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Johannes Brahms - Symphony No.4 - Los Angeles Philharmonic, Gustavo Dudamel (2014) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/96kHz

Сomposer: Johannes Brahms (1833–1897)
Artist: Los Angeles Philharmonic, Gustavo Dudamel
Title: Brahms - Symphony No.4
Genre: Classical
Label: © Deutsche Grammophon
Release Date: 2014
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 96kHz/24bit
Source: highresaudio.com
Duration: 44:26
Recorded: Walt Disney Concert Hall June 2, 3, 4, and 5, 2011

Although his catalog lists just four symphonies, Brahms wrote several other works that come close to that genre: his First Piano Concerto was indeed planned as a symphony, and the Second (which is in four movements) has been called a symphony with piano obbligato. Although the Second and Third Symphonies were introduced in Vienna, Brahms decided to give his Fourth Symphony an out-of-town tryout. He himself conducted the premiere (in October 1885) with the Meiningen Court Orchestra, where the audience was enthusiastic. Vienna was not so receptive when the work was introduced there a few months later. As it turned out, a mere ten years after his First Symphony had been given its premiere, Brahms had written his last symphony. Two years later came the Double Concerto, whose two solo parts (violin and cello) remind us of the old sinfonia concertante form, but there were to be no more symphonies.

For his final essay in symphonic form, Brahms produced a monumental work whose first movement grows from the simplest of materials, a simple rising and falling interval, out of which he develops long lines of powerfully emotional, yet unsentimental grandeur. The relentless organic development, which begins even as themes are being stated, leads to a complex interaction of motives and melodic fragments. The composer’s friend Elisabeth von Herzogenberg wrote to him of her fears that he was dwelling too much on creating intricate thematic connections that would obscure his musical communication for the untrained listener: “…one rejoices with all the excitement of an explorer or scientist on discovering the secrets of your creation! But there comes a point where a certain doubt creeps in…that its beauties are not accessible to every normal music-lover.”

". . . an inspired and inspiring performance of Brahms's most powerful symphonic masterpiece.“ --Amanda MacBlane, Time Out, New York
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Art Blakey - A Night At Birdland, Vol. 2 (1956/2014) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/192kHz

Artist: Art Blakey
Title: A Night At Birdland, Vol. 2
Genre: Jazz, Bop, Hard Bop, Mainstream, Saxophone Jazz
Label: © Blue Note Records
Release Date: 1956 (BLP 1522)/2014
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC 2.0 Mono 192kHz/24bit
Source: HDTracks
Duration: 37:50
Recorded live on February 21, 1954 at Birdland, New York City.

On this follow-up volume of recordings done live at Birdland from the second-edition "Jazz Messengers" (officially the Art Blakey Quintet), there are extraordinary high points, along with low points that either result from tiredness or a lack or preparation. With trumpeter Clifford Brown taking over briefly for Donald Byrd, and alto saxophonist Lou Donaldson in the fray post-Hank Mobley, the band has a very different sound, though pianist Horace Silver, Blakey, and bassist Curly Russell (sitting in for Doug Watkins on these recordings only) are solid as a rock. There's some quintessential bop and hard bop in this set, inspired and hard-charging as one might expect, but the Latin tinge of the original band is gone. Because of Donaldson's predilection for the sound of Charlie Parker, the pure bebop sound is unrelentingly infused into the music. Where "Now's the Time" works well in a relaxed harmonic stance from Brown and Donaldson, you can't help but notice that the amped-up "Confirmation" has sloppily missed notes in the melody, while "The Way You Look Tonight" (included on later reissues) is really loose as the horns come in tentatively and unsure. "Wee-Dot" fares much better in an assertive, bright sound that clearly is more practiced, representing hard bop at its finest. Donaldson is clearly the dominant player here, with Brown surprisingly taking a back seat, as the strong ballad "If I Had You" has the altoist alternately singing, sighing, and brilliantly extrapolating on his horn à la Bird. They play together quite well on the signature version of Silver's jaunty hard bop anthem "Quicksilver," which famously quotes "Oh You Beautiful Doll," and "Lou's Blues" (another bonus track) is a quick unison bop for the appropriate end game. The additional tracks expose the flaws in this very short-lived edition of the Blakey-led combo, but the rest is good enough to carry the estimable reputation of this legendary band. --Michael G. Nastos
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Art Blakey - A Night At Birdland, Vol. 1 (1956/2014) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/192kHz

Artist: Art Blakey
Title: A Night At Birdland, Vol. 1
Genre: Jazz, Bop, Hard Bop, Mainstream, Saxophone Jazz
Label: © Blue Note Records
Release Date: 1956 (BLP 1521)/2014
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC 2.0 Mono 192kHz/24bit
Source: HDTracks
Duration: 37:42
Recorded live on February 21, 1954 at Birdland, New York City.

When Art Blakey founded the Jazz Messengers, his initial goal was to not only make his mark on the hard bop scene, but to always bring younger players into the fold, nurture them, and send them out as leaders in their own right. Pianist Horace Silver, trumpeter Clifford Brown, and saxophonist Lou Donaldson were somewhat established, but skyrocketed into stardom after this band switched personnel. Perhaps the most acclaimed combo of Blakey's next to the latter-period bands with Lee Morgan and Wayne Shorter, the pre-Messengers quintet heard on this first volume of live club dates at Birdland in New York City provides solid evidence to the assertion that this ensemble was a one of a kind group the likes of which was not heard until the mid-'60s Miles Davis Quintet. Three of Silver's greatest contributions to jazz before he turned to original soul and funkier sounds are here. "Split Kick" (introduced by the erudite Pee Wee Marquette) is a definitive hard bop vehicle, as Brown and Donaldson dig into their melody and solo lines with deep affection and joy for this music. "Quicksilver" is more of the same as the horns play in unison and pull the famous lyrical quote from "Hey, You Beautiful Doll." "Mayreh" is a happy reharmonized version of "All God's Children Got Rhythm," hard bop at its best, with Brown on fire. Of course, Donaldson's forte is soul, as emphasized during the slow "Blues," assimilating Charlie Parker's cooled tones nicely. A near ten-minute "A Night in Tunisia" establishes the loose-tight concept Blakey patented as he dominates the bandstand in loudness. J.J. Johnson's "Wee-Dot" is as definitive a bop flagwaver as there is, with a short head and plenty of solo space. Where Brown was always masterful in a ballad, "Once in a While" showcases his beautifully executed legato sound, but not at the expense of his innate ability to both invent and extrapolate without losing touch of this special melancholy song. This recording, as well as subsequent editions of these performances, launches an initial breakthrough for Blakey and modern jazz in general, and defines the way jazz music could be heard for decades thereafter. Everybody must own copies of all volumes of A Night at Birdland. --Michael G. Nastos
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Madonna – Sticky & Sweet Tour (2009) BLU-RAY 1080I AVC DTS-HD MA 5.1

Year: 2009
Genre: Pop
Duration: 2:05:09

Quality: Blu-ray
Format: BDMV
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC
Audio Codec: DTS, PCM
Video: 1920x1080i, MPEG-4 AVC, 29.97 fps, ~ 29.6 Mbps
audio:
DTS-HD MA 5.1, 48 kHz, 24 bit, 5245 kbps
LPCM 2.0, 48 kHz, 24 bit, 2304 kbps
Subtitles: English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish

-Includes the full live show from Buenos Aries as well as exclusive footage filmed behind the scenes during the course of the tour.
Madonna’s most recent stage extravaganza, the ‘Sticky & Sweet’ concert, will be released on April 6th, it was announced today by Live Nation, the world s largest live music company. ‘Sticky & Sweet’, which was produced by Live Nation, was the most successful tour by a solo artist in history and was seen by over 3.5 million fans in 32 countries around the world.
The show, which will be distributed by Warner Bros Records, will be available on DVD, Blu-Ray and CD and will include many of the Material Girls hits from the course of her unprecedented career including, ’4 Minutes,’ ‘Like a Prayer, ‘Hung Up’ and ‘Ray of Light’. Filmed in Buenos Aires, over four days to a crowd exceeding 256,000 fans, the concert also includes a show stopping moment when Madonna performs a historic ‘Don’t Cry For Me Argentina’ to a thunderous audience response from her Argentine fans. Also included are several hits from the
multi-Grammy winners most recent CD ‘Hard Candy’ which debuted at No. 1 in 37 countries.
The DVD also includes 30 minutes of exclusive footage filmed behind the scenes during the course of the tour.
‘Part concert, part block party and all fun, there is still only one Madonna,’ raved the Oakland Press in their review of the ‘Sticky & Sweet’ Tour.
‘A night of triumph and defiance…
A two hour multi-media juggernaut,’ glowed the LA Times.
‘Our lady of perpetual motion…This may be the best tour shes ever stitched together,’ claimed the NY Post.
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Giuseppe Verdi - Rigoletto - Maria Callas, Orch del Teatro alla Scala di Milano, Tullio Serafin (1955/2014) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/96kHz

Сomposer: Giuseppe Verdi 1813–1901
Artist: Maria Callas, Orch del Teatro alla Scala di Milano, Tullio Serafin
Title: Verdi - Rigoletto
Genre: Classical, Opera
Label: © Warner Classics
Release Date: 2014
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 96kHz/24bit
Source: highresaudio.com
Duration: 1:58:04
Recorded: 3–16.IX.1955, Teatro alla Scala, Milan

When she sang the role of Gilda in Rigoletto on stage in Mexico in 1952, Maria Callas was unhappy at her reception, especially as she had been reluctant to undertake the role in the first place, and after just two performances she never returned to it again, until this studio recording in September 1955. For the project, producer Walter Legge brought together what had already become a hugely successful ‘house’ team consisting of the tenor Giuseppe di Stefano, the baritone Tito Gobbi, the conductor Tullio Serafin and the forces of La Scala, Milan. Together, or in various combinations, these artists were to record some 17 complete operas, and this Rigoletto is one of the pivotal titles in the series. As in La sonnambula, Callas was able to lighten her voice to suggest the virginal simplicity of Gilda at her first appearance, while still portraying warm-hearted sincerity in her love for her father. And this is the one opera that affords Callas and Gobbi three major duets that are central to the structure of the work. Both artists were consummate actors as well as singers, and nowhere else do they have as much scope for delving so deeply into the characterisation of their roles, which change drastically during the course of the drama. They had first sung together in São Paulo in La traviata in 1951, and Gobbi was with Callas in the final Tosca at Covent Garden in July 1965 that marked the end of her stage career. And that same Traviata in São Paulo in 1951 also marked the first encounter between Callas and Di Stefano. They went on to appear together a number of times on stage as well as on record and it was Di Stefano who partnered Callas on her final international recital tour in 1973/34. This mono recording from 1955 was recently selected by Gramophone magazine as the best of all available versions of Rigoletto. --TONY LOCANTRO, 2014
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Giuseppe Verdi - La forza del destino - Maria Callas, Orch del Teatro alla Scala di Milano, Tullio Serafin (1954/2014) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/96kHz

Сomposer: Giuseppe Verdi 1813–1901
Artist: Maria Callas, Orch del Teatro alla Scala di Milano, Tullio Serafin
Title: Verdi - La forza del destino
Genre: Classical, Opera
Label: © Warner Classics
Release Date: 2014
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 96kHz/24bit
Source: highresaudio.com
Duration: 2:45:32
Recorded: 19–21, 23–25 & 27.VIII.1954, Teatro alla Scala, Milan

Relentlessly pursued by Fate, Leonora in La forza del destino is a haunted heroine whose passions and fears are expressed on a grand scale. Callas’s stage experience of Forza was limited to her early career in Italy – in fact, Leonora was her first Verdi role – but, as Lord Harewood, founder of Opera magazine, observed, her recorded assumption exhibited ‘an unparalleled musical sensibility and imagination and a grasp of the musico-dramatic picture which is unique’. She took her place in a powerful cast conducted by her mentor Tullio Serafin.

'The two essential reasons for owning this performance of La forza del destino – in preference to all rivals, in spite of a few small cuts – are the incomparable artistry of Maria Callas and the incisive, completely authoritative conducting of Tullio Serafin. For one small example of Serafin’s superb direction, listen to the conclusion of the Alvaro/Carlo scene in Act 3 – marked Allegro agitato e presto. Here he achieves an electric intensity where the first violins accompany with piano triplets which really bristle. Serafin is never frenetic, yet he creates maximum drama. A further example encapsulating all his finest qualities would be the very final scene of the opera. It must be emphasised that his near-ideal conducting contributes enormously to the desirability of this set.' --Philip Borg-Wheeler, MusicWeb International
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Giuseppe Verdi - Il trovatore - Maria Callas, Orch del Teatro alla Scala di Milano, Herbert von Karajan (1956/2014) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/96kHz

Сomposer: Giuseppe Verdi 1813–1901
Artist: Maria Callas, Orch del Teatro alla Scala di Milano, Herbert von Karajan
Title: Verdi - Il trovatore
Genre: Classical, Opera
Label: © Warner Classics
Release Date: 2014
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 96kHz/24bit
Source: highresaudio.com
Duration: 2:09:39
Recorded: 3–4 & 6–9.VIII.1956, Teatro alla Scala, Milan

Like Norma, the role of Leonora in Il trovatore demands both bel canto finesse and considerable vocal and dramatic weight, but Callas sang it only some 20 times. This recording – in which she, Fedora Barbieri, Giuseppe di Stefano and Roland Panerai constitute a suitably impressive quartet of principals – marked her farewell to the complete role and also her final collaboration with Herbert von Karajan.

“Callas and Karajan took the world by the ears in the 1950s with this Il trovatore. Leonora was one of Callas's finest stage roles, and this recording is wonderfully intense, with a dark concentrated loveliness of sound in the principal arias that puts one in mind of Muzio or Ponselle at their best. Walter Legge always managed to team Callas with the right conductor for the work in question. Often it was Serafin, but Karajan in Il trovatore is utterly compelling.

This opera, like Beethoven's Seventh Symphony and Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring, is one of music's great essays in sustained rhythmic intensity; dramatically it deals powerfully in human archetypes. All this is realised by the young Karajan with that almost insolent mastery of score and orchestra which made him such a phenomenon at this period of is career. There are some cuts, but, equally, some welcome inclusions (such as the second verse of 'Di quella pira', sung by di Stefano with his own unique kind of slancio). Although the EMI sound is very good, one or two climaxes suggest that in the heat of the moment, the engineer, Robert Beckett, let the needle run into the red and you might care to play the set in mono to restore that peculiar clarity and homogeneity of sound which are the mark of Legge's finest productions of the mono era. But whatever you do don't miss this set.” --Gramophone Classical Music Guide
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Giuseppe Verdi - Aida - Maria Callas, Orch del Teatro alla Scala di Milano, Tullio Serafin (1955/2014 ) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/96kHz

Сomposer: Giuseppe Verdi 1813–1901
Artist: Maria Callas, Orch del Teatro alla Scala di Milano, Tullio Serafin
Title: Verdi - Aida
Genre: Classical, Opera
Label: © Warner Classics
Release Date: 2014
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 96kHz/24bit
Source: highresaudio.com
Duration: 2:24:42
Recorded: 10–12, 16–20, 23 & 24.VIII.1955, Teatro alla Scala, Milan

One of the legendary moments in Callas’ career came in 1950 in Mexico City, when she interpolated a stupendous top E flat at the end of the Triumphal Scene in Act II of Aida. In this recording under Serafin she abided by the score, but still prompted Gramophone to speak of her ‘fascinating art and prodigious personality’, observing the way she was ‘rapt in imaginative intensity in the significance of the words’.
Nobody disputes that the voice of Maria Callas is one of the great instruments of our time, and here is the proof. EMI's remastered recording of this 1955 performance of Verdi's 'Aida' testifies to her genius as a performer and a star.
Callas and 'Aida' had enjoyed a five-year relationship leading up to this recording. Callas was praised for her dynamic portrayal of Aida's rapidly changing emotions, and criticized for the sustained lament required in 'O patria mia.' At any rate, Callas captured the imagination of opera-goers across the globe with her powerful voice, and drew them in with the strength of her personality.
Recorded in Milan at Teatro alla Scala with the house orchestra conducted by Tullio Serafin, these CDs recapture the warmth, vibrancy, and clarity of the original performance. Verdi's masterwork in the hands of a timeless artiste makes for enjoyable listening and fascinating discussion, both today and in future years.
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This Christmas Night - The Choir of Worcester College, Oxford; Stephen Farr (2012) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/96kHz

Сomposer: Various
Artist: The Choir of Worcester College, Oxford; Stephen Farr
Title: This Christmas Night
Genre: Classical, Choral
Label: © Resonus Limited
Release Date: 2012
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 96kHz/24bit
Source: HDTracks
Duration: 01:15:50
Recorded in the Keble College Chapel, Oxford, on 17-19 June 2012 by kind permission of the Warden and Fellows of the College.

Resonus Classics is proud to release an album featuring world premiere recordings of contemporary Christmas carols from the latter half of the twentieth-century and the beginning of the twenty-first, performed by The Choir of Worcester College, Oxford under the direction of Stephen Farr.
The album includes a world premiere recording by Hafliði Hallgrímsson entitled Joseph and the Angel, which was written specially for this album. Also included are several world premiere recordings by leading composers including Peter Maxwell Davies, Mark-Anthony Turnage, Richard Allain, Matthew Martin, Gabriel Jackson, Judith Bingham, Cecilia McDowall and Thomas Hyde.
Other works include Anthony Piccolo’s I look from afar, John McCabe’s Mary laid her child, Malcolm Williamson’s This Christmas Night, Geoffrey Bush’s ‘Twas in the year that King Uzziah died, Elisabeth Lutyens’s Nativity, Edmund Rubbra’s Let us securely enter and two works by Kenneth Leighton, O leave your sheep and Veni Redemptor – A Celebration.
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The Who - Who's Next (1971/2014) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/96kHz

Artist: The Who
Title: Who's Next
Genre: Rock, Hard Rock, Rock & Roll
Label: © Geffen Records
Release Date: 1971/2014
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 192kHz/24bit
Source: HDTracks
Duration: 02:27:11
Recorded: April–June 1971, Olympic Studios, Barnes, London; mixed at Olympic Studios; "Won't Get Fooled Again" recorded at Stargroves and mixed at Island Studios, London

Who's Next (Deluxe Edition) is British rock band The Who's fifth studio album, originally released in 1971. The record hit number 1 on the UK Top 40 Albums and peaked at number 4 on the US Billboard 200 chart in 1971. The record produced hit songs "Won't Get Fooled Again", "Behind Blue Eyes" and "Baby O'Riley". Who's Next originated from songwriter Pete Townshend's multi-media rock opera Lifehouse.
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