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Sergei Prokofiev - Violin Sonatas - Alina Ibragimova, Steven Osborne (2014) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/96kHz

Сomposer: Sergei Prokofiev (1891-1953)
Artist: Alina Ibragimova, Steven Osborne
Title: Prokofiev - Violin Sonatas
Genre: Classical
Label: © Hyperion Records
Release Date: 2014
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 96kHz/24bit
Source: hyperion-records
Duration: 60 minutes 43 seconds
Recorded: July 2013, Henry Wood Hall, London, United Kingdom


Hyperion is delighted to present a collaboration—an extraordinary force on the concert platform—in its first appearance on record. Alina Ibragimova and Steven Osborne are musicians of searing, uncompromising intelligence and intense feeling.
In his works for the violin, Prokofiev produced some of his most personal and expressive music. Both of his Violin Sonatas were written for David Oistrakh. The First was begun against the backdrop of Stalin’s Great Terror, in 1938, and one senses that he drew his inspiration from the uncharacteristically dark wells of fear, despair and bereavement which were the lot of Prokofiev and his contemporaries. The Violin Sonata No 2 in D major is of a very different character—generally sunny and carefree, though still with occasional fleeting shadows from the dark world of the First Sonata. In its original form it was a Flute Sonata, Op 94, which Prokofiev had completed in 1943. At David Oistrakh’s suggestion and with his assistance, Prokofiev transcribed this Sonata to create the Second Violin Sonata, Op 94bis.
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Sergey Prokofiev - Symphonies Nos. 6 & 7 - Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra, James Gaffigan (2016) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/96kHz

Сomposer: Sergey Prokofiev (1891-1953)
Artist: Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra, James Gaffigan
Title: Prokofiev - Symphonies Nos. 6 & 7
Genre: Classical
Label: © Challenge Records | Northstar Recordings
Release Date: 2016
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 96kHz/24bit
Source: Qobuz
Duration: 72:53
Recorded: Studio 5, MCO, Hilversum, The Netherlands
Recording dates: 8-10 June 2015 (Symphony no. 6), 29-31 October 2012 (Symphony no. 7)

The harmony in this Sixth symphony is fundamentally tonal, replete with omens and dissonances that sometimes resolve but sometimes testify to his predilection for abrupt shifts of mood, derived from film music, or for unpredictable gear changes from lyrical to more restless melodies. The composer’s choice of instrumentation confirms his feeling for élan and transparency. Prokofiev said virtually nothing of the meaning behind the work. He associated the shadowy sound world with the impact of injuries caused by the War. Prokofiev’s friend, the composer Myaskovsky, confessed that he only began to understand the work properly at the third hearing. Prokofiev was a modernist and a classicist at the same time, and this dichotomy was completely personal and at the same time far from clear. Indeed, it remains a mystery to many people to this day.
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Sergey Prokofiev - Symphonies Nos. 3 & 4 - Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra, James Gaffigan (2015) High-Fidelity DSF Stereo DSD64/2.82MHz

Сomposer: Sergey Prokofiev (1891-1953)
Artist: Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra, James Gaffigan
Title: Prokofiev - Symphonies Nos. 3 & 4
Genre: Classical
Label: © Challenge Records | Northstar Recordings
Release Date: 2015
Quality: DSF Stereo DSD64/2.82MHz
Source: nativeDSDmusic
Duration: 00:57:36
Recorded: Studio 5, MCO, Hilversum, Holland
Recording dates: 5-6 November 2013 (Symphony no. 3), 6-8 May 2014 (Symphony no. 4)

Sergei Prokofiev has a large reputation, although many of his works are seldom heard. The reason for this is that his music has a certain image, one created to some extent by the composer himself and one from which he found it difficult in later years to distance himself, no matter how hard he tried. One might summarise this image as that of a poker-faced comedian. Compositions that confirm this impression, such as the Classical Symphony, the Third Piano Concerto and some of his early piano works are amongst his best-known works.
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Sergei Prokofiev - Romeo and Juliet: The Three Suites - Bergen Philharmonic, Andrew Litton (2007) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/44,1kHz

Сomposer: Sergei Sergeyevich Prokofiev (1891-1953)
Artist: Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra, Andrew Litton
Title: Prokofiev - Romeo and Juliet: The Three Suites
Genre: Classical
Label: © BIS Records
Release Date: 2007
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 44,1kHz/24bit
Source: eClassical
Duration: 74:16
Recorded: June 2005 at the Grieg Hall, Bergen, Norway

While containing some of the most popular and attractive music that Prokofiev ever wrote, his suites from the ballet Romeo and Juliet have often been perceived as less than satisfying. Depending on the listener, there is a feeling that the composer chose either too much or too little, or that neither of the suites fully reflects the wealth and variety to be found in the complete score. Many conductors have accordingly compiled their own sequences of movements, picking from all three of the suites. This recording presents another solution: all three suites are played, but the twenty movements (which after all are Prokofiev’s choice of his favourite bits) are performed in the order in which they appear in the ballet. Lasting a little over half the duration of the complete Romeo and Juliet, they preserve the outline of the narrative and together give a full picture of Prokofiev’s gift for bringing characters, scenes and situations to life in music of vivid, striking power: the sunny atmosphere of Shakespeare’s Verona, aggressive energy in the fight music, neo-classical elegance in the courtly dances, quirky humour in the minor roles, and above all great lyrical beauty in the music for the two young lovers and the cruel series of events that leads to their tragic deaths. All this is brought to us by the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra – whose recent Grieg cycle on BIS has been a notable critical success – conducted by its music director Andrew Litton, making his first recording for BIS. The Litton/Bergen collaboration was initiated in 2003 and has been highly successful, something which not only Norwegian, but also European audiences have been able to benefit from through the orchestra’s recent tours. The 2007/2008 season will offer further such possibilities as the team visits Concertgebouw, Royal Albert Hall, Musikverein and Carnegie Hall – four of the world’s most prestigious concert venues.

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Phronesis - Parallax (2016) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/88,2kHz

Artist: Phronesis
Title: Parallax
Genre: Jazz, Modern Creative, Contemporary Jazz
Label: © Edition Records Ltd.
Release Date: 2016
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 88,2kHz/24bit
Source: Qobuz
Duration: 00:56:47
Recorded: Abbey Road Studios

Recorded in a single day at London’s fabled Abbey Road studios, Parallax is a brilliantly realised piece of music-making. It has all the standout features of the trio’s work. Rhythmic drive. Constant shifts in mood and texture. Drama heightened by dazzlingly fast reactions. All leavened by a melodic sense all three draw on as much when improvising as composing.
Extraordinary communication between the players is often the foundation of extraordinary music making – as Phronesis prove every time they play. Years of performing, touring and recording have given the three members of the trio a matchless rapport. That inspires an ever-flowing fountain of new music, captured to perfection on this, the Anglo-Scandinavian trio’s sixth CD and their fourth for Edition Records.
There are new elements to enjoy, too. Pianist Ivo Neame’s Manioc Maniac displays a stronger spicing of humour. Jasper Høiby’s Stillness, featuring the composer’s bowed bass, explores a contemplative mood less prominent in their earlier work. Fans of their more up tempo excursions also have plenty to enjoy, though – witness percussionist Anton Eger’s opener, 670000mph, named for the earth´s speed around the sun.
All are enhanced by the endless rewarding details the three together offer as each piece unfolds. It’s an indispensible feature of their live shows which is captured here to perfection in a studio recording. This is truly collective music-making, in composition – with each of the trio contributing three of the nine titles – and in supremely interactive performances that display a brand of musical wit that captivates audiences.
All three players have remarkable facility, giving the unadorned, purely acoustic trio some of the strongest bass playing, fleetest piano, and most orchestral percussion you have ever heard. The music they make is lithe and supple, with the added spark that takes such fluid mobility beyond mere gymnastics on to balletic heights.Each player writes for the trio knowing that their work will be taken somewhere different each time it is performed. They negotiate sometimes complex arrangements while retaining a spontaneity of suggestion and response that keeps the listener on the edge of their seat every time. The nine versions of new pieces captured here achieve a rare thing that only jazz at its very best can offer – music, created in the moment - that lasts.
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Paolo Fresu, Richard Galliano, Jan Lundgren - Mare Nostrum II (2016) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/88,2kHz

Artist: Paolo Fresu, Richard Galliano, Jan Lundgren
Title: Mare Nostrum II
Genre: Jazz, Modern Jazz, Contemporary Jazz
Label: © ACT Music + Vision GmbH & Co. KG
Release Date: 2016
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 88,2kHz/24bit
Source: highresaudio.com
Duration: 55:20
Recorded, mixed and mastered by Gérard de Haro at Studios La Buissonne, Pernes-les-Fontaines, France, February 23-26, 2014.

Sardinian trumpeter Paolo Fresu, French accordionist Richard Galliano and Swedish pianist Jan Lundgren form the trio “Mare Nostrum” (meaning our sea, and the Romans' name for the Mediterranean). This band forges connections between the discrete musical cultures of its three protagonists. Countless listeners worldwide have been captivated by their music, by this distinctive 'sound of Europe.'
When the first album “Mare Nostrum” appeared in 2007, critics in many countries were unanimous in their opinion that these three musicians had succeeded, they had found their way to forging something of timeless beauty. This “lyrical jazz ensemble with a keen sense of composure” (Downbeat, USA) had created “a wonderful album of genuine warmth” (Jazz Magazine, France) which poured forth “poetry and originality” (Süddeutsche Zeitung, DE) and which was “quiet, intimate and on occasions meditative” (Stern, DE). In other words, “a most unusual and beautiful record. An outstanding musical feast” (Morning Star, UK). Furthermore, the Independent newspaper made the prediction that this “soundscape of contemporary European jazz” would sound remarkable live on stage. And they were right: the trio has now played over 150 concerts in more than 20 countries, and audiences everywhere have fallen under its spell.
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Paganini- Violin Concerto No.1; Sarasate- Carmen Fantasy - Itzhak Perlman, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Lawrence Foster (2015) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/96kHz

Сomposer: Niccolò Paganini (1782–1840), Pablo de Sarasate (1844–1908)
Artist: Itzhak Perlman, RPO, Lawrence Foster
Title: Paganini: Violin Concerto No.1; Sarasate: Carmen Fantasy
Genre: Classical
Label: © Parlophone Records/Warner Classics
Release Date: 2015
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 96kHz/24bit
Source: Qobuz
Duration: 00:46:05
Recorded: Kingsway Hall, London, 9 & 10 August 1971

This flamboyant disc marked the beginning of what was to be a thirty-year partnership between Itzhak Perlman and EMI. The company’s decision to present their new signing as a virtuoso paid off, for the twenty-six-year-old violinist immediately stunned the music world with these exceptionally assured and accomplished performances. Perlman’s recording career had begun back in 1964 with a version of the Tchaikovsky Concerto conducted by Alfred Wallenstein. He had then signed a contract with RCA that gave him the opportunity not only to make a second recording of that particular warhorse, but also to display his full range in the Sibelius Concerto, Prokofiev’s No.2, Lalo’s Symphonie espagnole, and a number of chamber works (the sonatas by Prokofiev and Franck, Brahms’s Horn Trio).
In committing Paganini’s First Concerto to disc, Perlman was following in the footsteps of the finest virtuosos of the preceding generation, notably Leonid Kogan and Michael Rabin, whose unforgettable recordings many believed would never be surpassed. Such gainsayers had not, however, taken into account the incredible potential of the young Perlman, who proved to possess not only a stunning natural talent and innate sense of bel canto, but also a sense of humour and an instinct for the theatrical, qualities that were to bring an entirely new and lighthearted touch to the work. In his performance of this bravura concerto, which includes Émile Sauret’s famous cadenza, Perlman displayed the boundless technical abilities that he would reaffirm in his subsequent recordings. Coupling the Paganini with Sarasate’s spectacular Carmen Fantasy — the young Perlman’s astonishing rendition of which remains a benchmark today — simply added to the dramatic impact of this first album. EMI’s gamble paid off: this first album raised him instantly to the top rank of violinists, not only of his generation, but of all time. --Jean-Michel Molkhou
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Niccolo Paganini - 24 Caprices, Op.1 - Itzhak Perlman (2015) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/96kHz

Сomposer: Niccolò Paganini (1782–1840)
Artist: Itzhak Perlman
Title: Paganini - 24 Caprices, Op.1
Genre: Classical
Label: © Parlophone Records/Warner Classics
Release Date: 2015
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 96kHz/24bit
Source: Qobuz
Duration: 01:12:24
Recorded: Abbey Road Studios, 10 January 1972; Brent Town Hall, London, 11 & 12 January 1972

Along with Bach’s Sonatas and Partitas, Paganini’s Caprices represent the ultimate solo challenge to any violinist. Itzhak Perlman is one of those who has taken on both, beginning with the Paganini, very early on in his recording career. In 1965 he set down three of the Caprices for RCA, but it was in January 1972 that he cemented his place in this tradition with a complete set that would make recording history. By strange coincidence, that same year saw the death of his illustrious predecessor Michael Rabin, whose own complete Paganini, made in 1958 for Capitol, was a permanent source of inspiration for the young Perlman. The miracle achieved by the Caprices is that rather than being banal studies in virtuosity, they are a series of genuine masterpieces – a distillation of the composer’s prodigious technical abilities and an endless source of melodic invention. Caprice No.24 is the perfect illustration, its themes having inspired so many other composers: Brahms (the Variations, Op.35), Rachmaninov (the Rhapsody, Op.43), Liszt, Szymanowski, Lutosławski, Rochberg, Schnittke and David Baker, among others. Rarely in the history of music has a so-called “minor” composer had such a significant influence on so many of his major colleagues. Mastering the Caprices is a little like climbing Everest. Yet it requires more than technical mastery — a sense of theatricality and imagination is just as necessary when it comes to doing full justice to the melodic invention and fantastical spirit of the writing. The challenges are never-ending — the range of timbres, complex bowing techniques and the need for clear articulation and a purity of intonation and projection. As for risk-taking, it’s the only way to get under the skin of the Caprices’ creator. Perlman’s performance is astonishing for its apparent effortlessness, revealing the charismatic and assured style for which he was to become known. His innate feeling for song and a zest for fun do the rest, giving his interpretation an irresistible charm undimmed by the passing years. --Jean-Michel Molkhou
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Johann Pachelbel - Un orage d'avril - Gli incogniti, Amandine Beyer (2016) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/88,2kHz

Сomposer: Johann Pachelbel (1653-1706)
Artist: Gli incogniti, Amandine Beyer, Hans Jörg Mammel
Title: Pachelbel - Un orage d'avril
Genre: Classical
Label: © Harmonia Mundi
Release Date: 2016
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 88,2kHz/24bit
Source: eClassical.com
Duration: 79:28
Recorded: juillet 2015 à l'Arsenal de Metz

A festival of ‘musical delights’! :: Though the two bars of bass of a certain celebrated Canon have made Pachelbel probably the most widely performed composer in the streets of the whole world, this sparkling programme invites you to make new discoveries in his œuvre. It is built around suites (Partien) for two violins and continuo from the Musikalische Ergötzung. The title means ‘musical delight’, and indeed one cannot but be ravished by the extraordinary sonic hedonism displayed by these works, the most important surviving testimony to the instrumental output of a German musician skilled in mingling the French, Italian and German styles. A few songs written for special occasions add further spice to this wonderfully free music.
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Omer Avital - Abutbul Music (2016) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/88,2kHz

Artist: Omer Avital
Title: Abutbul Music
Genre: Jazz
Label: © Jazz Village
Release Date: 2016
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 88,2kHz/24bit
Source: highresaudio.com
Duration: 01:27:19
Recorded: Midilive Studios, Villetaneuse, France, on November 8th and 9th, 2015.

Born in Israel to a Moroccan father and a Yemenite mother, now living in the U.S., the bassist, composer, bandleader, Omer Avital, is a major force in the New York music scene for over twenty years. Avital's genre-defying ensembles are pushing the boundaries of jazz expression with swing and spiritual sustenance in equal measure. On this new album, recorded in Paris, Avital delivers a strong statement, with a powerful sound, joyful rhythms and oriental melodies that draw on gospel and soul. Avital is continually evolving contemporary jazz, rightly being called one of the most unique musicians of his generation.
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