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Nils Okland Band - Kjolvatn (2015) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/48kHz


Artist: Nils Økland Band
Title: Kjølvatn
Genre: Jazz, Folk, World, Contemporary Jazz, Nordic
Label: © ECM Records GmbH | ECM Player
Release Date: 2015
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 48kHz/24bit
Source: highresaudio.com
Duration: 49:23
Recorded: June 2012, Hoff Church Østre Toten, Norway



Hard on the heels of his critically-lauded - and distortion-saturated - collaboration with rock players in ‘lumen drones’ comes the next fine album from norway’s hardanger fiddle master.
The idiosyncratic Norwegian musician Nils Økland (fiddle / violin / viola d'amore) has had a diverse career. On this sixth album 'Kjølvatn' he has put together a brand new band consisting of some of the leading musicians in Norway: Rolf-Erik Nystrom (saxophone), Sigbjørn Apeland (harmonium), Håkon Mørch Stene (percussion), Mats Eilertsen (double bass).
Økland has played as a solist with several major orchestras, written music for London Sinfonietta, film, ballet and theater and played on records with Christian Wallumrød, Arve Henriksen, Åsne Valland Nordli and Bjørnar Andresen, to mention a few. He has previously published solo album 'Monograph' and the duo 'Lysøen' along with Sigbjørn Apeland on ECM. Before this he released the albums 'Bris' and 'Straum' on Rune Grammofon and the self published debut 'Blå Harding'. Nils plays in rock trio Lumen Drones (ECM), who released a critically acclaimed debut album last October and in the improvisation band 1982. Both as a performer and composer he has built bridges between folk, Jazz and improvised music.
Økland himself describes the music on 'Kjølvatn' this way: 'In my work as a professional violinist in the last 30 years, I have moved between a wide wide range of genres from classical violin to Balkan folk, rock and punk, jazz and free improvisation, to Norwegian folk music. I've always composed my own material inspired by all these expressions; a hybrid between folk music poetry and punk energy. In early baroque music - another musical style I let myself be inspired by - it was common to have sketches as the basis for making music. In this band we work with methods that are inspired by this.'
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Natalie Imbruglia - Male (2015) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/44.1kHz


Artist: Natalie Imbruglia
Title: Male
Genre: Pop, Pop Rock, Indie Rock
Label: © Sony Music Entertainment
Release Date: 2015
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 44,1kHz/24bit
Source: HDTracks
Duration: 44:40


Returning from an extended absence -- she hasn't made an album since 2009's Come to Life and hasn't seen a record released in the U.S. since 2001's White Lilies Island, which was the sequel to her 1997 blockbuster Left of the Middle; a long time gone, in other words -- Natalie Imbruglia lands upon an interesting concept for her comeback: take 12 songs written by male singer/songwriters and recast them as feminine. For Imbruglia, this means reviving the hazy focus of her global blockbuster "Torn," a feel created with soft, strummed guitars and clear vocals, a sound that suits a middle-aged singer as comfortably as it does a young one, perhaps even a touch better. Although Male shamelessly evokes Left of the Middle -- the cover itself looks like something of a sequel -- Imbruglia takes pains to show that she's listened to recent music. Not only are there covers of Daft Punk, Death Cab for Cutie, and Iron & Wine, but she grafts a Mumford & Sons folk-stomp onto the Cure's "Friday I'm in Love," then gently pushes Tom Petty's "The Waiting" toward a tapped folk rhythm. Everything is so sweet and light, it's difficult to discern whether Imbruglia's choice of songs is meant to convey something greater than that these are a bunch of nice tunes. Certainly, the concept of Male suggests there might be a conceptual undertow to the album -- Imbruglia finding the femininity in masculine writers -- but Imbruglia chooses songs where sexuality is incidental; these are love songs that are easily retooled for the opposite sex. This safety in song selection and production means that Male certainly doesn't have the bite of Tori Amos' 2001 album Strange Little Girls, a record that wears its sexual politics proudly, but Imbruglia has never been an ambitious artist: she's always been a sweet, pleasant crooner and Male plays to those very strengths. --AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine
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MS MR - How Does It Feel (2015) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/44.1kHz


Artist: MS MR
Title: How Does It Feel
Genre: Dream Pop, Dark Wave, Indie Electronic
Label: © Columbia Records
Release Date: 2015
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 44,1kHz/24bit
Source: HDTracks
Duration: 43:41


Three years after making a name for themselves with the single "Hurricane," on How Does It Feel MS MR balance where they've been and where they're going. The formerly anonymous duo revealed the names behind the music (singer Lizzy Plapinger and producer Max Hershenow, respectively), but also returned to their old home base of Bushwick while recording their second album. Similarly, the pair expands on the smoky mystique of "Hurricane" and Secondhand Rapture on these songs, taking that sound in a more immediate direction with the help of co-writers such as MNDR, Tove Lo, and drummer Zach Nicita. Hershenow and Plapinger's more attention-getting approach reflects the pop trends that cropped up after Secondhand Rapture's release: literally and figuratively, How Does It Feel is a busier, brassier set of songs that feel more active even when they're not aimed at the dancefloor. "Painted" gives the duo's drama a surprisingly kinetic backbone, while "No Guilt in Pleasure" and "Criminals" boast some of their most irresistible choruses yet. Plapinger's voice is just as compelling in these more streamlined surroundings as it was on their debut; where her torchy delivery recalled Adele or Florence Welch on Secondhand Rapture, here she finds kindred spirits in Kiesza and Jess Glynne songs like the house-tinged standout "Reckless." Here and on How Does It Feel's other highlights, Hershenow and Plapinger give their innate drama a pop gloss, with slinkier tracks such as "Wrong Victory" and the MNDR collaboration "Tripolar" sounding like heightened versions of their debut. While a few tracks sound too similar to each other, How Does It Feel's best moments deliver pop accessibility without sacrificing any of MS MR's identity. --AllMusic Review by Heather Phares
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Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart - Piano Concertos Nos. 9 & 25 - Alfred Brendel, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Sir Charles Mackerras (2002) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/96kHz

Сomposer: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791)
Artist: Alfred Brendel, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Sir Charles Mackerras
Title: Mozart - Piano Concertos Nos. 9 & 25
Genre: Classical
Label: © Decca is a Universal Music Company
Release Date: 2002
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 96kHz/24bit
Source: highresaudio.com
Duration: 01:07:41
Recorded: Usher Hall, Edinburgh, July 2001


Although it is not one of Mozart's most famous piano concertos, K. 271 in E-Flat is one of his most extraordinary. It is in many ways the first great piano concerto, in the modern sense of the term, and Mozart was just 21 when he wrote it. Melodically rich and full of imaginative touches -- like the gorgeous, gentle minuet that lies in the middle of the rollicking finale -- the concerto is already vintage Mozart. Ironically, though, it takes musicians of real sagacity to realize its youthful charm. Alfred Brendel, now in his 70s, does not sparkle in this work as he did on his previous recordings, but there is a quiet beauty to his playing now that seems absolutely right. And while he has pared down his sound, there is even more color and subtlety of shading than before. This sensitivity is even more apparent in the C Major Concerto, K. 503, a work bursting with brilliant pageantry. Brendel seems uninterested in the orchestra's pomp, etching out his part with lyrical dignity -- a touching and dramatic effect. Sir Charles Mackerras is a superb partner, and the Scottish Chamber Orchestra plays with heart. Not your usual Mozart, then, and all the better for it.
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Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart - Opera Arias and Overtures - Elizabeth Watts, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Christian Baldini (2015) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/96kHz

Сomposer: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791)
Artist: Elizabeth Watts, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Christian Baldini (2015) [96-24]
Title: Mozart - Opera Arias and Overtures
Genre: Classical
Label: © LINN Records
Release Date: 2015
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 96kHz/24bit
Source: LINN
Duration: 61 minutes 48 seconds
Recorded: June 2013 at Usher Hall, Edinburgh, Scotland


The Scottish Chamber Orchestra has established impeccable Mozartian credentials and its previous forays into operatic repertoire have been highly critically acclaimed. Conductor Christian Baldini makes his recording debut with the orchestra in this repertoire that is so close to his heart. They are joined for the arias by award-winning soprano Elizabeth Watts who uses her considerable Mozart experience to create highly memorable performances.
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Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart - Fantasia K.396; Piano Sonatas K281, K282 & K576 - Alfred Brendel (2005/2012) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/96kHz


Сomposer: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791)
Artist: Alfred Brendel
Title: Mozart - Fantasia K.396; Piano Sonatas K281, K282 & K576
Genre: Classical
Label: © Decca is a Universal Music Company
Release Date: 2005/2012
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 96kHz/24bit
Source: highresaudio.com
Duration: 55:12
Recorded: Jugendstiltheater, Venna, 29 June-10 July 2004


The sonatas on this album are considered to be harder than most Mozart piano sonatas because they present a few more technical challenges, such as ornaments at the beginning of the melody or contrapuntal entrances of the theme, than his other sonatas. Alfred Brendel makes these challenges sound oh-so-easy and natural. His is a graceful Mozart with many detailed shadings, despite his occasionally playing with more forcefulness than is necessary and not as subtly as it could be. The opening of the Sonata in E flat, K. 282, and the Fantasia, K. 396, have similarities in their slow, meandering, but not random, temperaments. Brendel gives the minuets of the E flat sonata more idiosyncratic humor than one expects of a stately dance. The Sonata in D major, K. 576, is particularly elegant. He doesn't make too much of the hunting call at the very beginning of the first movement's main theme, but keeps it in proportion with the rest of the theme, and he handles all the contrapuntal entrances of that same theme as if they were part of a full-fledged fugue. Brendel recognizes the Classical refinements of Mozart's sonatas and combines those with a little coloring to give them more depth and character. --AllMusic Review by Patsy Morita
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Morton Feldman - Violin And Orchestra - Carolin Widmann, Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra, Emilio Pomarico (2013) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/44.1kHz

Сomposer: Morton Feldman (1926–1987)
Artist: Carolin Widmann, Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra, Emilio Pomàrico
Title: Morton Feldman - Violin And Orchestra
Genre: Classical, Avant-Garde, Modern Composition
Label: © ECM Records GmbH | ECM Reviews
Release Date: 2013
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 44,1kHz/24bit
Source: highresaudio.com
Duration: 50:39
Recorded: October 2009 at Sendesaal des Hessischen Rundfunks, Frankfurt


For all practical purposes, Morton Feldman's Violin and Orchestra resembles an anti-concerto, insofar as the soloist's role is minimized and frequently buried within the heavy textures of the orchestra, rather than featured prominently before it. The violin part consists almost entirely of static, minimal gestures, and short groups of pitches, offering neither displays of technical virtuosity nor soaring melodies in the manner of traditional concertos. Yet despite its apparent lack of any themes and severely restricted activity, it is nonetheless the focus of this piece, and Feldman's thick and often dark orchestral textures are given a rarefied quality through the violin's fluctuating presence. Violinist Carolin Widmann demonstrates great stamina and patience in this 50-minute work, and it seems to hang together largely through the strength of her playing. The Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra, led by Emilio Pomàrico, produces a full, rich sound and seems well-rehearsed, though Feldman's writing is desultory and disconnected from the violin part, so there is a kind of built-in looseness that will frustrate the goal-oriented listener. However, this piece is like many other compositions by Feldman, requiring suspension of expectations to let it flow by and create its fleeting impressions. ECM's reproduction is clear and palpably close, so everything can be heard clearly at a high enough volume, though because this is a Feldman work, a low setting might contribute to its effectiveness. --AllMusic Review by Blair Sanderson
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Minoritenkonvent - Manuscript XIV 726 - Stephanie Paulet, Elisabeth Geiger (2015) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/96kHz

Сomposer: Heinrich Ignaz Franz Biber (1644-1704), Giovanni Buonaventura Viviani (1638-1693), Jan Ignác František Vojta (ca.1660-ca.1725), Nikolaus Faber (†1673), Johann Caspar Teibner (b.1661-1697)
Artist: Stéphanie Paulet, Elisabeth Geiger
Title: Minoritenkonvent - Manuscript XIV 726 (Vienna, Praha, Kroměříž, 1700)
Genre: Classical
Label: © Muso
Item Number: MU-008
Release Date: 2015
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 96kHz/24bit
Source: Qobuz
Duration: 1:12:32
Recorded: at the Eglise Sainte-Madeleine in Strasbourg (France) from 31 July to 3 August 2014



Stéphanie Paulet once more scores a hit with this project that reveals the flourishing violin activity in the late 17th century to the North of the Alps. Accompanied by a ‘positive’ organ of exceptional sound quality, her violin sings, leaps and makes us vibrate through the aural beauty of this disc, enhanced as it is by quite simply magnificent sound engineering.
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Gustav Mahler - Symphony No.9 - Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Riccardo Chailly (2004) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/96kHz

Сomposer: Gustav Mahler (1860 - 1911)
Artist: Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Riccardo Chailly
Title: Mahler - Symphony No.9
Genre: Classical
Label: © Decca is a Universal Music Company
Release Date: 2004
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 96kHz/24bit
Source: Qobuz
Duration: 01:29:57
Recorded: June 2004, Concertgebouw, Grote Zaal, Amsterdam, Netherlands


Mahler’s final completed symphony provides both a fitting conclusion to Chailly’s highly acclaimed cycle and a valediction after his decade and a half at the helm of the magnificent Concertgebouw Orchestra. It was the last work Chailly conducted as the orchestra’s music director, and he made this disc directly after that final concert. The work’s four movements are an epic 90 minutes of tumultuous emotions dominated by the motif of Death (by the time Mahler began composing the work in 1909 he knew that he had only a short time to live). The two outer movements, each lasting roughly half an hour, are concerned with calm resignation and the agony of farewell; the two central movements, a gruesome Scherzo and a dissonant ‘Rondo-Burleske’, are ruled by the demonic element of Death.

The Ninth is generally reckoned to be the most difficult of all Mahler’s symphonies to bring off, equally demanding for the performers and for the listener, and Chailly’s realization is as gripping as it is disturbing. The balance and clarity of orchestral detail, from the frenzy of the Rondo to the almost imperceptible closing bars of the final Adagio, is brilliantly captured.
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Lianne La Havas - Blood (2015) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/44.1kHz

Artist: Lianne La Havas
Title: Blood
Genre: R&B, Neo Soul, Pop/Rock, Singer/Songwriter
Label: © Nonesuch Records
Release Date: 2015
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 44,1kHz/24bit
Source: HDTracks
Duration: 40:38
Recorded: 2013–15


Blood is Lianne La Havas's new album released on Nonesuch Records. La Havas's 2012 debut album, Is Your Love Big Enough?, was "wonderfully refreshing," says NPR's Tom Moon. And on the new album, she's created songs like the single "What You Don't Do," which features "the kind of stunning, kinetic performance we rarely hear on the radio these days."
Blood showcases an eclectic range of songs, providing a "dramatic contrast" from song to song. Its "transitions lend unexpected dimension to La Havas' writing—they make the songs, which survey romantic relationships in various states of messiness, feel epic even though most just last around four minutes," Moon concludes. "It's unusual to encounter such roller-coastering mood swings—the becalmed poise of Minnie Ripperton giving way to the fulminating power of Nina Simone—in this realm, where digital perfection is the norm and the peaks and spikes get smoothed over. It's even more unusual to hear a singer so confident in her ability to bring the extremes (particularly the quiet ones) across so vividly."
The album was inspired by La Havas's Jamaican and Greek family heritage. When touring for Is Your Love Big Enough? came to a close, La Havas headed to Jamaica with her mother for a long-awaited holiday that evolved into an experience of self-discovery. She enjoyed emotional reunions with long-lost relatives; embraced Kingston's clubs; and even jammed in front of her family for the first time during a session with legendary dancehall/reggae producer Stephen McGregor. Exploring her roots inspired La Havas's writing. Lyrically, she says, the songs she wrote are almost all related to "the feeling of who you are and where you come from." And musically, La Havas took inspiration from Jamaica's love of grooves, rhythms, and syncopation.
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