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Claude-Benigne Balbastre - Pieces de clavecin - Korneel Bernolet (2013) High-Fidelity DSF Stereo DSD64/2.82MHz

Сomposer: Claude-Bénigne Balbastre (1724-1799)
Artist: Korneel Bernolet
Title: Balbastre - Pièces de clavecin
Genre: Classical
Label: © Aluid Records
Release Date: 2013
Quality: DSF Stereo DSD64/2.82MHz
Source: nativeDSDmusic
Duration: 01:14:16
Recorded: November 19, 20 & 21 2012, Academiezaal Sint-Truiden, Belgium

Claude-Bénigne Balbastre enjoyed a very distinguished reputation as a harpsichordist, fortepianist and organist in eighteenth-century France. Born in Dijon in 1724, in his early years he most likely took music lessons from his good friend Claude Rameau, brother of the more famous Jean-Philippe, with whom Balbastre was later to study composition.
Balbastre’s royal and aristocratic connections were to prove an embarrassment during the French Revolution. He managed to save both his own skin and the organ of Notre-Dame by playing militant atheist songs and folk music in the renamed Temple de la Raison, including his own arrangement of the Marseillaise. This was however in the end not enough to prevent him losing his position and his pension. He died in penury in 1799.
Balbastre’s Pièces de Clavecin from 1759 are influenced on the one hand by his royal and aristocratic patrons, and on the other by his contacts among the bourgeoisie, finding a stylistic balance between the two social classes. All the movements are character pieces dedicated either to members of the nobility, or to artists or other highly-placed individuals from the Parisian upper middle classes. The elevated style of French noblesse and grandeur are mirrored in the opening numbers.
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Johann Sebastian Bach - The Well-Tempered Clavier, Book I, Preludes & Fugues Nos. 17-24, BWV 862-869 - Glenn Gould (1965/2015) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/44,1kHz

Сomposer: Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)
Artist: Glenn Gould
Title: Bach, J.S. - The Well-Tempered Clavier, Book I, Preludes & Fugues Nos. 17-24, BWV 862-869
Genre: Classical
Label: © Columbia Records/Sony Music Entertainment
Release Date: 1965/2015
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 44,1kHz/24bit
Source: Qobuz
Duration: 00:35:25
Recorded: 1965

Ever in search of the ideal sound: for a while Gould apparently planned to record the Well-Tempered Clavier on a “harpsipiano” (“a neurotic piano that thinks it’s a harpsichord”), but Columbia declined. What remained is a level of polyphonic lucidity and contrapuntal rigor that beggars comparison.
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Johann Sebastian Bach - The Well-Tempered Clavier, Book II, Preludes & Fugues Nos. 9-16, BWV 878-885 - Glenn Gould (1970/2015) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/44,1kHz

Сomposer: Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)
Artist: Glenn Gould
Title: Bach, J.S. - The Well-Tempered Clavier, Book II, Preludes & Fugues Nos. 9-16, BWV 878-885
Genre: Classical
Label: © Columbia Records/Sony Music Entertainment
Release Date: 1970/2015
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 44,1kHz/24bit
Source: Qobuz
Duration: 00:34:01
Recorded: 1969

Gould had already recorded Fugue No. 9 in E major (BWV 878) and No.14 in F-sharp minor (BWV 883) in 1957 to fill up an LP with the Fifth and Sixth Partitas (see No. 4). The earlier readings were much slower: 4’17” as opposed to 1’46” for BWV 878, and 3’14” instead of 2’45” for BWV 883. You never cross the same river twice …
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Johann Sebastian Bach - The Well-Tempered Clavier, Book II, Preludes & Fugues Nos. 1-8, BWV 870-877 - Glenn Gould (1968/2015) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/44,1kHz

Сomposer: Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)
Artist: Glenn Gould
Title: Bach, J.S. - The Well-Tempered Clavier, Book II, Preludes & Fugues Nos. 1-8, BWV 870-877
Genre: Classical
Label: © Columbia Records/Sony Music Entertainment
Release Date: 1968/2015
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 44,1kHz/24bit
Source: Qobuz
Duration: 00:36:43
Recorded: 1966-1967


Book II of the Well-Tempered Clavier occupies much more space in Gould’s discography than the first. The interpretative range is all the more striking: Fugue No. 7 in E-flat major, for instance, appears in two early CBC versions lasting 3:19 (1953) and 2:03 (1966) minutes, respectively, while the one here whizzes past in one minute and thirty-eight seconds.
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Johann Sebastian Bach - Violin Concertos - Hilary Hahn, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, Jeffrey Kahane (2003) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/88,2kHz

Сomposer: Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)
Artist: Hilary Hahn, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, Jeffrey Kahane
Title: Bach, J.S. - Violin Concertos
Genre: Classical
Label: © Deutsche Grammophon
Release Date: 2003
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 88,2kHz/24bit
Source: HDTracks
Duration: 57:13
Recorded: October 2002, January 2003, Los Angeles, The Herbert Zipper Concert Hall, United States

Hilary Hahn is not regarded as an early music star, by any means, but her recordings of J.S. Bach's violin concertos with Jeffrey Kahane and the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra are somewhat in the spirit of historically informed performances, and listeners who might have expected more mainstream interpretations may be pleasantly surprised. Some of the expected characteristics of Baroque period practice are here, such as fleet tempos, a small ensemble, bright sonorities, light textures, and an active harpsichord and cello continuo, and the versatility of Kahane and his group goes far to create this period quality. Hahn might have indulged in some free ornamentation and even added some improvised cadenzas, but her straightforward playing is at least clean and unaffected, and she deserves credit for her brilliant technique, which carries these pieces. While her approach to Bach isn't close to Rachel Podger's playing in authentic Baroque style, neither does it approximate the richer, heavier, "old school" style of Yehudi Menuhin, so Hahn may appeal to some listeners as a compromise between competing schools of thought. Deutsche Grammophon's recording puts Hahn in a prominent, central position, so it's easy to stay focused on her solo part in the big sound of this hybrid SACD. --AllMusic Review by Blair Sanderson
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Johann Sebastian Bach - Violin Concertos - Cecilia Bernardini, Dunedin Consort, John Butt (2016) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/192kHz

Сomposer: Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)
Artist: Cecilia Bernardini, Dunedin Consort, John Butt
Title: Bach, J.S. - Violin Concertos
Genre: Classical
Label: © LINN Records
Release Date: 2016
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 192kHz/24bit
Source: LINN
Duration: 59 minutes 29 seconds
Recorded: Greyfriars Kirk, Edinburgh, UK, 17–20 November 2014

Opening the program is the colourful and joyful concerto for violin and oboe (Alfredo Bernardini, oboe) with its supremely lyrical central movement. Two of Bach's solo violin concertos, each overflowing with inventive detail, and the Sinfonia with solo oboe that opens Cantata 21, follow.
The program culminates in one of Bach's greatest masterpieces - the Double Concerto for two violins (Huw Daniel, violin), with its famous and sublime slow movement. Although Bach was most famous as an organist and keyboard player, he was also a fine violinist; his idiomatic writing and characteristic flair is evident in the many dazzling moments he creates.
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Johann Sebastian Bach - Toccatas Vol. 2, BWV 911 & 914-916 - Glenn Gould (1980/2015) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/44,1kHz

Сomposer: Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)
Artist: Glenn Gould
Title: Bach, J.S. - Toccatas Vol. 2, BWV 911 & 914-916
Genre: Classical
Label: © Columbia Records/Sony Music Entertainment
Release Date: 1980/2015
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 44,1kHz/24bit
Source: Qobuz
Duration: 00:37:32
Recorded: 1963, 1979

In May 1979 Eaton’s Auditorium was hastily reopened for recording purposes. “Basically, it looked as if a bomb had hit the place. Walls were missing, doors were boarded up. There were no lights. There was no heat. Thick layers of dust covered everything. Luckily, the freight elevator still functioned so the piano could be brought in.” The result was the completion of the series of Bach toccatas.
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Johann Sebastian Bach - Toccatas Vol. 1, BWV 910, 912 & 913 - Glenn Gould (1979/2015) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/44,1kHz

Сomposer: Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)
Artist: Glenn Gould
Title: Bach, J.S. - Toccatas Vol. 1, BWV 910, 912 & 913
Genre: Classical
Label: © Columbia Records/Sony Music Entertainment
Release Date: 1979/2015
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 44,1kHz/24bit
Source: Qobuz
Duration: 00:42:44
Recorded: 1976

On 1 April 1977, immediately after the Sibelius session, Eaton’s Auditorium was temporarily shut down for remodeling. Gould didn’t create another “take” for more than two years, but fortunately there were enough unreleased recordings stored in the ice-box, including these three Bach toccatas. On 25 April 1978 Gould renewed his exclusive contract with Columbia – for one last time …

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Johann Sebastian Bach - The Violin Sonatas - Midori Seiler (2016) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/44,1kHz

Сomposer: Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)
Artist: Midori Seiler
Title: Bach, J.S. - The Violin Sonatas
Genre: Classical
Label: © Berlin Classics/Edel Germany GmbH
Release Date: 2016
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 44,1kHz/24bit
Source: Qobuz
Duration: 01:08:01
Recorded: Johann-Sebastian-Bach-Saal, Köthen from September 26 – 28, 2015

This statement by Bach’s biographer Philipp Spitta to sum up the Ciaconna in Partita No. 2 in D minor is in fact true of the entire Sei Solo cycle. The sublimity and originality of these compositions can never be emphasised enough. Johann Sebastian Bach extravagantly draws on his rich fund of musical idiom to create harmonies and tone colours that reveal his masterstroke: by applying rigidly entrenched rules he gives free rein to the creative spirit. The rules of “pure composition”, which until this cycle were applied only in large-scale polyphonic works for ensembles and in choral and keyboard works, are now being imposed by Bach on the little four-stringed violin in an uncompromising and, at times, awe-inspiring manner. Did I become a violinist to play Bach’s solo works or do I play Bach’s solo works in order to be a violinist? All I can say for sure is that my inner urge to play and master these pieces has been my motivation for many years, an ambition that continues to push me to the limits and beyond. The Sei Solo works are but a small part of Johann Sebastian Bach’s phenomenal oeuvre. Yet, their performance is the most important part of my violin-playing career and the tribute to my many hours of practice. --Midori Seiler
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	Johann Sebastian Bach - The Goldberg Variations, BWV 988 - Glenn Gould (1982/2015 High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/44,1kHz

Сomposer: Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)
Artist: Glenn Gould
Title: Bach, J.S. - The Goldberg Variations, BWV 988 (1981 Digital Recording)
Genre: Classical
Label: © Columbia Records/Sony Music Entertainment
Release Date: 1982/2015
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 44,1kHz/24bit
Source: Qobuz
Duration: 00:51:03
Recorded: 1981

The last recording to appear in Gould’s lifetime, completing the discographical circle that had begun so spectacularly with the same work in 1955. “I would like to think that there is a kind of autumnal repose in what I’m doing, so that much of the music becomes a tranquilizing experience. It would be nice if what we do in the recorded state could involve the possibility of some degree of perfection, not purely of a technical order, but also of a spiritual order.”
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