Malmö Symphony Orchestra, Bjarte Engeset - Grieg: Music for String Orchestra (2011)

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Malmö Symphony Orchestra, Bjarte Engeset - Grieg: Music for String Orchestra (2011)

Malmö Symphony Orchestra, Bjarte Engeset - Grieg: Music for String Orchestra (2011)
WEB | FLAC (tracks) - 334 MB | 01:09:58
Genre: Classical | Label: Naxos

Like most of his contemporaries, Grieg was motivated by the popularity of works for string orchestra. Apart from his familiar and often-performed Op. 40 Holberg Suite, Grieg also turned to his own music – songs and piano miniatures – on several occasions to make even more arrangements for string orchestra. Grieg's ideal sound for these works was not of a small, intimate chamber ensemble, but a full, rich, symphonic string sound. The Malmö Symphony Orchestra under conductor Bjarte Engeset produces just such a sound: vibrant, shimmering violins; assertive, powerful violas; and articulate, resonating cellos and basses.

Malmö Symphony Orchestra, Marc Soustrot - Saint-Saëns: Symphonies, Vol. 3 (2015)

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Malmö Symphony Orchestra, Marc Soustrot - Saint-Saëns: Symphonies, Vol. 3 (2015)

Malmö Symphony Orchestra, Marc Soustrot - Saint-Saëns: Symphonies, Vol. 3 (2015)
WEB | FLAC (tracks) - 271 MB | 01:06:55
Genre: Classical | Label: Naxos

The third volume in Marc Soustrot's series on Naxos of the five symphonies of Camille Saint-Saëns presents one of his least familiar works, the Symphony in F major, "Urbs Roma," an early effort from 1856, written when the composer was 21 years old. The symphony won a prize at a competition held by the Bordeaux Société Ste Cécile, no doubt in recognition of Saint-Saëns' skillful orchestration and many striking passages that, by turns, evoke Beethoven, Mendelssohn, and Schumann. However, Saint-Saëns thought so little of the piece that he didn't publish it, and it subsequently suffered from decades of neglect.

Sabine Liebner - Christian Wolff: Piano Pieces (2008)

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Sabine Liebner - Christian Wolff: Piano Pieces (2008)

Sabine Liebner - Christian Wolff: Piano Pieces (2008)
WEB | FLAC (tracks) - 214 MB | 01:16:58
Genre: Classical | Label: NEOS Music

Christian Wolff was once the baby of the New York School, only 19 when he cast his lot with John Cage, Morton Feldman, and Earle Brown; in 2008, he is the last man standing. Solo piano music is central to Wolff's output, and on Neos' Christian Wolff: Piano Pieces, German pianist Sabine Liebner performs a nice cross section of his efforts in this medium from 1969 to 2006. It takes a pianist with some amount of insight to realize Wolff's compositions, all to some degree open ended, and he does not spell out all of the details.

Sabine Liebner - Ustvolskaya: Complete Works for Piano (2009)

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Sabine Liebner - Ustvolskaya: Complete Works for Piano (2009)

Sabine Liebner - Ustvolskaya: Complete Works for Piano (2009)
WEB | FLAC (tracks) - 258 MB | 01:29:49
Genre: Classical | Label: NEOS Music

This complete recording of the piano works of the Russian composer Galina Ustvolskaya demonstrates her individuality and strict stylistic continuity. From simple building blocks of sound she cultivates clear but complex structures.

Sir Neville Marriner, Academy of St. Martin in the Fields - Rossini: Messa di Gloria

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Sir Neville Marriner, Academy of St. Martin in the Fields - Rossini: Messa di Gloria

Sir Neville Marriner, Academy of St. Martin in the Fields - Rossini: Messa di Gloria (2006)
WEB | FLAC (tracks) - 243 MB | 58:34
Genre: Classical | Label: Philips

Gioachino Rossini's Messa di Gloria of 1821, right in the middle of the years when he ruled the operatic scene, has been less often recorded than the free-spirited and personal Stabat Mater of his old age. Various reasons could be advanced for this comparative neglect. Stacked up against Rossini's operas of the period it's something of a mixed bag. Some of it is intensely operatic, but it also looks back to the past with its giant contrapuntal "Cum sancto spiritu" (the mass consists of a Kyrie and Gloria). From the point of view of the cult of individual Romantic genius, a major problem is that Rossini may have had a collaborator on the work, one Pietro Raimondi, who honed some of the more polyphonic passages.

Sir Neville Marriner, Academy of St. Martin in the Fields - Maw: Life Studies / Bennett: Spells (2012)

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Sir Neville Marriner, Academy of St. Martin in the Fields - Maw: Life Studies / Bennett: Spells (2012)

Sir Neville Marriner, Academy of St. Martin in the Fields - Maw: Life Studies / Bennett: Spells (2012)
WEB | FLAC (tracks) - 352 MB | 01:15:58
Genre: Classical | Label: NMC Recordings

Two brilliant retrievals from the fearsome mid-1970s. Oddly enough each - but especially the Maw - begins to show signs of a return to lyricism and a subtle renunciation of Boulez and Darmstadt.

Itzhak Perlman, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, André Previn - Sibelius & Korngold: Violin Concertos, Sinding Suite (2003)

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Itzhak Perlman, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, André Previn - Sibelius & Korngold: Violin Concertos, Sinding Suite (2003)

Itzhak Perlman, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, André Previn - Sibelius & Korngold: Violin Concertos, Sinding Suite (2003)
WEB | FLAC (tracks) - 351 MB | 01:09:03
Genre: Classical | Label: EMI Classics

On this disc, the playing's the thing and it is fabulous. Originally made in 1979 and 1980, these recordings capture Perlman at his incomparable peak. The effortless perfection of his technique leaves you gasping in disbelief; even the infamously unplayable passages in the Sibelius Finale are tossed off with easy nonchalance, and he avoids the false accents often heard in the treacherous opening theme. And Perlman's toneis warm, mellow, pure, and constantly expressive; its golden glow is like burnished copper on the low strings, like radiant sunshine up high, and he can vary it instantaneously with bow and vibrato to fit the music.

Itzhak Perlman - Rediscovered: Violin Sonatas (2004)

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Itzhak Perlman - Rediscovered: Violin Sonatas (2004)

Itzhak Perlman - Rediscovered: Violin Sonatas (2004)
EAC | APE (image+.cue, log) | Covers Included | 63:18 | 311 MB
Genre: Classical | Label: RCA Victor Red Seal | Catalog: 62516

Fans of great violin playing naturally will want to hear this outstanding sampling of the art of the young Itzhak Perlman, most of which has never been released on CD. The violinist blasts through Paganini's Caprices Nos. 1, 16, and (of course) 24 with scrupulous technique and a total lack of inhibition. In the remaining works he's well partnered by pianist David Garvey, best known for his work with soprano Leontyne Price.

Nikolaj Znaider, Staatskapelle Dresden, Sir Colin Davis - Elgar: Violin Concerto (2010)

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Nikolaj Znaider, Staatskapelle Dresden, Sir Colin Davis - Elgar: Violin Concerto (2010)

Nikolaj Znaider, Staatskapelle Dresden, Sir Colin Davis - Elgar Violin Concerto (2010)
WEB | FLAC (tracks) - 236 MB | 49:23
Genre: Classical | Label: RCA Red Seal

To celebrate the 100th anniversary of the world premiere of Elgar’s Violin Concerto which took place on 10 November 1910 and was conducted by the composer himself, celebrated Danish violinist Nikolaj Znaider has recorded the concerto on the very same instrument that Kreisler performed the premiere: this is the first account on disc using this very special violin, a 1741 Guarneri del Gesu. Znaider will also tour the work globally throughout 2010 and will perform the Concerto with the London Symphony Orchestra conducted by Sir Colin Davis on 10 November 2010 at London’s Barbican Concert Hall – the anniversary to the day of the world premiere.

Nikolaj Znaider - Bravo! Virtuoso And Romantic Encores For Violin (2003)

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Nikolaj Znaider - Bravo! Virtuoso And Romantic Encores For Violin (2003)

Nikolaj Znaider - Bravo! Virtuoso And Romantic Encores For Violin (2003)
WEB | FLAC (tracks) - 290 MB | 58:36
Genre: Classical | Label: RCA Red Seal

With the best will in the world, anyone listening to a disc entitled Bravo! Virtuoso Romantic Encores for Violin is all too likely to succumb to terminal ennui. After all, the ephemeral thrills of encores are not supposed to last an hour, and unless the performer is a very great artist, the listener may die of boredom long before the disc ends. Violinist Nikolai Znaider is nearly a very great artist. He has a graceful tone, an elegant technique, and a virtuoso's temperament. His performances are truly virtuoso and his interpretations truly romantic, but with the best will in the world, anyone listening will still succumb to terminal ennui halfway through the disc.

Ophélie Gaillard - Brahms: Cello Sonatas, Clarinet Trio (2013)

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Ophélie Gaillard - Brahms: Cello Sonatas, Clarinet Trio (2013)

Ophélie Gaillard - Brahms: Cello Sonatas, Clarinet Trio (2013)
EAC | FLAC (image+.cue, log) | Covers Included | 01:15:25 | 354 MB
Genre: Classical | Label: Aparté | Catalog: AP053

Cet enregistrement est une lecture neuve, et décapante de ces œuvres bien connues. Ophélie Gaillard et son partenaire sont renversants d'énergie, de contrastes tout en gardant une constante justesse de ton. Ces pages parfois un brin poussiéreuse prodiguent ici un souffle de vitalité confondant. C'est pour moi l'enregistrement "parfait" à mettre d'urgence dans ses références absoules en matière de musique de chambre romantique.

Concertgebouw Orchestra, Bernard Haitink - Schumann: The Four Symphonies (1985)

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Concertgebouw Orchestra, Bernard Haitink - Schumann: The Four Symphonies (1985)

Concertgebouw Orchestra, Bernard Haitink - Schumann: The Four Symphonies (1985)
EAC | FLAC (image+.cue, log) | Covers Included | 130:52 | 646 MB
Genre: Classical | Label: Philips | Catalog: 416 126-2

This is the Schumann's Bicentennial year. There are many symphonic cycles to celebrate that, but very seldom we can find a truly great one along the whole of the 4 symphonies. Haitink's is one of these. Those are brilliant, solid and thrilling performances that show the mastery of maestro Haitink. Concertgebouw orchestra plays heavenly and sound by Philips is, one more time, a matter of admiration. Among cycles in modern and digital sound, this is one of the best choices.

Mitsuko Uchida - Schubert: Piano Sonata in E Flat Major, 6 Moments Musicaux (2001)

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Mitsuko Uchida - Schubert: Piano Sonata in E Flat Major, 6 Moments Musicaux (2001)

Mitsuko Uchida - Schubert Piano Sonata in E Flat Major, 6 Moments Musicaux (2001)
WEB | FLAC (tracks) - 230 MB | 01:07:23
Genre: Classical | Label: Decca

Mitsuko Uchida's slowly evolving Schubert cycle continues to thrill and scintillate with every new volume. At first glance, the works here might seem less essential than some of her previous offerings: an early (and infrequently played) sonata and the endlessly recorded Moments musicaux. However, just a few minutes' listening will soon persuade you otherwise. Schubert may have been only 20 when he penned this E-flat Sonata, but in Uchida's hands its expansive four-movement form is a perfect delight. She finds an ideally dancing lilt for the opening Allegro, not allowing the moments of drama to overshadow the movement's sunny disposition.

VA - The Best of Finzi (2008)

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VA - The Best of Finzi (2008)

VA - The Best of Finzi (2008)
WEB | FLAC (tracks) - 319 MB | 01:15:37
Genre: Classical | Label: Naxos

Gerald Finzi made an important contribution to British twentieth-century song, choral and orchestral repertoire. His acute awareness of the frailty of existence found its musical expression not only in his song settings, but in the Cello Concerto, music of turbulent and tragic emotions, and his great masterpiece Intimations of Immortality, a deeply touching lament for the passing of the innocence of childhood.

Gould Piano Trio, Robert Plane - Stanford: Clarinet Sonata, Piano Trio No. 3, 2 Fantasies (2007)

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Gould Piano Trio, Robert Plane - Stanford: Clarinet Sonata, Piano Trio No. 3, 2 Fantasies (2007)

Gould Piano Trio, Robert Plane - Stanford: Clarinet Sonata, Piano Trio No. 3, 2 Fantasies (2007)
WEB | FLAC (tracks) - 319 MB | 01:13:56
Genre: Classical | Label: Naxos

At the height of his career Sir Charles Stanford held a leading position in British music, not only as a teacher of many of the most important composers of the new generation, but as one of the most significant British composers – the other was Sir Hubert Parry – to have emerged immediately before Elgar. Chiefly remembered today for his Irish Rhapsodies, Seven Symphonies and Clarinet Concerto, Stanford composed many chamber works, including several for clarinet written in what might be described as a ‘Brahmsian’ idiom. The Piano Trio No. 3, the last of three which span Stanford’s mature career, was written as a tribute to friends lost in the First World War.