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Llyr Williams – Llyr Williams: Schubert, Vol. 2 (2019) [Official Digital Download 24bit/96kHz]

Llŷr Williams – Llŷr Williams: Schubert, Vol. 2 (2019)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96 kHz | Time – 01:16:28 minutes | 1,18 GB | Genre: Classical
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Digital Booklet, Front Cover | © Signum Records

Schubert’s final piano sonata—D960 in B flat major—and the seminal ‘Wanderer’ fantasy as captured live during Llŷr Williams’ electrifying concert series at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama in 2018/9.

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Little Steven and The Disciples of Soul – Men Without Women (Deluxe Edition) (1982/2019) [Official Digital Download 24bit/96kHz]

Little Steven and The Disciples of Soul – Men Without Women (Deluxe Edition) (1982/2019)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96 kHz | Time – 01:26:08 minutes | 1,95 GB | Genre: Rock
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Front Cover | © Steven Van Zandt Catalog

Men Without Women, credited to Little Steven & The Disciples of Soul, is the debut solo album by Steven Van Zandt, a member of Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band and a songwriter / producer with the Jersey Shore band Southside Johnny & The Asbury Jukes. The title track was inspired by the Ernest Hemingway collection of short stories of the same name.

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Little Steven – Born Again Savage (Deluxe Edition) (1999/2019) [Official Digital Download 24bit/96kHz]

Little Steven – Born Again Savage (Deluxe Edition) (1999/2019)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96 kHz | Time – 01:05:10 minutes | 1,51 GB | Genre: Rock
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Front Cover | © Steven Van Zandt Catalog

A classic second-in-command rocker in the tradition of Keith Richards and Johnny Thunders, Little Steven has also made a mark apart from his erstwhile boss, the Boss. The man also known as Miami Steve Van Zandt had a major hand in Southside Johnny’s bar-band masterwork Hearts of Stone, was the linchpin in 1985’s Artists United Against Apartheid project, and lead his own group, the Disciples of Soul, for a time after his 1984 departure from the E Street Band. Largely out of the picture through the 1990s, Little Steven returns with a solo outing that rocks harder and is more inflamed lyrically than one might have expected from this long-AWOL warrior. Van Zandt’s liner notes lay out his mission–to doff his bandana in the direction of the ’60s rockers who helped shape his consciousness, from Cream to the Kinks to Jefferson Airplane. At the same time, he maintains the confrontational political stance that’s been in evidence since the days of Sun City. Hence there’s the title track (“Look around at the volunteered slavery”) and “The Camouflage of Righteousness” (“We give you politicians and you call it a choice / We let you do the voting and you think you have a voice”). With this Savage attack, Little Steven fights the good fight and remains standing. (Steven Stolder)

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Lisa Friend, Craig Ogden, Aquarelle Guitar Quartet – Voyage Central Park (2019) [Official Digital Download 24bit/96kHz]

Lisa Friend, Craig Ogden, Aquarelle Guitar Quartet – Voyage Central Park (2019)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96 kHz | Time – 01:12:24 minutes | 1,02 GB | Genre: Classical
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Digital Booklet, Front Cover | © Chandos

Following her acclaimed recording of Mozart’s Flute Quartets with the Brodsky Quartet and her more recent disc of Fauré and Debussy, the flautist Lisa Friend continues her journey to explore another sound-world in this programme of works for flute and guitar(s). Spanning music from Brahms to Bellinati, the wide-ranging programme juxtaposes original compositions for these forces (Ibert’s Entr’acte, Piazzolla’s Histoire du Tango) with arrangements – some of instrumental works (Brahms, Poulenc, Shostakovich) and some of vocal pieces (Donizetti, Rachmaninoff). Works for flute and guitar quartet are interspersed with more intimate pieces, for flute and solo guitar, which adds further variety to the programme. No mere accompanists, Craig Ogden and the Aquarelle Guitar Quartet play a significant role throughout. The end result is a fascinating and rewarding programme of delightfully listenable music.

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Lina Tur Bonet & Dani Espasa – Bach & Handel: An Imaginary Meeting (2019) [Official Digital Download 24bit/96kHz]

Lina Tur Bonet & Dani Espasa – Bach & Handel: An Imaginary Meeting (2019)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/44,1 kHz | Time – 01:13:38 minutes | 1,5 GB | Genre: Classical
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Digital Booklet, Front Cover | © Aparté

This record is about reparation. History has not let two extraordinary composers meet each other. Georg Friedrich Handel and Johann Sebastian Bach came to the world in 1785, one month apart. Twice they failed to meet each other and never again would their life paths cross, instead following parallel ways. This album is dedicated to this failure.

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LGT Young Soloists – Souvenir (2019) [Official Digital Download 24bit/96kHz]

LGT Young Soloists – Souvenir (2019)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96 kHz | Time – 01:11:39 minutes | 1,35 GB | Genre: Classical
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Front Cover | © RCA Red Seal

Hochbegabte junge Musikerinnen und Musiker im Alter zwischen 12 und 23 Jahren haben sich zu einem einzigartigenEnsemble von Streichersolisten zusammengeschlossen: die LGT Young Soloists. Mehr als 70 erste Preise bei nationalen und internationalen Musikwettbewerben hat die Formation bereits gewonnen. Ins Leben gerufen wurde das Projekt vom Geiger Alexander Gilman und der LGT, einem Finanzunternehmen des Fürstenhauses von Liechtenstein. Für ihr viertes Album auf RCA Red Seal haben sich die LGT Young Soloists berühmte “Zugabenstücke” vornehmlich des 19. Jahrhunderts ausgewählt. Hochemotionale Musik sowie Bravourstücke, die ein virtuoses Feuerwerk entfachen, die technischenMöglichkeiten der Streichinstrumente bis zum Äußersten ausloten, aber auch an Leidenschaft und Herz appellieren: etwa das berühmte “Liebesleid” von Fritz Kreisler, “Le Grand Tango” von Astor Piazzolla, die beliebte “Méditation” aus Massenets Oper “Thaïs” und atemberaubend virtuos: “Hora Staccato” von Grigoras Ionica Dinicu.

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Leslie Odom Jr. – Leslie Odom Jr. (2016/2019) [Official Digital Download 24bit/48kHz]

Leslie Odom Jr. – Leslie Odom Jr. (2016/2019)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/48 kHz | Time – 33:47 minutes | 368 MB | Genre: Jazz
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Front Cover | © S-Curve Records

The debut album from multifaceted performer LESLIE ODOM JR. The 10-track album features Odom’s soulful new interpretations of beloved songs that have been longtime favorites of his, including “Look for the Silver Lining,” a new arrangement of “The Guilty Ones” from Spring Awakening, and the album’s first single “Autumn Leaves.”

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Les Cris de Paris & Geoffroy Jourdain – Passions (2019) [Official Digital Download 24bit/96kHz]

Les Cris de Paris & Geoffroy Jourdain – Passions (2019)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96 kHz | Time – 01:15:44 minutes | 1,29 GB | Genre: Classical
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Digital Booklet, Front Cover | © harmonia mundi

Alternating between transcendentally inspired secular music and sacred music embodied in theatrical fashion, Geoffroy Jourdain invites us to explore the multiple expressions of human passions: this new adventure of Les Cris de Paris, built around several settings of the ‘Crucifixus’ (including Lotti’s extraordinarily intense versions), urges us to follow a bold Via Dolorosa to the very heart of Venetian Baroque music.

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Les Arts Florissants & William Christie – Monteverdi: L’incoronazione di Poppea (2019) [Official Digital Download 24bit/96kHz]

Les Arts Florissants & William Christie – Monteverdi: L’incoronazione di Poppea (2019)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/192 kHz | Time – 03:06:08 minutes | 3,27 GB | Genre: Classical
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Digital Booklet, Front Cover | © harmonia mundi

An echo of the luxuriant performance at the 2018 Salzburg Festival, where this recording was made, this new version of the Coronation of Poppea by Claudio Monteverdi, conducted by William Christie (who had already recorded the piece once before, at a concert in Madrid, with production by Pier-Luigi Pizzi, in 2010) met with unanimous acclaim thanks to its exceptional musical execution. A distribution to die for, dominated by Sonja Yoncheva’s voluptuous interpretation of the titular role, and fabulous instrumentation from the Arts Florissants, led by Christie, with no fancy tricks, from the vantage point of his harpsichord. These ingredients all add up to a very high quality production to mark the fortieth anniversary of the ensemble, which was founded in 1979.

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Leonidas Kavakos – Beethoven: Violin Concerto, Op. 61, Septet, Op. 20 & Variations on Folk Songs, Op. 105 & 107 (2019) [Official Digital Download 24bit/96kHz]

Leonidas Kavakos – Beethoven: Violin Concerto, Op. 61, Septet, Op. 20 & Variations on Folk Songs, Op. 105 & 107 (2019)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96 kHz | Time – 01:53:39 minutes | 1,95 GB | Genre: Classical
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Digital Booklet, Front Cover | © Sony Classical

The violinist Leonidas Kavakos has many strings to his bow: an acclaimed soloist, he conducts orchestras – his first love – and is a chamber musician. This double album bears witness to the skills of this musical polymath who knows his Beethoven. He functions here both as soloist and conductor of the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, which boasts over 60 musicians. In line with the practices of the composer’s lifetime, this choice highlights the “egalitarian” style of the concerto’s writing. While a virtuoso piece for sure, this score is more than just a pedestal for the soloist: the latter works closely with their peers, and shares every theme with them. Leonidas Kavakos gives a magisterial performance at the head of this impressive orchestra and brings forth some sumptuous nuances from the players, commanding their sustained and close attention.

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