Hi-Res Downloads

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C. Breunig (Music); P. Miller (Lab)  |  Aug 01, 2013
‘No Wagner tenor sings with such musicianship, colour and sensitivity… he sets a standard for our time’ [Sunday Times]. It was Kaufmann who gave the Abbado/DG Fidelio distinction [HFN Nov ’11]; and the German singer’s artistry at times reminds me of the young Fischer-Dieskau. Here we have excerpts from the Ring cycle (don’t be alarmed at Siegfried’s painful attempts to play the reed: track 2, 7m 44s!), Rienzi, Tannhäuser, Meistersinger and Lohengrin. Then, unusually for a man (as he explains in the booklet foreword), we have the lovely Wesendonck-Lieder, with its Tristan references in ‘Im Treibhaus’.
J. Ford (Music); P. Miller (Lab)  |  Aug 01, 2013
44. 1KHZ/24-BIT ALAC/FLAC/WAV, Sire Records (supplied by www. hdtracks. co.
C. Breunig (Music); P. Miller (Lab)  |  Aug 01, 2013
96kHz/24-bit FLAC, Chandos CHAN 10763 (supplied by www. theclassicalshop. com) Recorded using a Yamaha CFX pianoforte at Potton Hall, Suffolk, last year, Vol. 5 in Bavouzet’s series offers six sonatas: Hob.
J. Ford (Music); P. Miller (Lab)  |  Aug 01, 2013
96kHz/24-bit ALAC/FLAC/AIFF/WAV, Cleveland International/Epic/Legacy (supplied by www. hdtracks. com) Tempting though it may be to hit the ‘Buy’ button at the thought of Mr Meat’s finest hour in 24/96 glory, it’s not the revelation you might wish for, and the epic title track fares worst of the seven here, just too cluttered in its construction to allow individual elements to be teased forth. The bass is overwhelming, the whole painfully peaky in its most manic moments despite the magnificence of Steinman’s cod-Springsteen spread (authenticated by Bruce’s piano man Roy Bitten and drummer Max Weinberg).
J. Ford (Music); P. Miller (Lab)  |  Jul 01, 2013
Check your levels before launching Morph – the opening kick-drum/bass note is pushed up to knock you down! The surround mix of this 2006 inter-Dan album from the funky-fingered Fagen won a Grammy, and the 24/96 stereo version remains a production showcase, laying fruity layers of backing vocals across crisp and cruisy grooves even when the matter under consideration is considerably grave – even the eponymous giant cat turns out to represent a growing brainwashed malaise hanging over America. This disquiet perhaps infuses a particularly pedestrian plod into several pieces, the groove pinched so anal tight as to squeeze out its swing. Elsewhere this could be Aja Dan: ‘Security Joan’, ‘Brite Nightgown’ and ‘H Gang’ are friction-free, while the hi-hat opening to ‘Mary Shut The Garden Door’ is breathtaking in both performance and portrayal. A semi-classic, in fine form.
C. Breunig (Music); P. Miller (Lab)  |  Jul 01, 2013
These gifted Zurich graduate string players joined forces in 2004: this is their debut recording, produced last July at the University of Arts concert-hall (the booklet PDF includes full technical details). Their musical responses are lightning-fast and in the Haydn ‘Fifths’ Quartet their slow movement is poised, the finale high-spirited. The great Bartók Fourth is exemplary as an abstract realisation (not unlike the Juilliards’), superbly played but with little of the ethnic colouring you hear with the Hungarian Qt [DG]. The sound is as fresh and clean as Swiss air, notwithstanding the resonance of the hall, with richness to the cello and clear decay of notes.
C. Breunig (Music); P. Miller (Lab)  |  Jul 01, 2013
96kHz/24-bit FLAC, BIS-SACD-1996 (supplied by www. eclassical. com) With Vol. 1 in this new cycle [HFN May ’12] I concluded that Vänskä’s earlier BIS versions of Symphonies 2 and 5 were by no means superseded.
J. Ford (Music); P. Miller (Lab)  |  Jul 01, 2013
This is not some random attack on ABBA’s canon; Landgren is Swedish, he played horn on Voulez Vous and has been friends ever since with Benny Andersson, who gave this project his blessing and plays piano on ‘When All Is Said And Done’. Plus this was recorded in Polar Studio A – ‘it’s in the walls’. Besides, many tracks barely nod to the originals, retaining only a few lyrics while transfunking the chords into new territory. ‘Money Money Money’ and many others gain tight rap sequences; the verses of ‘Thank You For The Music’ are thrillingly re-souled (though nothing could save the choruses).
J. Ford (Music); P. Miller (Lab)  |  Jul 01, 2013
192KHZ/24-BIT ALAC/FLAC/WAV, Rhino/Elektra (supplied by www. hdtracks. com) To hear ‘Turn Of The Century’ and ‘Awaken’ at 24-bit/192kHz was a near pant-wetting prospect for this reviewer who once fought daily with a sibling for possession of this seminal 1977 album by the Anderson, Howe, Squire, Wakeman and White line-up. But the high-res files deliver the lesson that more bits don’t fix a mix.

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