Category: Hi-Res FLAC

R.E.M. – Lifes Rich Pageant (1986/2016) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/192kHz

             


Artist: R.E.M.
Title: Lifes Rich Pageant
Genre: Rock
Release Date: 1986
Duration: 00:38:22
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/192kHz
Label: Capitol Records

R.E.M.'s fourth studio recording, Lifes Rich Pageant, is a pivotal release that saw the band evolving into bona fide rock legends. It was their first album to achieve Gold status and is included on Slant Magazine's "100 Best Albums of the Eighties." Teaming up with producer Don Gehman, the album is a politically-conscious work that addresses social progress and environmental issues. Lifes Rich Pageant includes the hit singles "Fall On Me" and "Superman." The album is a hard-rock affair that is both inspirational and uplifting.

(more…)

Rosemary Joshua, Sarah Connolly, The English Concert, Harry Bicket – Purcell, Locke, Blow & Gibbons (2017) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/96kHz

             


Artist: Rosemary Joshua, Sarah Connolly, The English Concert, Harry Bicket
Title: Purcell, Locke, Blow & Gibbons
Genre: Classical
Release Date: 2017
Duration: 01:12:52
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/96kHz
Label: Wigmore Hall Live

Renowned period ensemble The English Concert and Harry Bicket are joined by two singers at the height of their powers, bright-voiced soprano Rosemary Joshua and the graceful mezzo-soprano Sarah Connolly, as they delve into the musical world in which Henry Purcell was immersed. Through the course of this concert, recorded live at Wigmore Hall, we explore the music of 17th-century England; from the irresistible Suite from 'The Tempest' by Matthew Locke to John Blow's spritely Chaconne in G, crowned by beautifully crafted and luminous songs by Purcell himself.

(more…)

Simon Trpceski, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, Vasily Petrenko – Prokofiev: Piano Concertos Nos. 1 & 3 (2017) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/96kHz

             


Artist: Simon Trpceski, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, Vasily Petrenko
Title: Prokofiev: Piano Concertos Nos. 1 & 3
Genre: Classical
Release Date: 2017
Duration: 00:52:26
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/96kHz
Label: Onyx

The chief draw on this release by Simon Trpceski is the Piano Concerto No. 1 in D flat major, Op. 10, composed while Sergey Prokofiev was still a student in St. Petersburg. Prokofiev thought highly enough of the work to premiere it in Moscow himself, and indeed it's a student work of the best kind, brash and overflowing with confidence. Consider and sample the broad opening and, after about a minute, the angular music, a kind of second theme, seems as though it comes from an entirely different composition and dares you to imagine how it can be integrated with the opening. Prokofiev goes on to do just that, of course, and it was music like this that antagonized conservative listeners and, in an age when such antagonism was box office gold, did much to propel Prokofiev's early career. In its broader outlines the work is not so dissimilar to the better-known Piano Concerto No. 3 in C major, Op. 26, one of the peaks of Prokofiev's neoclassic output. The performances by Trpceski and the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra under Vasily Petrenko are very strong, capturing the exuberance of the Piano Concerto No. 1 and delivering a crowd-pleasing, sparkling Third with no hint of the mordant quality many attach to the work. The Overture on Hebrew Themes, Op. 34bis, is a fine, little-known entr-acte. A crowd-pleasing Prokofiev release.

(more…)

Tugan Sokhiev – Prokofiev: Lieutenant Kije Suite & Symphonies Nos. 1 & 7 (2017) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/48kHz

             


Artist: Tugan Sokhiev
Title: Prokofiev: Lieutenant Kije Suite & Symphonies Nos. 1 & 7
Genre: Classical
Release Date: 2017
Duration: 01:09:49
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/48kHz
Label: Sony Classical

The first recording of the Prokofiev Symphony No. 5 by DSO Berlin directed by Tugan Sokhiev captured international attention (5 stars from Fono Forum). Now a new recording is being released of Prokofiev's Symphonies Nos. 1 and 7 as well as the "Lieutenant Kij" Suite. The First Symphony is easily the most famous orchestral work by the Russian composer. The work is marked by joyfulness, vitality, and refined rhythm. At the same time, Prokofiev surprises listeners with a compositional style reminiscent of the music of Joseph Haydn. Prokofiev's Seventh and final symphony also features the compositional style of Haydn, thus creating a link between his first and final symphony. The work is captivating because of its Oriental tonal landscape, expressive instrumentation full of striking effects and overwhelming, sumptuous orchestral splendour. The program is rounded off by an exceptional recording of the Lieutenant Kij Suite. Initially composed as a film score, today this work still fascinates concert-goers all over the world. The fourth movement in particular will be familiar to most listeners as a well-known Christmas theme.

(more…)

Pixies – Trompe Le Monde (1991) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/192kHz

             


Artist: Pixies
Title: Trompe Le Monde
Genre: Rock
Release Date: 1991
Duration: 00:38:58
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/192kHz
Label: 4AD

The title might be French for "fool the world," but with Trompe le Monde, the Pixies weren't fooling anyone: this was essentially Black Francis' solo debut. It focuses on Francis' sci-fi fascination and lacks any Kim Deal songs; even her backing vocals are far and few between. Yet the band sounds revitalized on Trompe le Monde, as if it were planned as their last hurrah. The raucous "Distance Equals Rate Times Time" and the explosive cover of the Jesus and Mary Chain's "Head On" are fairly straightforward, but the lyrics remain quirky on "Planet of Sound," a song about a Martian who lands on Earth, and "Palace of the Brine," a tribute to sea monkeys and Utah's Salt Lake. He even disses hipsters and pretentious students -- basically, the Pixies' fan base -- with nasty little digs like "Subbacultcha"'s "I was wearing eyeliner/She was wearing eyeliner" and "U-Mass"' "It's eduuucaaationaal!" Musically, "Trompe le Monde"'s psychedelic sheen and "Alec Eiffel"'s atmospheric keyboards prove that the Pixies' sound wasn't defined by Steve Albini-style rawness. There's also more emotional depth: "The Sad Punk" features the strangely poignant bridge "And evolving from the sea/Would not be too much time for me/To walk beside you in the sun," and "Letter to Memphis" is a heartfelt, if cryptic, love song. Though Trompe le Monde doesn't sound quite like the Pixies' other work, Come on Pilgrim's spooky beginnings, Surfer Rosa's abrasive assault, Doolittle's deceptively accessible punk-pop, and Bossanova's spacy sonics helped make Trompe le Monde a rousing swan song and a precursor to alternative rock's imminent success. Whether that means their music remained pure or they missed their chance to cash in is debatable; either way, the Pixies are one of America's greatest, most influential bands.

(more…)

Pixies – Surfer Rosa (1988) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/192kHz

             


Artist: Pixies
Title: Surfer Rosa
Genre: Rock
Release Date: 1988
Duration: 00:33:27
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/192kHz
Label: 4AD

One of the most compulsively listenable college rock albums of the '80s, the Pixies' 1988 full-length debut Surfer Rosa fulfilled the promise of Come on Pilgrim and, thanks to Steve Albini's production, added a muscular edge that made their harshest moments seem even more menacing and perverse. On songs like "Something Against You," Black Francis' cryptic shrieks and non sequiturs are backed by David Lovering and Kim Deal's punchy rhythms, which are so visceral that they'd overwhelm any guitarist except Joey Santiago, who takes the spotlight on the epic "Vamos." Albini's high-contrast dynamics suit Surfer Rosa well, especially on the explosive opener "Bone Machine" and the kinky, T. Rex-inspired "Cactus." But, like the black-and-white photo of a flamenco dancer on its cover, Surfer Rosa is the Pixies' most polarized work. For each blazing piece of punk, there are softer, poppier moments such as "Where Is My Mind?," Francis' strangely poignant song inspired by scuba diving in the Caribbean, and the Kim Deal-penned "Gigantic," which almost outshines the rest of the album. But even Surfer Rosa's less iconic songs reflect how important the album was in the group's development. The "song about a superhero named Tony" ("Tony's Theme") was the most lighthearted song the Pixies had recorded, pointing the way to their more overtly playful, whimsical work on Doolittle. Francis' warped sense of humor is evident in lyrics like "Bone Machine"'s "He bought me a soda and tried to molest me in the parking lot/Yep yep yep!" In a year that included landmark albums from contemporaries like Throwing Muses, Sonic Youth, and My Bloody Valentine, the Pixies managed to turn in one of 1988's most striking, distinctive records. Surfer Rosa may not be the group's most accessible work, but it is one of their most compelling.

(more…)

Pixies – Doolittle (1989) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/192kHz

             


Artist: Pixies
Title: Doolittle
Genre: Rock
Release Date: 1989
Duration: 00:38:38
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/192kHz
Label: 4AD

After 1988's brilliant but abrasive Surfer Rosa, the Pixies' sound couldn't get much more extreme. Their Elektra debut, Doolittle, reins in the noise in favor of pop songcraft and accessibility. Producer Gil Norton's sonic sheen adds some polish, but Black Francis' tighter songwriting focuses the group's attack. Doolittle's most ferocious moments, like "Dead," a visceral retelling of David and Bathsheba's affair -- are more stylized than the group's past outbursts. Meanwhile, their poppy side surfaces on the irresistible single "Here Comes Your Man" and the sweetly surreal love song "La La Love You." The Pixies' arty, noisy weirdness mix with just enough hooks to produce gleefully demented singles like "Debaser," -- inspired by Bunuel's classic surrealist short Un Chien Andalou -- and "Wave of Mutilation," their surfy ode to driving a car into the sea. Though Doolittle's sound is cleaner and smoother than the Pixies' earlier albums, there are still plenty of weird, abrasive vignettes: the blankly psychotic "There Goes My Gun," "Crackity Jones," a song about a crazy roommate Francis had in Puerto Rico, and the nihilistic finale "Gouge Away." Meanwhile, "Tame," and "I Bleed" continue the Pixies' penchant for cryptic kink. But the album doesn't just refine the Pixies' sound; they also expand their range on the brooding, wannabe spaghetti western theme "Silver" and the strangely theatrical "Mr. Grieves." "Hey" and "Monkey Gone to Heaven," on the other hand, stretch Francis' lyrical horizons: "Monkey"'s elliptical environmentalism and "Hey"'s twisted longing are the Pixies' versions of message songs and romantic ballads. Their most accessible album, Doolittle's wide-ranging moods and sounds make it one of their most eclectic and ambitious. A fun, freaky alternative to most other late-'80s college rock, it's easy to see why the album made the Pixies into underground rock stars.

(more…)

Pixies – Come On Pilgrim (1987) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/192kHz

             


Artist: Pixies
Title: Come On Pilgrim
Genre: Rock
Release Date: 1987
Duration: 00:20:28
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/192kHz
Label: 4AD

Amazingly, the Pixies' 1987 debut EP, Come on Pilgrim, was compiled from the quickly, inexpensively made demo tape -- paid for by Black Francis' dad -- the band made at Boston's legendary Fort Apache studio soon after they formed. 4AD was so taken with the tape that they released eight of the songs as this mini-album. It's easy to see why they were so impressed: The Pixies' essential sound -- Francis' unearthly shriek of a voice, David Lovering's propulsive drumming, Joey Santiago's insistent, prickly guitar playing, and Kim Deal's sugar-and-sandpaper vocals and steady basslines -- arrives fully formed on songs like the bouncy, yet twisted, surfer-girl ode "Ed Is Dead." Influences like '80s college rock peers the Violent Femmes, the Stooges, Lou Reed, and hardcore punk crop up on songs like "I've Been Tired," the group's surreal take on sexual frustration, and "Isla de Encanta." Most importantly, the EP introduces the spooky, theatrical vision the group brought to their simple guitar-bass-drums lineup. Francis' lyrical fetishes for sex, death, and religion and his twisted sense of humor crop up on every track, from the eerie opener "Caribou," which urges listeners to "Reeeeepent!," to the final song, "Levitate Me," which borrows Christian folksinger Larry Norman's catchphrase: "Come on pilgrim, you know he loves you!" "The Holiday Song" and "Nimrod's Son" provide voyeuristic, back-to-back glimpses at incest, as well as the priceless lyric, "My sister held me close and whispered to my bleeding head/You are the son of a motherf*cker" (from "Nimrod's Son"). Gary Smith's less-is-more production allows the full, primal impact of the band's combustive sound to blast through, offering what may be the purest version of their perverse punk-pop. An electrifying debut, Come on Pilgrim remains as raw, vibrant, and engaging as the day it was recorded.

(more…)

Pixies – Bossanova (1990) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/192kHz

             


Artist: Pixies
Title: Bossanova
Genre: Rock
Release Date: 1990
Duration: 00:39:41
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/192kHz
Label: 4AD

With a keen sense of the absurd, Black Francis's (now Frank Black) Pixies were the consummate darlings of the music press--no surprise, with their refreshing mix of overblown guitars, discreet nods to the surreal and a vibrant grasp of pure pop that offered a luscious blow to the senses on execution. "Cecilia Ann" stood somewhere between spandex metal and Beach Blanket Bingo, while the deranged singalong of "Is She Weird" sat alongside the first single, "Velouria," underlining their ability to write timeless singles that filled the head and sent toes tapping incessantly out of time. A recent compilation confirmed their standing.

(more…)

BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Martyn Brabbins – Pickard: Symphony No. 5 (2017) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/96kHz

             


Artist: BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Martyn Brabbins
Title: Pickard: Symphony No. 5
Genre: Classical
Release Date: 2017
Duration: 01:02:46
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/96kHz
Label: BIS

John Pickard is a respected English composer best known for his orchestral works. This release from the BBC National Orchestra of Wales and conductor Martyn Brabbins features the engaging Symphony No. 5 as well as the evocative Sixteen Sunrises and Pickard's arrangement of the Toccata from Monteverdi's L'Orfeo for modern orchestra.

(more…)