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George Frideric Handel - Messiah, HWV 56 - Academy of Ancient Music, Christopher Hogwood (2015) [High Fidelity Pure Audio Blu-Ray Disc]

Сomposer: George Frideric Handel (1685-1759)
Artist: Academy of Ancient Music, Christopher Hogwood
Title: Handel – Messiah, HWV 56 (Foundling Hospital Version 1754)
Genre: Classical, Oratorio
Label: © Decca Music Group | Editions de L’Oiseau-Lyre
Release Date: 1980/2015
Recording Location: St Jude-on-the-Hill, Hampstead Garden Suburb, London, 1979
Remastered by Paschal Byrne at Audio Archiving Company
Quality: Blu-ray Audio
Length: 02:15:42
Video: MPEG-4 AVC 1053 kbps / 1080p / 23,976 fps / 16:9 / High Profile 4.1
Audio#1: English LPCM 2.0 / 96 kHz / 4608 kbps / 24-bit
Audio#2: English Dolby TrueHD 2.0 / 96 kHz / 2535 kbps / 24-bit (AC3 Embedded: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 640 kbps)

Recordings like Christopher Hogwood’s Messiah are perfect vehicles for the debate of the authentic instrument movement in music. Especially here, since a work as well known to a wide general audience as the Messiah (the recordings of which number in the thousands) will get a number of varied reactions depending upon the performance.
Hogwood, although known to many as a “father” (of sorts) to the authentic movement in music, was actually the keyboardist in Neville Marriner’s Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields before leaving to form his own Academy of Ancient Music. He has done extensive scholarly research into the performance traditions of Baroque music, much of which has permanently altered many long-standing attitudes and traditions in music performance. The question remains, though: does all of this research and application contribute to a finished product that is communicative to an audience?
It seems likely, if based only on the impressive cast. Augmenting the Academy’s forces are tenor Paul Elliott, contralto Carolyn Watkinson, and sopranos Judy Nelson and Emma Kirkby. The Christ Church Cathedral Choir, Oxford, is equally impressive. For this recording, as is indicated in his extensive and thorough liner notes, Hogwood utilizes the 1754 Foundling Hospital version. Although it may be a surprising change for some listeners accustomed to the more “standard” versions, the re-creation of this performance is important in a number of ways, historically and artistically.
But from the opening bars of the overture, the atmosphere feels rushed. Harmonies are not given enough space or time to be heard and to blossom, and the atmosphere feels thin, grainy, cold, and dry. This seems hardly conducive to the rapture, passion, and magnificence depicted in Handel’s score. Everything seems too perfect and too pure, too lifeless and too little energy. An additional annoyance is that the balance of the harpsichord seems far above the orchestra, in some cases (the “Glory of the Lord,” for instance) even covering the singers when they dip into the lower registers.
These complaints are now almost cliché for those who consistently complain of Hogwood’s performance style; for better or worse this recording could serve well as evidence. Looking past these issues, however, one can find a number of beautiful moments throughout. It is precisely due to his approach with this music that Hogwood is able to draw some extraordinary changes of color when and where he wants to. For example, the first bars of “and He Shall Purify” are breathtaking; the organ is significantly exposed here for the first time and finally he releases the music in a way that seems to let it unravel. The vocal solos are good throughout, and Kirkby’s performance is notable for its suppleness and grace.
Keep in mind that this is a re-creative performance, designed to emulate the conditions of the performance at the Foundling Hospital. Unfortunately, in this case it also means that while the sound quality is certainly good, even though the playing and singing are exceptional, the performance itself may not draw you in. Years after its first release, this recording still leaves one cold, and if you desire a warm, emotional, and intimate performance you may do well to look elsewhere. For those who prefer something more austere, though, look no further. –C. Ryan Hill, AllMusic
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Hector Berlioz - Symphonie fantastique – London Symphony Orchestra, Valery Gergiev (2014) [High Fidelity Pure Audio Blu-Ray Disc]

Сomposer: Hector Berlioz (1803-1869)
Artist: London Symphony Orchestra, Valery Gergiev
Title: Berlioz – Symphonie fantastique
Genre: Classical
Label: © LSO Live
Release Date: 2014
Recording Location: 31st October 2013 & 14th November 2013 at Barbican, London, United Kingdom
Quality: Blu-ray Audio
Length: 01:05:37 + 00:57:10 (video bonus)
Video: MPEG-4 AVC 950 kbps / 1920*1080i / 29,970 fps / 16:9 / High Profile 4.1
Video (bonus): MPEG-4 AVC 21994 kbps / 1920*1080i / 29,970 fps / 16:9 / High Profile 4.1
Audio#1: English DTS-HD MA 5.1 / 192 kHz / 10490 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 6.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
Audio#2: English LPCM 2.0 / 192 kHz / 9216 kbps / 24-bit
Audio#3 (bonus): English LPCM 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2304 kbps / 24-bit

Valery Gergiev conducts the London Symphony Orchestra at the start of a much-anticipated Berlioz cycle. Here we have the Symphonie fantastique and the overture Waverley. Berlioz let his imagination run wild in this music, finding inspiration in all manner of sources, including his own turbulent personal life. His experience of powerful, unrequited love finds its expression in the emotionally charged Symphonie fantastique, the story of an artist’s ‘hopeless love’, complete with waltzes, witches and a hallucinogenic nightmare. There are few orchestras with the music of Berlioz more thoroughly in their blood than the LSO, and here Valery Gergiev brings to bear his opulent interpretation of this landmark piece.
***** ‘Gergiev came to the platform and launched a seemingly possessed LSO into some of the most thrilling Berlioz one could ever hope to hear. With utterly sincere lyricism from cor anglais Christine Pendrill alongside ear-splitting, monstrous brass fanfares, this was a performance which, whilst totally committed to Berlioz’s uncanny ideas, was just as original and brilliant as the man himself.’ –
***** ‘Gergiev strode onto the stage to deliver a robust reading of Berlioz’s Waverley overture. With Gergiev’s awareness of colour and timbre, their performance made for enjoyable listening.’ –Music OMH
‘The March to the Scaffold’ went at a smart pace, with a chilling execution, and in an intensely dramatic ‘Dream of a Witches’ Sabbath’ the LSO, having already produced outstanding playing in the first four movements, achieved still greater heights of virtuosity, with the second violinists unusually permitted to show off their considerable paces at the front of the platform, opposite the firsts.’ –
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Herbert von Karajan , Berliner Philharmoniker – Ludwig van Beethoven: 9 Symphonien (1963/2014) [High Fidelity Pure Audio Blu-Ray Disc]

Title: Ludwig van Beethoven: 9 Symphonien
Released: 1963
Genre: Classical
Conductor: Herbert von Karajan
Artist: Gundula Janowitz (Soprano), Hilde Rössel Majdan (Contralto), Waldemar Kmentt (Tenor), Walter Berry (Bass), Wiener Singverein, Chorus, Berliner Philharmoniker

Issued: United States | Deutsche Grammophon
Duration: 6:02:27
Size: 15.11 GB

Of the four Beethoven cycles which Karajan recorded over four decades, the present cycle is undoubtedly at the very top of the list. This cannot alone lie in the sumptuous sound which was both praised and criticized at the time. Rather more, in masterly fashion Karajan places more emphasis on the youthful freshness of the early symphonies, gets right to the heart of the drama in the Third, and allows the multi-layered Fourth to sound stringent and decisive. Powerfully yet without exaggerated, fateful relentlessness, the Fifth plows on towards its triumphant C major finale, while the filigree expansiveness of the Sixth ensures that it is not merely a sugary tonal painting. The Berlin Philharmonic present the Seventh and Eighth at a comparatively breezy pace, while never losing sight of the hidden depths of the score. Finally, we have the glorious sound of the agitated Ninth, sung by the stars of the day, whom the Maestro leads surely and safely – just as his orchestra – through the score.
Recorded: 1962 at Jesus-Christus-Kirche, Berlin, Germany.
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Steven Wilson - Hand. Cannot. Erase. (2015) [High Fidelity Pure Audio Blu-Ray Disc]

Name: Steven Wilson: Hand. Can not. Erase.
Released: 2015
Genre: Progressive Rock, Electronic Rock
Artist: Steven Wilson – lead vocals, mellotron (tracks 1-10), keyboards (tracks 1, 2, 4, 6, 7, and 8), guitars (tracks 2-10), bass (tracks 1, 2, and 5 -7), banjo (track 7), hammered dulcimer (track 9), programming (tracks 1-5, 9, and 10), shaker (tracks 3, 5, and 6), effects (tracks 1, 2, 4, 5, 9, 10, and 11), Guthrie Govan – guitar (tracks 1, 2, 6, 7, 9, and 10), lead guitar (track 5), Nick Beggs – bass (tracks 3 and 10), Chapman Stick (tracks 4, 6, and 10), backing vocals (tracks 2, 4, 5, 6, 9, and 10), Adam Holzman – piano (tracks 1-3, 5-7, and 9-11), Hammond organ (tracks 1-3, 5-7, 9, and 10), celesta (tracks 3, 5, and 9), Fender Rhodes (tracks 3, 4, 6, and 9), Wurlitzer (track 7), Moog synthesizer ( track 7), Marco Minnemann – drums (tracks 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 9), Additional: Dave Gregory – guitars (tracks 2, 3, and 10), Chad Wackerman – drums (track 10) , Ninet Tayeb – vocals (tracks 5 and 9), Theo Travis – flute and baritone saxophone (track 9), Katherine Jenkins – spoken word (track 4), Leo Blair – solo vocal (track 5), Schola Cantorum Of The Cardinal Vaughan Memorial School – choir (tracks 5, 10, and 11), London Session Orchestra – strings (tracks 9 and 10)

Issued: United States | Kscope
Duration: 01:06:03 + 00:29:31 (documentary)
Size: 34.58 GB

Hand. Cannot. Erase. is the fourth solo studio album by British musician Steven Wilson. The album was released on February 27, 2015 through Kscope.
The album was recorded in September 2014 at AIR Studios, London, UK.All band members of the previous album are also featured on the new recording. When discussing the lack of Theo Travis’ input on the record, Steven Wilson described the album to be less “jazzy” compared to the previous album, featuring only a few parts written for flute and saxophones. Wilson also described the album to be more reflective to all of the different material in his back catalogue, featuring electronic music elements and straightforward pop songs alongside long progressive-oriented tracks. Alongside Wilson, the album features Ninet Tayeb on vocals, and the music is heavily inspired by The Dreaming, an album by Kate Bush.
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Rush - Fly By Night (1975/2015) [40th Anniversary] [High Fidelity Pure Audio Blu-Ray Disc]

Title: Rush: Fly By Night
Released: 1975
Genre: Rock, Prog Rock, Hard Rock
Artist: Geddy Lee (Bass, Guitar, Guitar (Classical), Keyboards, Vocals), Alex Lifeson (Guitar, Guitar (12 String), Guitar (Acoustic), Guitar (Electric)), Neil Peart (Drums, Percussion)

Issued: United States | Universal Music
Duration: 00:37:51
Size: 9.32 GB

Experience 96kHz 24-bit audiophile 5.1 surround sound and stereo on BluRay audio disc, Fly By Night was originally released in 1975 and was the first album to feature drummer Neil Peart, who also became the band’s lyricist. The singles included the title track and ‘Making Memories.’ Fly By Night reached #113 on the Billboard chart, going platinum in both the U.S. and Canada.
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Underworld: Dubnobasswithmyheadman (1994) (20th anniversary re-issue 2014) [High Fidelity Pure Audio Blu-Ray Disc]

Title: Underworld: Dubnobasswithmyheadman
Released: 1994
Genre: Electronica, Techno, Progressive House, Progressive Trance, Leftfield, Ambient
Artist: Karl Hyde (vocals, guitars), Rick Smith (keyboards and mixing, vocals), Darren Emerson (keyboards and mixing)
Issued: United Kingdom | UMC
Duration: 01:12:53

dubnobasswithmyheadman is the third album by Underworld, released in the UK on Junior Boy’s Own on 24 January 1994. It was the first Underworld album after the 1980s version of the band had made the transition from synthpop to techno and progressive house and is also the first album to feature Darren Emerson as a band member, ushering in the “MK2″ phase of the band, which continued until Emerson’s departure in 2001.
In 2014, the album was reissued on vinyl, Blu-Ray, and 2-CD and 5-CD expanded editions. Reviewing the reissue, Q described the album as “superb” and proposed that Hyde and Smith’s previous 14 years of making music “was why the uncannily undated dubnobasswithmyheadman still exudes such multidimensional sophistication”. Uncut praised the material on the extra four discs, but felt that the original album was still Underworld’s key record, claiming that Hyde’s lyrical vision was able to make Romford sound as exotic as the USA he had seen on his travels, and that this was the reason why “twenty years later, the results of that crazy belief still sound like dance music’s dirtiest epic”.
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Mando Diao: AElita (2014) [Limited Edition] [High Fidelity Pure Audio Blu-Ray Disc]

Mando Diao released World’s First Pop Album in Auro-3D® Immersive Sound!

Title: Mando Diao: Ælita
Released: 2014
Genre: Electronic, Rock, Pop
Issued: Germany | Universal Music
Duration: 00:54:30

A lot has been written about Mando Diao; Sweden’s cockiest band, the endless touring, the international success, the fashion icons. The path from the first album “Bring’em In”, the pursing media feud with Kent, to having European radio’s most played song in 2009 has been a long and arduous adventure.
The statistics are an impressive resumé of productivity. Since 2002 Mando Diao has made 7 studio albums that have sold more than 2 million copies worldwide. The last album “Infruset” with the Swedish lyrics from poet Gustaf Fröding was a cultural phenomenon in Sweden, selling 4 x platinum and being number 1 for 17 weeks. In their career they have played more than 1500 concerts in more than 30 countries and are festival headliners across Europe. Their videos have become viral phenomena getting more than 7 million views on YouTube. They have release a B-side and a Greatest Hits collection and even an MTV Unplugged album and DVD. Many contemporary bands have come and gone but Mando Diao has continued to reach new heights and re-define popular music.
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Supertramp - Crime Of The Century (2014) [High Fidelity Pure Audio Blu-Ray Disc]

Filename: Supertramp Crime Of The Century 2014 1080p AVC Blu-Ray DTS-HD MA 2.0
Duration : 44mn 20s 670ms
Quality : 1080i
Video Codec : MPEG-4 AVC
Audio Codec : LPCM / Dts-HD Master Audio / Dolby TrueHD
Video :1920×1080 / 16:9 / 29.970 fps / 25.84 Mbps
Audio :
English: LPCM 2.0 / 192.0 KHz / 24 bits / 9216 Kbps
English: Dts-Hd Master Audio 2.0 / 192.0 KHz / 6423 Kbps / 24-bit
English: Dolby TrueHD 2.0 / 192.0 KHz / 5759 Kbps / 24 bits

Crime Of The Century was the first of the many peaks in Supertramp’s illustrious career; an album that had everything to prove and tunes that effortlessly straddled the world of pure pop and progressive rock. With the unmistakable blend of the two songwriters – Davies and Hodgson’s – work, it married the sweetness of Hodgson’s ‘Dreamer’ — the band’s first big hit single — with the grit of Davies’ similarly beloved ‘Bloody Well Right.’
This 40th anniversary celebration features the r-emastered original album, mastered and cut by Ray Staff at Air Studios. It showcases the band at the zenith of their powers, playing of all of Crime of The Century and introducing numbers from their forthcoming album, Crisis . . . What Crisis?
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Tears for Fears - Songs from the Big Chair (2014) [High Fidelity Pure Audio Blu-Ray Disc]

Filename: Tears For Fears The Big Chair 2014 1080p AVC Blu-Ray DTS-HD MA 5.1

Duration : 42mn 02s 520ms
Quality : 1080p
Video Codec : MPEG-4 AVC
Audio Codec : LPCM / Dts-HD Master Audio / Dolby TrueHD
Video :1920×1080 / 16:9 / 23.976 fps / 31.10 Mbps
Audio :
English: LPCM 2.0 / 96.0 KHz / 24 bits / 4608 Kbps
English: LPCM 5.1 / 96.0 KHz / 24 bits / 13824 Kbps
English: Dts-Hd Master Audio 5.1 / 96.0 KHz / 8666 Kbps / 24-bit

Pure Audio Blu-ray Edition

24bit/96 khz High Fidelity Audiophile Sound

Includes three versions of the blockbuster album: the original 1985 mix remastered, 5.1 Surround Sound mix and a new stereo remix by Steven Wilson!

Tears for Fears’ phenomenal 10-million-selling second album marked a transition in the band’s sound and catapulted them into international prominence.

Their 1985 sophomore album, Songs From The Big Chair, remains the duo’s highest-selling album. This album smash peaked at No. 2 on the U.K. charts and stayed at No. 1 on the U.S. Billboard chart for five consecutive weeks. calls this “arguably the best Pure Audio to be released since the format launched in late 2012 because it includes three versions of the blockbuster album: the original 1985 mix remastered, a brand-new stereo remix for 2014 by Steven Wilson, and a 5.1 surround sound remix.”

The album includes six hit singles including “Shout,” “Mothers Talk” and “Everybody Wants To Rule The World.”

“The songwriting of Roland Orzabal, Curt Smith, and keyboardist Ian Stanley took a huge leap forward, drawing on reserves of palpable emotion and lovely, protracted melodies that draw just as much on soul and R&B music as they do on immediate pop hooks…. It is not only a commercial triumph, it is an artistic tour de force. And in the loping, percolating ‘Everybody Wants to Rule the World,’ Tears for Fears perfectly captured the zeitgeist of the mid-’80s while impossibly managing to also create a dreamy, timeless pop classic. Songs from the Big Chair is one of the finest statements of the decade.” — AllMusic
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George Michael - Symphonica (2014) [High Fidelity Pure Audio Blu-Ray Disc]

Filename: George Michael Symphonica 2014 1080p AVC Blu-Ray DTS-HD MA 2.0
Duration : 1h 19mn 12s 900ms
Quality : 1080p
Video Codec : MPEG-4 AVC
Audio Codec : LPCM / Dts-HD Master Audio / Dolby TrueHD
Video :1920×1080 / 16:9 / 24 fps / 17.09 Mbps
Audio :
LPCM Audio English 4608 kbps /2.0 / 96 kHz / 4608 kbps
DTS-HD Master Audio English 3111 kbps /2.0 / 96 kHz / 3111 kbps
Dolby TrueHD Audio English 2631 kbps /2.0 / 96 kHz / 2631 kbps
Size: 9.78 GB

Live album by the English singer-songwriter. Debuting at #1 in the UK Albums Chart, the album features the single ‘Let Her Down Easy’ as well as popular hits ‘Brother Can You Spare a Dime’ and ‘John and Elvis Are Dead’.

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