Dmitry Sinkovsky, Riccardo Minasi – Antonio Vivaldi: Concerti Per Due Violini E Archi I (2013) [Qobuz 24-96]

Dmitry Sinkovsky, Riccardo Minasi – Antonio Vivaldi: Concerti Per Due Violini E Archi I (2013)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96 kHz | Digital Booklet | 1.07 GB
Genre: Classical | Official Digital Download – Source: Qobuz

This is the 51st title in the Vivaldi Edition and the 6th volume, out of approximately 12, of the series dedicated to the violin concertos whose manuscripts are held in the National Library of Turin. Following two successful volumes of concertos for solo violin and orchestra recorded separately in the Vivaldi Edition, virtuosos Riccardo Minasi and Dmitry Sinkovsky now join forces to record pyrotechnic concertos for two violins and orchestra. This series of 6 concertos is an overview of the complete art of Vivaldi as a composer and violinist: large of musical scale, invention, expression, energy, and of course, virtuosity.

Composer: Antonio Vivaldi
Performer: Dmitry Sinkovsky, Riccardo Minasi
Orchestra/Ensemble: Il Pomo D’oro

Reviews: Volume 56 of Naïve’s series Tesori del Piemonte constitutes the first volume of Antonio Vivaldi’s double violin concertos in The Vivaldi Edition . Recorded in January 2013 in the Villa San Fermo in Lonigo, violinists Dmitry Sinkovsky (first violin in RV 509, RV 515, and RV 523) and Riccardo Minasi (first violin in RV 508, RV 510, and RV 517) hiss and spit in rapid tempo in the first movement of Vivaldi’s Concerto in A Minor, RV 523. In the slow movement, they settle into a more lyrical mood, proceeding for long stretches in parallel motion before exchanging cogent ideas in the Finale, in which the ensemble sharply articulates scalar passages, enhancing the brilliant effect created by their rapid tempos. Cesare Fertonani’s notes suggest that Vivaldi composed the Concerto in C Minor, RV 510, after 1720 (another version for violin and organ exists as RV 766). Its Finale pokes aggressively at the listener’s ear, with the solo parts engaged on occasion in parallel intervals, although occasionally Minasi and Sinkovsky fence actively. The Concerto in C Minor, RV 509, begins with more somber material before the ensemble breaks free to explore stormier territory; and its occasional unexpected outbursts (a particularly strong explosion opens the Finale) should keep even the most somnolent listeners wide awake. In that Finale, the tutti actually brings with it the bulk of the crackle and pop, with the lyricism entrusted to the soloists (except when they join in the preternaturally crisp statements).

The Concerto, RV 517 also appears on a collection by Insieme Strumentale di Roma, Stradivarius 33944; Il Pomo d’Oro makes more texturally of the counterpoint of its first movement than simple clarity could achieve unaided (the ensemble’s crackling articulation sounds almost feral beside the Roman group’s more polite conversations). They take the second movement at a much faster tempo than the title Andante molto might lead listeners to expect. The Finale represents a madcap sprint to the finish, rendering the opening contrapuntal section exceptional visceral, while the soloists chatter like two chipmunks recorded at 33rpm and played back at 45rpm. The Concerto in B? Major, RV 515 (which Fertonani places after 1725) seems particularly stately, despite its first movement’s rapid tempo. The soloists, when playing in parallel, sound particularly oleaginous, but they keep the music moving forward nonetheless. The Largo never relaxes, yet the soloists and ensemble both fully indulge the music’s opulence. The Finale, despite the soloists’ liveliness and at times electrifying articulation, nevertheless creates a more sedate impression overall. The Concerto in C Major sounds virtuosic in this reading (it also appeared, though hardly energized by such electricity, in Insieme Strumentale di Roma’s collection) especially in moments like the passages toward the movement’s end when both violins engage in arpeggios—in the Finale of op. 3/8, Vivaldi sets one violin in brilliant arpeggios against a soaring melody in the other. The brisk tempos make the slow movements seem either especially bright or downright reckless, depending on the listener’s reaction to this kind of metric ratcheting. As in the Concerto, RV 515, the Finale sounds almost somber after what the soloists and ensemble have done in the respective slow movements.

Il Pomo d’Oro’s version of these concertos differs widely from that of Insieme Strumentale di Roma on Stradivarius 33944, and the engineering embraces a philosophy just as substantially divergent, bringing the edginess of the strings’ sound to the fore. While listeners of catholic tastes may embrace both, some with more pronounced preferences about historical reconstruction may prefer one or the other. Those who might tend to like Il Pomo d’Oro, excellent as they are, might be cautioned that hearing them for a full hour can feel like sticking your finger in an electrical outlet for a similar amount of time. Strongly recommended, however, across the board, despite this caveat.

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Dejan Lazic, London Philharmonic Orchestra – Rachmaninov: Piano Concerto No.2 (2009) [LINN 24-192]

Dejan Lazić, London Philharmonic Orchestra, conductor Kirill Petrenko – Sergey Rachmaninov:
Concerto for piano and orchestra no.2 in C minor, Op.18; Moments Musicaux, Op.16 (2009)

Studio Master | FLAC (tracks) 24bit/192 kHz | Time – 64:31 minutes | 3,64 GB
Official Digital Download – Source: Channel Classics/Linn Records | Digital Booklet

Dejan Lazic performs Rachmaninov’s second piano concerto in a recording which was named Orchestral Disc of the Month by ClassicFM Magazine, and won the Echo Klassik Award in 2009.

International Record Review
Rachmaninov’s Opus 16 no. 2 is a tremendous moment of release in Lazic’s hands, there is much to admire in this performance – the undulating majesty of the six and final piece is most impressive. Recording sounds and notes are both good and the piano is particularly well captured in the solo music.

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Anonymous 4 – David Lang: Love Fail (2014) [HRA 24-96]

Anonymous 4 – David Lang: Love Fail (2014)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96 kHz | 1 CD | Digital Booklet | 753 MB
Genre: Classical | Official Digital Download – Source: Highresaudio

David Lang’s “love fail” is a meditation on the timelessness of love that weaves together details from medieval retellings of the story of Tristan and Isolde with stories from more modern sources. The recording also spotlights the vocal quartet Anonymous 4, whose commitment to medieval music and historical scholarship has been acclaimed worldwide.
Composer: David Lang
Orchestra/Ensemble: Anonymous 4

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Philippe Pierlot, Ricercar Consort – Couperin: Apotheoses (2012) [Qobuz 24-88.2]

Philippe Pierlot, Ricercar Consort – Couperin: Apotheoses (2012)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/88.2 kHz | Digital Booklet | 1.08 GB
Genre: Classical | Official Digital Download – Source: Qobuz

Philippe Pierlot and his superb Ricercar Consort present tributes to both Corelli and Lully with the two Apothéoses by François Couperin, written in the memory of Arcangelo Corelli and Jean-Baptiste Lully respectively. Behind them is an aesthetic programme: they are a plea for the mixture of the Italian and the French style, the so-called goûts réunis. The ensemble consists of Marc Hantaï and Georges Barthel (transverse flutes), François Fernandez and Sophie Gent (violins), Philippe Pierlot (viola da gamba), Eduardo Egüez (theorbo and guitar) and François Guerrier (harpsichord). Both pieces are given lively and expressive interpretations: Couperin’s Apothéoses are in the tradition of the tombeau, and therefore the Tombeau de Monsieur de Lully by Jean-Féry Rebel fits well into the programme and is performed in between the two pieces by Couperin.

Composer: François Couperin
Conductor: Philippe Pierlot
Orchestra/Ensemble: Ricercar Consort

Reviews: Antagonism between French and Italian Baroque music was generated largely by politics, royal taste and ill-qualified critics. (The famous description of Leclair playing the violin like an angel, and Locatelli like a devil, comes from a minor Dutch organist from Groningen.

In the two ‘apotheoses’ on this disc, François Couperin raises to God-like status both the Italian Corelli and the Italian-born turncoat Lully. But Couperin’s ultimate achievement is ‘la réunion des goûts’ (the reuniting of tastes).

Le Parnasse ou l’apothéose de Corelli is a thoroughly Italian trio sonata – two violins with continuo – in which Corelli approaches Parnassus, drinks from the inspiring Hippocrene fountain, falls asleep, and thanks the Muses for honouring him. Meanwhile, in Concert à la mémoire de Lulli, Lully’s elevation to God-like status evokes ‘subterranean rumblings’ of jealousy and groans from his contemporaries, with flutes added to strings. Finally, both composers accompany each other in turn, celebrating the ‘réunion’ of music greater than the sum of its parts.

The consort’s performance is superbly stylised, from the disarming simplicity of Corelli’s ‘sleep’ to the delicate cross-rhythms of a gentle Lullian ‘air’. Jean-Féry Rebel’s Tombeau de Monsieur de Lully, which divides the Couperin pieces, spectacularly contrasts Italian fire with French lyricism.

The programme is excellently recorded in a glorious acoustic. The liner notes (lacking dates and translations) could be more helpful.

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Clap Your Hands Say Yeah – Only Run (2014) [Qobuz 24-96]

Clap Your Hands Say Yeah – Only Run (2014)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96 kHz | Time – 39:59 minutes | 953 MB
Official Digital Download – Source: Qobuz | Front cover
Genre:  Alternative

Clap Your Hands Say Yeah – the entire concept of the band, the name itself – is about balancing optimism in the face of overwhelming odds, which is why CYHSY has always produced, marketed and distributed all of its albums independently. ”Only Run” is the fourth studio album from Philadelphia-based Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, who are celebrating 10 years as a band this year. The new album aims to loosely document lead singer/songwriter Alec Ounsworth’s observations of his life in music over the last ten years.

Taking less time to return than they did between 2007′s Some Loud Thunder and 2011′s, Hysterical, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah nonetheless seem like they’ve taken quite a journey when you listen to 2014′s Only Run. Touted as a change in direction, primarily due to the band’s heavier use of keyboards than on past recordings, Only Run is also the first album CYHSY recorded since parting ways with longtime members Robbie Guertin and Tyler Sargent in 2012. Rather than look for new members, lead singer/songwriter Alec Ounsworth and drummer Sean Greenhalgh forged onward as a duo (plus a few guest musicians), with Ounsworth handling all the guitar, keyboard, accordion, and vocal duties, and Greenhalgh tackling the percussion and synth programming. The result is that Only Run is less a wholly new direction and more a balance between the art-rock experimentation of their 2005 debut and the dance-oriented, post-punk sound of Hysterical. In fact, as with past recordings, many of the cuts on Only Run, like “As Always” and “Coming Down,” which features a spoken word appearance by the National’s Matt Berninger, are moody yet driving rockers built around Ounsworth’s literate, ruminative croon. That said, there is a centered, focused quality to many of the tracks on Only Run, as if the departure of Guertin and Sargent freed Ounsworth up to fully explore the sounds in his own head. Musically, Ounsworth and Greenhalgh also strike a pleasing balance, mixing fuzzy sonic electric guitars and pounding drums, which they then set against abrupt acoustic piano lines and mathematical synths. The result is an album of beautiful juxtapositions, steeped with poetic gravitas that nonetheless never fails soar.

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Claire Martin & Richard Rodney Bennett – Say It Isn’t So (2013) [LINN 24-96]

Claire Martin & Richard Rodney Bennett – Say It Isn’t So (2013)
FLAC (tracks) 24bit/96 kHz | Time – 36:21 minutes | 755 MB
Official Digital Download – Source: | Digital Booklet
Genre: Jazz

“Say It Isn’t So” is a joyful celebration; both of the impeccably crafted songs of Irving Berlin and of the unique partnership between two seasoned performers at the top of their game: Claire Martin and the late Richard Rodney Bennett.

Lifelong friends on and off stage, Martin and Bennett recorded three studio albums and enjoyed acclaimed concert performances in a collaboration that flourished over two decades. Recorded in New York, ‘Say It Isn’t So’ is their last recording together and one of which Claire is immensely proud. Bennett’s skilful arrangements highlight why Berlin was widely considered one of the greatest songwriters of all time and brilliantly showcase Claire’s assured and expressive voice.

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Charpentier, Lully: Te Deum – Dumestre, Le Poeme Harmonique (2014) [Qobuz 24-88.2]

Charpentier, Lully: Te Deum – Dumestre, Le Poeme Harmonique (2014)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/88.2 kHz | 1 CD | Digital Booklet | 993 MB
Genre: Classical | Official Digital Download – Source: Qobuz

This recording of the Poème Harmonique revitalizes Charpentier’s and Lully’s Te Deum, two magnificent pieces of sacred music celebrating the Sun King’s victory and recovery. Lully, who was of Italian origin, found the essence and style of French art, while Charpentier gave the emotion and composition methods he had learned from the Italians to the music of his country. This is the story of two musicians, two countries, two aesthetics, and two fundamental stakes. Lully became a lauded composer, outshining Charpentier and relegating him to an undeserved subpar position.

Composer: Marc-Antoine Charpentier, Jean-Baptiste Lully
Conductor: Vincent Dumestre
Orchestra/Ensemble: Capella Cracoviensis, Le Poème Harmonique

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Charlie Haden / Keith Jarrett – Jasmine [ECM 2165] (2010) [HDTracks 24-44.1]

Charlie Haden – Keith Jarrett – Jasmine [ECM 2165] (2010)

FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/44.1 kHz | 510 MB | Genre: Jazz | Style: Contemporary Jazz
Label/Cat#: ECM # ECM 2165 | Country/Year: Germany 2010
Official Digital Download – Source: | Digital Booklet

Review by Thom Jurek
The reason to mention the “particulars” of this document of informal sessions is because Keith Jarrett went to the trouble of doing so in his liner notes: they came about in the aftermath of him and Charlie Haden playing together during a documentary film about Haden. The duo, who hadn’t played together in over 30 years, got along famously and decided to do some further recording in Jarrett’s home studio without an end result in mind. The tapes sat — though were discussed often — for three years before a decision was made to release them. Jarrett used his home Steinway instead of his usual concert Boisendorfer. The more immediate, present sound of the former piano makes for something less dynamic than his live performances. And here, with the sheer natural grace and unhurried elegance of Haden’s earthy bass playing, that is a great thing. Jasmine is love songs; most are standards. Haden not only supports but solos a great deal. Picking out highlights on this eight-song, hour-long set is difficult because the dry warmth of these performances is multiplied by deeply intuitive listening and the near symbiotic, telepathic nature of the playing. The entire proceeding flows seamlessly. The depth of emotion in Peggy Lee’s and Victor Young’s “Where Can I Go Without You” opens the world of the bereft lover — and Haden’s solo seems to make her/him speak. Jarrett’s intro to “I’m Gonna Laugh You Right Out of My Life,” by Cy Coleman and Joseph McCarthy, reveals in its lyric just how woefully ironic this tune is. The loss and reverie steeped in false bravado are expressed in Jarrett’s arpeggios and underscored by Haden’s emphasis on single notes during the changes and a deep woody tone he gets in the combination of skeletal flourishes during Jarrett’s solo. On the surface it might seem that the inclusion of Joe Sample’s “One Day I’ll Fly Away” is an odd inclusion; yet it acts on some level as the hinge piece for the set. Its simplicity and sparseness are offset by the profound lyricism Jarrett imbues it with. Haden asserts, quietly of course, that the complex emotions in the tune go beyond any language — other than music’s — to express. After a devastatingly sad reading Gordon Jenkins’ “Goodbye” with Jarrett at his most poignant and clean, a brief reading of Jerome Kern’s and Oscar Hammerstein’s “Don’t Ever Leave Me” closes the set. The way it’s played, this tune is not a plea, but a poetically uttered assertion between lovers. Jasmine is, ultimately, jazz distilled to its most essential; it not only expresses emotion and beauty, but discovers them in every moment of its performance. allmusicguide

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C.P.E Bach Project – Ophelie Gaillard, Pulcinella Orchestra (2014) [Qobuz 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 | 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!

Reviews: “the group’s well-nigh impeccable ensemble and palpable enthusiasm make it an ideal vehicle for CPE Bach at his most stormy and passionate. In the concertos, the energy is lightly handled, Gaillard dancing off-the-string with impressive bow-control.”

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Love and Loss – Monteverdi Madrigals / Cohen, Arcangelo (2014) [Qobuz 24-96]


Love and Loss – Monteverdi Madrigals / Cohen, Arcangelo (2014)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96 kHz | 1 CD | Digital Booklet | 1.27 GB
Genre: Classical | Official Digital Download – Source: Qobuz

Gramophone Award-winning ensemble Arcangelo (in their first recording as a vocal and instrumental group) presents a selection from Monteverdi’s last three books of madrigals. These ardent and passionate works are microcosms of Monteverdi’s great operas, and among his most celebrated music.

Most of the madrigals of Book 6 (1614) are songs of parting and loss. Book 7 (1619) is entitled Concerto, meaning that all the works it contains require instrumental accompaniment. And Book 8 (1638) introduces the genere concitato—the ‘agitated’ manner that Monteverdi devised to convey the emotions of war, whether physical or psychological. Combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda sets an extended passage from Tasso’s epic poem Gerusalemme liberata. Tasso’s text, set in the time of the first crusade, tells of the combat between the Christian knight Tancredi and the Saracen maiden Clorinda. Most of the action of the Combattimento is conveyed by a narrator (Testo—the text), sung here by celebrated tenor James Gilchrist.

Composer: Claudio Monteverdi, Tarquinio Merula
Conductor: Jonathan Cohen
Orchestra/Ensemble: Arcangelo

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