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Iro Haarla - Ante Lucem for Symphony Orchestra and Jazz Quintet (2016) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/48kHz

Artist: Iro Haarla
Title: Ante Lucem for Symphony Orchestra and Jazz Quintet
Genre: Jazz, Modern Jazz, Classical Crossover, Contemporary Jazz
Label: © ECM Records GmbH | ECM Player | ECM Reviews
Release Date: 2016
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 48kHz/24bit
Source: Qobuz
Duration: 01:06:40
Recorded: October 2012 at the Concert Hall of NorrlandsOperan, Umeå, Sweden


Ante Lucem, a powerful suite for jazz quintet and symphony orchestra by Finnish pianist/harpist/composer Iro Haarla, was premiered at the Umeå Jazz Festival in October 2012. It was recorded at the Concert Hall of NorrlandsOperan in Umeå, and the album is drawn both from the premiere concert and from sessions on the following days. Ante Lucem is comprised of four separate yet closely linked pieces which reflect in different ways, the composer says, upon the “struggle between darkness and light.” In a review of the premiere for All about Jazz, John Kelman observed that “Haarla’s writing moved from maelstrom-like turbulence to deeper melancholy … Whether it was more dramatic turns with the full orchestra or breakdowns into smaller subsets, it was an evocative and provocative performance.”
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Il Tesoro di San Gennaro: Sacred music in early 18th-century Naples - I Turchini, Antonio Florio (2013) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/44,1kHz

Сomposer: Domenico Scarlatti (1685-1757), Cristoforo Caresana (1640-1709), Francesco Nicola Fago (1677-1745), Gaetano Veneziano (1665-1716)
Artist: I Turchini, Antonio Florio
Title: Il Tesoro di San Gennaro: Sacred music in early 18th-century Naples
Genre: Classical
Label: © Glossa Music
Release Date: 2013
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 44,1kHz/24bit
Source: Qobuz
Duration: 01:03:13
Recorded: in the Chiesa dei Servi di Maria, Sorrento, Italy, in March 2012


Antonio Florio’s deep understanding of the Baroque musical terrain of Naples now takes him to the dawn of the 18th century when the fervour and visceral excitement held by Neapolitans for their chief patron saint San Gennaro was at its height, in an era when the city had been ravaged by plague and was living in constant fear of eruptions from nearby Mount Vesuvius. Great devotion was directed at San Gennaro, in the belief that he would ward off further evils: a richly-adorned chapel in Naples’s cathedral was dedicated to him and provided with its own musical ensemble, and a stream of composers (often pupils of the great Francesco Provenzale) such as Cristofaro Caresana, Nicola Fago and Gaetano Veneziano worked there.
Central to the programme of I Turchini, prepared by Florio and Dinko Fabris, are performances of Fago’s four-part Stabat Mater and Caresana’s canzona Sirene festose. There is a rare outing also for a motet, Antra valles Divo plaudant, written by the young Domenico Scarlatti – three of whose string sinfonias are also included here – when he was one of the organists in the Real Cappella; musicians in Naples regularly moved in and out of different ensembles, then as now.
A booklet essay by Fabris himself splendidly underpins the popular traditions and musical and religious colour surrounding San Gennaro in a Naples still alive today; moreover, an evocation brought to potent life by the performances of Florio, with his singers and instrumentalists of I Turchini.
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Idris Muhammad - House Of The Rising Sun (1976/2016) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/192kHz

Artist: Idris Muhammad
Title: House Of The Rising Sun
Genre: Jazz, Post Bop, Soul Jazz, Jazz Funk, Jazz Pop, Fusion, Crossover Jazz
Label: © Kudu Records | CTI Records, a division of Creed Taylor, Inc. | King Record Co., Ltd.
Release Date: 1976/2016
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 192kHz/24bit
Source: e-onkyo
Duration: 00:35:03
Recorded: June 18-27, 1975, September 23-October 8 at Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey


Idris Muhammad's House of the Rising Sun is a legendary soul-jazz album, and for good reason. First there's the fact that, Grady Tate notwithstanding, Idris Muhammad is easily the greatest of all soul-jazz drummers. Next, it is revealed that label boss and producer Creed Taylor was at his most inspired here, and wasn't afraid to err on the rhythm and blues side of the jazz equation. The material is top-notch, and David Matthews, who orchestrated and arranged this date with the exception of one track -- "Sudan" was written by Muhammad and Tom Harrell, and Harrell arranged it -- was on fire. As a bandleader, Muhammad is shockingly effective. Not because one could ever doubt his ability, but because of his reputation as one of the great studio drummers in jazz. Finally, this is the single greatest lineup in Kudu's history, and features the talents of Don Grolnick, Eric Gale, Will Lee, Roland Hanna, Joe Beck, David Sanborn, Michael Brecker, Hugh McCracken, Bob Berg, Fred Wesley, Patti Austin, and a dozen others playing their asses off. From the title track which opens the album, with Austin reaching the breaking point in her delivery, to the stunningly funky groove in Ashford and Simpson's "Hard to Face the Music," to the minor key funk of the Chopin-adapted theme in "Theme for New York City," to "Sudan"'s triple-timed drums and killer Eastern-tinged hooks, and a read of the Meters' "Hey Pocky A-Way," with Eric Gale's dirty finger poppin' bass atop McCracken's bluesed-out slide work, this is a steaming, no let-up album. Add to this a gorgeous version of the Ary Barroso Brazilian jazz classic "Bahia," and you have the set for a classic jazz album. But the complete disregard for the political correctness of "Jazz" itself, in order to get the deeply funky and soulful grooves across, is what makes this set so damn special and even spiritual in its inspiration. Jazz purists lost all credibility when they slagged this one off, caught as they were in tainted, even racist views of the past that made no allowances for jazz musicians to actually follow their time-honored tradition of mining the pop music of the day to extend the breadth and reach of jazz itself. Anybody who wants to believe that George Gershwin is somehow more important than George Porter Jr. is already lost in his own cultural fascism. Muhammad, who understands this better than anyone, pulled out all the stops here and blasted out one amazingly tough, funky slab. Brilliant. --AllMusic Review by Thom Jurek
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Hubert Laws - Crying Song (1969/2016) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/192kHz

Artist: Hubert Laws
Title: Crying Song
Genre: Jazz, Hard Bop, Fusion, Crossover Jazz, Easy Listening
Label: © CTI Records, a division of Creed Taylor, Inc. | King Record Co., Ltd.
Release Date: 1969/2016
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 192kHz/24bit
Source: e-onkyo
Duration: 00:33:56
Recorded: July 23 (#4,5), 24 (#1,2,6,9), 1969 at American Sound Studios, Memphis, Tennessee; September 23 (#3), 24 (#7,8), 1969 at Van Gelder Studios, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey.


Crying Song is an album by jazz flautist Hubert Laws released on the CTI label featuring performances of popular music (including songs by The Beatles and Pink Floyd) by Laws recorded in Memphis with Elvis Presley's rhythm section and at Rudy Van Gelder's studio.
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Joseph Haydn - String Quartets, Vol. 2 - The Amsterdam String Quartet (2009) High-Fidelity DSF Stereo DSD64/2.82MHz

Сomposer: Joseph Haydn (1732-1809)
Artist: The Amsterdam String Quartet
Title: Haydn - String Quartets, Vol. 2
Genre: Classical
Label: © Channel Classics Records B.V.
Release Date: 2009
Quality: DSF Stereo DSD64/2.82MHz (orig. DFF converted at KorgAudioGate)
Source: channelclassics.com
Duration: 01:03:23
Recorded: Hervormde Kerk, Rhoon, June 2008


Haydn String Quartets, Op. 20 no. 4, Op. 64, no. 6 and Op. 77, no. 1 Joseph Haydn's remarkable series of 68 string quartets encompasses, in effect, his entire compositional career. The ten works together comprising Op. 1, 2 and 'Op. 0' date from his 20s (c. 1758 - 1761); and the final nine works of Op. 76 (1797), 77 (1799) and 103 (1803) were written after the 'London' Symphonies, and in close proximity to his oratorios, The Creation and The Seasons. The stylistic journey Haydn took from beginning to end is striking indeed, on account of the extended time period involved and the inevitable changes in musical taste across Europe. The Op. 20 set (1772) is generally regarded as Haydn's first 'mature' contribution to the string quartet genre. Two early, unauthorized editions ensured widespread dissemination - from La Chevardière (1774) and Hummel (Amsterdam and Berlin, 1779). The title page of the latter, in fact, with its engraving of a blazing midday sun, was directly responsible for the nickname that accrued to the set ('Sun' quartets); equally, the order in which the quartets appear in this edition established the order in which they have usually appeared in editions ever since. Op. 20 was widely admired in the late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries-by Mozart, Beethoven and Brahms (who owned the autograph scores) among others-and retained a prominent place in the twentieth-century concert hall as well....
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Joseph Haydn - String Quartets, Vol. 1 - The Amsterdam String Quartet (2007) High-Fidelity DSF Stereo DSD64/2.82MHz

Сomposer: Joseph Haydn (1732-1809)
Artist: The Amsterdam String Quartet
Title: Haydn - String Quartets, Vol. 1
Genre: Classical
Label: © Channel Classics Records B.V.
Release Date: 2007
Quality: DSF Stereo DSD64/2.82MHz (orig. DFF converted at KorgAudioGate)
Source: channelclassics.com
Duration: 01:09:01
Recorded: Doopsgezinde Kerk of Deventer, the Netherlands, 25-27 August 2006


Unlike his great contemporary Mozart, who died at 35 in 1791, Joseph Haydn (1732-1809) lived long enough to be feted as a musical colossus in his own lifetime. Writing in the influential, Leipzig-based Allgemeine musikalische Zeitung in 1801, Johann Karl Friedrich Triest explains: all the composers of symphonies and quartets lag behind the man who has plied his craft for almost an entire half century with ever new, inexhaustible, genuinely amazing power, and became the greatest benefactor of German instrumental music. Johann Ferdinand Ritter von Schnfeld, author of A Yearbook of the Music of Vienna and Prague in 1796, holds Haydn in similarly high esteem, waxing lyrical about his string quartets: [they] are full of bewitching harmonies, and have this special quality of immediately attracting ones attention, holding it and moving on, as in a labyrinth, through flowering meadows, past babbling brooks, alongside roaring streams.
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Joseph Haydn - Die Schopfung - Berliner Philharmoniker, Herbert von Karajan (1969/2016) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/96kHz

Сomposer: Franz Joseph Haydn (1732-1809)
Artist: Berliner Philharmoniker, Herbert von Karajan
Title: Haydn: Die Schöpfung (The Creation), oratorio, H.21/2
Genre: Classical, Choral
Label: © Deutsche Grammophon
Release Date: 1969/2016
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 96kHz/24bit
Source: HDTracks
Duration: 01:48:54
Recording: Berlin, Jesus-Christus-Kirche, 2/1966, 9 & 11/1968, 4/1969


Herbert von Karajan conducts the Berliner Philharmoniker on this classic 1966 release of Haydn's oratorio Die Schöpfung (The Creation), considered by many to be the composer's crowning achievement. The orchestra is joined by a superb cast of soloists, led by soprano Gundula Janowitz and tenor Fritz Wunderlich, who died in an accident while the album was still being recorded.
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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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