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Johannes Brahms - Complete Works for Violin & Piano - Arabella Steinbacher, Robert Kulek (2011) High-Fidelity DSF Stereo DSD64/2.82MHz

Сomposer: Johannes Brahms (1833–1897)
Artist: Arabella Steinbacher, Robert Kulek
Title: Brahms - Complete Works for Violin & Piano
Genre: Classical
Label: Pentatone Music B.V.
Release Date: 2011
Quality: DSF Stereo DSD64/2.82MHz
Source: nativeDSDmusic
Duration: 01:18:49
Recorded: 2010


Brahms’s three violin sonatas are cherishable masterworks of the chamber repertoire, the First radiantly melodious, the Second autumnal and reflective, while the Third lurches dramatically from intense sadness to outbursts of searing intensity.
There’s a strongly lyrical impulse in Arabella Steinbacher’s playing which is suited to the intimate character of these Sonatas. As in her recording of the Brahms Violin Concerto, to be reviewed next month, Steinbacher opts for expansive and highly expressive interpretations yet avoids any hint of over-indulgence: Portamento is judiciously employed, her double stops are resonant rather than aggressive.
Robert Kulek is an admirable duo partner and projects both the richness and clarity of texture in Brahms’s writing through a carefully controlled use of the pedal, responding with sensitivity to the subtle inflections in Steinbacher’s phrasing. PentaTone’s recording has real presence, emulating the acoustic of a wood-panelled drawing room.
Tempos are leisurely, particularly in the G major Sonata where the approach in the outer movements is largely introverted except for an unexpectedly stormy dialogue in the middle of the opening Vivace non troppo. At the outset of the Adagio, I initially wondered whether the players were taking far too much time over the opening phrases, thereby undermining the sense of flow. These doubts had evaporated by the middle section where the funereal rhythms were powerfully held in check.
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Brad Mehldau Trio - Blues And Ballads (2016) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/88,2kHz

Artist: Brad Mehldau Trio
Title: Blues And Ballads
Genre: Jazz, Post-Bop, Modern Creative, Straight-Ahead Jazz, Piano Jazz
Label: © Nonesuch Records
Release Date: 2016
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 88,2kHz/24bit
Source: Qobuz
Duration: 00:55:40
Recorded: Avatar Studios, New York, NY; Tracks 1, 4, 6, 7 recorded December 10, 2012; Tracks 2, 3, 5 recorded May 12, 2014

Nonesuch Records releases the Brad Mehldau Trio’s Blues and Ballads, the trio’s first new release since 2012’s Where Do You Start, on June 3, 2016. The previous release received critical acclaim, with the Financial Times saying, “Mehldau never lets his peerless technique and meticulous timing interrupt the narrative flow of a well-told tale. Here, the pianist and his trio burrow deep into left-field pop and the American songbook, and give an adventurous sheen to modern jazz.” Blues and Ballads similarly comprises interpretations of songs by other composers, this time with the focus on blues and ballads implied by the album’s title. The Brad Mehldau Trio is Mehldau on piano, Larry Grenadier on bass, and Jeff Ballard on drums.
Brad Mehldau moved to New York City and first came to prominence as a member of current label mate Joshua Redman’s quartet in the 1990s before becoming a bandleader himself. His trio, which tours the world extensively, made eight acclaimed recordings for Warner Bros., including the five widely praised Art of the Trio albums with former drummer Jorge Rossy, which Nonesuch released as a boxed set in December 2011.
The pianist’s time with Nonesuch has been equally productive, beginning with the solo disc Live in Tokyo and including five trio records—Day Is Done, House on Hill, Live, Ode, and Where Do You Start—as well as a collaboration with soprano Renée Fleming, Love Sublime; a chamber ensemble album, Highway Rider; and two collaborations with label mate Pat Metheny, Metheny Mehldau and Quartet, the latter of which also includes Ballard and Grenadier. In 2011, Nonesuch released Mehldau’s live solo performance on Live in Marciac and his collaborations with genre-crossing musicians Kevin Hays and Patrick Zimmerli on Modern Music. The following year, Nonesuch released Ode, which went on to be nominated for a Grammy, and Where Do You Start. In 2013, Mehldau was featured as a performer and producer on Joshua Redman’s acclaimed Nonesuch release Walking Shadows. His solo on “Sleeping Giant,” on his and Mark Guiliana’s 2014 Nonesuch album Mehliana: Taming the Dragon, was nominated for Best Improvised Jazz Solo in the 2015 Grammy awards. Nonesuch released the 4-CD 10 Years Solo Live in November 2015; later that year, Mehldau received the Wigmore Medal, the first jazz musician ever to do so. Mehldau was also curator of an annual jazz series at Wigmore Hall from 2009 to 2011, and was the first-ever jazz artist to hold the Richard and Barbara Debs Composer’s Chair at Carnegie Hall, in its 2010–11 season. The Brad Mehldau Trio was named Best International Ensemble at the 2013 Echo Awards, the same year that Where Do You Start was chosen as Album of the Year by the Académie du Jazz.
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Berg, Schoenberg, Krenek - Piano Sonatas - Glenn Gould (1959/2015) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/44,1kHz

Сomposer: Alban Berg (1885-1935), Arnold Schoenberg (1874-1951), Ernst Křenek (1900-1991)
Artist: Glenn Gould
Title: Berg: Sonata for Piano, Op. 1; Schoenberg: Three Piano Pieces, Op. 11; Krenek: Sonata No. 3 for Piano, Op. 92, No. 4
Genre: Classical
Label: © Columbia Records/Sony Music Entertainment
Release Date: 1968/2015
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC 2.0 Mono 44,1kHz/24bit (#2-4 Stereo)
Source: Qobuz
Duration: 00:48:18
Recorded: 1958

Gould's first Columbia recording of twentieth-century music, though he had already recorded the Berg Sonata for the Canadian Hallmark label in 1951 – his very first commercial recording. Krenek’s obscure Third Sonata cropped up time and again in Gould’s recitals, including his last public appearance on 10 April 1964 in Los Angeles.
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Ben Harper - The Will To Live (1997/2016) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/192kHz

Artist: Ben Harper
Title: The Will To Live
Genre: Rock, Blues Rock, Folk Rock, Hard Rock, Alternative Rock
Label: © Virgin Records America
Release Date: 1997/2016
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 192kHz/24bit
Source: Pono
Duration: 54:02
Recorded: Grandmaster Recorders

Ben Harper's third release, 1997's The Will To Live, broadens his sound from the folk-inflected songs of his earlier work to include elements of funk, blues, reggae and rock, a recipe Harper would return to over the years. While not a major success in the US at the time, the album garnered good reviews and includes Harper's first UK charted single, Faded.
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Ludwig van Beethoven - The 32 Piano Sonatas - Wilhelm Kempff (1965/2016) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/96kHz

Сomposer: Ludwig van Beethoven (1770 - 1827)
Artist: Wilhelm Kempff
Title: Beethoven - The 32 Piano Sonatas
Genre: Classical
Label: © Deutsche Grammophon GmbH
Release Date: 1965/2016
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 96kHz/24bit
Source: HDTracks
Duration: 09:53:34
Recorded: Hannover, Beethoven Saal, 1/1964 (nos. 29-32); 9/1964 (nos. 16-18, 21-23, 25, 26, 28); 11/1964 (nos. 1-7, 9, 10, 12, 19, 20); 1/1965 (nos. 8, 11, 13-15, 24, 27)


Wilhelm Kempff was the premier German pianist of the postwar period, so it's no surprise that he was considered one of the supreme interpreters of Beethoven. He recorded complete sets of the sonatas and concertos twice, and just about all the rest of the chamber music with piano as well. Kempff was a classicist by nature, and his approach to Beethoven was clear and poised rather than impulsive, but it was never lacking in sheer power or virtuosity when necessary. His last cycle of Beethoven sonatas is rightly regarded as his musical testament. Even if the mono recordings offered a few more exciting moments in a couple of works, you can't go wrong here — there isn't a dud in the lot.
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Ludwig van Beethoven - Piano Sonatas Nos. 23 & 12 - Sviatoslav Richter (1961/2015)  High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/44,1kHz

Сomposer: Ludwig van Beethoven (1770–1827)
Artist: Sviatoslav Richter
Title: Beethoven - Piano Sonatas Nos. 23 & 12
Genre: Classical
Label: © RCA Records/Sony Music Entertainment
Release Date: 1961/2015
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 44,1kHz/24bit
Source: Qobuz
Duration: 00:36:47
Recorded: November 29-30, 1960, Webster Hall, NYC
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Ludwig van Beethoven - Missa Solemnis - Arnold Schoenberg Chor, Concentus Musicus Wien, Nikolaus Harnoncourt (2016) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/48kHz

Сomposer: Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827)
Artist: Laura Aikin, Elisabeth Kulman, Johannes Chum, Ruben Drole, Arnold Schoenberg Chor, Concentus Musicus Wien, Nikolaus Harnoncourt
Title: Beethoven: Missa Solemnis in D Major, Op. 123
Genre: Classical
Label: © Sony Music Entertainment
Release Date: 2016
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 48kHz/24bit
Source: Qobuz
Duration: 01:21:27
Recorded: July 3-5, 2015, Stephaniensaal, Graz, Austria

When Nikolaus Harnoncourt retired from the stage in December last year, it was his express wish to release the broadcast recording of his last project, Beethoven’s monumental “Missa solemnis” as his personal legacy.
The 'Missa solemnis' concerts at the Styriarte Festival Graz and the Salzburg Festival in summer 2015 were his last public performances. This recording of Beethoven's late masterpiece was made from material captured at the Graz concerts and rehearsals.
As a result of his life-long research on Beethoven, he conducted the work for the first time with the Concentus Musicus Wien on period instruments, the Concentus is joined by the Vienna based Arnold Schoenberg Choir and a handpicked solo quartet.
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