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Lang Lang – Bach – Goldberg Variations (Extended Deluxe Edition) (2021) [Official Digital Download 24bit/96kHz]

Lang Lang – Bach – Goldberg Variations (Extended Deluxe Edition) (2021)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96 kHz | Time – 03:55:10 minutes | 4,6 GB | Genre: Classical
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Digital Booklet, Front cover | © Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

Lang Lang presents the Goldberg Variations Extended Deluxe Edition, the upcoming edition features seven bonus tracks and is set for release as a digital album on 12 February 2021. This new digital edition includes 7 brand-new tracks by Bach and his contemporaries, added to Lang Lang’s studio recording and his live version of the Goldberg Variation.

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Eddie Higgins – You Don’t Know What Love Is (2003) [Venus Japan] SACD ISO + DSF DSD64 + Hi-Res FLAC

Eddie Higgins – You Don’t Know What Love Is (2003) [Venus Japan]
SACD Rip | SACD ISO | DSD64 2.0 > 1-bit/2.8224 MHz | 54:58 minutes | Front/Rear Covers | 2,21 GB
or DSD64 Stereo (from SACD-ISO to Tracks.dsf) > 1-bit/2.8224 MHz | Front/Rear Covers | 2,17 GB
or FLAC 2.0 (carefully converted & encoded to tracks) 24bit/48 kHz | Front/Rear Covers | 514 MB

Eddie Higgins has been on the jazz scene for a long time, but he seems to be a best-kept secret by those able to track down his various releases for independent labels in the U.S. or Japanese titles, such as this one from Venus. This 2003 session features the veteran purely as a soloist, performing a dozen of his favorite ballads. While most of them are time-tested standards such as the elegant “My Funny Valentine,” the shimmering “Beautiful Love,” or “Skylark” (with an Asian-sounding introduction that suggests the humor of its composer), there are some lesser-known gems as well. The bittersweet ballad “Yellow Days” hardly pops up on many jazz CDs, though Higgins’ richly textured arrangement should attract other musicians to it. Even though one doesn’t hear the lyrics to “Again,” this seasoned pianist seems to get across the implied apology to a loved one for a senseless quarrel. “Dance Only with Me,” an overlooked jewel by the masterful songwriting team of Comden, Green, and Styne, is arranged as an elegant, deliberate waltz. Recorded and mixed in glorious 24-bit digital sound, this is easily one of Eddie Higgins’ best all-around recordings.

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Eddie Higgins – Standards by Request, Solo Piano – 2nd Day (2008) [Japan 2016] SACD ISO + DSF DSD64 + Hi-Res FLAC

Eddie Higgins – Standards by Request, Solo Piano – 2nd Day (2008) [Japan 2016]
SACD Rip | SACD ISO | DSD64 2.0 > 1-bit/2.8224 MHz | 60:07 minutes | Front/Rear Covers | 2,46 GB
or DSD64 Stereo (from SACD-ISO to Tracks.dsf) > 1-bit/2.8224 MHz | Front/Rear Covers | 2,38 GB
or FLAC (carefully converted & encoded to tracks) 24bit/44,1 kHz | Front/Rear Covers | 527 MB

Here you have a second collection of standards requested by readers of Swing Journal. Forty of the top requests were given to Higgins and the plan was to record material for only one album. However, after recording 15 tracks on the first day – an extraordinary feat in itself – Higgins wanted to continue. So another recording took place the next day where Higgins recorded another 15 tracks. No music sheets were involved. Higgins is so talented as a pianist that his own arranging and pacing of tunes – as well as its spontaneous arrangement – were highly successful. The producer didn’t feel the need to change a thing.

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Eddie Higgins – Standards by Request, Solo Piano – 1st Day (2008) [Japan 2015] SACD ISO + DSF DSD64 + Hi-Res FLAC

Eddie Higgins – Standards by Request, Solo Piano – 1st Day (2008) [Japan 2015]
SACD Rip | SACD ISO | DSD64 2.0 > 1-bit/2.8224 MHz | 60:12 minutes | Front/Rear Covers | 2,46 GB
or DSD64 Stereo (from SACD-ISO to Tracks.dsf) > 1-bit/2.8224 MHz | Front/Rear Covers | 2,38 GB
or FLAC (carefully converted & encoded to tracks) 24bit/44,1 kHz | Front/Rear Covers | 520 MB

Pianist Eddie Higgins may not be well known in the U.S., but he is hands down the most famous and prolific musician on the Venus Records roster. Since his 1997 Venus debut, Higgins has released more than 20 albums from the label. This release is the first from a pair of solo piano albums that include a collection of standards requested by readers of Swing Journal. Forty of the top requests were given to Higgins and the plan was to record material for only one album. However, after recording 15 tracks on the first day – an extraordinary feat in itself – Higgins wanted to continue. So another recording took place the next day where Higgins recorded another 15 tracks.

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The Head and the Heart – Living Mirage (2019) [Official Digital Download 24bit/88,2kHz]

The Head and the Heart – Living Mirage (2019)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/88,2 kHz | Time – 41:42 minutes | 801 MB | Genre: Alternative & Indie
Studio Master, Official Digital Download | Front Cover | © Reprise

The follow-up to 2016’s chart-topping Signs of Light, Living Mirage sees the Head and the Heart operating without co-founder Josiah Johnson, who left the group amicably shortly after Signs of Light’s release — replacing him on guitar and vocals is Matt Gervais, the husband of violinist and vocalist Charity Rose Thielen. The Seattle group’s fourth full-length effort and their second outing for Warner Bros, the 11-track set continues to mostly eschew the rural folk-rock of their first two records for a more radio-ready approach that hews closer to “Little Lies”-era Fleetwood Mac than it does Fleet Foxes or the Avett Brothers. Still, there is a sort of sanguine rusticity that runs through the LP that evokes the breezy folk-pop of contemporaries like Of Monsters and Men and the Lumineers, especially on the slow-churning title track and the life-affirming opener “See you Through My Eyes.” The glossy production that made Signs of Light a tad divisive is dialed back a bit this time around, but there’s no denying the band’s pivot toward pop, as evidenced by the lead singles “Missed Connections” and “Honeybee,” both of which exhibit a significant electro-folk sheen. As per usual, the Head and the Heart excel at delivering familiar melodies paired with lyrics that look inward, yet just far enough into the abyss to wring out some sort of generic catharsis. As emotionally and musically on the nose as songs like “Running Through Hell” and “Saving Grace” are, they, like all of the material on Living Mirage, are executed with great care and performed with genuine spirit. That the album ends with just Jonathan Russell and his acoustic guitar looking for refuge inside the embassy of music is fitting. Stripped of all of the bells and whistles, the Head and the Heart are as homespun and simple as they come, and it’s in that state of undress where those relatable words and melodies most resonate. ~ James Christopher Monger

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The Rolling Stones – Steel Wheels Live (Live From Atlantic City, NJ, 1989) (2020) SD Bluray 1080i AVC DTS-HD MA 5.1 + BDRip 720p/1080p

Title: The Rolling Stones – Steel Wheels Live (Live From Atlantic City, NJ, 1989)
Release Date: 2020
Genre: Rock

Production/Label: Eagle Vision Europe
Duration: 02:37:48
Quality: Blu-ray
Container: BDMV
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC
Audio codec: LPCM, DTS-HD
Video: MPEG-4 AVC Video / 29980 kbps / 1080i / 29.970 fps / 16:9 / High Profile 4.1
Audio #1: LPCM Audio / 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2304 kbps / 24-bit
Audio #2: DTS-HD Master Audio / 5.1 / 48 kHz / 4964 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
Size: 43,92 GB

Having not hit the road for most of the 80s, The Steel Wheels Tour was an astounding return for the Rolling Stones, not least as it was the longest they had by that point undertaken. It was also to be their last with Bill Wyman. Steel Wheels Live was recorded towards the end of the band’s 60-date run through the stadiums of North America, in the second half of 1989. Special guest appearances from Axl Rose, Izzy Stradlin, Eric Clapton and John Lee Hooker.

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Kula Shaker ‎- K2.0 (2016) [Official Digital Download 24bit/44,1kHz]

Kula Shaker ‎- K2.0 (2016)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/44,1 kHz | Time – 45:48 minutes | 527 MB | Genre: Alternative & Indie
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Front Cover | © Strangefolk Records

By reviving the swirling, guitar-heavy sounds of late-’60s psychedelia and infusing it with George Harrison’s Indian mysticism and spirituality, Kula Shaker became one of the most popular British bands of the immediate post-Brit-pop era. More musically adept and experimental than Cast, Kula Shaker nevertheless worked the same vaguely spiritual lyrical territory, but musically they brought the overpowering rush of Oasis to psychedelia, a genre that the Mancunians had previously avoided.

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Ksenija Sidorova – Piazzolla Reflections (2021) [Official Digital Download 24bit/96kHz]

Ksenija Sidorova – Piazzolla Reflections (2021)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96 kHz | Time – 01:20:44 minutes | 1,39 GB | Genre: Classical
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Digital Booklet, Front cover | © Alpha

Riga-born Ksenija Sidorova is today one of the most eminent global ambassadors of the classical accordion. She has proudly borne the colours of her instrument in appearances in the world’s leading halls and with the foremost orchestras. Here she pays homage to Piazzolla in her own way: ‘Piazzolla the revolutionary, the ground-breaker, a man thinking ahead of his time … Playing this repertoire gave me a sense of artistic freedom and ignited my belief in advocacy of my instrument. For this album, I wanted to celebrate Piazzolla the innovator by pairing some his masterworks with pieces written by other composers for classical accordion, the majority of which I have premiered in recent years. Being of Russian heritage, I couldn’t help noticing the similarity between the nostalgia of the tango and that of Russian composer Sergey Voitenko’s “Revelation”. French accordionist-composer Franck Angelis’s Fantasia is based on Piazzolla’s Waltz-tango, and the programme is completed by the Nocturne of Italian accordionist-composer Pietro Roffi and a piece by Sergey Akhunov’.

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Krystian Adam, Robert Gierlach, Poznan Philharmonic Orchestra & Lukasz Borowicz – Cherubini: Faniska (2021) [Official Digital Download 24bit/96kHz]

Krystian Adam, Robert Gierlach, Poznan Philharmonic Orchestra & Łukasz Borowicz – Cherubini: Faniska (2021)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96 kHz | Time – 01:54:16 minutes | 2,06 GB | Genre: Classical
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Digital Booklet, Front cover | © DUX

The opera Faniska, which premiered at the Kärntnertor Theatre in Vienna in 1806, is said to have been enthusiastically received by both Haydn and Beethoven. The libretto is available in German and Italian, and is based on the melodrama Les Mines de Pologne by the Nancy-born French playwright René Charles Guilbert de Pixérécourt. The action takes place in Poland, from where the first recording of the opera also comes.

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Kreeta-Maria Kentala – Francœur: 10 Sonatas for Violin & Continuo, Book 1 (2018) [Official Digital Download 24bit/96kHz]

Kreeta-Maria Kentala – Francœur: 10 Sonatas for Violin & Continuo, Book 1 (2018)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96 kHz | Time – 02:03:27 minutes | 2,54 GB | Genre: Classical
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Digital Booklet, Front cover | © Glossa

For her ninth recording project on Glossa, the Berlin-based American harpsichordist Mitzi Meyersonis joined by her Finnish colleagues Kreeta-Maria Kentala (violin) and Lauri Pulakka (cello). With this same setup – which they are keen to call the “Jones Band” – they have previously unearthed works for the label by Richard Jones and Giovanni Battista Somis.

The new recording is centred on François Francoeur, a celebrated member of the Vingt-quatre Violons du Roi and of Le Concert Spirituel in France, and codirector, later in his career, with François Rebel, of the Paris Opéra. The ten violin sonatas on the present double album represent the complete Premier Livre de sonates à violon seul et basse continue, published in Paris in 1720. The writing brings together the elegance of the French style and the energy of the Italian in a perfect blend of both aesthetics, with Francoeur presenting his own unique voice in this collection in an effective manner. The music is tuneful and fresh, refined and robust, complete with tender melodies, wild dances, pastorales, and movements of unabashed virtuosity.

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