Christa Ludwig - Les introuvables de Christa Ludwig (1992) (Repost)

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Christa Ludwig - Les introuvables de Christa Ludwig (1992) (Repost)

Christa Ludwig - Les introuvables de Christa Ludwig (1992)
EAC | FLAC (image+.cue, log) | Covers Included | 03:52:28 | 1.3 Gb
Genre: Classical, Vocal | Label: EMI Classics | Catalog: 64074

She sang all the major mezzo roles, and also some in the dramatic soprano repertory, notably Leonora in Fidelio, Lady Macbeth and the Marschallin. Her voice is a rich, expressive mezzo capable of dramatic incisiveness and even throughout its considerable range. Her upper register in mezzo music is excintingly projected. Although this compilation is composed of different recordings in different settings in different years, all of them show a young Ludwig when she had not yet acquired her prime and her status of, arguably, the best mezzo of the world, which would arrive in the years to come.

VA - Béla Bartók: The Concerto Album (2008)

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VA - Béla Bartók: The Concerto Album (2008)

VA - Béla Bartók: The Concerto Album (2008)
EAC | FLAC (image+.cue, log) | Covers Included | 03:44:34 | 1 Gb
Genre: Classical | Label: EMI Classics | Catalog: 09407

How, you might ask yourself, could Béla Bartók's concertos take up three whole discs? After all, he only wrote three piano concertos, two violin concertos, and a viola concerto, and altogether they'd take up pretty much exactly two discs. So how did the artist and repertoire people at EMI manage to fill out three discs here? In a word, they cheated. They've added not only the Concerto for Orchestra, arguably a fair call considering the nature of the work, but the Suite from The Miraculous Mandarin and the Music for Strings, Percussion, and Celesta, as well.

Vladimir Ashkenazy, London Wind Soloists - Mozart, Beethoven: Quintets for Piano and Wind Instruments (1988)

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Vladimir Ashkenazy, London Wind Soloists - Mozart, Beethoven: Quintets for Piano and Wind Instruments (1988)

Vladimir Ashkenazy, London Wind Soloists - Mozart, Beethoven: Quintets for Piano and Wind Instruments (1988)
EAC | FLAC (image+.cue, log) | Covers Included | 52:19 | 270 MB
Genre: Classical | Label: Decca | Catalog: 421 151-2

This music was recorded by Ashkenazy and the London Wind Soloists in 1966, quite early in his career outside Russia. It is outstanding in every way, not the least of which is the balance among the instruments, all of which have rewarding music to play. I have heard much more recent recordings of chamber groups that don't achieve this kind of balance. The Mozart Quintet dates from 1784, when he was at the peak of his powers, and this particular mix of instruments had not been tried before. It is a good-natured work, lively in the outer movements, with each player getting a chance to take the lead, so to speak, and the blended textures are arresting and appealing.

Diego Dini Ciacci - Giuseppe Ferlendis: Oboe Concertos & Trios (2008)

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Diego Dini Ciacci - Giuseppe Ferlendis: Oboe Concertos & Trios (2008)

Diego Dini Ciacci - Giuseppe Ferlendis: Oboe Concertos & Trios (2008)
EAC | FLAC (image+.cue, log) | Covers Included | 01:10:24 | 357 MB
Genre: Classical | Label: CPO | Catalog: 777368

Ferlendis composed four oboe concertos which, up until now, existed only in nineteenth-century copies of the scores, with only one being recorded. This is the first time these have been recorded on CD. Although the concertos contain some clear elements of Mozartian coinage, their melodic wealth of ideas and natural elegance point to the composer’s Italian temperament. Six trios, here in the instrumentation for oboe, flute, and bassoon, round off the recording.

Paul Dombrecht, Jos van Immerseel - The Virtuoso Romantic Oboe: Schumann, Kalliwoda, Pixis (1999)

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Paul Dombrecht, Jos van Immerseel - The Virtuoso Romantic Oboe: Schumann, Kalliwoda, Pixis (1999)

Paul Dombrecht, Jos van Immerseel - The Virtuoso Romantic Oboe: Schumann, Kalliwoda, Pixis (1999)
EAC | FLAC (image+.cue, log) | Covers Included | 51:40 | 242 MB
Genre: Classical | Label: Accent | Catalog: 78330

This CD is probably unique. The oboe was relegated in the romantic age as the clarinet gained favour. So there are few chamber works for oboe from this period, and those that exist are rarely recorded. But to have several of these pieces on one disc and played so well on period instruments makes this a real treat. The instruments are an 1850 Triebert oboe and Erard pianoforte. These are not so different technically from their modern counterparts, but in these musicians' hands they deliver a warm, distinctive sound that would be hard to emulate with modern instruments.

Hermann Baumann - Glière, Saint-Saëns, Dukas, Chabrier (2010)

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Hermann Baumann - Glière, Saint-Saëns, Dukas, Chabrier (2010)

Hermann Baumann - Glière, Saint-Saëns, Dukas, Chabrier (1987)
EAC | FLAC (image+.cue, log) | Covers Included | 45:59 | 204 MB
Genre: Classical | Label: Philips | Catalog: 416 380-2

The Glière is the most ambitious work here, running for nearly 23 minutes, almost a record length for a horn concerto. It is very florid and romantic—its unlikely model is Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto, to which it comes nearest in the finale which is a lively Russian dance. Although some of the material is ingenuous, notably the march rhythm of the first movement, it is quite a jolly piece and has much in common with the Richard Strauss concertos. Otherwise the best known work is the Dukas Villanelle which Dennis Brain liked to play, and which is attractively diverse in mood and style, although essentially a miniature.

Géza Anda - Bartok: Piano Concertos 1-3 (1995)

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Géza Anda - Bartok: Piano Concertos 1-3 (1995)

Géza Anda - Bartok: Piano Concertos 1-3 (1995)
EAC | FLAC (image+.cue, log) | Covers Included | 01:18:01 | 388 MB
Genre: Classical | Label: Deutsche Grammophon | Catalog: 4473992

Much as you'd like to tout the new as the best, there are some older recordings where a very special chemistry spells 'definitive', and that pose an almost impossible challenge to subsequent rivals. Such is this 1959 recording of Bartók's Second Piano Concerto, a tough, playful, pianistically aristocratic performance where dialogue is consistently keen and spontaneity is captured on the wing (even throughout numerous sessions). The first movement is relentless but never tires the ear; the second displays two very different levels of tension, one slow and mysterious, the other hectic but controlled; and although others might have thrown off the finale's octaves with even greater abandon, Anda's performance is the most successful in suggesting savage aggression barely held in check.

Martha Argerich - Martha Argerich and Friends: Live from the Lugano Festival 2011 (2012)

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Martha Argerich - Martha Argerich and Friends: Live from the Lugano Festival 2011 (2012)

Martha Argerich - Martha Argerich and Friends: Live from the Lugano Festival 2011 (2012)
EAC | FLAC (image+.cue, log) | Covers Included | 03:45:24 | 1 Gb
Genre: Classical | Label: EMI Classics | Catalog: 5099964470

The Martha Argerich Project, presented annually at Lugano, Switzerland, has yielded many exciting sets of live recordings for EMI, all starring its namesake but prominently featuring many musicians she enjoys working with, both established artists and rising talents. Live from Lugano 2011 encapsulates the tenth of these festivals, and this three-disc package offers selections by Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Schumann, Liszt, Rachmaninov, Shostakovich, Ravel, and a name new to many of the participants: Juliusz Zarebski. This 19th century Polish composer is represented by a piano quintet he composed a few months before his death in 1885 at age 31, and Argerich has recorded this piece for the first time here.

London Philharmonic Orchestra, Bernard Haitink - Liszt: Complete Tone Poems, Vol. 2 (2001)

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London Philharmonic Orchestra, Bernard Haitink - Liszt: Complete Tone Poems, Vol. 2 (2001)

London Philharmonic Orchestra, Bernard Haitink - Liszt: Complete Tone Poems, Vol. 2 (2001)
EAC | FLAC (image+.cue, log) | Covers Included | 02:11:12 | 686 MB
Genre: Classical | Label: Philips | Catalog: 438754

All recordings of Liszt's symphonic poems should be compared to the fabulous set by Kurt Masur and the Leipzig Gewandhash Orchestra. They are near perfection in their spontaneity and authenticity. These are good recordings - even great - although it would be hard not to perform such notables as Hungaria, the Mephisto Waltz and Hunnenschlacht.

Sergio Azzolini, Friedemann Wezel - Graupner: Bassoon and Violin Concertos (2011) (Repost)

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Sergio Azzolini, Friedemann Wezel - Graupner: Bassoon and Violin Concertos (2011) (Repost)

Sergio Azzolini, Friedemann Wezel - Graupner: Bassoon and Violin Concertos (2011)
EAC | FLAC (image+.cue, log) | Covers Included | 73:16 | 380 MB
Genre: Classical | Label: Carus | Catalog: CARUS83443

Graupner is best known as a composer of cantatas but this CD highlights his compositions in other genres. Ensemble il capriccio plays on replicas of historical instruments and here presents four bassoon concertos, a double concerto for bassoon and chalumeau, as well as Graupner’s only violin concerto in what are mostly world premeiere recordings.

Adelina Oprean - Two Romantic Violin Concertos: Fiorillo, Viotti (1986)

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Adelina Oprean - Two Romantic Violin Concertos: Fiorillo, Viotti (1986)

Adelina Oprean - Two Romantic Violin Concertos: Fiorillo, Viotti (1986)
EAC | FLAC (image+.cue, log) | Covers Included | 46:38 | 262 MB
Genre: Classical | Label: Hyperion | Catalog: CDA66210

This is a delightful disc. The minor problem is that listening to the Fiorillo, one feels that one has heard this all before. Mind you, it is a lovely piece with Mozartian elegance and super hunting horn sounds. It is very fresh in sound and hugely enjoyable. Federigo Fiorillo was born in Germany in 1755 and his date of death is uncertain. It is thought to be after 1823. He travelled extensively and wrote much music for the violin some of which may be well known to students today. Apparently he wrote four violin concertos.

Martha Argerich - Martha Argerich and Friends: Live from the Lugano Festival 2012 (2013)

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Martha Argerich - Martha Argerich and Friends: Live from the Lugano Festival 2012 (2013)

Martha Argerich - Martha Argerich and Friends: Live from the Lugano Festival 2012 (2013)
EAC | FLAC (image+.cue, log) | Covers Included | 03:45:12 | 1 Gb
Genre: Classical | Label: EMI Classics | Catalog: 7211192

EMI Classics is pleased to release the 10th annual 3CD set of highlights from the Progetto Martha Argerich in Lugano, “the delightful festival where youth meets experience and both benefit” (Gramophone). The Times described Argerich’s Lugano Festival as “community music-making on a deluxe scale, with performers and listeners mutually uplifted by music’s wonders”. The set is being released in anticipation of the Festival’s 2013 season. Reviewing the 2011 Live from Lugano release, Nicholas Kenyon wrote in The Observer, “There are not many reliable annual treats among classical CDs these days, but the series of live recordings from Martha Argerich's Lugano festival are now a highlight of each year.”

Orchestre de Chambre de la Sarre, Karl Ristenpart - J.S. Bach: Oeuvres pour orchestre (6CD) (2000)

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Orchestre de Chambre de la Sarre, Karl Ristenpart - J.S. Bach: Oeuvres pour orchestre (6CD) (2000)

Orchestre de Chambre de la Sarre, Karl Ristenpart - J.S. Bach: Oeuvres pour orchestre (6CD) (2000)
EAC | FLAC (image+.cue, log) | Covers Included | 06:21:25 | 2.3 Gb
Genre: Classical | Label: Accord | Catalog: 465 977-2

This German conductor was heavily involved in creating three orchestras in his lifetime, most notably the Chamber Orchestra of the Saar. With this group he is often considered to have created one of the definitive recorded collections of Bach's orchestral music. These recordings originally saw the light of day in the early '60s as a Nonesuch release on both LP and cassette. Following an out of print period, it was cause for celebration among Bach lovers when the French Accord label released a six-CD set comprising the entire set of Ristenpart recordings of Bach orchestral works.

City of London Sinfonietta, Álvaro Cassuto - Marcos Portugal: Le donne cambiate (2000)

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City of London Sinfonietta, Álvaro Cassuto - Marcos Portugal: Le donne cambiate (2000)

City of London Sinfonietta, Álvaro Cassuto - Marcos Portugal: Le donne cambiate (2000)
EAC | FLAC (image+.cue, log) | Covers Included | 01:09:09 | 338 MB
Genre: Classical | Label: Marco Polo | Catalog: 225154

Talk about forgotten composers! Marcos Portugal (1762-1830) composed some 50 operas, all of which have disappeared. This present one was premiered in 1797 in Venice but the version recorded is one that was reassembled for Lisbon in 1804. Shorn of what I can only assume were the quasi-endless recitatives that were in style at that time in farces, what we get is 69 minutes of delightful music that makes you want to hear more of this Portuguese composer. Rossini might've been pleased with the plot about two women, one a Countess and the other a peddler, who have their identities switched by a playful magician/pilgrim and who wind up better for it (and their husbands) when all is set right.

Christophe Rousset - J.S. Bach: French Suites (2005)

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Christophe Rousset - J.S. Bach: French Suites (2005)

Christophe Rousset - J.S. Bach: French Suites (2005)
EAC | FLAC (image+.cue, log) | Covers Included | 01:35:26 | 749 MB
Genre: Classical | Label: Naïve | Catalog: 9960

In several respects, Christophe Rousset gives a well-balanced performance of Bach's French Suites. He finds a balance between a straightforward, technical reading and a more expressive one that takes liberties with timing and ornamentation. He brings out themes with a lyric sensibility, and he acknowledges the importance of countermelodies and the interaction of musical lines. The Sarabande of the Suite No. 6 is full of ornamentation, yet Rousset can still bring out a melody with a sense of forward direction that isn't interrupted by the ornaments. The Gigue of the Suite No. 5 is technically brilliant and musically delightful as all of the various parts come together in a lively manner.