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Claudio Monteverdi - Il ritorno d'Ulisse in patria - Boston Baroque, Martin Pearlman (2015) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/96kHz

Сomposer: Claudio Monteverdi (1567-1643)
Artist: Boston Baroque, Martin Pearlman
Title: Monteverdi - Il ritorno d'Ulisse in patria
Genre: Classical
Label: © LINN Records
Release Date: 2015
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 96kHz/24bit
Source: hyperion-records.co.uk
Duration: 176 minutes 10 seconds
Recorded at Mechanics Hall, Worcester, Massachusetts, USA 27–30 April 2014


Only three operas by Claudio Monteverdi have come down to us. L’Orfeo (1607), his very first, is generally acknowledged to be the earliest great opera. Then, after a gap of 33 years, during which Monteverdi wrote operas that are tragically now lost, we have two masterpieces from near the end of his life: Il ritorno d’Ulisse (1640) and L’incoronazione di Poppea (1642). Il Ritorno d’Ulisse is based on the story told in books 13–23 of Homer’s Odyssey, in which Ulysses returns home from the Trojan War after an absence of 20 years and slays his wife’s suitors, who have taken over his palace. The 73-year-old Monteverdi’s setting of Giacomo Badoaro’s libretto was premiered in 1640 during the carnival season in Venice, to such acclaim that it was revived the following season, an unusual distinction for an opera of the time. The first performances took place at one of the city’s new public opera houses, where, not only were production budgets severely limited, but where writing for a broader public affected the kinds of stories that were set to music. The story of Ulysses was familiar to the audience, and its abundance of blood and gore was a far cry from the nymphs and shepherds in the earlier Orfeo, which had been written for the Mantuan court. Not long after the premiere, Ulisse dropped from view until late in the nineteenth century, when a manuscript was rediscovered in Vienna, which appears to be a copy made for a later revival in that city. Initially there were doubts as to whether the newly discovered work was a genuine lost opera of Monteverdi. But by the mid-twentieth century, further documents were found which removed any doubts about the work’s authenticity. Il ritorno d’Ulisse is certainly the least well known and least performed of the three surviving operas, and that may have something to do with its relatively recent discovery and even more recent authentication. But another reason perhaps lies in the libretto itself, which some have suggested makes the work more difficult to put across than Monteverdi’s other late opera. Whereas Poppea is filled with brilliant dialogue between fascinating and deeply flawed historical characters, Ulisse is of necessity somewhat more formal in its portrayal of gods and heroes. The final act, which is largely devoted to the convincing of a reluctant Penelope that her husband has truly returned home, has been called anticlimactic by some critics; and some scenes digress, such as the one in Act II (often cut) where Telemachus tells his mother about the beauty of Helen, whom he has seen in his travels. But Monteverdi’s music transcends these difficulties, and of course later composers would conjure great works from less than perfect librettos. Il ritorno d’Ulisse is unquestionably one of the three pillars that place Monteverdi among the greatest of opera composers. --Martin Pearlman © 2015
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Monica - Code Red (2015) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/48kHz

Artist: Monica
Title: Code Red
Genre: R&B
Label: © RCA Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment
Release Date: 2015
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 48kHz/24bit
Source: Qobuz
Duration: 00:52:30
Recorded: 2013–15


Rather than celebrate the 20th anniversary of her breakthrough single, Monica declares a Code Red order on the commercial airwaves that have squeezed out soul-rooted R&B. The first song on her seventh U.S. album is the title track, a scuttling assault produced by Polow and assisted by Missy Elliott, which involves the protest "Turn off the radio, damn right/We don't hear real shit no mo'." After that song fades, the next voice heard is that of Lil Wayne, whose most recent radio triumphs as a featured artist include "Truffle Butter." One can't be faulted for being confused by Monica's perspective. Later, she returns to the theme with "I Miss Music," a wistful ballad somewhere between mid-'90s adult alternative singer/songwriter material and Babyface's contemporaneous hits. Monica begins by listing departed legends, then mixes it up by citing some living and very active artists, including Babyface. It's odd. Not only does she long for the type of music that continues to be created in abundance, and with easy access, but a fair portion of it has come from her RCA label mates -- D'Angelo, Elle Varner, Miguel, and past songwriting collaborator Jazmine Sullivan among them. Subtract the mixed and muddled messages (another song features Akon, maker of "Smack That"), and Code Red is satisfactory. It's another Monica album that, at its best, draws from the past while remaining in the present, as heard in the luminous ballad "Deep," the Teena Marie-referencing electro/freestyle hybrid "Suga," and the pop-soul belter "Alone in Your Heart." Most of the collaborations with Polow, Danja, Pop & Oak, Philip Constable, and Fatboi handily surpass the three that involve Timbaland. What truly distinguishes Code Red from the rest of Monica's albums is that the singer is credited as co-writer of every track, not one, two, or three of them. Unsurprisingly, she sounds completely connected to every song. --AllMusic Review by Andy Kellman
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Miles Davis - The Last Word: The Warner Bros. Years (2015) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/44.1kHz

Artist: Miles Davis
Title: The Last Word: The Warner Bros. Years
Genre: Jazz
Label: © Warner Bros. Records
Release Date: 2015
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 44.1kHz/24bit
Source: HDTracks
Duration: 06:57:17


In 1985, Miles Davis shocked the music world by moving from Columbia to Warner Bros.. He immediately started working on an album called Perfect Way after a tune by Scritti Politti, later renamed Tutu by producer Tommy LiPuma. When Tutu (a tribute to Desmond Tutu) was released in 1986, it re-ignited Miles Davis’ career, crossing over into the rock and pop markets and winning Davis two Grammy Awards - the album was a key factor in raising Davis’ status to an international superstar.
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Melanie Martinez - Cry Baby (2015) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/44.1kHz

Artist: Melanie Martinez
Title: Cry Baby
Genre: Pop, Indie Pop, Indie Electronic
Label: © Atlantic Records
Release Date: 2015
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 44,1kHz/24bit
Source: HDTracks
Duration: 57:08
Recorded: 2013–15


Building upon the conceptual ideas of her 2014 EP, Dollhouse, Melanie Martinez's 2015 full-length debut, Cry Baby, finds her taking the innocent imagery of youth and family ("Carousel," "Training Wheels," "Milk and Cookies") and subverting them into angular R&B and electro-infused anthems of familial strife, abuse, and romance gone wrong. An arty, self-assured singer with a style that falls somewhere between Beyoncé and Björk, Martinez first came to the public's attention singing Britney Spears' "Toxic" as a contestant on the third season of NBC's The Voice. Perhaps not surprisingly, then, her songs also fit nicely next to the work of contemporaries like Lorde and Lana Del Rey. As with Dollhouse, aiding Martinez on Cry Baby are a handful of hip-hop and pop-steeped producers including Kinetics & One Love (B.o.B, Pitbull, Neon Hitch), SmarterChild (Krewella, Usher, Tori Kelly), and Frequency (Eminem, Royce da 5'9", Slaughterhouse). Featured on Cry Baby are the singles "Sippy Cup," "Soap," and "Pity Party." --AllMusic Review by Matt Collar
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Maysa - Back 2 Love (2015) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/44.1kHz

Artist: Maysa
Title: Back 2 Love
Genre: R&B, Soul, Vocal Jazz
Label: © Shanachie Entertainment
Release Date: 2015
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 44,1kHz/24bit
Source: HDTracks
Duration: 50:08
Recorded: Tracks 1, 3, 6 to 9, 12 Recorded at CDS Studios, Wallingford, CT; Trod Nossel, Wallingford, CT; Night Flight Studios, Fort Washington, MD. Tracks 4, 5, 10 Recorded and Mixed at The Alcove Recording Studios, North Hollywood, CA


Grammy nominee Maysa holds unique status in the world of R&B/Jazz. Her incomparably lush, sensuous vocals have garnered her legions of loyal, loving fans. As featured vocalist of the UK super group Incognito, core member of Stevie Wonder’s Wonderlove and, of course, through her own al- bums and concerts, Maysa has long thrilled R&B and Jazz audiences. Back 2 Love is the most sensuous and heartfelt recording of her brilliant career. Teaming up with hit making producers JR Hutson (Jill Scott, Earth Wind And Fire), Stokely Williams (Mint Condition), Lorenzo Johnson (Ledisi) and her longtime collaborator Chris “Big Dog” Davis (Will Downing, Phil Perry, Kim Burrell, George Clinton), Maysa digs deep to deliver the soulful, jazz-inflected performances that have won her legions of dedicated fans. Special highlights include “Keep It Moving,” a vibey, funky duet with Mint Condition’s Stokely, “Heavenly Voices,” a deeply moving ballad reminiscent of Maysa’s recent hit “Inside My Dream,” “Last Chance For Love,” Maysa’s gorgeous collaboration with R&B icon Phil Perry and more brilliant Maysa originals.
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Maria Callas - La renaissance d'une voix (2014) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/96kHz

Сomposer: Various
Artist: Maria Callas
Title: La renaissance d'une voix
Genre: Classical, Opera
Label: © Warner Classics
Release Date: 2014
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 96kHz/24bit
Source: Qobuz
Duration: 03:33:26
Recorded: 1953-1964


Callas romantique, belcantiste, vériste… La Voix du siècle se dévoile dans ce coffret de 3 cd qui est l’aboutissement d’un traitement numérique récent réalisé à partir des archives de Warner classics. En plus d’être une technicienne chevronnée, bel cantiste nuancée et scrupuleuse, Callas est surtout un actrice à tempérament, une tragédienne hors pair qui rétablit la puissance dramatique du verbe, tout en illuminant et avec quelle intelligence la force et les enjeux de chaque situation. Bel cantiste et bellinienne exemplaire par la pureté de sa musicalité et l’intensité de son jeu, Callas chante ici Norma (casta diva), La Sonnambula ; rossinienne facétieuse et piquante, voici La Cenerentola et Rosina (du Barbier de Séville : una voce poco fa…) ; verdienne exaltée, éruptive comme incandescente, elle est La Traviata (Violetta qui s’ouvre à l’amour : E strano), Leonora (Trouvère), Lady Macbeth (pâle, livide, errante comme une mourante insomniaque que rattrapent ses crimes abjects… Luce langue), Elena des Vêpres Siciliennes, Aida (Ritorno vincitor à l’adresse de son amant le général Radamès) ; donizetienne, Callas chante Lucia di Lammermoor, et plus tardivement les héroïnes tragiques de Puccini : Tosca, Cio cio San (Butterfly), Turandot, sans omettre la prière sombre et palpitante de Suor Angelica ou de Ginanni Schichi…
Callas forever :: Vériste, Callas prête sa voix d’argent à Adriana Lecouvreur de Cilea, Madeleine d’Andrea Chénier, sans omettre l’hymne à la nature de la pure Wally (Catalani). En français, Callas qui meurt à Paris et trouve en France une seconde patrie : chante alceste de Gluck, Carmen de Bizet (Séguédille et chanson bohème), Saint-Saëns (chant d’ivresse et d’extase amoureuse : Mon coeur s’ouvre à ta voix), Juliette de Gounod (Roméo et Juliette), Lakmé de Delibes, Louise de Charpentier (Depuis le jour où je me suis donnée), Marguerite du Faust de Gounod (air des bijoux), Dinorah de Meyerbeer… Compilation anthologique en version remastérisée.
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Gustav Mahler - Symphony No. 9 - Berliner Philharmoniker, Sir John Barbirolli (1964/2012) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/96kHz

Сomposer: Gustav Mahler (1860-1911)
Artist: Berliner Philharmoniker, Sir John Barbirolli
Title: Mahler - Symphony No. 9
Genre: Classical
Label: © EMI Classics
Release Date: 1964/2012 (2011 Remaster)
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 96kHz/24bit
Source: HDTracks
Duration: 01:18:11
Recorded: 1964


On this stellar audiophile download, acclaimed conductor Sir John Barbirolli leads the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra through Mahler’s legendary Ninth Symphony. Barbirolli was widely considered by critics and peers as one of the greatest Mahler conductors of all time. The performance marked the first time the ensemble has been led by a British conductor since 1937. Receiving huge accolades, the performance combined superb musicianship with detailed clarity and flawless execution. The undeniable rapport between the ensemble and Barbirolli can be experienced throughout. This monumental recording t is vital for any collection.
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Gustav Mahler - Symphony No. 7 - New Philharmonia Orchestra, Otto Klemperer (1968/2012) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/96kHz

Сomposer: Gustav Mahler (1860-1911)
Artist: New Philharmonia Orchestra, Otto Klemperer
Title: Mahler - Symphony No. 7
Genre: Classical
Label: © EMI Classics
Release Date: 1968/2012 (2011 Remaster)
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 96kHz/24bit
Source: e-onkyo
Duration: 01:40:38
Recorded: 1968


For much of his life, Otto Klemperer carried a note written by his hero Gustav Mahler, in which the composer praised the young Klemperer as ‘an outstanding musician […] predestined for the career of a conductor.’ Klemperer’s interpretations of Mahler’s work, famous for their ‘big outlines’ and ‘rock-like rhythms’ --Musical Times
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