Gaetano Donizetti – Lucia di Lammermoor – Maria Callas, Orch del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, Tullio Serafin (1953/2014) [Official Digital Download 24bit/96kHz]

Gaetano Donizetti – Lucia di Lammermoor – Maria Callas, Orch del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, Tullio Serafin (1953/2014)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/96 kHz | Time ~ 1:50:24 minutes | 1.08 GB | Genre: Classical
Official Digital Download – Source: highresaudio.com | Digital Booklet , Front Cover | © Warner Classics
Recorded: 29–30.I & 3, 4 & 6.II.1953, Teatro Comunale, Florence

Maria Callas’s first studio recording of Lucia is often nominated as one of the great sets in the history of recording. It was made in Florence in February 1953 following live performances at that city’s opera house (although with a largely different cast and conductor). It was the soprano’s first recording with Giuseppe di Stefano and Tito Gobbi – both to become regular and valued colleagues – and with Tullio Serafin (already a regular collaborator). It was also the first of producer Walter Legge’s projected series of major Italian operas under Callas’s recently agreed new contract with Columbia.
Following a successful Turin radio concert of part of the Mad Scene in 1952, Callas sang her first Lucias later that year in Mexico City. As with her Bellini roles (especially Norma, I puritani and La sonnambula) she returned vocal strength, weight and drama to a role that had become recently the preserve of lighter voices more interested in exhibiting mastery of tessitura than of characterisation. Vocal historian John Ardoin has noted that ‘in Callas’s voice and care, Lucia emerged as at once credible and with a previously unsuspected human dimension’. Lucia in the new recording would be much more than a put-upon soubrette with few opportunities to shine vocally until the wedding-night Mad Scene. While the men, notably Lucia’s brother Enrico, indulge their machismo games of instant love or hate, Callas’s Lucia has more layers, a woman fighting the tyranny of dynastic marriage and all-male family dictatorship. She is helped by Serafin’s symphonic, text-aware accompaniment. Her ‘mad’ scene is clearly reasoned – more observant than scared witless at ‘Ohimè, sorge il tremendo fantasma’ and using the coloratura and the instrumental imitation (here still a flute rather than the glass harmonica for which Donizetti scored it) as a sad picture of her longing for Edgardo rather than virtuosic note-spinning. Like Norma, Violetta and Tosca, Donizetti’s heroine became something of a Callas obsession and travelled with her throughout Europe and America. –MIKE ASHMAN, 2014

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Dobrinka Tabakova – String Paths (2013) [Official Digital Download 24bit/48kHz]

Dobrinka Tabakova – String Paths (2013)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/48 kHz | Time ~ 01:12:18 minutes | 716 MB | Genre: Classical
Official Digital Download – Source: highresaudio.com | Digital Booklet , Front Cover | © ECM Records GmbH , ECM Player
Recorded: March / April 2011 at National Philharmonic Hall, Vilnius; Studija Aurea in Vilnius; Such different paths recorded June 2011 at Jesus Christus Kirche Dahlem, Berlin.

ECM New Series presents the first full album devoted to the music of Dobrinka Tabakova, a composer born in Bulgaria in 1980 but raised from a young age in London. In Tabakova’s music – richly melodic, texturally sensuous, often emotionally radiant – there resides the new and the familiar, or rather the familiar within the new, and vice versa; there are the spirits of East and West coursing through the pieces, usually hand in hand; and just as the composer’s technical virtuosity is apparent, she possesses a desire, and a gift, for direct communication that can be heard in virtually every measure. The recording features Tabakova’s Concerto for Cello and Strings and the Rameau-inspired Suite in Old Style for viola and chamber orchestra, as well as three chamber works: the string trio Insight, the string septet Such Different Paths and a trio for violin, accordion and double-bass, Frozen River Flows. The performers include star violinist Janine Jansen and several of Tabakova’s former conservatory colleagues: violinist Roman Mints, violist-conductor Max Rysanov and cellist Kristina Blaumane, principal with the London Philharmonic Orchestra.

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Claude Debussy – La mer / Igor Stravinsky – The Firebird – Los Angeles Philharmonic, Gustavo Dudamel (2014) [Official Digital Download 24bit/96kHz]

Claude Debussy – La mer / Igor Stravinsky – The Firebird – Los Angeles Philharmonic, Gustavo Dudamel (2014)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/96 kHz | Time ~ 1:15:52 minutes | 1.2 GB | Genre: Classical
Official Digital Download – Source: highresaudio.com | Digital Booklet , Front Cover | © Deutsche Grammophon
Recorded: Walt Disney Concert Hall February 28, March 1, March 2, March 3, 2013

The Los Angeles Philharmonic and music director Gustavo Dudamel present this vivid take on two masterpieces of orchestral colour: Debussy’s well-known work La Mer and Stravinsky’s breakthrough The Firebird. These performances were recorded live in 2013 at the Walt Disney Concert Hall.

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DawnRazor – Deus Ex Machina (2015) [Official Digital Download 24bit/44.1kHz]

DawnRazor – Deus Ex Machina (2015)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/44.1 kHz | Time ~ 00:49:24 minutes | 604 MB | Genre: Melodic Death , Doom , Thrash Metal
Official Digital Download – Source: bandcamp  | Front Cover

Second Album from the shed-based one-man Suffolk Metal project

released 05 January 2015

Tracklist:

01. Demoness [00:03:45]
02. Circle Hate [00:04:06]
03. Ego Echo [00:05:12]
04. As Darkness Descends [00:04:16]
05. Angel’s Embrace [00:05:03]
06. Do Or Die [00:05:17]
07. Nothing Remains [00:06:42]
08. These Heavens [00:04:44]
09. Sojourn [00:04:06]
10. Vitam Aeternam [00:06:09] (more…)

Stan Getz, Laurindo Almeida – Stan Getz with Guest Artist Laurindo Almeida (1963/2014) [Official Digital Download 24bit/192kHz]

Stan Getz, Laurindo Almeida – Stan Getz with Guest Artist Laurindo Almeida (1963/2014)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/192 kHz | Time – 32:13 minutes | 1,29 GB
Official Digital Download – Source: ProStudioMasters.com | Cover
Genre: Jazz, Bossa Nova, Latin Jazz, Saxophone Jazz  | Label: © The Verve Music Group
Recorded: Trakcs 2, 5, 6 recorded on March 21, 1963; #1, 3, 4 on March 22, 1963 at Webster Hall, New York City

Three weeks after completing his meeting with Luiz Bonfá and only two days after the epochal Getz/Gilberto sessions, Stan Getz was back in the studio recording more bossa nova. Producer Creed Taylor was obviously striking while the iron was hot, getting in as many Brazilian sessions as he could, yet the quality of the music-making remained consistently marvelous. Continuing his practice of running through one star guitarist after another, this time Getz has Laurindo Almeida as the designated rhythm man, featured composer, and solo foil. The rhythm section is an authentically swinging mixture of American sidemen (including Steve Kuhn on piano and George Duvivier on bass) and Brazilian percussionists. Almeida didn’t like to improvise, so his solos stay close to the tunes, inflected with a perfectly matched feeling for the groove along with classical poise. Jobim’s “Outra Vez” is a particularly lovely example of Getz’s freedom and effortless lyricism contrasted against Almeida’s anchored embroidering. Sessions like these might have been seen as cashing in on the boom at the time, yet in the long view, one should be thankful that these musicians were recording so much cherishable material. –Richard S. Ginell 

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Alan Gilbert, New York Philharmonic, Thomas Hampson – Passion & Pain: Haydn, Adams, Schubert & Berg (2010) [Official Digital Download 24bit/96kHz]

Alan Gilbert, New York Philharmonic, Thomas Hampson – Passion & Pain: Haydn, Adams, Schubert & Berg (2010)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96kHz | Time – 80:11 minutes | 1,54 GB
Official Digital Download – Source: HDTracks.com | Digital booklet

In September 2009 Alan Gilbert began his tenure as Music Director of the New York Philharmonic, the first native New Yorker to hold the post. Passion & Pain: Adams, Haydn & Schubert is one of four individual performances produced and distributed by the New York Philharmonic and personally selected by Alan Gilbert for commercial release during his inaugural season with the Philharmonic. (more…)

東京ザヴィヌルバッハ (Tokyo Zawinul Bach) – Afrodita (2012) [Official Digital Download – DSD128]

東京ザヴィヌルバッハ (Tokyo Zawinul Bach) – Afrodita (2012)
DSD128 (.dsf) 1 bit/5,64 MHz | Time – 49:20 minutes | 3,37 GB
Official Digital Download – Source: e-Onkyo.com | Front cover

Electro-jazz outfit Tokyo Zawinul Bach return with its first album since 2008, though this time it’s an entirely solo effort with keyboard wizard Masayasu Tzboguchi playing all of the instruments as well as handling mixing and production duties. Imagine a collision between Kraftwerk, YMO and Weather Report viewed through a twenty-first century filter and you have something of an idea of the TZB sound. (more…)

Billy Hart, Ethan Iverson, Mark Turner, Ben Street – All Our Reasons (2012) [Official Digital Download 24bit/88,2kHz]

Billy Hart, Ethan Iverson, Mark Turner, Ben Street – All Our Reasons (2012)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/88,2 kHz | Time – 59:36 minutes | 1,07 GB
Official Digital Download – Source: HDTracks | Digital booklet

This astounding release is the epitome of pure jazz featuring an all-star quartet of musicians including drummer Billy Hart, pianist Ethan Iverson, saxophonist Mark Turner and bassist Ben Street. Shading from dark and light, this rhythmically engaging effort is a flawless collaboration between a quartet that has worked together since 2003. Each member contributes pieces to this spectacular album, included is the jaunting memorable track “Duchess.” The album full of improvisations is simply exquisite. (more…)

Neil Young Archives – Volume I (1963-1972) [FLAC 2.0 24bit 192kHz]

Neil Young Archives – Volume I (1963-1972)

Folk, Counry, Acoustic, Rock | 2009 | Reprise Records | FLAC 2.0 24bit 192kHz | FLAC Tracks | 16.68 GB

“…Extracted directly from Blu-Ray PCM streams using AnyDVD and tsMuxer. Files tracked and converted to FLAC using CDWave and tagged in Foobar. Entire 236 page book accompanying the set is included as an additional pdf file…”

This is the first volume of the Neil Young Archives series of box sets, produced by Neil Young himself. This series is the definitive, comprehensive, chronological survey of his entire body of work. Volume I covers the period from his earliest recordings with the Squires in Winnipeg, 1963, through to his classic 1972 album, Harvest and beyond, including studio and live tracks with the legendary Buffalo Springfield, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, and Neil Young with Crazy Horse. This Blu Ray disc edition contains 10 discs, each in its own custom sleeve. 9 of these discs hold a total of 128 tracks (12 hidden), all presented in ultra high resolution 24-bit/192 Khz stereo PCM state-of-the-art master quality sound, and featuring nearly 60 previously unreleased songs, versions, mixes, or rare tracks. Also found on these 9 multimedia discs are 20 special feature videos, film clips, and film trailers, an additional 55 audio tracks of rare interviews, radio spots, and concert raps, and an array of interactive features, including image galleries of archival photos, press, lyric manuscripts, documents, biographies, tour dates, and complete lyrics, as well as an interactive timeline feature which presents an in-depth overview of Young’s life and career. Each of the 10 Blu Ray discs feature 1920X1080 high definition picture quality. In addition, a Blu Ray disc of Young’s acclaimed first film, ‘Journey Through The Past’, available for the first time since its original theatrical release in 1973, is included, featuring pristine picture transfer, audio presented in both DTS 5.1 surround and stereo 24-bit/96 Khz PCM, plus archival materials. Included in the durable custom display box are a digital download card to access MP3 files of all 128 audio tracks, a lavish 236 page fullcolor hardbound book that features additional archival materials, tapes database, and detailed descriptions of the music and artwork, a foldout Archives poster, a custom keeper for the 10 sleeved discs, and more.

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Mozart – Wind Serenades (Chamber Soloists of the RPO) [Naim 2007] [Official Digital Download 24bit/88,2khz]

Mozart – Wind Serenades (Chamber Soloists of the RPO) [Naim 2007]
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/88,2 kHz | Time – 71:14 minutes | 1,14 GB
Source: Naim Records | Artwork

The Viennese newspapers of 23 March 1784 announced a concert at the Imperial Royal National Court Theatre to be given by the clarinettist Anton Stadler, ‘at which, among other well chosen pieces, a large wind work of a very special kind composed by Herr Mozart will be performed’. A member of the audience, Johann Friedrich Schink, listed the thirteen instruments in his diary and noted that ‘at each instrument sat a master – oh, what an effect it made – glorious and grand, excellent and sublime!’ Although Schink heard only four movements, this must have been the Serenade in B flat, K361. (The misspelt title ‘Gran Partitta’ and the erroneous date ‘1780′ were added to Mozart’s manuscript by an unknown hand.) Mozart was a close friend of Anton Stadler, and later wrote the Clarinet Concerto and Quintet for him: in his honour, Mozart augmented the basic ‘Harmonie’ octet with a second pair of horns, two basset-horns and a string bass (or contrabassoon), thus creating this ‘large wind work of a very special kind’. We do not know which four movements Schink heard; nor do we know when, or for what occasion, the remaining three movements were added.

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Eric Whitacre – Water Night (2012) [Official Digital Download 24bit/48kHz]

Eric Whitacre – Water Night (2012)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/48 kHz | Time – 75:54 minutes | 1,29 GB
Official Digital Download – Source: bowers-wilkins.com

Water Night is the new album from the visionary composer behind the Virtual Choir and follows up his Grammy award-winning album, Light and Gold. The Daily Telegraph, London, describes Whitacre as “that rare thing, a modern composer who is both popular and original”.

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Jazz Side Of The Moon – The Music Of Pink Floyd (2008) [Official Digital Download 24bit/192kHz]

Jazz Side Of The Moon – The Music Of Pink Floyd (2008)
– Sam Yahel, Mike Moreno, Ari Hoenig, Seamus Blake –

FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/192 kHz | Time – 55:30 minutes | 2,29 GB
Official Digital Download – Source: Chesky Records/HDTracks.com | Digital Booklet


Returning anew to the original record it’s fascinating to re-discover how provocative Pink Floyd’s classic remains, and to hear how well this quartet’s collective interplay served that music. And how beautifully Sam Yahel’s organ-while not the dominant voice, surely a prominent presence-sets the aesthetic tone for these proceedings: nothing rushed or forced or extravagant…elegant and swinging andexploratory, never stepping on anyone’s toes-deceptively laid back and responsive, always listening intently, with plenty of rhythmic vitality…a sensibility he shares with collaborators Mike Moreno, Ari Hoenig and Seamus Blake, which goes a long ways towards explaining why their take on Pink Floyd’s music is so engaging and stands up so well to repeated listenings. “Sam Yahel is clearly one of the most promising new organists on the New York City and international scene.” -Michael G. Nascos, Jazziz “Ari Hoenig is a magician!” -Batteur Magazine “(Mike Moreno) is a versatile and increasingly prominent guitarist.” -The New York Times “Seamus Blake is gaining increasing recognition as one of the finest and most creative young players emerging in jazz”.
— All About Jazz

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Grateful Dead – American Beauty (1970/2012) [Official Digital Download 24bit/96kHz]

Grateful Dead – American Beauty (1970/2012)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96 kHz | Time – 44:32 minutes | 1,02 GB
Official Digital Download – Source: HDTracks.com | Front cover

American Beauty is the timeless masterpiece by the Grateful Dead. Their sixth studio album is one of their strongest efforts to date. Following the success of Workingman’s Dead, the band continues with their effortless blend of folk rock. The work develops with intricate melodies and includes the standouts “Box of Rain,” “Friend of The Devil” and “Truckin’.” American Beauty is included on Rolling Stone’s “500 Greatest Albums of All Time” and is an undeniable classic.

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Michael Feinstein – The Sinatra Project II:The Good Life (2011) [Official Digital Download 24bit/88,2kHz]

Michael Feinstein – The Sinatra Project II:The Good Life (2011)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/88,2 kHz | Time – 41:17 minutes | 838 MB
Jazz | Official Digital Download – Source: HDTracks.com | Digital Booklet

Michael Feinstein has built a career out of interpreting standards and favorites from the American Songbook, so THE SINATRA PROJECT, an album of tunes made famous by Ol’ Blue Eyes, comes as no surprise. Rather than trying to imitate Sinatra, Feinstein takes pains to arrange and deliver standbys like “Fools Rush In,” “I’ve Got a Crush On You,” and “You Go To My Head” in a style distinctive from the master. Romantic, sophisticated, and filled with nostalgia, Feinstein’s THE SINATRA PROJECT is both a suitable tribute to the icon, and a lovely listening experience in its own right. (more…)

Donald Fagen – Morph The Cat (2006/2012) [Official Digital Download 24bit/96kHz]

Donald Fagen – Morph The Cat (2006/2012)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96 kHz | Time – 52:52 minutes | 1,23 GB (Incl. 5% Recovery)
Official Digital Download – Source: HDTracks.com | Front cover

Donald Fagen, the GRAMMY Award-winning voice of Steely Dan, continues to leave a lasting impression on music. Morph The Cat, his third solo effort, is another contemporary classic highlighting his adventurous musical depth, sophisticated lyrical content and immaculate arrangements. The album is the completion of a trilogy that began over twenty years ago with The Nightfly and followed with Kamakiriad. Each song depicts vivid imagery of illusion, decay and loss in a post 9/11 realm, without ever sounding dreary. With his signature blend of jazz, soul and rock, Morph The Cat is a stellar listen from start to finish!

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