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Various Artists – The Nordic Sound – 2L audiophile reference recordings (2009) [High Fidelity Pure Audio Blu-Ray Disc]

Album title: The Nordic Sound – 2L Audiophile Reference Recordings
Performer: Various Artists
Genre: Classical
Label: 2L (Lindberg Lyd)
Location: Norway
Release date: February 2009
Recording date: 2004-2008
Original source: Mastering in DXD (352.8kHz/24bit)
Quality: Blu-ray Audio
Duration: 01:20:34
Video: MPEG-4 AVC 15000 kbps / 1080p / 24 fps / 16:9 / High Profile 4.1
Audio#1: DTS-HD MA 5.1 / 192 kHz / 10904 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
Audio#2: LPCM 2.0 / 192 kHz / 9216 kbps / 24-bit
Audio#3: LPCM 5.1 / 192 kHz / 27648 kbps / 24-bit
Audio#4: LPCM 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1536 kbps / 16-bit

From combined musical and audiophile criteria we have compiled a collection of the most excellent and impressive recordings 2L (Lindberg Lyd) have to offer. Most tracks originate from DXD (352.8kHz/24bit), presented now in 192kHz on the Blu-ray and DSD on the SACD. This two-disc set contains both a Pure Audio Blu-ray and a hybrid SACD featuring the exact same music.
Two of the albums presented in this compilation is nominated for the GRAMMY Award “Best Surround Sound Album”. Discover what the unique Nordic Sound is all about!

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McCoy Tyner Trio – Inception (1962/2013) [Official Digital Download 24bit/96kHz]

McCoy Tyner Trio – Inception (1962/2013)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96 kHz | Time – 32:42 minutes | 633 GB | Genre: Jazz
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download – Source: ProStudioMasters | @ Impulse! Records

Those familiar with the dense, percussive style that pianist McCoy Tyner has cultivated since the 1970s onwards may be surprised by what they hear on Inception. Like Reaching Fourth and Nights of Ballads and Blues, this album gives listeners the chance to hear what a very young Tyner sounded like outside the confines of the classic John Coltrane quartet of the early ’60s; it reveals a lyrical approach to jazz piano that seems a far cry from Tyner’s mature style. The choice of material is fairly evenly split between modal pieces like “Inception” and more harmonically involved tunes like “Speak Low,” and the pianist’s treatment of both demonstrates the extent to which his early work was rooted in bebop. Tyner had yet to develop the massive orchestral sound and highly distinctive vocabulary of modal licks that would mark his later style, and throughout this album he spins dizzyingly long and singing lines with an exquisitely light touch. The irresistible rush of forward momentum that he maintains on tracks like “Effendi” and “Blues for Gwen” is breathtaking, and there is an exuberant, almost athletic quality to much of his solo work. Bassist Art Davis and drummer Elvin Jones provide superb accompaniment throughout, and they lay a solid rhythmic foundation for Tyner’s sparkling melodic flights. The pianist’s penchant for drama, which asserts itself more strongly in his later work, is on brief display in the original ballad “Sunset”; his skills as an arranger, though evident on several tracks, are perhaps best illustrated by the intricate contrapuntal treatment of “There Is No Greater Love.” –AllMusic Review by Alexander Gelfand

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McCoy Tyner – Time For Tyner (1968/2015) [Official Digital Download 24bit/192kHz]

McCoy Tyner – Time For Tyner (1968/2015)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/192kHz  | Time – 00:42:42 minutes | 1,41 GB | Genre: Jazz
Official Digital Download – Source: Qobuz | © Blue Note Records
Recorded: May 17, 1968 at the Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey.

Time for Tyner is the ninth album by jazz pianist McCoy Tyner and his third released on the Blue Note label. It was recorded in May 1968 and features performances by Tyner with Bobby Hutcherson, Herbie Lewis and Freddie Waits. The Penguin Guide to Jazz selected this album as part of its suggested “Core Collection” calling it “a powerhouse performance from first to last.”

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Bjørn Bolstad Skjelbred: Waves & Interruptions (2013) [High Fidelity Pure Audio Blu-Ray Disc]

Album title: Bjørn Bolstad Skjelbred: Waves & Interruptions
Performer: Eirik Raude, marimba and vibraphone; Ida Bryhn, viola; Tom Ottar Andreassen, flutes; Thomas Kjekstad, guitar
Genre: Classical
Label: 2L (Lindberg Lyd)
Location: Jar Church, Norway
Release date: August 2014
Recording date: August 2013
Original source: Mastering in DXD (352.8kHz/24bit)
Quality: Blu-ray Audio
Duration: 01:12:30
Video: MPEG-4 AVC 950 kbps / 1080i / 29,970 fps / 16:9 / High Profile 4.1
Audio#1: DTS-HD MA 5.1 / 192 kHz / 9757 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
Audio#2: LPCM 2.0 / 192 kHz / 9216 kbps / 24-bit

This album presents a collection of works by the Norwegian composer Bjørn Bolstad Skjelbred (b.1970), all composed between 2001 and 2013. The works have been written with melodic percussion as the central and dominating element – with various surrounding ensembles – performed by the recognized Norwegian percussionist Eirik Raude. The smaller chamber formations very suitably illustrate several of the central compositional and poetic aspects of Skjelbred’s music.

The music of Skjelbred is quiet, and just like his shy persona it is exactly this quietness that gives the music its character and originality. This is not music that leaps off the stage and authoritatively grabs the listener. It is rather music that encourages the listener to actively advance, to follow the finely chiselled processes that you will find under the surface, in sequences that in Skjelbred consciously avoid being directed towards final and unambiguous goals. One rarely finds that the composer in his works wishes to draw rigorous conclusions.

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Symphonies of Wind Instruments (2013) [HIGH FIDELITY PURE AUDIO BLU-RAY DISC]

Cmposer: Paul Hindemith (1895-1963), Arnold Schoenberg (1874-1951), Igor Stravinsky (1882-1971), Rolf Wallin (b.1957)
Album title: Symphonies of Wind Instruments
Performer: Royal Norwegian Navy Band; Ingar Bergby, conductor
Genre: Classical
Label: 2L (Lindberg Lyd)
Location: Jar Church, Norway
Release date: February 2014
Recording date: April 2013
Original Quality: Mastering in DXD (352.8kHz/24bit)
Quality: Blu-ray Audio
Duration: 01:02:15
Video: MPEG-4 AVC 943 kbps / 1080i / 29,970 fps / 16:9 / High Profile 4.1
Audio#1: DTS-HD MA 5.1 / 192 kHz / 12080 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
Audio#2: LPCM Audio / 2.0 / 192 kHz / 9216 kbps / 24-bit

“A composer speaking about his own problems is also speaking about the problems of mankind,” asserted Schoenberg. “I was made a revolutionary in spite of myself,” said Stravinsky. Hindemith spoke of a forthcoming “big battle over new music”, and added, “the need will be to prove whether or not the music of our day, including my own, is capable of survival.” Today these composers are regarded as being three of the most seminal figures in music history in the first half of the 20th century. Meanwhile a composer at the end of the same century, Rolf Wallin, has written music that portrays “the dancing dynamics of the universe”, where nothing is stable and everything is volatile. The works featured on this album by these four composers reflect the universal and timeless balance between tradition and innovation, and the Royal Norwegian Navy Band under Ingar Bergby illuminate this balance in their recordings of these works, and breathe new life into this music.

Facebook Photo Album from the recording sessions.

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Anna Moffo – Arias From Faust, La Bohème, Dinorah, etc (1960) [SACD Remaster 2005] {PS3 ISO + FLAC}

Anna Moffo – Arias From Faust, La Bohème, Dinorah, etc
Rome Opera House Orchestra / Tullio Serafin
SACD ISO (2.0/MCH): 1,76 GB | 24B/88,2kHz Stereo FLAC: 802 MB | 3% Recovery Info
Label/Cat#: RCA Living Stereo # 67905 | Country/Year: US 1960, 2005
Genre: Classical | Style: Opera

This is a hybrid Super Audio CD playable on both regular and Super Audio CD players.
Here is a vivid reminder of Anna Moffo, the Pennsylvania-born lyric-coloratura soprano who made her Met debut in 1959 and had an international career that went beyond the opera stage into pop music and film acting. This recital, led by the the legendary opera veteran Tulio Serafin, was recorded in Rome in 1960 and captures Moffo at her freshest and most brilliant in a selection that includes tender arias such as “Mi chiamano Mimi” from Puccini’s ‘La Boheme’ and Micaela’s Air from Bizet’s ‘Carmen,’ as well as more explosive coloratura fare such as “Bel raggio lusinghier” from Rossini’s ‘Semiramide’ and the delightful “Bell Song” from Delibe’s ‘Lakme,’ whose final high E is worth the price of the disc alone. But, if you need another reason, the sound, of the best RCA “Living Stereo” vintage, is spectacularly present. arkivmusic

This truly delightful disc of mostly coloratura arias forms a nearly perfect bookend with Leontyne Price’s classic “Blue album.” Both Living
Stereo discs were recorded within months of each other, featured the same forces (although here led by Tullio Serafin), and were recorded in
the same venues; and both featured amazing sopranos at the height of their vocal powers. Unfortunately, Anna Moffo, who was much in demand
early on in her career, peaked soon after and disappeared pretty much into obscurity.

This three-channel disc offers the first opportunity to hear these tracks as they were originally recorded, and this disc easily eclipses
all previously released digital versions – while managing to sound very analog-like in the process. Anna Moffo’s coloratura is superb; she
sings with a lovely lyrical quality and achieves admirable upper extension throughout. The disc pretty evenly mixes French and Italian
genres; on the French side, we get a sprightly rendering of the Jewel Song from Gounod’s Faust, while her heartfelt singing in Delibes’ Bell
Song from Lakme is nothing short of amazing! Traditional Italian fare comes in the form of well-known arias from Puccini and Rossini; for
good measure, Meyerbeer’s less frequently played (but truly superb) Shadow Song from Dinorah is included.

Tullio Serafin and the Rome Opera Orchestra are no strangers to this repertory, and offer lush and sympathetic accompaniments throughout.
The recorded sound here is remarkable – lets hope RCA/Sony continues to pump these discs out! The only caveat is the rather skimpy 44-minute
playing time the disc clocks in at – but truly, what would you pair it with? Very highly recommended!

– Tom Gibbs audiophile-audition

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Van Cliburn: Tchaikovsky – Concertos No. 1 / Rachmaninoff – Concerto No. 2 (2004) [Hybrid-SACD] {ISO + HiRes FLAC}

Van Cliburn: Tchaikovsky – Concertos No. 1 / Rachmaninoff – Concerto No. 2
Kondrashin, RCA Symphony / Reiner, Chigaco Symphony
SACD ISO (2.0/MCH): 3,23 GB | 24B/88,2kHz Stereo FLAC: 1,26 GB | Full Artwork: 26 MB
Label/Cat#: RCA Red Seal “Living Stereo” # 82876-61392-2 | Country/Year: US 2004
Genre: Classical | Style: Romantic, Early 20th Century

What a stunner of a disc! My favorite SACD, out of the several hundred I now own.

The performances are simply to die for. I have scores of alternative versions (Argerich, Ashkenzy, Horowitz, …, Volodos), and no one holds a candle to Cliburn in the Tchaikovsky.

Yet, the real surprise is the Rach. 2. Here, Reiner’s synergy with Cliburn raises the performance up several notches, resulting in an absolutely thrilling performance.

Even the normally sedate Penguin Guide refered to the Rach. 2 recording as if it was “recorded yesterday”, and I have to agree.

Forget the wimpy Telarcs or the bright Membranes or the acerbic Naxos SACDs. What you have here is a 50 year old pair of recordings that sound like they were recorded yesterday, with performances that will be just as timeless a 100 years from now.

Five stars in sonics as well as performance. If the recordings sound bad, something’s wrong with your system! Played through a full dCS stack with BAT VK 51Se and a Krell 600c and Harbeth Monitor 40s, this SACD sounds stunning, with amazing dynamics and spectacular piano sound.

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Wilhelm Furtwängler – Schubert: Symphony No. 8 (9) / Haydn: Symphony No. 88 (2011) [Single Layer SHM-SACD] {PS3 ISO + FLAC}

Franz Schubert: Symphony No. 8 (9) in C major D.944 “Great” / Joseph Haydn: Symphony No. 88
Berliner Philharmoniker / Wilhelm Furtwängler
SACD ISO (Single Layer/Mono): 3,05 GB | 24B/88,2kHz FLAC: 766 MB | Full Artwork: 80 MB | 3% Recovery Info
Label/Cat#: Deutsche Grammophon, Universal Music LLC # UCGG-9019 | Country/Year: Japan 2011 (Germany 1951)
Genre: Classical | Style: Viennese School, Historical Recording

Artist Biography by David Brensilver

Although born in Berlin, conductor Wilhelm Furtwängler spent his childhood in Munich, where his father was a professor. After his talents were recognized at an early age, he was removed from school and educated privately. Furtwängler’s teachers included the composer Joseph Rheinberger and the conductor Felix Mottl. By the age of 17, the young musician had written numerous works and had his conducting debut three years later with the Kaim Orchestra, where he directed the opening Largo from his own first symphony, Beethoven’s overture Die Weihe des Hauses, and Bruckner’s Ninth Symphony. The ambivalent response to his music and the financial instability that composition offered caused him to focus his energies on conducting.

Furtwängler’s first position was at the Breslau Stadttheater in 1906 and 1907. He went to Zurich the next season, followed by an apprenticeship at the Munich Court Opera under the auspices of his teacher Mottl. From 1911 to 1921, Furtwängler served as music director of various ensembles in Lübeck, Mannheim, Frankfurt, and Vienna. From 1920 to 1922, he served as conductor of the Berlin Staatskapelle. At the age of 35, the conductor took the baton at the celebrated Berlin Philharmonic and concurrently held the same position at the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, where he remained until 1928. Furtwängler led the New York Philharmonic from 1927 to 1929, but eventually declined an offer to remain there. It was during those years that Furtwängler was appointed music director of the Vienna Philharmonic. As the 1920s drew to a close, he held positions throughout Europe, including those at the Bayreuth and Salzburg festivals (1931-1932) and the Berlin State Opera (1933). In 1932, he was awarded the Goethe Gold Medal.

When the Nazis came into power in 1933, Furtwängler strongly and publicly opposed the Nazi agenda, despite pride in his German heritage, and refused to give the Nazi salute, even in Hitler’s presence. In 1934, when Hindemith’s Mathis de Maler was banned by the Nazi party, Furtwängler unilaterally resigned from all of his posts, aided numerous Jewish musicians under Nazi persecution, and refused to conduct in Nazi-occupied areas. Furtwängler eventually fled to Switzerland at the suggestion of Albert Speer. When, in 1936, the New York Philharmonic offered him the position of music director, he was dissuaded from accepting the position by anti-Nazi sentiment. After the war’s conclusion, the Allied command cleared Furtwängler of charges of being a Nazi sympathizer, although the American government did not “denazify” Furtwängler until 1946. In 1949, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra courted the German conductor, but its board of directors quickly withdrew its offer under the heavy and largely unjustified criticism from the orchestra’s musicians.

Always welcomed in Europe, Furtwängler enjoyed continued success throughout the region. While uninterested in recording live performances, citing the impossibility for technology to capture a mood or aesthetic, he was responsible for countless recordings, most of which were made after the war. His dedication to the works of Beethoven was unsurpassed, and his enthusiasm towards the contemporary compositions of the time impressive, evidenced by his aggressive programming. Furtwängler’s idiosyncratic approach to the repertoire and spontaneous interpretations were unique to say the least. Furtwängler remained a popular artist and kept a busy schedule conducting throughout Europe until his death in Baden-Baden in 1954. According to his second wife Elisabeth Ackermann, he died a darkened and melancholy man, troubled by the atrocious history his beloved Germany had written. allmusicguide

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Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart – Piano Sonatas Nos. 1-5 – Glenn Gould (1968/2015) [Official Digital Download 24bit/44,1kHz]

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart – Piano Sonatas Nos. 1-5 – Glenn Gould (1968/2015)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/44,1 kHz | Time – 00:47:59 minutes | 472 MB | Genre: Classical
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download – Source: Q0buz |  @ Columbia Records

After Bach, Beethoven, and Schoenberg, Mozart was the fourth composer to whom, despite his many reservations, Gould devoted a “cycle.” His misgivings did not, however, apply to these early sonatas: “For me, the first half-dozen piano sonatas, which have this purity of voice leading and this calculation of register, are the best of the lot.”

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Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart – Violin Concertos No.1 – 5; Sinfonia Concertante – Anne-Sophie Mutter (2005/2015) [Official Digital Download 24bit/96kHz]

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart – Violin Concertos No.1 – 5; Sinfonia Concertante – Anne-Sophie Mutter (2005/2015)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96kHz | Time – 02:28:39 minutes | 2,79 GB | Genre: Classical
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download – Source: Q0buz | © Deutsche Grammophon
Recorded: London, Abbey Road Studios, Studio One, 7/2005

Anne-Sophie Mutter’s debut recording was of Mozart’s Third and Fifth violin concertos, made when she was 15 years old, with conductor Herbert von Karajan. In 2003, she returned to Mozart, recording all five of the concertos and the Sinfonia concertante as both violinist and conductor. Mutter is accompanied by the London Philharmonic, and in the Sinfonia is joined by violist Yuri Bashmet. Mutter’s more mature tone and technique are on display in this popular set of concertos.

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