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C. Breunig (Music); P. Miller (Lab)  |  Nov 01, 2016
The most familiar of the complete Haydn symphony cycles is the late-’60s/early-’70s Philharmonia Hungarica/Doráti set on Decca. Now the company has released a 36CD period-instrument equivalent using existing Hogwood and Brüggen recordings plus these new versions of this little-known group of symphonies composed in 1782-84. They became, the booklet note says, sufficiently popular in Europe to prompt a commission for the ‘Paris’ series. And that’s not surprising: I found myself encoring the finales of both Nos 79 and 81, and was mightily intrigued by the construction of No 80(i) where a simple dance tune keeps popping up in the context of a feverish allegro.
A. Everard (Music); P. Miller (Lab)  |  Nov 01, 2016
The cover bears the name of pianist/synth player Motschmann alone, but here he’s joined by Boris Bolles on more synths and violins, and percussionist David Panzl, with Bolles also recording and mixing the album. The opening is all very ‘Berlin’, hitting you with a burst of white noise sufficient to convince you that your digital playback has gone skew-whiff, then continues into washes of electronica. However, by the second track, ‘Parhelia’, we’re into a juddering, compelling rhythm, echoed in ‘Flow Expansion’, and on we go – a foot-tapping bass line here, a swirly wash of synthefication there, sometime meditative, sometimes jarringly atonal. The sound is certainly powerful when it needs to be, with some evil bass in there, and clean even when it’s pushing hard, meaning the album rewards at least a second listen.
C. Breunig (Music); P. Miller (Lab)  |  Nov 01, 2016
96kHz & 192kHz/24-bit FLAC, CKD516 (supplied by www. linnrecords. com) If you have seen Amadeus on stage or film, you’ll recall the words the late Peter Shaffer ascribed to Salieri on the ‘miracle’ of the Adagio from Mozart’s great Serenade for 13 wind instruments (no double-bass with Pinnock’s performance). It is coupled here with a Haydn Notturno in his revised scoring, its scampering finale in ‘hunting’ idiom.
A. Everard (Music); P. Miller (Lab)  |  Nov 01, 2016
Ummm, yes, so it’s a children’s album – and one the Canadian jazz singer (and high-school French teacher) says she made because some of her fans were already playing her music to their kids. So you have a set that’s pitched at the younger end of the ‘kids’ brief, and featuring the likes of Muppet favourite ‘The Rainbow Connection’ (which arguably Kermit performed better), ‘When You Wish Upon A Star’, a setting of A A Milne’s ‘Halfway Down The Stairs’, and the lullaby ‘Hushabye Mountain’, from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. There are probably ad types already getting misty-eyed and visualising Christmas campaigns while listening to this album, as Panton has just the right fragility and breathiness of voice. However, for all the lushness of the sound here – and it is beautifully recorded – I found the whole saccharine enterprise sleep-inducing.
A. Everard (Music); P. Miller (Lab)  |  Nov 01, 2016
Your heart kinda sinks when you read that this, trumpeter Cohen’s principal artist début for ECM, is dedicated to his late father, and was written in the months following Cohen Sr’s passing. And when the album opens with the cheerily-titled ‘Life And Death’, which is all tinkling background piano and ponderous bass, brushed drums and muted horn, you get to thinking you’re going to be in for a long night of solemnity. However, while this set is undeniably contemplative and downbeat, it’s far from dull, not least due to the quality of musicians Cohen has assembled around him. These include Branford Marsalis sidesman Eric Revis on bass, and Nasheet Waits wielding the sticks, and a typically gorgeous ECM recording, which misses nary a detail.
A. Everard (Music); P. Miller (Lab)  |  Oct 01, 2016
Borich has four decades of work behind him, including supporting the likes of Jeff Beck and Buddy Guy and appearing with Bo Diddley, Taj Mahal and Joe Walsh. What’s on offer here is a no-nonsense mix of mainstream rock/blues, and if that has you thinking you know what to expect, you’re probably bang on the money. There’s something very old-fashioned (classic?) about this set, from the content to the recorded sound, which is all great swathes of grumbling bass, distorted guitars, tub-thumping drums: one minute it’s all a bit ‘Smoke On The Water’, the next it’s attacking weasel politicians and bankers on the revealingly-titled ‘SoapBoxBitchinBlues’. If you’ve a hankering for an album sounding like it was recorded in the ’70s, this is it – just don’t be too confused by the last three bonus tracks as it all goes at turns jazzy and then gets deeply, oddly New Age.
A. Everard (Music); P. Miller (Lab)  |  Oct 01, 2016
There’s an apparently unlikely, but close, relationship between Japan and Brazil, and from this background come the works of Goro Ito. This guitarist, composer, arranger and producer is heavily influenced by João Gilberto, and has performed both solo and as part of the bossa nova duo Naomi+Goro. Here he joins forces with Brazilian cellist Jaques Morelenbaum for a programme paying tribute to songwriter/singer Antônio Carlos Jobim, best-known as the writer of ‘Girl From Ipanema’. In a set combining Jobim’s compositions and originals from both performers, they’re joined by Morelenbaum’s wife Paula as vocalist on three tracks, with daughter Dora on one.
A. Everard (Music); P. Miller (Lab)  |  Oct 01, 2016
London-based Ranagri take their name from an Irish village, translated in the title of this album, and specialise in breaking away from the folk norm. Since releasing this recording they’ve collaborated with Tony Christie to record an album of Irish standards, but here we have a rather more diverse set of songs. The infectious tone is aided by the use of unusual instruments, including electric harp and bouzouki alongside traditional whistles, bodhran and guitar and the effortless-sounding harmonies of the four members of the band. Tracks like ‘The Bogeyman’ and ‘The Rhythm Takes You Back’ will get the feet moving, while the band can also sound mystical and haunting on the likes of ‘Atlas’.
C. Breunig (Music); P. Miller (Lab)  |  Oct 01, 2016
96kHz to 192kHz/24-bit FLAC, CKD526 (supplied by www. linnrecords. com) Renowned baroque violinist and period-instrument ensemble director Monica Huggett is artistic director of the Irish Baroque Orchestra, and they have recorded Bach programmes together for Avie and the RTÉ Lyric label. Here – harking back to a time when concerto soloists were members of the orchestra, rather than ‘star’ performers – she has chosen seven by no means familiar works by 17th-century composers (Fasch, Graupner, Heinichen, Telemann and Vivaldi) written for one or up to six solo players.
C. Breunig (Music); P. Miller (Lab)  |  Oct 01, 2016
96kHz to 192kHz/24-bit FLAC, CKD478 (supplied by www. linnrecords. com) These Britten recordings were made at Snape Maltings between Oct ’12 and Apr ’15 – no mention of the Tallis Fantasia in the excellent PDF notes or on the cover but you do get the texts of the great Serenade. Young Apollo had been suppressed by Britten and was first recorded by Simon Rattle in 1982.
A. Everard (Music); P. Miller (Lab)  |  Sep 01, 2016
Ignore the shiver-inducing overtones of the title of this album by Dutch bass clarinettist Roelefs and you’re in for a treat. In fact, ignore the ‘oh really?’ reaction to the mention of bass clarinet. Having witnessed a killer set on that instrument by Courtney Pine not so long ago, I was up for hearing what Reolefs could do – and here, along with Matt Penman on bass and Ted Poor on drums, he delivers a set packed with instrumental colours, fine musicianship and plenty to keep a high-quality system busy, too. From the almost percussive lower registers of the instrument all the way up to its soaring solo potential, Roelefs keeps the attention, whether with the traditional jazz feel of tracks such as ‘Broadway’ and ‘Pseudo Bebop’ or the very short but very chilling title track, almost literally setting the teeth on edge.
A. Everard (Music); P. Miller (Lab)  |  Sep 01, 2016
See here: this could be either a classical album or a jazz one, so blurred are the lines in this unusual, challenging recording. Led by Martin Albrecht on clarinet and bass clarinet, the quartet – Daniel Prandl plays piano, Dirik Schilgen drums and Katharina Gross bass – improvises and interprets around the works of Scriabin, with some of the originals played by pianist Asli Kilic, and joined by the occasional foray into electronica and sound effects, as on ‘Never Ending Story’. OK, so it all sounds a bit high-falutin’ – one track, ‘Rausch’, may well have you stifling giggles – but strangely it works, the musicians producing a set which rewards the attention with a fascinating series of pieces. It’s recorded and mixed by Markus Born and Ekhard Steiger, and produced by Albrecht.
C. Breunig (Music); P. Miller (Lab)  |  Sep 01, 2016
Written for Joachim in 1853 (as was the more coherent Phantasy in C), Schumann’s Violin Concerto was suppressed until 1937 – with perhaps some justification. Zehetmair found many errors in the printed edition when preparing for his 1988 Teldec CD, and this is his second recording. Choosing a chamber orchestra for Schumann is now the norm but such is the reverberance of the venue, the Théâtre des Champs-Elyseés, it could be of any size. And I didn’t like effectively a separate acoustic for the solo violin.
A. Everard (Music); P. Miller (Lab)  |  Sep 01, 2016
DSD64, SKU TRIOC2011 (supplied by www. nativedsd. com) Well, this album is an absolute riot and all delivered in sparkling sound quality. The fourth album by The Third is an infectious mix of klezmer, gipsy and Balkan folk music, played by the three members of the Dutch ensemble with real panache and enjoyment.
C. Breunig (Music); P. Miller (Lab)  |  Sep 01, 2016
96kHz to 192kHz/24-bit FLAC, CKD 570 (supplied by www. linnrecords. com) Marking his 70th birthday, this recital reflects both the journeys made by early composers from one country to another and those made by Trevor Pinnock in company with his preferred, rich-toned, 1982 American harpsichord modelled after an 18th-century Hemsch instrument, which he’s been playing for 40 years. We haven’t previously featured a solo harpsichord in this HFN section – recorded at the concert hall at Kent University, Canterbury, by Philip Hobbs in Aug ’14, this programme has pieces by JS Bach (The Sixth French Suite), Bull (his pictorial, galloping The King’s Hunt), Byrd, Cabezon, Frescobaldi, Handel (a floridly decorated Chaconne in G), Sweelinck and Tallis, and ends with three Scarlatti sonatas.

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