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Category: Studio Masters

Wayne Shorter – Super Nova (1969/2014) [Official Digital Download 24bit/192kHz]

Wayne Shorter – Super Nova (1969/2014)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/192 kHz  | Time – 37:58 minutes | 1,34 GB | Genre: Jazz
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download – Source: Qobuz | Booklet, Front Cover | © Blue Note Records

“Super Nova” is the twelfth album by Wayne Shorter, recorded in 1969 and released on the Blue Note label. The album features five originals by Shorter and an arrangement of “Dindi” by Antônio Carlos Jobim. “Water Babies”, “Capricorn” and “Sweet Pea” were originally recorded in a more traditional jazz setting in 1967 during the sessions with the Second Miles Davis Quintet that would be released in 1976 on the album “Water Babies”. Chick Corea appears on drums rather than his typical role as a keyboardist.

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Washed Out – Paracosm (2013) [Official Digital Download 24bit/96kHz]

Washed Out – Paracosm (2013)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96 kHz | Time – 00:41:01 minutes | 848 MB | Genre: Rock
Official Digital Download – Source: WEB  |  ©  Weird World

If Washed Out’s first album Within and Without lived up to the band’s name, and as the band’s Ernest Greene has said, sounded monochromatic, the follow-up, 2013’s Paracosm, sounds like a 21-gun salute fired from cannons filled with brightly colored confetti in comparison. Greene made a couple of big adjustments to the way he recorded this album — first he moved out to the countryside to get his head cleared out, then he decided to add a raft of vintage synths like Optigans and Mellotrons to his arsenal. The former helped him focus his attention and allowed him to pay microscopic attention to the sonic details; the latter added a major amount of variety and warmth to the album, bathing it in echoing tones of color and light. Bringing on board influences from the heady peak days of the shoegaze sound and writing songs that have big, sunny hooks also helps to make the album a wide-screen Technicolor experience. This time out, he also integrates live drums and bass into the mix of instruments, which gives the sound a human core and a little punch when the tempos move past languid and closer to loping. These changes don’t mean that Greene is any less chilled out and laid-back; most of the record sounds like the most blissful soft rock album ever made (or the album Chapterhouse might have made if they were big Bread fans) and it’s perfect music for doing nothing much on a gloriously warm and sunny summer day. Tracks like “It All Feels Right” or “Great Escape” have a sticky sweet center and sound the way sunscreen smells, “Falling Back” rolls past on cresting waves of hazy sound, and the rest of the album lives up to the title of the most relaxed and dreamlike song here, “Weightless.” This album is where Greene puts it all together and lives up to the promise of his early, sound-defining hit “Feel It All Around” by taking his chillwave somewhere sunny and life affirming. (Warmwave, anyone?) Within and Without sounded like music made to be played in a dentist office, cold and lifeless. Paracosm is the music you’d play while lying happily in the grass, or hanging out with your besties, or living life with no cares or cavities. It sounds fully colored in and unless you’re a big fan of cold and lifeless, it’s a huge step forward for Washed Out. ~ Tim Sendra

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Katy Perry – Witness (2017) [Official Digital Download 24bit/44,1kHz]

Katy Perry – Witness (2017)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/44,1 kHz  | Time – 57:28 minutes | 669 MB | Genre: Pop
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download – Source: Qobuz | Front Cover | © CAPITOL

“Witness” is the fifth full-length release for the pop artist. The album features guest appearances from Skip Marley, Migos, and Nicki Minaj. It received mixed reviews from music critics. It topped the charts in Canada, Spain, and the United States while reaching the top five in 13 other nations.

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Nuremberg Symphony Orchestra & Paul Mann – Flury: The Magic Mirror & Little Ballet Music (2020) [Official Digital Download 24bit/96kHz]

Nuremberg Symphony Orchestra & Paul Mann – Flury: The Magic Mirror & Little Ballet Music (2020)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96 kHz | Time – 01:05:05 minutes | 1,15 GB | Genre: Classical
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Digital Booklet, Front Cover | © Toccata Classics

Der magische Spiegel (‘The Magic Mirror’), a 1954 ballet by the Swiss composer Richard Flury (1896–1967), tells a pantomime tale of flirtation, cuckoldery, magical spells and perdition – but this is no puritanical morality play: using the limited resources of a chamber orchestra to surprisingly full-bodied effect, Flury conjures up a delightful sequence of dances – a generous number of waltzes, with a czardas, a bolero and more – that skip past in good-humoured succession. And behind its innocent title, the Little Ballet Music of thirty years earlier hides a buoyant dance-suite, scored with a feeling for colour that would have gone down well in Hollywood. This recording was made by the team – Paul Mann and the Nuremberg Symphony Orchestra – responsible for a ‘pulsating’ recording of Richard Flury’s one-act opera Eine florentinische Tragödie.

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Norsk Tromboneensemble – Nibbles (2020) [Official Digital Download 24bit/192kHz]

Norsk Tromboneensemble – Nibbles (2020)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/192 kHz | Time – 47:36 minutes | 1,72 GB | Genre: Classical
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Front Cover | © Lawo Classics

The Norwegian Trombone Ensemble was formed in 2014 and consists of Audun Breen, Principal Trombone of the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra and Sverre Riise, Petter Winroth, and Clare Farr, the trombone section of the Norwegian Radio Orchestra. The four performers have extensive experience as soloists and chamber musicians. They are some of Norway’s most outstanding trombonists and master most genres, from renaissance and baroque to contemporary, jazz and pop. “In our concerts we attempt to move effortlessly through many different musical styles, performing chamber music for trombones with excellence and a twinkle in the eye. We are aiming to convey the same lighthearted character with this recording and have put together a handful of pieces that we believe display all the fine and varied qualities of the trombone. The pieces cater for all tastes and span over 400 years, from Gabrieli and Beethoven to Bacharach and ABBA. Sit down with your favourite nibbles, relax and enjoy the concert!”

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Norma Winstone – In Concert (2020) [Official Digital Download 24bit/48kHz]

Norma Winstone – In Concert (2020)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/48 kHz | Time – 58:38 minutes | 574 MB | Genre: Jazz
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Front Cover | © Sunnyside

The incredible relationship between legendary British musicians Norma Winstone and John Taylor has been admired for nearly five decades. The vocalist and pianist have been inextricably linked from their early avant-garde work from the late 1960s through their gorgeous work with Kenny Wheeler and Azymuth.

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Nils Landgren & Jan Lundgren – Kristallen (2020) [Official Digital Download 24bit/96kHz]

Nils Landgren & Jan Lundgren – Kristallen (2020)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96 kHz | Time – 56:14 minutes | 925 MB | Genre: Jazz
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Digital Booklet, Front Cover | © ACT Music

When two old friends are reminiscing, talking to each other, laughing or crying together, talking about the past as if it were yesterday, solidifying an already airtight relationship, a listener can sometimes feel awkward, as if they are interfering… yet this is far from the case on Kristallen. The Swedish Nils Landgren/Jan Lundgren duo even goes out of its way to share this intimacy with the listener. This relaxed ‘chamber’ jazz that the trombonist-singer and pianist carve out on this superb duo album does a lot to build bridges between various places and times. Swedish folklore (the traditional Hornlåtar and Värmlandsvisan) features alongside the Great American Songbook (The Nearest of You and Didn’t We) and even The Beatles (I Will and Norwegian Wood). A milestone volume in which Jan Lundgren pays homage to two of his essential pianists with covers of Country by Keith Jarrett and Abdullah Ibrahim’s The Wedding. A Scandinavian hour full of controlled but nonetheless emotional music illuminating with originality a certain tradition of American jazz. – Marc Zisman

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Nikolaus Harnoncourt – Johannes Brahms: Ein Deutsches Requiem (2010) [Official Digital Download 24bit/96kHz]

Nikolaus Harnoncourt – Johannes Brahms: Ein Deutsches Requiem (2010)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96 kHz | Time – 01:12:01 minutes | 1,16 GB | Genre: Classical
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Digital Booklet, Front Cover | © RCA Red Seal

Widely respected as a pioneer in the field of early music who employed original instruments in performances of Baroque and Classical music, Nikolaus Harnoncourt is also admired for his insightful interpretations of 19th century music. His 2007 recording with the Vienna Philharmonic of Johannes Brahms’ Ein deutsches Requiem is characteristic of his handling of the Romantic repertoire, insofar as he clearly knows the best scholarship on performance style, yet neither makes authenticity a fetish nor lets expression suffer through an obsession with period practice. The sound of the orchestra is quite modern and full, and there is no attempt to make the strings play with minimal vibrato or to make the ensemble seem reduced in size or altered in the seating arrangement, unlike some historically informed performances. Furthermore, Harnoncourt’s tempos are conventional, and the pacing is steady and even on the slow and reverent side, so his approach shows that he is far from doctrinaire in his choices and doesn’t always follow a revisionist approach. The singing by the Arnold Schoenberg Choir is quite rich and smoothly blended, and the solos by soprano Genia Kühmeier and baritone Thomas Hampson are warm and expressive. Overall, the sound of the recording is fine, though RCA’s microphone placement seems a little distant and soft-focused, so some of the details in the counterpoint seem hazy.

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Nikolaus Harnoncourt – Handel, Mozart, Mosel: Timotheus Oder Die Gewalt Der Musik (Timothee Ou Le Pouvoir De La Musique) (2013) [Official Digital Download 24bit/48kHz]

Nikolaus Harnoncourt – Handel, Mozart, Mosel: Timotheus Oder Die Gewalt Der Musik (Timothee Ou Le Pouvoir De La Musique) (2013)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/48 kHz | Time – 01:43:13 minutes | 1,01 GB | Genre: Classical
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Digital Booklet, Front Cover | © Sony Classical

It is immediately evident from the Overture that the orchestral sound is going to be rich and ponderous, and, although Harnoncourt works wonders in varying the dynamics and getting the rhythms to dance…the effect is more suggestive of those gigantic mid-Victorian Handel events in the Crystal Palace than anything that Mozart, let alone Handel, could have imagined. – The Observer

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Nicholas Phan & Myra Huang – Clairieres: Songs by Lili & Nadia Boulanger (2020) [Official Digital Download 24bit/96kHz]

Nicholas Phan & Myra Huang – Clairières: Songs by Lili & Nadia Boulanger (2020)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96 kHz | Time – 55:59 minutes | 1,01 GB | Genre: Classical
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Front Cover | © Avie Records

On “Clairières”, Grammy Award-nominated tenor Nicholas Phan and pianist Myra Huang pay homage to Lili and Nadia Boulanger, two exceptional composers of the 20th century who have often been overlooked in favour of their male counterparts. At the heart of the album is Lili’s song cycle “Clairières dans le ciel”. Alongside are a selection of songs set to poetry by the sisters’ contemporaries Verlaine, Maeterlinck, Jammes and Samain.

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