About Rachmaninov

I was born for the music. Music was my first love and will be the last.... (John Miles)

Audiophile HD-Vinyls 24/192 (MFSL) Giacomo Puccini – La Bohème (Freni/Pavarotti)

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Revisited with the benefit of Audio Research SP15 and in 24/192.
This is in my eyes (and ears) one of the few cases where the MFSL version is devasting better than the original.

Composer: Giacomo Puccini
Performer: Mirella Freni, Luciano Pavarotti, Nicolai Ghiaurov
Orchestra: Berlin Philarmonic Orchestra
Conductor: Herbert von Karajan
Vinyl (1973)
Number of Discs: 2
Format: Flac
Label: MFSL (Decca)
DR-Analysis: DR15
Size: 4.19 GB
Scan: yes
Server:
FF

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HD-Vinyl 24/96 (Philips) Hector Berlioz – Cléopâtre/Herminie (Baker/Davis)

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All thanks for another pearl to the Berlioz-Davis-cycle go to Trottar

La Mort de Cléopâtre (The Death of Cleopatra) was Berlioz’s third attempt to win the Prix de Rome from the Academie des Beaux-Arts. His first attempt in 1827 was La Mort d’Orphée, which failed to place. His second attempt in 1828 was Herminie, which took second place. Berlioz called La Mort de Cléopâtre “a lyric scene” for soprano and orchestra, setting a text by P.A. Vieillard. The vocal writing is extremely dramatic, but it ignores distinctions between recitative and aria, which infuriated the jury. The orchestral writing is lush and full, with extraordinary harmonies that likewise alienated the jury. La Mort de Cléopâtre was judged such a failure in the eyes of the Academie that it gave no first place prize that year. The following year, Berlioz won the Prix de Rome with his conservative La Mort de Sardanapale, but, having already composed his wildly experimental and incredibly wild Symphonie fantastique, he found that he no longer cared all that much about the Academie.

Composer: Hector Berlioz
Performer:
Janet Baker
Orchestra: London Symphony Orchestra
Conductor: Colin Davis
Vinyl 1980
Number of discs: 1
Format: Flac
Label: Philips
DR-Analysis:
DR 14
Size: 830 MB
Scan: yes
Server: FF

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HD-Vinyl 24/96 (Melodyia) Sergei Prokofiev – The Jester (Rozhdestvensky)

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All thanks for this masterwork go to Jean-Luc

Receiving a commission from the Ballets Russes impresario extraordinaire Serge Diaghilev (1872-1929) Sergei Prokofiev (1891-1953) began work on the score of “Chout” in Italy in 1915. It had been decided to write the ballet based upon a Russian folk tale. Based in Paris since 1909 the Ballets Russes had achieved a formidable reputation for innovation and the superior quality of it’s productions. Two humorous tales of the Perm province had been discovered in the Russian tales collection of A. Afanasiev. These made up the basis for the ballet libretto. The long awaited premier of “Chout” opened the Ballets Russes season on May 17, 1921 in the…..

Composer: Sergei Prokofiev
Orchestra: Moscow Radio Symphony Orchestra
Conductor: Gennadi Rozhdestvensky
Vinyl 1962
Number of discs: 1
Format: Flac
Label: Melodyia
DR-Analysis:
DR 13
Size: 767 MB
Scan: yes
Server: FF

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HD-Vinyl 24/96 (Philips) Hector Berlioz – Beatrice Et Benedict (Davis)

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All thanks for another pearl to complete the Berlioz-Davis-cycle go to Trottar

Dame Janet Baker and Robert Tear lead an outstanding cast in this classic recording of Berlioz’ operatic setting of Shakespeare’s ‘Much Ado About Nothing’, under the baton of the distinguished Berlioz conductor Sir Colin Davis. Based on Shakespeare’s ‘Much Ado About Nothing’, the text is by the composer who finished composing the opera in 1862; it was first given its première later that year in Baden-Baden.

Composer: Hector Berlioz
Performer:
Thomas Allen, Robert Lloyd, Jules Bastin, John Alldis Choir, Helen Watts, Janet Baker, Christiane Eda-Pierre, Robert Tear, Richard Van Allan
Orchestra: London Symphony Orchestra
Conductor: Colin Davis
Vinyl 1978
Number of discs: 2
Format: Flac
Label: Philips
DR-Analysis:
DR 15
Size: 2.0 GB
Scan: yes
Server: FF

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HD-Vinyl 24/96 (EMI) Gustav Mahler – Symphony No. 8 (“Symphony Of A Thousand”) (Tennstedt)

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All thanks for this masterwork go to Jean-Luc

This is one great recording of this great work. Without being too wordy. This recording will show you how good your system really is. Get it..It’s also a great performance as well. Barely seven minutes into the performance and we already experience a triumphant exultation–one beautiful soaring melody after another in this wonderful celebration of life.
Yes, there is great singing (all the soloists and choirs are magnificent!) but even more important are the absolutely GORGEOUS parts for the human voice. This is why the human voice is the greatest of all musical instruments. If you like beautiful singing at its passionate best, this is a performance you will return to frequently.
The “Symphony of a Thousand” (a poetic rather than literal title) was a Tennstedt specialty. The most admired part of his EMI Mahler cycle was this symphony; he recorded it in 1986, in fairly distant sound that exhibits a good deal of digital glassiness. The conductor was battling throat cancer, first diagnosed in 1985, which forced him to step down as pricnipal conductor of the London Phil. in 1987, having held the post for only four years. His returns to London thereafter were considered unique events, all the more fragile because of Tennstedt’s precarious health and last-minute cancellations. On this occasion the energy that he summons is monumental and one must say, heroic. Even Bernstein didn’t marshal the gigantic forces of the Mahler Eighth with such command and breadth, as if embracing a musical cosmos.

Composer: Gustav Mahler
Performer:
London Philharmonic Choir, Tiffin School Boys’ Choir,  Elizabeth Connell, Edith Wiens, Felicity Lott, Trudeliese Schmidt, Nadine Denize, Richard Versalle, Jorma Hynninen, Hans Sotin
Orchestra: London Philharmonic Orchestra
Conductor: Klaus Tennstedt
Vinyl 1986
Number of discs: 2
Format: Flac
Label: EMI
DR-Analysis:
DR 15
Size: 1.71 GB
Scan: yes
Server: FF

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HD-Vinyl 24/96 (Harmonia Mundi) Music From The Tudor Times (Pro Cantione Antiqua London)

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All thanks for this go to Lemarquis

Three British musicians and scholars founded Pro Cantione Antiqua in the ’60’s. They were tenor James Griffett, countertenor Paul Esswood, and conductor Mark Brown, joined by conductor and musicologist Bruno Turner. Its primary era of emphasis is the Renaissance era, the richest outpouring of polyphonic composition in history.
In addition to its Renaissance repertory, the PCA also sings considerable amounts of Medieval music. The group is comprised of the following soloists, all, of them prominent in recital and opera: Paul Esswood, Robin Tyson, James Bowman, Timothy Penrose, and Robert Harre Jones (countertenors), James Griffett, Ian Partridge, Joseph Cornwell, and Andrew King (tenors), and Stephen Roberts, Michael George, Adrian Peacock, and David Beavan (basses/baritones).

Music from the Tudor times. Music was an important facet of elite sixteenth century culture. It played a part in every aspect of court life – processions, fanfares announcing the monarch’s approach, coronations, funerals and baptisms, music in the Privy Chamber, and music for the pageants and masques that entertained the court. Additionally, it was an integral part of religious worship…..
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Composer: Anonymous, John Taverner, Osbert Parsley, John Sheppard
Performer: Pro Cantione Antiqua London

Vinyl 1975
Number of discs: 1
Format: Flac
Label: Harmonia Mundi
DR-Analysis:
DR 12
Size: 956 MB
Scan: yes
Server: FF

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HD-Vinyl 24/96 (Eterna) Johann Sebastian Bach – Das Orgelbüchlein BWV 599-644 (Köbler)

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The Orgelbüchlein (“Little Organ Book”) BWV 599−644 is a collection of 46 chorale preludes for organ written by Johann Sebastian Bach. All but three of them were composed during the period 1708–1717, while Bach was court organist at the ducal court in Weimar. The remaining three, along with a short two-bar fragment, were added in 1726 or later, after Bach’s appointment as cantor at the Thomasschule in Leipzig. The collection was originally planned as a set of 164 chorale preludes spanning the whole liturgical year. The chorale preludes form the first of Bach’s masterpieces for organ with a mature compositional style in marked contrast to his previous compositions for the instrument. Although each of them takes a known Lutheran chorale and adds a motivic accompaniment, Bach explored a wide diversity of forms in the Orgelbüchlein. Many of the chorale preludes…
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Composer: Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer: Robert Köbler
Vinyl 1968 (1976)
Number of discs: 2
Format: Flac
Label: Eterna
DR-Analysis:
DR 10
Size: 1.74 GB
Scan: yes
Server: FF

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HD-Vinyl 24/96 (Melodiya/Columbia) Sergei Prokofiev – The Stone Flower (Rozhdestvensky)

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The Stone Flower ballet is contemporaneous with the opera The Story of a Real Man. It was his last ballet and as you can see from the timings is on an ambitious scale inviting comparison with Cinderella and Romeo and Juliet. The year was 1948. Prokofiev had put aside thoughts of setting Pushkin’s The Stone Guest in favour of a subject with nationalist resonance. Folk material was required by the invitation of Zhdanov’s ‘spirit of the times’; an invitation not to be denied. The hero of the ballet is the artist Danilo. His ‘grail’ is the stone flower hidden somewhere in the caverns of the Copper Mountain. He needs it as the raw material for a malachite vase. The supernatural Mistress of the Copper Mountain guards the flower. Danilo finds it but is enchanted by the Mistress. Katerina rescues Danilo and the flower is won. The villainous bailiff, Severyan, is consigned to the earth

Composer: Sergei Prokofiev
Orchestra: Bolshoi Thater Orchestra Moscow
Conductor: Gennady Rozhdestvensky
Vinyl 1974
Number of discs: 3
Format: Flac
Label: Melodiya/Columbia
DR-Analysis:
DR 12
Size: 2.91 GB
Scan: yes
Server: FF

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HD-Vinyl 24/96 (World Record Club) Franz Schubert – Richter Plays Schubert

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All thanks for this go to Lemarquis

In the world of great pianos sonatas by composers ranging from Beethoven to Prokofiev, Schubert’s 21 Sonatas are too often neglected. Schubert’s late piano sonatas are some of the greatest piano compositions and no pianist helped us realize this more than Sviatoslav Richter. No pianist has blended the classical, melodic, sensitive and dark elements to be found in Schubert’s music better than he did. Richter performed over half of the sonatas, and here he plays the sonata in A-Major D. 664. In addition the wonderful ‘Wanderer’ fantasy.

Composer: Franz Schubert
Performer: Sviatoslav
Richter
Vinyl 1963
Number of discs: 1
Format: Flac
Label: World Record Club
DR-Analysis:
DR 15
Size: 901 MB
Scan: yes
Server: FF

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HD-Vinyl 24/96 (Archiv) Johann Sebastian Bach – Cantatas BWV 51 & 202 (Richter)

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All thanks for this masterwork go to Jean-Luc

Karl Richter and Bach are like a close encounter. Very easy to notice the perfect match between the composer and de conductor. Splendorous orcherstra and singer. Maria Stader who is radiant. Richter was considered to be somewhat of an old-school romantic by the auntentic instrumentation crowd back in the 70s and 80s. I thought similarly at the time, and even felt a little guilty for liking these recordings as much as I did. Now older (and presumably a little wiser), I’ve decided that Richter was, in many respects, ahead of his time.
Some of his performances have never been bettered.

Composer: Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer: Münchener Bach-Chor,
Maria Stader
Orchestra: Münchener Bach-Orchester
Conductor: Karl Richter
Vinyl 1959
Number of discs: 1
Format: Flac
Label: Archiv
DR-Analysis:
DR 10
Size: 485 MB
Scan: yes
Server: FF

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