Yannick Nezet-Seguin, Chamber Orchestra of Europe – Schumann: The Symphonies (2014) [Qobuz FLAC 24/96]

Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Chamber Orchestra of Europe – Schumann: The Symphonies (2014)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96 kHz | Digital Booklet | 2.04 GB | Genre: Classical
Official Digital Download – Source: Qobuz

For these revelatory performances – captured live at acclaimed concerts in Paris – he conducts the superb Chamber Orchestra of Europe, one of the world’s preeminent chamber orchestras. Taking a fresh perspective on familiar music, Yannick Nézet-Séguin challenges the conventional view on the composer’s symphonies.

“Of all the major symphonies, I’d say that Schumann’s are best performed by a slightly smaller ensemble… With a lean string section – not only in size, but also in its quality of playing – the music just works.”

The Canadian Maestro sees Schumann’s music as rooted in the bipolar nature of the composer’s troubled psyche, emphasising dramatic shifts of temperament – not only between movements but even within a single phrase

“He’s one of those composers whose personality is completely expressed in their music…those fluctuations between the melancholy and something very inward-looking are combined with a very manic kind of energy that wants to conquer the world. That’s what is so special about Schumann.”

This new cycle includes the second, revised version of Schumann’s second symphony, published as his Symphony No.4. “I try to respect whenever a composer makes a revision because he feels the need to, rather than because of any outside pressure. I’m personally convinced that the symphony’s message, and this feeling of one big movement, is better conveyed by the later version.”

This set is Yannick Nézet-Séguin’s first recording of a complete symphony cycle.

Composer: Robert Schumann
Conductor: Yannick Nézet-Séguin
Orchestra/Ensemble: Chamber Orchestra of Europe

Read More

Simon Bolivar Symphony Orchestra Of Venezuela – Gustavo Dudamel: The Liberator (OST) (2014) [HDTracks FLAC 24/96]

Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra Of Venezuela – Gustavo Dudamel: The Liberator (OST 2014)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96kHz | Time – 54:09 minutes | 1,11 GB | Genre: Soundtrack, Classical
Official Digital Download – Source: HDTracks.com | Digital booklet

Libertador, Gustavo Dudamel’s first soundtrack, and first composition to be released worldwide. Gustavo originally arrived to this project as musical advisor. Sometime later, Gustavo said he had come up with a melody that could work for the start of the film. He went to the piano and began playing the melody. When he finished playing, I think both of us realized that he had begun composing our soundtrack. Dudamel, who consulted with filmscore master John Williams in the preparations for this assignment, describes his soundtrack as atmospheric, post-Mahlerian music, full of tension, hope and struggle. The Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra and guests from the world of Venezuelan folk music lend the score a distinctive and irresistible Latin American flavor.

Read More

Yuja Wang, Dudamel, Simon Bolivar SO – Rachmaninov, Prokofiev: Piano Concertos (2013) [LINN FLAC 24/96]

Yuja Wang, Dudamel, Simon Bolivar SO – Rachmaninov, Prokofiev: Piano Concertos (2013)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96 kHz | Digital Booklet | 1.27 GB | Genre: Classical
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download – Source: Linn Records

Twenty-four year old Chinese pianist Yuja Wang is widely recognized for playing that combines the spontaneity and fearless imagination of youth with the discipline and precision of a mature artist. Regularly lauded for her controlled, prodigious technique, Yuja’s command of the piano has been described as “astounding” and “superhuman,” and she has been praised for her authority over the most complex technical demands of the repertoire, the depth of her musical insight, as well as her fresh interpretations and graceful, charismatic stage presence. Following her San Francisco recital debut The San Francisco Chronicle wrote “The arrival of Chinese-born pianist Yuja Wang on the musical scene is an exhilarating and unnerving development. To listen to her in action is to re-examine whatever assumptions you may have had about how well the piano can actually be played,” and The Washington Post called Yuja’s Kennedy Center recital debut “jaw-dropping.”

Composer: Sergei Rachmaninov, Sergei Prokofiev
Performer: Yuja Wang
Conductor: Gustavo Dudamel
Orchestra/Ensemble: Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra

Read More

Jiri Belohlávek, Czech Philharmonic – Dvorak: Complete Symphonies & Concertos (2014) [HDTracks FLAC 24/96]

Jiri Belohlávek, Czech Philharmonic – Dvorak: Complete Symphonies & Concertos (2014)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96 kHz | Digital Booklet | 8.62 GB | Genre: Classical
Official Digital Download – Source: HDtracks | Label: Decca

A new Dvorák symphony and concerto cycle from the multi-Gramophone-Award-winning conductor and the great Prague-based orchestra. It marks a triumphant return to the orchestra where he trained, the world leading and multi-Gramophone Award-winning maestro Jirí Bìlohlávek records Decca’s first Dvorák cycle since the 1960s. This complete symphonies and concertos set is a pinnacle of brilliant music-making, and the first major cycle to be recorded in high-definition 24bit 96kHz and Mastered for iTunes sound.

Dvorák himself conducted the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra’s first concert in 1896, and the shared Bohemian heritage of composer, conductor and orchestra lends a very special authenticity to these recordings.

Dvorák’s three concertos (violin, cello and piano) feature alongside his nine great Symphonies, with Decca’s leading cellist Alisa Weilerstein, Frank Peter Zimmermann (violin) and Garrick Ohlsson (piano). The Czech PO and Belohlávek will be undertaking major European tours in 2014, including a full Dvorák symphonic cycle in Prague in September. Rhombus Films have also made a fascinating documentary focusing on Belohlávek’s return to Prague as the Czech Philharmonic’s chief conductor.

Composer: Antonín Dvorák
Performer: Alisa Weilerstein, Frank Peter Zimmermann, Garrick Ohlsson
Conductor: Jiri Belohlávek
Orchestra/Ensemble: Czech Philharmonic Orchestra

Read More

C.P.E Bach Project – Ophelie Gaillard, Pulcinella Orchestra (2014) [Qobuz FLAC 24/96]

C.P.E Bach Project – Ophelie Gaillard, Pulcinella Orchestra (2014)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96 kHz | 1 CD | Digital Booklet | 1.29 GB  | Genre: Classical
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Source: Qobuz

A portrait, on the tercentenary of the composer’s birth, of Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach (1714-1788), probably the most gifted of the sons of Johann Sebastian Bach. Highly admired in his own century by Haydn, Gluck and Mozart, he stands out today as a brilliant and highly original composer. For CPE Bach, music had to be an expression of personal feelings and to achieve his aim, he revolutionised the established principles of form, harmony and rhythm. The Trio Sonata ‘Sanguineus und Melancholicus’ is a rarity in the composer’s output in that it is a quasi-programmatic work. It presents a conversation between one sanguine (first violin) and the other melancholic (second violin). The same duality is found throughout the recordings presented here, from the well-known Sinfonia No. 5 to the two brilliant cello concertos. Under the bow of cellist Ophélie Gaillard, at the head of the Pulcinella Orchestra, these pieces come as a revelation!

Read More

Johann Sebastian Bach – Brandenburg Concertos – Freiburg Baroque (2014) [Qobuz FLAC 24/96]

Bach: Brandenburg Concertos – Freiburg Baroque (2014) [Official Digital Download – 24bit/96kHz]
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96 kHz | 2 CDs | Digital Booklet | 1.71 GB | Genre: Classical
Studio Masters,  Official Digital Download – Source: Qobuz

The Brandenburg Concertos need no introduction – doubtless because they owe their fame to a systematic exploration of a genre recently inherited from the Italians, with a still youthful Bach devising as many different scorings as there are concertos. When he received the manuscript of the six works, Christian Ludwig, Margrave of Brandenburg, must have been terrified by their demands, and his musicians even more so! Three centuries later, the cycle is as open as ever to new ‘historically informed’ interpretations, as this set demonstrates. The CD cover represents the importance of numbers in these works eg Concerto No 3 which is scored for three instruments, in 3 time, 3 sections etc. The trumpeter is particularly impressive. Freiburg are recording and touring Bach throughout 2014.

Composer: Johann Sebastian Bach
Orchestra/Ensemble: Freiburg Baroque Orchestra

Read More

Johann Sebastian Bach – Cello Suites – Ophelie Gaillard (2011) [Qobuz FLAC 24/96]

Ophélie Gaillard – Bach: Cello Suites pour violoncelle seul BWV 1007-1012 (2011)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96 kHz | Time – 136:57 minutes | 2,17 GB | Genre: Classical
Official Digital Download – Source: Qobuz | Digital Booklet

The Bach Cello Suites are an iconic monument of the literature with which any serious cellist must grapple. Performances can vary from the metronomically precise just-play-the-notes approach to the other extreme in which a player’s idiosyncratic interpretations are so pronounced that they become the center of attention rather than Bach’s sublime music. This 2010 version is French cellist Ophélie Gaillard’s second recording of the suites, the first made a decade earlier when she was in her mid-twenties.

Read More

Nguyen Le – Celebrating The Dark Side Of The Moon (2014) [HIGHRESAUDIO FLAC 24/96]

Nguyên Lê with Michael Gibbs & NDR Bigband – Celebrating The Dark Side Of The Moon (2014)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/96 kHz | Time – 58:51 minutes | 1,15 GB | Genre: Jazz
Studio Master, Official Digital Download | Artwork: Digital booklet | © ACT Music

Nguyên Lê is a magician; his art reveals itself not only in his own compositions but also in his celebrations of the music of the past, where his approach to the latter resembles sculptures made of new clay. Remember Purple, his tribute to Jimi Hendrix, or more recently his Songs Of Freedom and its evocations of rock’s greatest moments. He’s a flamboyant guitarist and, while he shows courteous deference to his source material, he has always expressed the full diversity of an imaginary world engendered by his own history, that of a nomad, self-taught virtuoso: his music feeds on influences embracing all continents, and is painted with colours drawn from jazz, rock, and a kind of world fusion permeated with light. Celebrating The Dark Side Of The Moon demonstrates that the imagination of Nguyên Lê has indeed risen to power; it is no simple tribute to a record which made history. It fervently expresses the re-creation exempt from all imitation of a score which you can hear in filigree. Lê produced and arranged the album, and adds five tracks of his own, interspersing the Pink Floyd material. Korean singing sensation Youn Sun Nah adds dramatic vocals and Michael Gibbs provides the orchestration.

Read More

Riccardo Chailly, Gewandhausorchester – Brahms: The Symphonies (2013) [LINN FLAC 24/96]

Gewandhausorchester, Riccardo Chailly – Brahms: The Symphonies (2013)
FLAC (tracks) 24bit/96 kHz | Time – 233:58 minutes | 4,41 GB | Genre: Classical
Official Digital Download – Source: LinnRecords.com | Covers & Digital Booklet | Label: Decca

This comprehensive overview of Brahms’s orchestral works includes several rarities, among them world premieres of two piano intermezzi orchestrated by Paul Klengel (brother of the Gewandhaus’s long-standing principal cellist Julius Klengel) and the original first performance version of the Andante of Symphony No. 1 and the even rarer revised opening of the Fourth Symphony.

Read More

Daniel Barenboim, Staatskapelle Berlin – Elgar: Symphony No 2 (2014) [Qobuz FLAC 24/96]

Elgar: Symphony No 2 – Barenboim, Staatskapelle Berlin (2014)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96 kHz | Digital Booklet | 1.01 GB | Genre: Classical
Official Digital Download – Source: Qobuz |
© Decca

Following his critically-acclaimed Elgar Cello Concerto recording with Alisa Weilerstein, Barenboim turns to the symphonies. The Second Symphony is released first, in a 2013 recording with the Staatskapelle Berlin. The First Symphony will follow in 2015.

“To hear an orchestra with such a distinctive central European sound playing Elgar, and relating his music so securely to the wider late-romantic tradition, is one of the disc’s great pleasures.” Andrew Clements, The Guardian (of the Cello Concerto recording)

Composer: Sir Edward Elgar
Conductor: Daniel Barenboim
Orchestra/Ensemble: Berlin Staatskapelle Orchestra

Read More