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Maurice Ravel - Complete Piano Works - Walter Gieseking (1954/2012) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/96kHz


Сomposer: Maurice Ravel (1875-1937)
Artist: Walter Gieseking
Title: Ravel - Complete Piano Works
Genre: Classical
Label: © EMI Classics
Release Date: 1954/2012 (2011 Remaster)
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC 2.0 Mono 96kHz/24bit
Duration: 01:57:25
Recorded: 12/1954, Abbey Road Studios, London

For a pianist so associated with the French repertoire it’s somewhat perplexing to find that these Ravel recordings have been out of the domestic catalogue for so long. His Debussy set, currently on EMI CHS 5 658552, has always occupied a central place in the discography – as Bryce Morrison says in his notes Gieseking is to Debussy as Schnabel is to Beethoven or Rubinstein to Chopin - whereas his sovereignty in Ravel seems to have been very slightly eroded over the years. Which again, if true, is a matter for bewilderment. Whilst other pianists may sometimes bring greater clarity of articulation to Ravel or a greater elegance very few can command the myriad exquisite nuances that constantly illuminate the music in the way Gieseking invariably does.
In the Menuet antique, one of Ravel’s first published piano works, we are introduced to his unique brand of piquant antiquarianism, a trait he was never to lose, visiting the past and vesting it in new garb. And in the Pavane pour une infante defunte we can hear Gieseking’s extraordinary pedalling subtleties and characteristic pearl drop tone; at 3.25 he creates a heavily pedalled wash that magically ushers in the right hand line. The gradations of tone throughout the range are fabulously exact and never calculated. Jeux d’eau is rapidly played. The River God is certainly laughing at the water here – and Gieseking’s fleetness is sometimes to the detriment of clarity of articulation even though it is unavoidably true to say that his occasional technical shortcomings are seemingly subsumed into the greater whole.
It is in fact remarkable that his two years with Karl Leimer were the extent of his official studies; his famous comment that "talent goes in inverse ratio to the necessity for practice" might otherwise be seen as an ignoble boast were it not for his laconic truthfulness and the fact that his sensibility was never obviously virtuosic but one of the heightened poetic. In the archaisms of the Sonatine (1903/5) Gieseking’s second movement is stately – with bass notes staccato and ineffably wry – and at 2.59 he opens out his pedalling, terracing the final chords’ dynamics, animated by his remarkable ear for apposite sonorities. The nonchalant flourish at the end of the Anime movement is another feature of his craft and perfectly judged. Miroirs is not immaculately played but it is so evocative and supremely imaginative that the imperfections are of little significance.
If there is some over-pedalling in Une barque sur l’ocean (and the tempo is really too fast for the succeeding thematic relationship to work) and if the two glissandos in La vallee des cloches are excitingly but not always audibly played, what is that against so much that is supreme? In Noctuelles those passages frequently fudged by other pianists are triumphantly clear. In Oiseaux tristes the middle voices are brought out in perfect gradation – tonally this is playing of the greatest imagination and technical resource. Gieseking’s rhythm in Une barque propels the chopping rhythm onward with torrents of ascending and descending runs under great control. Right hand flourishes are coolly tossed off in Alborada del gracioso and even more magnificent are his repeated notes here – quiet, fast, even and tremendously difficult to accomplish. The tonal weight at 4.02 in La Vallee des cloches is exquisite – this is truly a transfiguration.
In Gaspard de la nuit Gieseking plays up the contrasts of volume and tempo – listen for example at 5.30 – and within a seemingly constricted compass he conjures up magical colouristic inflections. The fast passagework (maybe too fast for optimum comfort) with lots of pedal is a galvanizing and macabre triumph. The little Haydn piece dates from 1909, the centenary of his death. Ravel’s admixture of tribute and harmonic piquancy is winningly done. The Schubertian tribute – the Valses nobles et sentimentales – caused bafflement on first hearing but Gieseking has their full measure. He brings insouciant whimsy to the Assez anime movement (No 4) and is never too fast for coherent articulation in the rapid movement Vif (No 6). His rhythm is always alive and animated, his tone wonderfully complex. The lightly parodic "In the style of…" are witty little pastiches of Borodin and Chabrier – and, at under two minutes each, succinct.
Le Tombeau de Couperin, one of the cornerstones of the French pianistic repertoire, is made for Gieseking. His rapid wit is accentuated in the Prelude with the use of unusually light pedalling. The Fugue is eventfully played – softened tone, even production, though perhaps with not quite the level of dynamic variety one would wish for. In Forlane, a five-minute Allegretto, his clarity never descends into artificiality or disengagement – on the contrary, this is pianism of immense contrast and life. It is not the only way to play Ravel – what could be – and contrasts with the perhaps more centrally French playing of, say, Robert Casadesus or Marcelle Meyer, both of whose impulses were rather more aloof than Gieseking’s. But there can be no greater compliment than to say of a performance that during its span one is convinced that the music could go no other way. And that is Gieseking’s Ravel. --Jonathan Woolf, MusicWeb International
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Oscar Peterson - Oscar Peterson Plays The Harry Warren And Vincent Youmans Song Books (1959/2015) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/192kHz

Artist: Oscar Peterson
Title: Oscar Peterson Plays The Harry Warren And Vincent Youmans Song Books
Genre: Jazz, Bop, Piano Jazz
Label: © The Verve Music Group
Release Date: 1959(MGV 2059)/2015
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 192kHz/24bit
Source: HDTracks
Duration: 32:00
Recorded: Universal Recording, Chicago, IL, July 14-August 9, 1959

This 1959 release from Oscar Peterson is dedicated to Harry Warren and Vincent Youmans, one of several Song Book albums the pianist recorded in the 1950s. While not exactly household names, both Warren and Youmans are credited for writing many familiar songs and standards, as demonstrated here by Peterson and his trio of bassist Ray Brown and Ed Thigpen on drums.
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Oscar Peterson - Oscar Peterson Plays The Harold Arlen Song Book (1959/2015) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/192kHz


Artist: Oscar Peterson
Title: Oscar Peterson Plays The Harold Arlen Song Book
Genre: Jazz, Bop, Piano Jazz
Label: © The Verve Music Group
Release Date: 1959(MGV 2060)/2015
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC 2.0 Mono 192kHz/24bit
Source: HDTracks
Duration: 29:59
Recorded: Universal Recording, Chicago, IL, July 14-August 9, 1959


This 1959 release from Oscar Peterson is one of several albums he recorded in the 1950s dedicated to specific composers. On this collection Peterson revisits several of the Harold Arlen songs he included on a previous album years earlier, in a trio configuration here backed by bassist Ray Brown and drummer Ed Thigpen.


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Oscar Peterson - Oscar Peterson Plays The George Gershwin Song Book (1959/2015) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/192kHz

Artist: Oscar Peterson
Title: Oscar Peterson Plays The George Gershwin Song Book
Genre: Jazz, Bop, Piano Jazz
Label: © The Verve Music Group
Release Date: 1959(MGV 2054)/2015
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 192kHz/24bit
Source: HDTracks
Duration: 32:44
Recorded: Universal Recording, Chicago, IL, July 14-August 9, 1959


„Oscar Peterson made two trips through the Gershwin repertoire, one in 1952 and another in 1959 after the advent of stereo. As with Oscar Peterson Plays the Duke Ellington Songbook, this disc compiles both sessions, the earlier one with a trio of guitarist Barney Kessel and bassist Ray Brown, the later one with Brown and drummer Ed Thigpen. The later session is programmed first. The earlier group drew its conception from the Nat 'King' Cole trio, a lightly swinging blend that benefits from a third highly adept soloist in Kessel. The later group is more conventional, but it sometimes draws meatier, more forceful playing from an older Peterson. The contrast is apparent in the two versions of 'It Ain't Necessarily So.' On both sessions, the emphasis is on the tunes, and Peterson sparkles on uptempos and ballads alike.“
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Oscar Peterson - Oscar Peterson Plays The Cole Porter Song Book (1959/2015) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/192kHz


Artist: Oscar Peterson
Title: Oscar Peterson Plays The Cole Porter Song Book
Genre: Jazz, Bop, Piano Jazz
Label: © The Verve Music Group
Release Date: 1959(MGVS 6083)/2015
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 192kHz/24bit
Source: HDTracks
Duration: 33:00
Recorded: Universal Recording, Chicago, IL, July 14-August 9, 1959


Cole Porter's tunes are great enough on their own, but Oscar really opens them up on this set – picking up the inherent rhythms in the numbers and really working them over – in a way that makes the outing one of the most lively in Peterson's songbook series for Verve! Oscar's fluid touch on the keys is perfect throughout – taking lots of chances, but always strongly following the melody – and rhythm accompaniment is from the usual team of Ray Brown on bass and Ed Thigpen on drums.
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Oscar Peterson - Unmistakable - Zenph Re-performance (2011) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/96kHz


Artist: Oscar Peterson
Title: Unmistakable - Zenph Re-performance
Genre: Jazz, Piano Jazz
Label: © Zenph Sound Innovations | Sony Music Entertainment
Release Date: 2011
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 96kHz/24bit
Source: HDTracks
Duration: 01:18:17
Recorded by Arne Akselberg on May 22, 2010 at Abbey Road, Studio 2, London, England
Piano: Bösendorfer Imperial


Oscar Peterson: Unmistakable is a collection of re-performances® created from unreleased recordings Peterson made during the seventies and eighties. Using ground-breaking sonic engineering techniques, Zenph Sound Innovations’ re-performances® capture the renowned jazz pianist playing at the height of his powers with some tracks never-before-heard by the public.
To create the Peterson re-performances, the Zenph team began with video recordings and several unreleased, private recordings of exceptional performances. Recorded in Studio Two at Abbey Road Studios in London, the Zenph team used a specially-outfitted Bösendorfer Imperial concert grand piano (Peterson was a Bösendorfer artist) to authentically recreate the distinct sounds of Peterson’s artistry. Zenph and Sony assembled world-renowned talent including GRAMMY®-winning producer David Lai, GRAMMY®-winning recording engineer Arne Akselberg, famed piano voicer Marc Wienert, and British electronics wizard Richard Shepherd. The album was recorded in stereo, binaural and surround-sound.
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Oscar Peterson - The Jazz Soul Of Oscar Peterson (1959/2015) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/192kHz

Artist: Oscar Peterson
Title: The Jazz Soul Of Oscar Peterson
Genre: Jazz, Bop, Piano Jazz
Label: © The Verve Music Group
Release Date: 1959(MGVS 6116)/2015
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 192kHz/24bit
Source: HDTracks
Duration: 34:30
Recorded: Universal Recording Studios, Chicago, IL, July 14-August 9, 1959

“Peterson has been one of my favourite pianists for some time, but, frankly, I must admit that while I have been impressed by his marvellous facility and his ability to excite, I sometimes despaired of his being able to evoke any deeper emotions than frenzy and aimless happiness. This album convinces me I was wrong –dead wrong. one of the best Peterson albums issued.” --Don DeMicheal
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