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Harry Belafonte - Calypso (1956/2007) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/96kHz

Artist: Harry Belafonte
Title: Calypso
Genre: Pop, Vocal, Traditional Pop, Calypso, Caribbean Traditions
Label: © Radio Corporation Of America | Sony Music Entertainment
Release Date: 1956/2007
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC 2.0 Mono 96kHz/24bit
Source: HDTracks
Duration: 32:11
Recorded: August 18, October 20, November 9, 1955 at Webster Hall, New York City


This is the album that made Harry Belafonte's career. Up to this point, calypso had only been a part of Belafonte's focus in his recordings of folk music styles. But with this landmark album, calypso not only became tattooed to Belafonte permanently; it had a revolutionary effect on folk music in the 1950s and '60s. The album consists of songs from Trinidad, mostly written by West Indian songwriter Irving Burgie (aka Lord Burgess). Burgie's two most successful songs are included -- "Day O" and "Jamaica Farewell" (which were both hit singles for Belafonte) -- as are the evocative ballads "I Do Adore Her" and "Come Back Liza" and what could be the first feminist folk song, "Man Smart (Woman Smarter)." Calypso became the first million-selling album by a single artist, spending an incredible 31 weeks at the top of the Billboard album charts, remaining on the charts for 99 weeks. It triggered a veritable tidal wave of imitators, parodists, and artists wishing to capitalize on its success. Years later, it remains a record of inestimable influence, inspiring many folksingers and groups to perform, most notably the Kingston Trio, which was named for the Jamaican capital. For a decade, just about every folksinger and folk group featured in their repertoire at least one song that was of West Indian origin or one that had a calypso beat. They all can be attributed to this one remarkable album. Despite the success of Calypso, Belafonte refused to be typecast. Resisting the impulse to record an immediate follow-up album, Belafonte instead spaced his calypso albums apart, releasing them at five-year intervals in 1961, 1966, and 1971. --AllMusic Review by Cary Ginell
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Georg Friedrich Handel - Partenope - Il Pomo D'oro, Riccardo Minasi (2015) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/96kHz

Сomposer: Georg Friedrich Händel (1685–1759)
Artist: Il Pomo D'oro, Riccardo Minasi
Title: Handel - Partenope
Genre: Classical, Opera, Baroque
Label: © Parlophone Records Limited, a Warner Music Group Company
Release Date: 2015
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 96kHz/24bit
Source: Qobuz
Duration: 03:22:32
Recorded: Lonigo, Italy, 16-28 February 2015


Handel’s sparkling opera Partenope reunites Erato’ star countertenor Philippe Jaroussky and the captivating Canadian soprano Karina Gauvin, who both made such an impact in the Erato recording of Steffani’s rediscovered opera Niobe, released in early 2015 and welcomed as a “landmark event” by Gramophone.
Jaroussky’s Erato catalogue is rich, varied and extensive – and this summer he appeared as Ruggiero in Handel’s Alcina in a spectacular new production at the Aix-en-Provence Festival – but it is some time since he last recorded a complete Handel opera for the label: Faramondo, which was released in 2009. If Faramondo remains something of a rarity on the world’s stages, Partenope – which offers plenty of comedy as Queen Partenope juggles an array of suitors – is a popular work, and in recent years has even enjoyed productions in such large theatres as the San Francisco Opera and English National Opera.
Jaroussky takes the role of Arsace, Prince of Corinth, while Karina Gauvin is Queen Partenope herself. She has superb credentials as a Handelian and has recorded Ariodante (with Joyce DiDonato and the late Alan Curtis) and Giove in Argo (with Ann Hallenberg and Curtis) for Erato. Gramophone has spoken of her “ideal Handelian mix of grace and profound emotional truth,” while the Sunday Times has praised her “glinting soprano, bright-edged yet deliciously rounded and sensual … used with rare understanding for character” and the “sculptural beauty” of her phrasing.
The conductor is Riccardo Minasi, who, with his ensemble Il Pomo d’Oro, also appears on Joyce DiDonato’s bel canto collection, Stella di Napoli and Edgar Moreau’s new Erato album Giovincello. Praising conductor and orchestra for their command of Handel’s operatic style, Forum Opéra has written: “A real drama unfolds from the overture onwards … The conductor brings true brio as he engages with Handel’s rhetoric … The players of Il Pomo d’Oro can switch in a moment from the role of interlocutor to commentator … Add to this a perfect mastery of the way the recitatives lead into the arias, and you have the formula for an approach that remains constantly fresh.”
The rich-voiced Italian mezzo-soprano takes the role of Rosmira – Arsace’s former lover, who is disguised as a man, Prince Eurimene – while the diamantine Hungarian soprano Emőke Baráth takes the role of a real man, Prince Armindo, who is in love with Partenope. “Supremely stylish” were the words used by the Telegraph to describe John Mark Ainsley when he sang Emilio (yet another prince seeking Partenope’s hand) at English National Opera, and the distinguished Italian bass Luca Tittoto brings authority to the role of Partenope’s advisor Ormonte.
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Edvard Grieg: Peer Gynt Suite No. 1 & No. 2 / Jean Sibelius: Finlandia, Valse Triste & The Swan of Tuonela - New York Philharmonic, Leonard Bernstein (1981/2015) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/44,1kHz

Сomposer: Edvard Grieg (1843-1907), Jean Sibelius (1865-1957)
Artist: New York Philharmonic, Leonard Bernstein
Title: Grieg: Peer Gynt Suite No. 1 & No. 2 / Sibelius: Finlandia, Valse Triste & The Swan of Tuonela
Genre: Classical
Label: © Columbia Records/Sony Music Entertainment
Release Date: 1981/2015
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 44,1kHz/24bit
Source: Qobuz
Duration: 00:54:42
Recorded: 1970, 1973, 1974

Bernstein – Remastered Edition: Sibelius – The Symphonies collects Bernstein’s complete Sibelius recordings, newly remastered from the original analogue tapes using 24 bit / 96 kHz technology in a 7CD limited original jackets collection.
Bernstein regarded Sibelius alongside Mahler as one of “the key turning points” in the development of the 20th century symphony, though his reputation as a Mahler exponent has overshadowed a lifelong dedication to the Finnish composer. His advocacy goes back to the time of his association with Koussevitzky, with whom he studied at Tanglewood in 1940, later becoming his assistant. At Philadelphia’s Curtis Institute in 1941, he conducted the Second Symphony. And following his sensational New York Philharmonic debut in November 1943, one of Bernstein’s first engagements was a Montreal Symphony Orchestra concert in March 1944 that included his first performance of the First.
The Finnish composer’s centenary year, 1965, brought a flurry of activity. In New York, Bernstein conducted all the symphonies in a single season (only his mentor Serge Koussevitzky had done that in the US, three decades earlier in Boston). For his efforts, Bernstein was made a Commander of the Order of the Lion by the president of Finland. By this time, he was already well into his recorded Sibelius cycle, begun in February 1961 with the Fifth Symphony, completed in May 1967 with the Sixth.
Bernstein’s Sibelius, like his teacher’s, was “warm like the sun” rather than a more orthodox evocation of cold northern soundscapes. He once called Sibelius “a great and strange kind of genius”, but in his New York cycle he favors visceral excitement over strange remoteness.
This set also contains his recording of Sibelius’s Violin Concerto with the French virtuoso Zino Francescatti. Also included are Valse triste, The Swan of Tuonela, a rather brash Finlandia, a thrilling performance of Pohjola’s Daughter and Luonnotar – Sibelius’s haunting setting of words from the Kalevala, the Finnish national epic (with American soprano Phyllis Curtin) – as well as Bernstein’s only recording of Grieg’s Peer Gynt Suites. But it’s the Sibelius symphonies that are the chief attraction here, and this often stunningly well-played, first completed stereo cycle has lost none of its freshness and authority in the half century since it was recorded.
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Edvard Grieg - Lyric Pieces - Emil Gilels (1974/2015) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/96kHz

Сomposer: Edvard Grieg (1843-1907)
Artist: Emil Gilels
Title: Grieg - Lyric Pieces
Genre: Classical
Label: © Deutsche Grammophon GmbH
Release Date: 1974/2015
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 96kHz/24bit
Source: Qobuz
Duration: 00:56:05
Recorded: June 1974, Jesus-Christus-Kirche, Berlin, Germany


Late Russian pianist Emil Gilels, considered one of the greatest pianists of the 20th century, lovingly recorded these 20 selections from Grieg's oeuvre of 66 short Lyric Pieces in 1974. The programme opens and closes with Grieg's first and very last lyric pieces and includes Butterfly, one of Grieg's best known compositions.
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Giovanni Guidi, Gianluca Petrella, Louis Sclavis, Gerald Cleaver - Ida Lupino (2016) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/96kHz

Artist: Giovanni Guidi, Gianluca Petrella, Louis Sclavis, Gerald Cleaver
Title: Ida Lupino
Genre: Jazz, Modern Jazz, Free Improvisation, Free Jazz
Label: © ECM Records GmbH | ECM Player | ECM Reviews
Release Date: 2016
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 96kHz/24bit
Source: Qobuz
Duration: 01:17:44
Recorded: February 2015, Auditorio Stelio Molo RSI, Lugano

Ida Lupino is a fresh and creative album, distinguished by deep listening and focused interaction. At its centre is the remarkable improvisational rapport of two Italian musicians – pianist Giovanni Guidi and trombonist Gianluca Petrella. Their musical understanding – already apparent to listeners who heard them in Enrico Rava’s band – has been further refined in a widely-travelled duo which seeks encounters with fellow improvisers. “Our duo work is really defined by our collaboration with other artists,” Guidi says. The present album both builds on established relationships and the stimulus of new encounters as they are joined by – in Petrella’s words – “two masters of contemporary jazz who are really on our wavelength”.
For this recording, Manfred Eicher brought Guidi and Petrella together with US drummer Gerald Cleaver and French clarinettist Louis Sclavis, for a set of music by turns introspective and outgoing. The Italians had played previously with Cleaver, on an early Guidi album called We Don’t Live Here Anymore, but Sclavis had never met the other musicians prior to the session at Lugano’s Stelio Molo RSI auditorium. “It’s very precious this kind of musical relationship,” Louis Sclavis says, “on the one hand, it’s very fragile but at the same time there is a strong connection between the players. We are four people for one music, and we don’t know where we’re going, but we control the journey.”
“In this album we are searching for many different things,” says Giovanni Guidi. “Improvised music has to be very democratic. At the same time, one of its components should be a sense of wonder. And the more you have a strong idea, at the concept level, the more you know you must not impose it…”
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Gianluigi Trovesi all’opera - Profumo Di Violetta (2008) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/96kHz

Artist: Gianluigi Trovesi
Title: Gianluigi Trovesi all’opera - Profumo Di Violetta
Genre: Jazz, Classical Crossover, Modern Creative, Saxophone Jazz, Post-Bop
Label: © ECM Records GmbH | ECM Player | ECM Reviews
Release Date: 2008
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 96kHz/24bit
Source: Qobuz
Duration: 01:01:15
Recorded: September 2006, Teatro Serassi, Villa d’Almè, Bergamo


Italy’s great musical archaeologist and one of the outstanding improvisers of his country, Gianluigi Trovesi with “Profumo di Violetta” indulges in his love for the emotional drama and musical beauty of Italian opera. (The title simultaneously alludes to the protagonist of Verdi’s famous opera “La traviata” and to the flower’s sweet perfume.) Accompanied by the characteristic North-Italian provincial “banda”, a large wind orchestra with percussion as we find it in the on-stage-music of most Verdi operas, Trovesi takes us on a humorous journey through the history of the genre.
It starts with Monteverdi’s “Orfeo”, includes many highlights from “La traviata” before briefly visiting Mascagni and Puccini.
The popular and the sublime, irony and unrestrained pathos meet with an improvisational spirit that conveys the pure joy of music making. One of the most unorthodox albums in this year’s release schedule, Trovesi’s opera project is likely to win many enthusiastic listeners among opera lovers and open-minded jazz enthusiasts.
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George Benson - Body Talk (1973/2016) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/192kHz

Artist: George Benson
Title: Body Talk
Genre: Jazz, Soul Jazz, Fusion, Jazz Funk, Smooth Jazz, Crossover Jazz, Guitar Jazz
Label: © CTI Records, a division of Creed Taylor, Inc. | King Record Co., Ltd.
Release Date: 1973/2016
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 192kHz/24bit
Source: e-onkyo
Duration: 00:36:52
Recorded: July 17-18, 1973 at Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey

With an eye and ear on what was happening on the soul charts -- James Brown in particular -- Benson made a decided swerve toward R&B on this release. Indeed the JB's Pee Wee Ellis turns up as a big band arranger on three tracks, and he no doubt had a direct influence on the distinct JB groove of one of the non-big-band tunes, "Dance." It should come as no surprise by now that this formidable guitarist has no problem handling any kind of groove, although the mixed rhythm section of Jack DeJohnette, Ron Carter, electric pianist Harold Mabern, and percussionist Mobutu sometimes sends mixed messages. Earl Klugh has a few tasty moments on his own, and there are some reconnaissance flights back to the jazz side of George, which he handles with his usual confident aplomb. --AllMusic Review by Richard S. Ginell
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Gabriel Faure Vol. 2: Piano Quartets, op. 15 & 45 - Eric Le Sage, Daishin Kashimoto, Lise Berthaud, Francois Salque (2012) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/88,2kHz

Сomposer: Gabriel Fauré (1845-1924)
Artist: Eric Le Sage, Daishin Kashimoto, Lise Berthaud, François Salque
Title: Gabriel Fauré Vol. 2: Piano Quartets, op. 15 & 45
Genre: Classical
Label: © Alpha Classics | Outhere Music
Release Date: 2012
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 88,2kHz/24bit
Source: Qobuz
Duration: 01:04:01
Enregistré en mars 2011 à l’auditorium MC2, Maison de la Culture de Grenoble

Between 1875 and his death in 1924, Fauré produced ten or so compositions that are among the jewels of the French chamber repertoire, written at a time when opera and symphonic music were the predominant genres.
The international artist Eric Le Sage, who is a specialist in this repertoire, continues his exploration of the complete chamber music with piano of Gabriel Fauré, accompanied by a fine team of first-rate artists.This second volume, expertly recorded by Jean-Marc Laisné in the wonderful setting of the MC2 Auditorium in Grenoble, shows extraordinary energy and elegance. The first volume was awarded the highest ratings by the music magazine Classica in December 2011.
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Gabriel Faure Vol. 1: Works for cello and piano & trio Op. 120 - Eric Le Sage, Francois Salque, Paul Meyer (2011) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/88,2kHz

Сomposer: Gabriel Fauré (1845-1924)
Artist: Eric Le Sage, François Salque, Paul Meyer
Title: Gabriel Fauré Vol. 1: Works for cello and piano & trio Op. 120
Genre: Classical
Label: © Alpha Classics | Outhere Music
Release Date: 2011
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 88,2kHz/24bit
Source: Qobuz
Duration: 01:13:52
Enregistré en mars 2011 à l’auditorium MC2, Maison de la Culture de Grenoble


Following the successful edition of Schumann’s complete works, Eric Le Sage and Alpha have decided to produce a new series of 5 CD’s dedicated to Gabriel Fauré’s complete works for chamber music with piano. This series in general and its first volume in particular, constitute a milestone in Alpha’s development as they are the first of a line devoted to music from the post-Mozart period. Each volume will be placed in the literary context of the time in which it was created through fragments taken from novels, poems or the correspondence of artists. Eric Le Sage will work on this series together with François Salque with whom he shares a great musical affinity. Sound engineer Jean-Marc Laisné (who recorded the integral works of Schumann) will record the pieces in the auditorium of Grenoble, a hall famous for its acoustics. Through the combination of their talents, these men will breathe new life into these well known pieces.
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Freddie Hubbard - First Light (1971/2016) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/192kHz

Artist: Freddie Hubbard
Title: First Light
Genre: Jazz, Jazz Funk, Post Bop, Fusion, Jazz Pop, Soul Jazz, Trumpet Jazz
Label: © CTI Records, a division of Creed Taylor, Inc. | King Record Co., Ltd.
Release Date: 1971/2016
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 192kHz/24bit
Source: e-onkyo
Duration: 00:36:11
Recorded: September 1971 at Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey

In the pantheon of jazz trumpeters, Freddie Hubbard stands as one of the boldest and most inventive artists of the bop, hard-bop and post-bop eras. Although influenced by titans like Miles Davis and Clifford Brown, Hubbard ultimately forged his own unique sound – a careful balance of bravado and subtlety that fueled more than fifty solo recordings and countless collaborations with some of the most prominent jazz artists of his era.
After a series of strong releases on Blue Note and a stint with the Jazz Messengers in the '60s, Hubbard enjoyed his greatest popular success in the 1970s with a series of crossover albums on Atlantic and CTI Records. His early ‘70s jazz albums for CTI – Red Clay (1970), Straight Life (1970) and First Light (1971) – were particularly well received with the latter taking home a Grammy for Best Instrumental Jazz Performance.
First Light finds the trumpeter joined by guitarists Eric Gale and George Benson, pianists Herbie Hancock and Richard Wyands, bassist Ron Carter, drummer Jack DeJohnette and percussionist Airto Moreira amidst elegant string arrangements by Don Sebesky, a first for Hubbard thus the title. From the sizzling title track to a melodic take on Paul and Linda McCartney’s "Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey" to a lovely rendition of the Mancini/Mercer standard "Moment To Moment," First Light is first-rate.
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