The Chopin Project – Olafur Arnalds, Alice Sara Ott (2015)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96kHz  | Time – 45:35 minutes | 858 MB | Genre: Classical
Official Digital Download – Source: HDTracks | © Mercury Classics
Recorded: E7 Studios and Harpa Concert Hall, Iceland

Award-winning young Icelandic pop/classical musician Ólafur Arnalds uses a radical new approach to recording the music of Chopin. Arnalds developed an intimate, fragile and often charmingly imperfect sound using old/unusual/altered pianos captured on vintage recording equipment and various mixing techniques to re-enforce feelings of solitude or loneliness, and to create dreamlike ambient soundscapes. Pianist Alice Sara Ott joins and Ólafur has composed new works to link the album together.

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The 5 Countertenors – Yuriy Mynenko, Xavier Sabata, Max Emanuel Cencic, Valer Sabadus, Vince Yi, Armonia Atenea, George Petrou (2015)

FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96kHz  | Time – 01:03:41 minutes | 1,15 GB | Genre: Classical
Official Digital Download – Source: prestoclassical.co.uk | © Decca
Recorded: Dimitris Mitropoulos Hall, Megaron, The Athens Concert Hall, Athens, 12, 13 & 15–18 July 2013

‘The 5 Countertenors’ draws together five of the world’s most renowned countertenors, who bring the rich world of baroque opera to life.
Described in their heyday as “beyond all creatures upon earth.” (William Congreve, 1700), countertenors are once again firmly established on concert platforms, opera stages, the covers of music magazines – and the subjects of heated on-line debate and of fan-pages on social media.
These world-class performers showcase the expressive variety of this unique genre. This album also celebrates the individuality of each singer’s voice and in turn the art of the countertenor. The countertenors are accompanied by the brilliant, ECHO-Klassik winning baroque group, Armonia Atenea, under George Petrou.

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Сomposer: Gioachino Rossini (1792-1868)
Artist: Prague Sinfonia Orchestra, Christian Benda
Title: Rossini – Complete Overtures Vol. 1 & 2
Genre: Classical
Label: © Naxos NBD0028, NBD0035
Release Date: 2013-14
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 96kHz/24bit
Source: Blu-ray Audio Vol. 1 & Vol. 2
Duration: 03:48:19
Recorded: Kulturní dům Barikádníků, Prague, Czech Republic, on 5th and 6th September, 2011 (Vol. 1 #1-8, 10-14; Vol. 2 #2-3, 8), and at Produkční dům Vzlet, Prague, on May 30th and 31st, 2012 (Vol. 1 #9, 15; Vol. 2 #1, 4-7, 9-15)

Rossini wrote some of music’s most masterful and lovable operas. His gift for comic and tragic forms was matched by a relish for characterisation, qualities that are always evident in his overtures. La gazza ladra (The Thieving Magpie) is perhaps the most famous, one of the world’s most popular concert openers. Guillaume Tell, with its overture in four movements, includes a scene for five solo cellos. La scala di seta (The Silken Ladder) opens with an overture of charm and élan, and Le siège de Corinthe is dramatic and colourful. All of Rossini’s overtures display sparkling themes, rich lyricism and theatrical excitement.
The enduring popularity of Rossini’s operas is a testament to their wit and inventiveness, every overture a superb portrait of each ensuing drama. Volume 2 includes rarities such as the lively student work, Grand’overtura ‘obbligata a contrabasso’, and Matilde of Shabran, set in medieval Spain, alongside perennial hits such as The Italian Girl in Algiers, La Cenerentola (Cinderella), and the farcical comedy of Il barbiere di Siviglia. Volume 1 of this two-disc edition of the complete overtures is available on NBD0028. (more…)

Title: Gioachino Rossini: Complete Overtures Vol.2
Year: 2011-2012
Genre: Classical
Conductor: Christian Benda
Artist: Prague Sinfonia Orhestra

Issued: United States | Naxos
Duration: 1:50:36
Size 10.26 GB

The enduring popularity of Rossini’s operas is a testament to their wit and inventiveness, every overture a superb portrait of each ensuing drama. Volume 2 includes rarities such as the lively student work, Grand’overtura ‘obbligata a contrabasso’, and Matilde of Shabran, set in medieval Spain, alongside perennial hits such as The Italian Girl in Algiers, La Cenerentola (Cinderella), and the farcical comedy of Il barbiere di Siviglia. Volume 1 of this two-disc edition of the complete overtures is available on NBD0028.
Recorded: Kulturní dům Barikádníků, Prague, Czech Republic, on 5th and 6th September, 2011 (tracks 2-3, 8), and at Produkční dům Vzlet, Prague, on 30th and 31st May, 2012 (tracks 1, 4-7, 9-15). (more…)

Genre: Classical
Year of publication: 2013
Duration: 1:57:46

Quality: Blu-ray Disc
Container: BDMV
Video codec: MPEG-2
Audio Codec: DTS-HD Master Audio | LPCM

Rossini wrote some of music’s most masterful and lovable operas. His gift for comic and tragic forms was matched by a relish for characterisation, qualities that are always evident in his overtures. La gazza ladra (The Thieving Magpie) is perhaps the most famous, one of the world’s most popular concert openers. Guillaume Tell, with its overture in four movements, includes a scene for five solo cellos. La scala di seta (The Silken Ladder) opens with an overture of charm and élan, and Le siège de Corinthe is dramatic and colourful. All of Rossini’s overtures display sparkling themes, rich lyricism and theatrical excitement.

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Сomposer: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791)
Title: Karajan Memorial Concert: Mozart – Requiem K. 626
Release Date: 2015
Genre: Classical, Choral
Director: Bob Coles
Conductor: Claudio Abbado
Artist: Karita Mattila (soprano), Sara Mingardo (contralto), Michael Schade (tenor), Bryn Terfel (bass baritone), Rachel Harnisch (soprano), Berliner Philharmoniker, Swedish Radio Choir

Production/Label: EuroArts
Duration: 01:02:21
Quality: Blu-ray
Container: BDMV
Video codec: AVC
Audio codec: PCM
Video: MPEG-4 AVC 23950 kbps / 1920*1080i / 29,970 fps / 16:9 / High Profile 4.1
Audio: LPCM 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2304 kbps / 24-bit
Subtitles: English, German, French, Spanish, Latin
Size: 14.35 GB

On July 16, 1999, the tenth anniversary of the death of Herbert von Karajan, the Berliner Philharmoniker paid tribute to their late maestro in his home town of Salzburg. In a live shooting from the imposing Salzburg Cathedral, Claudio Abbado conducted an all- Mozart programme, honouring his predecessor both by the careful selection of the music and the singers. The Berliner Philharmoniker, conducted by Claudio Abbado, performed Mozart’s Requiem in D minor, KV 626, among other works. Soprano Rachel Harnisch appeared as the soloist on the two complementing arias Betrachte dies mein Herz und frage mich and Laudate Dominum Featuring soprano Karita Mattila, contralto Sara Mingardo, tenor Michael Schade and bass baritone Bryn Terfel as soloists of the Requiem. A performance that in every respect met Karajan’s own high artistic standards. Lovingly restored and carefully brought to HD, this unique performance of the Berliner Philharmoniker at Salzburg Cathedral is now finally available on Blu-ray Disc. (more…)

Richard Strauss – Ein Heldenleben; Vier letzte Lieder – Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, Yannick Nezet-Seguin (2011)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/44.1kHz  | Time – 01:09:13 minutes | 571 MB | Genre: Classical
Official Digital Download – Source: eClassical | © BIS Records
Recorded: June 2010 at de Doelen Hall, Rotterdam, The Netherlands

The first recording by Yannick Nézet-Séguin and the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra for BIS centred on Berlioz’ Symphonie Fantastique, a work which stands squarely on the threshold between Classicism and Romanticism. Nézet-Séguin’s interpretation brilliantly demonstrated this ambivalence, as the reviewer in CD Review on BBC Radio 3 remarked: ‘A Fantastic Symphony that relishes in the transparency and the delicacy of Berlioz’s scoring while remaining true to its vivid imagination and dramatic punch’. On the follow-up to that exciting release is another work that straddles a musical divide, namely Richard Strauss’ Four Last Songs. Composed in 1948, these late blooms of an unabashed Romanticism stood in the midst of a musical landscape which featured the twelve-tone serialism of the Darmstadt School, John Cage’s prepared piano and the first examples of musique concrète. In accordance with Strauss’s wish, it was the dramatic soprano Kirsten Flagstad who first performed the songs, but they also became closely associated with Elisabeth Schwarzkopf. On the present recording, it is Dorothea Röschmann, one of today’s foremost Mozart sopranos who lends her voice to what is often regarded as an expression of the composer’s acceptance of death’s inevitability, at the age of eighty-four. We meet Strauss in a completely different mood in the disc’s opening work – the large-scale symphonic poem Ein Heldenleben (A Hero’s Life) composed fifty years before the songs. By casting himself in the role of the Hero, Strauss managed to provoke generations of music-lovers for years to come. A study of aggressive egotism, the work has been called, as well as the most conceited piece of music ever written. But it is also widely regarded as one of the most brilliant, and virtuosic, orchestral scores in the history of music, displaying the possibilities of a large symphony orchestra to the fullest.

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