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Richard Strauss - Elektra & Der Rosenkavalier Suites - Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Manfred Honeck (2016) High-Fidelity DSF Stereo DSD256/11.20MHz

Сomposer: Richard Strauss (1864 - 1949)
Artist: Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Manfred Honeck
Title: Strauss: Elektra & Der Rosenkavalier Suites
Genre: Classical
Label: © Reference Recordings
Release Date: 2016
Quality: DSF Stereo DSD256/11.20MHz
Source: nativeDSDmusic
Duration: 00:58:31
Recorded: May 13-15, 2016, Heinz Hall for the Performing Arts, Pittsburgh, PA


This new recording presents orchestral suites based on two of the most significant operas in history. Der Rosenkavalier found its place in the concert hall from the beginning, first with two waltz sequences and later with the famous 1944 suite. But Elektra remained purely on the opera stage until now. Conductor Manfred Honeck has made his own symphonic adaptation, in collaboration with the Czech composer Tomás Ille.We proudly present these Strauss suites, new and old, in definitive interpretations from Manfred Honeck and the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, in superb audiophile sound.
The comprehensive notes by Manfred Honeck offer an in-depth look into the composer's soul, and a fascinating look at the mind and decisions of a great conductor. To quote from Honeck's music notes: "it is undoubtedly clear that Tchaikovsky truly put all of his soul into this unique masterpiece. I dare to say that in a way, Tchaikovsky experienced his own death through the music. One can be sure that only somebody who is deeply empathetic about both life and death can be capable of creating such an atmosphere and I am deeply grateful for the great musicians of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra who went with me on this journey, requiring the utmost technical perfection to reach such a level of expression." FR-720 also includes the world premiere of the "Rusalka Fantasy," an orchestral suite drawn from Dvorák's opera by Mr. Honeck and arranger Tomás Ille.
This release is the fifth in the highly acclaimed Pittsburgh Live! series of multi-channel hybrid SACD releases on the FRESH! series from Reference Recordings. Each has received dozens of critical accolades. Dvorák/Janacek (FR-710SACD) and Bruckner 4 (FR-713SACD) have each received GRAMMY® nominations for Best Orchestral Performance.
With a legacy of more than 120 years, the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra is known for its artistic excellence, a rich history of the world's finest conductors and musicians, and a strong commitment to the Pittsburgh region and its citizens. Past music directors have included many of the greats, including Fritz Reiner (1938-1948), William Steinberg (1952-1976), Andre Previn (1976-1984), Lorin Maazel (1984-1996) and Mariss Jansons (1995-2004). This tradition of outstanding international music directors was furthered in fall 2008, when Austrian conductor Manfred Honeck became music director of the Pittsburgh Symphony.
The orchestra has been at the forefront of championing new American works, and gave the first performance of Leonard Bernstein's Symphony No. 1 "Jeremiah" in 1944, and John Adams' "Short Ride in a Fast Machine" in 1986. The Pittsburgh Symphony also has an illustrious history in the areas of recordings and radio concerts dating back to the 1930s. And, with a long and distinguished history of touring both domestically and overseas since 1900—including more than 37 international tours to Europe, the Far East and South America—the Pittsburgh Symphony continues to be critically acclaimed as one of the world's greatest orchestras. NOTE: Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra recordings are made possible by a generous grant from BNY Mellon.
This release and the entire Pittsburgh Live! series are recorded and mastered by the team at Soundmirror, whose outstanding orchestral, solo, opera and chamber recordings have received more than 80 Grammy nominations and awards. Soundmirror has recorded for every major classical record label, including Reference Recordings.
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Miklos Rozsa: Violin Concerto; Arthur Benjamin: Romantic Fantasy - Jascha Heifetz (1964/2016) High-Fidelity DSF Stereo DSD64/2.82MHz

Сomposer: Miklós Rózsa (1907-1997), Arthur Benjamin (1893-1960)
Artist: Jascha Heifetz
Title: Rósza - Violin Concerto; Benjamin - Romantic Fantasy
Genre: Classical
Label: © RCA Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment
Release Date: 1964/2016
Quality: DSF Stereo DSD64/2.82MHz
Source: highresaudio.com
Duration: 46:31
Recorded: 1964

Another fine Pfeiffer / Chase / Heiftez collaboration. Throw in Hendl conducting the Detroit Symphony on the Rozsa Violin Concerto and Izler conducting the RCAVVO on Benjamin's Romantic Fantasy and you've got a winner. This is an original 3-track recording and that is what this LP reissue was mastered from. The result? Not to be missed!
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High-Fidelity DSF Stereo DSD64/2.82MHz

Сomposer: Sergey Rachmaninov (1873-1943)
Artist: Budapest Festival Orchestra, Iván Fischer
Title: Rachmaninov - Symphony No. 2; Vocalise No. 14
Genre: Classical
Label: © Channel Classics Records B.V.
Release Date: 2010
Quality: DSF Stereo DSD64/2.82MHz
Source: SACD ISO
Duration: 01:04:35
Recorded: October 2003, The Italian Institute, Budapest


Sergey Rachmaninov (1873-1943) - Symphony nr. 2 in e op. 27 (1907) .......In 1907 Rachmaninov had withdrawn with his family to Dresden in order to work in complete isolation. This is where the Second Symphony was created. It had its highly successful premiere in the Marinsky Theatre of St. Petersburg in January of 1908. Like his other symphonies, the work begins with a motto-like theme reminiscent of Russian Orthodox liturgical music. Out of this a long-spun, mournful melody develops and serves as a constant motive throughout the first movement. The second movement is a lively scherzo, but there is a hint of menace in the horns introductory Dies Irae motive. Half way through the movement, the dizzying fugato is momentarily silenced for an episode of passionate romanticism. The Adagio is the most famous movement, and the most consistently described with superlatives. It is a miracle of melodic invention. The beautiful clarinet melody seems endless and appears to grope forward in a kind of trance, searching for words to express its love. Is it entirely fortuitous that the atmosphere is that of the love scene in Rachmaninovs opera, "Francesca da Rimini"? The Finales mood is stormy and once again brings forward all the previous themes, but this time arranged in new constellations, leading to an effective conclusion.
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Sekou Bunch - Sekou (2012) High-Fidelity DSF Stereo DSD64/2.82MHz

Artist: Sekou Bunch
Title: Sekou
Genre: Jazz, Soul Jazz, Jazz Funk, Fusion
Label: © Fonè Records/Audiophile Productions
Release Date: 1991/2012
Quality: DSF Stereo DSD64/2.82MHz
Source: nativeDSDmusic
Duration: 01:04:45

“What? Mr. Bunch” neatly frames the question: how do you define Sekou Bunch as a musician? Obviously, he is an electric bass-player of extraordinary talent. To my ears it goes further than that: he is simply the best I’ve ever heard. Note particularly on “Catano”, “As A Matter Of Fact”, “Night On The Town” and “Pastels” that Sekou plays the Tenor-Bass melody with the pyrotechnical skill that will be admired by the most accomplished guitarists! Further yet the man writes some lovely tunes; and further still he is a cool, calm and collected musical director who never loses his head, even under the most musically trying circumstances. It is getting late at night (read early morning), some of the best are battling... but Sekou never misses a beat (or a solo-trick), never loses his smile of sheer musical enjoyment: he uplift and inspired everybody to give of their best and they respond... You hold the results of their collective talents in your hands now. Sekou molded his repertoire around some of the most interesting (and diverse) players around California and demonstrated a whole palette of sound-colors in his arrangements. So those are my impressions and experiences with Sekou Bunch. Trumpeter Tom Browne chose Sekou for his gold album “Funkin’ for Jamaica” (and as co-writer on the hit single “Thighs High”). Anita Baker selected Sekou for her PLATINU M album “Givin’ you the best that I got”. He has toured the world with Melba Moore, Tom Browne, Phyllis Hyman, Dave Grusin, Jocylyn Brown, Freddie Hubbard, Dayton, Randy Crawford, Bernard Wright, George Duke, Anita Baker and Sheena Easton... All in all we’re in pretty good company in choosing Sekou Bunch for our VITAL label. --David Manley California, 1991
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Franz Schubert - Lieder - Christian Elsner, Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin, Marek Janowski (2015) High-Fidelity DSF Stereo DSD64/2.82MHz

Сomposer: Franz Peter Schubert (1797-1828)
Artist: Christian Elsner, Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin, Marek Janowski
Title: Schubert - Lieder
Genre: Classical
Label: © Pentatone Music B.V.
Release Date: 2015
Quality: DSF Stereo DSD64/2.82MHz
Source: SACD ISO
Duration: 01:02:55
Recorded: Haus des Rundfunks, RBB, Berlin, Germany in September 2014


Given his magnificent achievement in the field of art song, and the vast volume and consistently high quality of his Lieder oeuvre, it is not surprising that Schubert's songs have been recorded numerous times. It is not surprising either that many composers, such as Franz Liszt, Johannes Brahms, Benjamin Britten, Hector Berlioz, Max Reger and Anton Webern made arrangements of Schubert's songs. What is surprising, however, is the fact that these arrangements —made by some of the greatest composers in musical history—are so seldom heard either in concert or on record.
With the release of this album, hopefully that situation will change. It combines 17 Schubert compositions, of which 13 were orchestrated by late-romantic German composer Reger Max, and four by a member of the Second Viennese School, Anton Webern. When listening to these songs, the listener will discover that these arrangements are made with such craftsmanship that they themselves became unparalleled works of art. The performers on this SACD are the Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin and German tenor Christian Elsner, conducted by Maestro Marek Janowski. The album's accompanying booklet contains the lyrics to the songs both in German and English, as well as programme notes and artists' biographies.
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Nordic Sounds 2 : Sandstrom, Wikander, Jersild, Alfven, Hillborg - Swedish Radio Choir, Peter Dijkstra (2012) High-Fidelity DSF Stereo DSD64/2.82MHz

Сomposer: Various
Artist: Swedish Radio Choir, Peter Dijkstra
Title: Nordic Sounds 2 : Sandström, Wikander, Jersild, Alfven, Hillborg
Genre: Classical, Choral
Label: © Channel Classics Records B.V.
Release Date: 2012
Quality: DSF Stereo DSD64/2.82MHz
Source: nativeDSDmusic
Duration: 01:11:04
Recorded: Musikaliska, Stockholm, June 2011


In the mid-nineteenth century, Europeappeared to be on the verge of a GoldenAge of choral music. There was an astonishingresurgence everywhere of music for men’s andwomen’s voices and for mixed choirs. From asearly as 1810, singing clubs, choral societies andLiedertafel (song-tables) shot up like mushroomsin Berlin, Leipzig, Frankfurt, Cologne andVienna. The best-known was the Liedertafelstarted up in 1808 by Mendelssohn’s teacherCarl Friedrich Zelter, who was leader of thechoral tradition that flourished in the nineteenthcentury has lost none of its strength. Accordingto statistics, no less than ten percent of its ninemillion inhabitants sing in a choir. Värmland,the western province of Sweden, even has areputation for its astronomical number of fivehundred choirs! A large part of the repertoireconsists of old Swedish folk songs, a culturalheritage that came to enjoy renewed and stronginterest in the nineteenth century. Composershave since arranged them for choir, often in anaccessible, neo-Romantic folk-song style and instrophic form. But songs were also adapted in acontemporary style and for all sorts of ensembles.One of the most familiar names in this respect is that of Hugo Alfvén, the foremost Swedish composer of the twentieth century. He becameknown for his furtherance of Swedish choral music and folk songs in Europe, and for his five post-Romantic symphonies and the Swedishrhapsody Midsommarvaka (1904). On the present recording, traditional Swedish folk songs are combined with contemporary choral music.Most of the pieces are Swedish, but Denmark (Jörgen Jersild) and Finland (Jaakko Mäntyjärvi) are also represented.
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Nordic Sounds : Music of Sven-David Sandstrom - Swedish Radio Choir, Peter Dijkstra (2010) High-Fidelity DSF Stereo DSD64/2.82MHz

Сomposer: Sven-David Sandström (b.1942)
Artist: Swedish Radio Choir, Peter Dijkstra
Title: Nordic Sounds : Music of Sven-David Sandström
Genre: Classical, Choral
Label: © Channel Classics Records B.V.
Release Date: 2010
Quality: DSF Stereo DSD64/2.82MHz
Source: nativeDSDmusic
Duration: 01:10:12
Recorded: Studio Swedish Radio, Stockholm, December 2009


Sven-David Sandström (1942–) has acknowledged that it was thanks to Ingmar Månsson he began composing for choir. A member of Månsson’s Hägersten Motet Choir outside Stockholm for some twenty years, Sandström was given ample opportunities to have his works performed and was able to study the choral instrument and repertoire from the inside.Starting out in a complex modernist tradition; Sandström’s major works from the 1970s were orchestral compositions, including his breakthrough piece, Through and through(1972), which received great acclaim when performed in Amsterdam in 1974. The work that made him the most recognized Swedish composer was Requiem, Mute the Bereaved Memories Speak(1979), a work of almost two hours in length for soloists, two choirs, large orchestra, and tape, setting the poems of Tobias Berggren. The Requiem deals with humankind’s ability to forget its crimes, especially the murder of children during the Holocaust. Requiem is multifaceted; it contains black romanticism, violent outbursts, sublime sections, grotesque scenes, and banalities that give the work an enormous expressivity.When composing for choir Sandström does not hold back in terms of expression or technical demands. As choral director James Kallembach put it: “Choral singers will showcase a range of expressions when perusing a typical Sandström score for the first time. From uncomfortable giggling to disbelief to downright indignation, most singers cannot help but react to some of the higher-pitched passages.” Indeed, many works are incredibly technically difficult even for professional choirs. But there is more to Sandström’s mode of writing for choir. Kallembach identified eight characteristics of Sandström’s choral writing that make his musical language highly emblematic.
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Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Michael Haydn - Duo Sonatas - Rachel Podger, Jane Rogers (2011) High-Fidelity DSF Stereo DSD64/2.82MHz

Сomposer: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791), Michael Haydn (1737-1806)
Artist: Rachel Podger, Jane Rogers
Title: Mozart, W.A., Haydn, M. - Duo Sonatas
Genre: Classical
Label: © Channel Classics Records B.V.
Release Date: 2011
Quality: DSF Stereo DSD64/2.82MHz
Source: SACD ISO
Duration: 01:12:51
Recorded: May 2011, All Saints Church, East Finchley, London


The Duos for Violin and Viola by Mozart have long been favourite pieces of ours – pieces we’d take out and play when there wasn’t a keyboard player or cellist to hand, or busk as teenagers to earn extra pocket money. Back then, the audience’s response clearly indicated how appealing these pieces were as our takings always doubled when we played them!These works never cease to amaze – Mozart uses the two instruments so effectively and with such exquisite craftsmanship that he never leaves one wondering where the rest of the string quartet might have gone….They are also hugely engaging to play and so endlesslyrich and interesting that the appeal to the listener is guaranteed. Mozart’s reference to other genres is always fascinating. In this case the writing is dramatic, operatic even (the violin taking the role as soprano diva (!) and the viola as the heroic tenor?!). One could perhaps go as far to say that these duos are distillations of the art of chamber music as in the Haydn quartets, but more naturally recreational and less self-conscious.For a violist they are about as exposed as you can be; hitherto very few sonatas or concerti had been written for solo viola – and the accompaniment would seldom have been as scant as a single violin. The conversational and imitative nature of the writing allows for freedom andcharacterization, and it was refreshing and rewarding to be as spontaneous as possible in the recording sessions. It was also a diverting and enjoyable experience to record two of the Michael Haydn duos, previously unknown to us both. The character of these pieces is often reminiscentof Austrian folkmusic and it really seems as if you can hear the yodelling vernacular bouncing off the mountains in timely echoes. The challenges in these works are quite different to those of his friend Wolfgang – the demands placed on the violinist are obvious as the writing is busy,yet in need of a casual fluidity, whereas the violist has the task of being constantly inventive with material which is largely accompanimental (melody and bass, in effect). Who knows?Maybe Wolfgang and Michael tried these out during Mozart’s visit to Salzburg when he helped his friend complete a set of six Sonatas in 1783.Rachel & JaneDuos for Violin and Viola
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Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart - Sinfonia Concertante; Joseph Haydn - Violin Concerti 1 & 4 - Rachel Podger, Pavlo Beznosiuk, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment (2009) High-Fidelity DSF Stereo DSD64/2.82MHz

Сomposer: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791), Franz Joseph Haydn (1732-1809)
Artist: Rachel Podger, Pavlo Beznosiuk, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment
Title: Mozart: Sinfonia Concertante; Haydn: Violin Concerti 1 & 4
Genre: Classical
Label: © Channel Classics Records B.V.
Release Date: 2009
Quality: DSF Stereo DSD64/2.82MHz
Source: SACD ISO
Duration: 01:08:06
Recorded: Haydn: March 2009, Mozart: July 2009, All Saints’ Vicarage, East Finchley, London

It was a joy and an honour to record Mozart's Sinfonia Concertante – such a beautifully crafted masterpiece with those memorable, elegant and distinctive themes in the first movement and both soloists weaving in and out of symphonic textures, the remarkable poignancy of the second movement with its dramatic dialogue which is then dispersed by sheer delight and comic playfulness in the Presto.Delving into these moods was personally enriching and helped me gain a little bit more insight into Mozart's genius and being. Pavlo and I had the extreme good fortune to play a Strad each! Generously loaned to us by the Royal Academy of Music for this project, we savoured every minute of having these esteemed and valuable instruments in our hands! 'Mine' is a proud instrument which demands careful negotiation and warming before it will expose it's beautiful colours. An amazing experience in itself to play an instrument like this, it was even more of an event when the two Strads met and 'spoke' to each other with a feeling of being acquainted, perhaps not for the first time...
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Marianne Beate Kielland, Nils Anders Mortensen - The New Song (2016) High-Fidelity DSF Stereo DSD128/5.64MHz

Сomposer: Helge Iberg (b.1954), Henrik Hellstenius (b.1963), Håvard Lund (b.1970), Edvard Hagerup Bull (1922–2012)
Artist: Marianne Beate Kielland, Nils Anders Mortensen
Title: The New Song
Genre: Classical, Vocal Music
Label: © Lawo Classics
Release Date: 2016
Quality: DSF Stereo DSD128/5.64MHz
Source: nativeDSDmusic
Duration: 00:53:18
Recorded: Vågan Church, Lofoten, 8–11 March 2014

We know many of them — the German Lied, the French chanson, the Scandinavian song — works for voice and piano. Countless such musical pieces have been written throughout history, mainly from Mozart’s time on. But after a couple of hundred years, this form of composition fell “out of fashion”, and composers often used other ways to accompany singers.
How do we think of classical song today? I challenged three composers to each write his “Lied”, a piece of music for voice and piano, and received three remarkably different results. Two hundred years ago, the format was predictable; today, boundaries have dissolved, and the composer turns out whatever the heart desires. What these composers write about their own works appears later on.
In addition, we wished to include five wonderfully distinctive songs of Edvard Hagerup Bull — a composer of our own time, but one who was and remained controversial, and, as such, was essentially deprived of recognition and fame in Norway. Edvard Hagerup Bull was a grandnephew of Edvard Grieg, he studied with Messiaen and Milhaud, among others, and he lived a large part of his life in Paris.
Many are familiar with the short aphoristic poems of Piet Hein known as “grooks” — artful, thought-provoking texts with their unconventional way of looking at life. Coupled with Hagerup Bull’s playful, humoristic music, they become musical gems deserving of attention and performance. We are pleased to have these songs on the recording! To be on the safe side, I wish to point out that the “grooks” are written in Danish, but I have chosen to sing the texts with Norwegian pronunciation. --Marianne Beate Kielland
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