Christiane Karg – Clara & Robert Schumann, Brahms: Recital (2016) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/96kHz

Artist: Christiane Karg
Title: Clara & Robert Schumann, Brahms: Recital
Genre: Classical
Release Date: 2016
Duration: 01:04:34
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/96kHz
Label: Wigmore Hall Live

Bavarian soprano Christiane Karg made her Wigmore Hall debut in 2012 with a beautiful song recital which also became her first release on Wigmore Hall Live [WHLIVE0062]; four years on we are excited to present her second release. A regular guest at the world’s leading opera houses, singing roles from Musetta (La bohme) to Amor (Orfeo ed Euridice), she is also revered for her enchanting performances on the concert platform alongside conductors such as Nikolaus Harnoncourt and Yannick Nzet-Sguin. Christiane is joined by Malcolm Martineau celebrated as one of his generations greatest accompanists.

This recital explores the unique relationship between the Schumanns and Brahms. After Robert’s death Brahms’s passion for Clara grew but it was reciprocated only with a protective motherly care. They remained close friends but Brahms never truly recovered. This programme presents love in many different guises from the stirring ‘Widmung’, to the heartfelt ‘Liebst du um Schnheit’ and the love-drunk passion of ‘Meine Liebe ist grn’.

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Choir of Clare College, Cambridge and Graham Ross – Stabat Mater dolorosa: Music for Passiontide (2014) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/96kHz

Artist: Choir of Clare College, Cambridge and Graham Ross
Title: Stabat Mater dolorosa: Music for Passiontide
Genre: Classical
Release Date: 2014
Duration: 01:17:56
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/96kHz
Label: harmonia mundi

The second album from the choir of Clare College, Cambridge in their series based on the major festivals in the Anglican calendar and, like Veni Emmanuel”, produced by John Rutter.

In this richly varied Passiontide sequence, polyphonic settings of the great texts of Holy Week are interwoven with a plainchant rendition of the mournful Stabat Mater”: the traditional medieval poem meditating on the death of Jesus and the grief of his mother.

Following on from last November’s Veni Emmanuel: Music for Advent”, the choir under the direction of Graham Ross turn their attention towards the music of Holy Week, featuring a diverse range of works from Victoria, Lassus and Tallis to Bach, Stainer and Durufl interwoven with a plainchant rendition of the mournful Stabat mata — the traditional medieval poem meditating on the death of Jesus and the grief of his mother.

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Choir of Clare College, Cambridge and Graham Ross – Mater ora filium: Music for Epiphany (2016) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/96kHz

Artist: Choir of Clare College, Cambridge and Graham Ross
Title: Mater ora filium: Music for Epiphany
Genre: Classical, Sacred, Choral
Release Date: 2016
Duration: 01:12:32
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/96kHz
Label: harmonia mundi

Graham Ross directs the Choir of Clare College, Cambridge in music celebrating the feast of Epiphany, culminating in Arnold Bax’s unaccompanied double-choir masterpiece, ‘Mater ora filium’ (1926). The feast of Epiphany falls on 6 January, 12 days after Christmas. Marked in the Christian world with the story of the Magi, many composers have been inspired by the account of ‘the three kings’ following the star, bringing their gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. This sequence of music explores some of the greatest musical contributions to the feast, principally from the 16th and 20th centuries. Three great Epiphany hymns frame this sequence, all in new arrangements by Graham Ross, and all here receiving their premire recordings. Graham Ross has also written the excellent booklet note and is aided and abetted, again, by John Rutter as producer, engineer and editor.

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Chocolate Milk – Comin’ (Expanded) (1972/2014) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/96kHz

Artist: Chocolate Milk
Title: Comin’ (Expanded)
Genre: R&B
Release Date: 1972
Duration: 00:47:02
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/96kHz
Label: Legacy Recordings

Digitally remastered and expanded edition. With influences ranging from the Meters to Kool & the Gang, New Orleans’ Chocolate Milk let the funk flow on their self-titled sophomore album of 1976. No in-depth discussion of the history of African-American music would be complete without some mention of New Orleans, which was not only the birthplace of jazz, it was also an important city for soul, funk, zydeco and the blues. The Crescent City had a rich R&B scene in the 1950s and 1960s, boasting expressive artists like Professor Longhair, Fats Domino, Dr. John, Irma Thomas, the Meters, Ernie K-Doe, Lee Dorsey, Chris Kenner, the Neville Brothers and Aaron Neville. So when New Orleans-based funksters Chocolate Milk came together in 1974, they had an incredibly rich heritage to draw upon. But as this reissue demonstrates, Chocolate Milk brought something unorthodox to New Orleans’ R&B scene and they never went out of their way to emulate their Crescent City peers. FunkyTownGrooves’ expanded edition of Chocolate Milk offers three bonus tracks: the 7 single versions of ‘Girl Callin'”, “Say Won’tCha” and “Grand Theft,” all of which are energetic funk grooves.

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Charles Owen, Katya Apekishiva – Rachmaninov: Two-Piano Suites & Six Morceaux, Op. 11 (2018) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/96kHz

Artist: Charles Owen, Katya Apekishiva
Title: Rachmaninov: Two-Piano Suites & Six Morceaux, Op. 11
Genre: Classical, Piano
Release Date: 2018
Duration: 01:10:24
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/96kHz
Label: Avie Records

Pianist Charles Owen and his regular duo partner Katya Apekisheva turn to Rachmaninov’s diverse Suites for two pianos, and the composer’s atmospheric Six Morceaux, for their first joint recording for AVIE. The co-founders of the London Piano Festival delve into the quintessentially Russian Suite No. 1, also known as “Fantasise-Tableaux”, with its poetic inspirations, and the more traditional Suite No. 2 which marked Rachmaninov’s compositional comeback after a four-year hiatus. Rounding out the album, Charles and Katya share the piano bench for the atmospheric piano-four hands Six Morceaux.

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Cappella Amsterdam and Daniel Reuss – Brahms: Choral Works (2014) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/96kHz

Artist: Cappella Amsterdam and Daniel Reuss
Title: Brahms: Choral Works
Genre: Classical
Release Date: 2014
Duration: 01:09:57
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/96kHz
Label: harmonia mundi

Daniel Reuss and his Cappella Amsterdam are focussing on Brahms’ later choral works with this album. The famous German Requiem must not be allowed to overshadow the wide variety of choral music Brahms wrote throughout his career. Daniel Reuss and his Cappella Amsterdam are our expert guides in a programme that takes in sacred a cappella motets by turns austere (opp.74 and 110) and resplendent (op.109), secular quartets with piano (opp.92 and 112), and songs for six-part unaccompanied chorus (op.104).

The crowning glory is a dramatic masterpiece for chorus and four-hand piano, the Song of Destiny after Hlderlin.

The influence of renaissance composers, but above all Heinrich Schtz on Brahm’s style can be heard clearly on this recording. Apart from the by turns austere and resplendent motets, like the famous Warum ist das Licht gegeben dem Muhseligen?, also secular works such as Schicksalslied in a version for choir and piano has been recorded, accompanied by Philip Mayers and Angela Gassenhuber. This cd lights out a lesser know side of Brahms with works that have the same quality as his famous symphonies.

The choir’s chief conductor and artistic leader Daniel Reuss about the recording: “It’s a dream to have been able to record these works, which I have already been performing for thirty years. With this recording we want to listener to experience Brahms’ strictness, as well as his warmth, in all simplicity.”

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Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra – Walton: Symphonies Nos. 1 & 2 (2017) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/96kHz

Artist: Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra
Title: Walton: Symphonies Nos. 1 & 2
Genre: Classical
Release Date: 2017
Duration: 00:59:50
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/96kHz
Label: Onyx Classics

Walton’s First Symphony burst onto the musical scene in 1935 and quickly became recognised as a masterpiece. The influence of Sibelius and Beethoven can clearly be heard, but it is Walton’s brilliant use of the orchestra and grasp of form that shines through: a remarkable achievement for a composer of 33 years. The Second symphony has never had an easy time, in both escaping the shadow of its older sibling, and in overcoming the hostility of the late 1950s and early ’60s when avant-garde was de rigeur. Fortunately it is now clearly a masterpiece to rank alongside No.1. It is assured, mature and confident, subtle and refined, from a composer at the top of his game. High voltage performances from Kirill Karabits and the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra.

The Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra is Classic FM’s Orchestra in the South of England. It was formed in 1893 and throughout its illustrious history it has worked with some of the finest composers, conductors and musicians in the world including Elgar, Bartk, Sibelius, Holst, Stravinsky, Vaughan Williams and Sir Thomas Beecham.

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Blondie – Eat To The Beat (1979/2017) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/96kHz

Artist: Blondie
Title: Eat To The Beat
Genre: Rock
Release Date: 1979
Duration: 00:43:04
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/96kHz
Label: Chrysalis Records

Just as Blondie’s second album, Plastic Letters, was a pale imitation of their self-titled debut, Eat to the Beat, their fourth album, was a secondhand version of their breakthrough third album, Parallel Lines: one step forward, half a step back. There was an attempt, on such songs as “The Hardest Part” and “Atomic,” to recreate the rock/disco fusion of the group’s one major U.S. hit, “Heart of Glass,” without similar success, and, elsewhere, the band just tried to cover too many stylistic bases. “Die Young Stay Pretty,” for example, dipped into an island sound complete with modified reggae beat (a foreshadowing of the upcoming hit “The Tide Is High”), and “Sound-a-Sleep” was a lullaby that dragged too much to be a good change of pace. The British, who had long since been converted, made Eat to the Beat another chart-topper, with three major hits, including a number one ranking for “Atomic” and almost the same success for “Dreaming,” but in the U.S., which still saw Blondie as a slightly comic one-hit wonder, the album was greeted for what it was — slick corporate rock without the tangy flavor that had made Parallel Lines such ear candy.

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Bettye LaVette – Thankful n’ Thoughtful (Deluxe Edition) (2012/2013) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/96kHz

Artist: Bettye LaVette
Title: Thankful n’ Thoughtful (Deluxe Edition)
Genre: R&B
Release Date: 2012
Duration: 01:03:04
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/96kHz
Label: Anti – Epitaph

R&B Legend Bettye LaVette is set to mark her 50th anniversary in the music world with the upcoming release of her mesmerizing album, ‘Thinking N’ Thoughtful’.

Produced by Craig Street (Norah Jones, Joe Henry, k. d. lang, Meshell Ndegeocello, John Legend, Charlie Sexton, etc.), TN’T is a selection of contemporary tracks written and previously recorded by Bob Dylan, The Black Keys, Tom Waits, Neil Young, Patty Griffin, Gnarls Barkley and others, which BETTYE consumes whole, rearranges deep within her soul and exorcises as her own through her voice filled with longing, rage, desire, despair, survival and victory. BETTYE’s voice—rough, tender, sensuous–is her instrument of inspiration and her dynamic power seethes throughout each song, wringing out the pathos, sharing her hard earned wisdom and story throughout these tales of her reinvention.

Thankful N’ Thoughtful opens with the funk injected Bob Dylan cut “Everything Is Broken” and when Bettye moans and howls the title refrain you have no doubt as to the trouble she’s seen. The entire album turned out to be a companion piece to her autobiography as while she was writing the book, she was also recording the songs on TN’T. On Gnarls Barkley’s “Crazy,” she slows it down just a tad, then wrings every drop of sweat and blood from each and every syllable till your spine tingles, with “Dirty Old Town” (The Pogues / Rod Stewart), Bettye reworks the lyrical setting to Detroit—singing about her first love at Northern High and the Detroit race riots. Meanwhile, when she takes on The Black Keys’ “I’m Not The One,” the sensual grit of the song sizzles with her all-knowing rasp. “I’m Not the One” is now available at all digital outlets and the video from the Rolling Stone website can be seen below.

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Martyn Brabbins: BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra – Tippett: Symphonies Nos 1 & 2 (2017) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/96kHz

Artist: Martyn Brabbins: BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra
Title: Tippett: Symphonies Nos 1 & 2
Genre: Classical
Release Date: 2017
Duration: 01:14:40
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/96kHz
Label: Hyperion Records

Tippett’s first two published symphonies are mature and confident works dating from the middle of the last century. Coruscating accounts from Martyn Brabbins and the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra are sure to win new friends for this marvellous music.

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