to really understand the instrument. So I approach Rameau’s music unequivocally as a pianist. I am not the first, far from it in fact, to argue that the sound qualities of Rameau’s music lend themselves entirely to performance on the piano.
There is no question here of merely imitating the harpsichord. It seems a great shame not to make full use of the possibilities our modern piano has to offer, as Glenn Gould – a musician I admire unreservedly – did with Bach. In particular, I use the pedal not to achieve greater legato but to add a wider range of colours to my interpretation, always provided of course that those colours are compatible with Rameau. And colour has always been crucially important in French music.
I have also been particularly attentive to tempo. Rameau himself said that the tempo should never be too fast, and in fact his markings are very precise. Pushkin wrote that “serving the lyre rules out vanity”. Tempo must not be a matter of vanity; it must be the speed of execution which allows the performer to articulate everything contained in the music. When Rameau writes “fast”, “very fast” or even “faster”, he means that each ornament must still be clearly articulated, and his ornaments are very difficult to execute.
On the question of ornaments, for which the composer left a very full table, I concur with the great Wanda Landowska when she said that during the baroque era, any musician incapable of ornamenting or improvising was considered illiterate. A repeat, for example, needed ornamentation; it was like another aspect of the same piece. As I see it, ornamentation is like a vast field into which the performer can introduce the material that existed around Rameau in his own day. In La Vénitienne (First Book, 1706), for example, after playing exactly what Rameau wrote, I have inserted quotations from Domenico Scarlatti and Padre Martini (his famous Plaisir d’amour). That is also why I have introduced the Dies iræ into the variations of the famous Gavotte. I am profoundly convinced that I am entitled to do so. I have tried to play each phrase, each note penned by Rameau because the text remains the bible and must be scrupulously respected. But Debussy said that music happened between the notes and it is up the performer to discover what exists in the realm beyond paper and ink. What I play has nothing whatsoever to do with transcription as practised so superbly by Godowski. Nor is it an attempt to transform the music into something a hypothetical contemporary audience can listen to. I simply try to share the immense beauty that comes into being as I sit and play and the listener sits and listens. --Alexander Paley
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Ralph Towner, John Abercrombie - Five Years Later (1982) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/96kHz

Artist: Ralph Towner, John Abercrombie
Title: Five Years Later
Genre: Jazz, Post-Bop, Modern Jazz, Guitar Jazz
Label: © ECM Records GmbH | ECM Reviews
Release Date: 1982
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 96kHz/24bit
Source: Qobuz
Duration: 00:50:08
Recorded: March 1981 at Talent Studio, Oslo

“Something special happens when they play together” observed Robert Palmer in the New York Times, and the participants concurred. “Playing with John is one of my favourite things to do,” said Ralph Towner. “I can play as much as when playing solo, and still get to ply my skills as accompanist. John is such an amazing person to play with that, even when he’s playing intensely or aggressively, we somehow fit together and there’s really no way that we could collide.” On Five Years Later, follow-up to their debut duo disc Sargasso Sea, their improvisations draw on a wider sonic palette, to telling effect.
John Abercrombie is unique among guitarists in that whenever he becomes enraptured his sound becomes neither louder nor more pronounced but becomes somehow mysterious, liberated. Ralph Towner, on the other hand, revels in the crackling ruptures that so characterize his playing. Yet these roles seem reversed in this follow-up to the duo’s Sargasso Sea. A far more fragile carnation than its predecessor, it seems to forego the usual bag of tricks in favor of something more, as the album’s title would imply, reflective. This is especially apparent in the three improvisations with which the set list is dotted, and nowhere more so than in “Late Night Passenger,” where Abercrombie’s laddered filaments provide stunning berth for the other’s muted, jangling starlight.
As for composed pieces, Towner offers three, Abercrombie two. Among the former’s, the all-acoustic “Half Past Two” is a vibrating rib cage of biographical energies, and the most comely track on the album. The attraction continues with “Caminata” and on through the whimsy of “The Juggler’s Etude.” Abercrombie’s “Child’s Play” pairs electric and classical for a complementary sound, Towner’s shallower accents the caps on Abercrombie’s resonant stalks. Child’s play it may be in name, but in execution it is anything but. Yet it is in “Isla” that the reverie reaches new depths, the musicians’ negotiation of lead and backing effortlessly egalitarian. Such reciprocity is the keystone that keeps this arch from crumbling.
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Raffi Besalyan - The Return: Rachmaninov, Babajanian (2015) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/192kHz

Сomposer: Sergei Rachmaninoff (1873-1943), Arno Babadjanian (1921-1983)
Artist: Raffi Besalyan
Title: The Return: Rachmaninov, Babajanian
Genre: Classical
Label: © Sono Luminus LLC DSL-92187
Release Date: 2015
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 192kHz/24bit
Source: Blu-Ray Audio
Duration: 01:05:24
Recorded at Sono Luminus Studios, Boyce, Virginia, April 29-May 1, 2014

“Technically brilliant… Besalyan played with a great deal of temperament, speed and power… audacious spirit and poetic substance, deeply felt tenderness…” — New York Concert Review

“A keyboard phenomenon that needs to be heard by everyone interested in pianists and the piano.” — Fanfare Magazine, USA

“A formidable pianist with a commanding presence and rich interpretive gifts.” — American Record Guide Magazine
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