All posts by Rachmaninov

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

HD-Vinyl 24/192 (Solist-Musikverlag) Frankfurter Gitarren Duo – Virtuous Music of the 19th & 20th Century


Lay back and enjoy this beautiful music. No more words are needed.

Composer: Mauro Giuliani, Ferdinand Carulli, Emilio Pujol, Leo Brouwer, Amable Massis, Enrique Granados, Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco
Performer: Michael Teuchert, Olaf van Gonnissen, Frankfurter Gitarren Duo
Vinyl 1976
Number of Discs: 1
Format: Flac
Label: Solist-Musikverlag
DR-Analysis: DR 13
Size: 1.63 MB
Scan: yes
Server: FileFactory

Continue reading HD-Vinyl 24/192 (Solist-Musikverlag) Frankfurter Gitarren Duo – Virtuous Music of the 19th & 20th Century

HD-Vinyl 24/96 (CBS) Richard Strauss – Also Sprach Zarathustra (Bernstein)


Whether it’s the famous catchy fanfare alone, or the entire symphonic poem of the famous “Thus Spoke Zarathustra”, I really love this one. Lenny did a pretty great job with this one. I’ve heard other recordings of the same pieces, surely more than 10 different (and attended it live twice), including Ormandy and Karajan, but I still spend time listening to Bernstein’s recording although my favourite is that century recording by Fritz Reiner.  But it is the fanfare itself which I was most impressed of the piece. The brass was a bit “showy” but blaring enough, and the timpani sounded just fine and “gave weight”. And the summit of the fanfare always gives me goosebumps.

Composer: Richard Strauss
Orchestra: New York Philharmonic Orchestra
Conductor: Leonard Bernstein
Vinyl 1971
Number of Discs: 1
Format: Flac
Label: CBS
DR-Analysis: DR 14
Size: 813 MB
Scan: yes
Server: FileFactory

Continue reading HD-Vinyl 24/96 (CBS) Richard Strauss – Also Sprach Zarathustra (Bernstein)

HD-Vinyl 24/96 (EMI) Johann Sebastian Bach – Four Flute Sonatas, Volume II (Shaffer/Malcolm/Gauntlett)

front-small-boxset
Many thanks to our friend Jean-Luc for this beautiful rarity

Shaffer was a very musical player who died of cancer before she was fifty and shortly after completing the Bach recording. Shaffer loved Bach and it shows. The lines develop beautifully and nothing is forced. Shaffer’s recording would be one to look for. Shaffer’s musicality and appropriate tone serve to highlight the major difficulties interpreting these works. Sound and style. The modern flute begs for vibrato. Without, it can sound like a tin pipe. But, Bach needs care. Some of the flutists rush through the lines, treating them as virtuoso vehicles. I’m no fan of a Baroque flute style played on a modern flute, but vibrato and intensity do not have to be switched on all the time. Many fine teachers and performers I know despair at the lack of subtlety and sophistication in modern flute playing. Grading the sound, a subtle use of vibrato, and the use of a true dynamic range need a lot more attention.

Composer: Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer: Elaine Shaffer, George Malcolm, Ambrose Gauntlett
Vinyl 1966
Number of Discs: 1
Format: Flac
Label: EMI
DR-Analysis: DR 11
Size: 944 MB
Scan: yes
Server: FileFactory

Continue reading HD-Vinyl 24/96 (EMI) Johann Sebastian Bach – Four Flute Sonatas, Volume II (Shaffer/Malcolm/Gauntlett)

HD-Vinyl 24/192 (EMI) Works by Larsson, Uttini, Roman (Stockholm Ph. Or./Ulf Björlin)

front-small-boxset
Many many thanks to our friend Dagote for this stunning rarity

The swedish composer Lars-Erik Vilner Larsson was born in Åkarp in 1908, the son of a factory worker and a nurse. He studied with Ellberg at the Stockholm Conservatory (1925–1929) and with Alban Berg and Fritz Reuter in Vienna and Leipzig (1929–1930), then worked for Swedish radio and taught at the Stockholm Conservatory (1947–1959) and Uppsala University where he held the position as Director musices (1961–1966). His style as a composer is eclectic, ranging from the late Romantic to techniques derived from Arnold Schoenberg’s twelve-note system, but original in method. He was the first Swede to write serial music (1932). Yet other works of that period are post-Sibelian or neo-classical, and his output generally is characterized by variety of style. He wrote for the theatre, cinema and broadcasting, in addition to the more traditional forms of symphony, concerto, chamber and vocal music. He died of diabetes complications in Helsingborg in 1986, aged 78.

Composer: Lars-Erik Larsson, Francesco Uttini, Johan Helmich Roman
Performer: Per-Olof GillBlad
Orchestra: Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra
Conductor: Ulf Björlin
Vinyl 1968
Number of Discs: 1
Format: Flac
Label: EMI
DR-Analysis: DR 14
Size: 1.96 GB
Scan: yes
Server: FileFactory

Continue reading HD-Vinyl 24/192 (EMI) Works by Larsson, Uttini, Roman (Stockholm Ph. Or./Ulf Björlin)

HD-Vinyl 24/96 (Philips) Joseph Haydn – Complete Piano Trios, Vol. 3 (Beaux Arts Trio)

front-small-boxset
All thanks for this beauty go to Jean-Luc
The first and only recording made of the entire piano trios, performed by the legendary Beaux Arts Trio. Haydn’s piano trios deserve far more attention than they receive. As music lovers know, they are every bit as rewarding as his symphonies and string quartets, and also very numerous. They are not, however, true trios as we understand the term now. Essentially, Haydn took the sonata for violin and piano and added a cello part to strengthen the weak bass of contemporary pianos. This doesn’t inhibit the quality of the music in any way, but it has prevented modern piano trios from taking them up since the cellist usually wants something more exciting to do. All praise, then, to the Beaux Arts Trio for understanding that musical quality is more important than instrumental display. –David Hurwitz

Composer: Joseph Haydn
Performer
: Beaux Arts Trio
Vinyl 1977
Number of discs: 5
Format: Flac
Label: Philips
DR-Analysis:
DR 14
Size: 4.66 GB
Scan: yes
Server: FF

Continue reading HD-Vinyl 24/96 (Philips) Joseph Haydn – Complete Piano Trios, Vol. 3 (Beaux Arts Trio)

HD-Vinyl 24/96 (Philips) Jules Massenet – Werther (Carreras, von Stade, Davis)

front-small-boxset
Many thanks to Bob for this Goethe gem
Now over 35 years old, this recording inspires in me the same affection and admiration as when I first heard it. Massenet is mildly scorned in some quarters; he had his fair share of flops and sometimes fell into a maudlin mode which smacks of trying too hard to please with easy sentimentality, but I am with Beecham regarding the beauties of his best operas (even if I would not go so far as to make frivolous, disparaging comparisons with Bach’s Brandenburg Concertos…). “Manon”, “Thais” and “Werther” are among my very favourite operatic entertainments for their sheer sumptuousness of sound, coherence as drama and distillation of French elegance.

Composer: Jules Massenet
Performer: José Carreras, Frederica von Stade, Thomas Allen

Orchestra: Orchestra of the Royal Opera House Covent Garden
Conductor: Sir Colin Davis
Vinyl 1981
Number of Discs: 3
Format: Flac
Label: Philips
DR-Analysis: DR 15
Size: 2.42 GB
Scan: yes
Server: FileFactory

Continue reading HD-Vinyl 24/96 (Philips) Jules Massenet – Werther (Carreras, von Stade, Davis)

HD-Vinyl 24/192 (Philips) Ludwig van Beethoven – String Quartets Op. 130 & Op. 133 (Quartetto Italiano)

front-small-boxset
A great great “THANK YOU” to our friend Jean-Luc for this gift

In the late quartets Beethoven continued to evolve many of his compositional techniques: he manages to add to the harmonic rules of before and does new things in the way of tonality and form. These quartets have a sound world all of their own, and create a small-scale effect quite different from the massive-sounding works that came before, such as the “Hammerklavier” sonata and the 9th Symphony. It would be fair to say that no other artist has ever mangaged to reach such spiritual heights. The Quartetto Italiano give superbly polished performances which are able to express the refined tones of these works. Compare their well-rehearsed renditions that come close to perfection with the more ruffled recordings of the Vegh Quartet, for example, and one really appreciates the way in which they are able to sustain the superhuman requirements of these pieces. With the Vegh team we hear 4 human beings, with these recordings we hear Beethoven’s unique vision.

Composer: Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer: Quartetto Italiano
Vinyl 1969
Number of Discs: 1
Format: Flac
Label: Philips
DR-Analysis: DR 14
Size: 2.39 GB
Scan: yes
Server: FileFactory

Continue reading HD-Vinyl 24/192 (Philips) Ludwig van Beethoven – String Quartets Op. 130 & Op. 133 (Quartetto Italiano)

HD-Vinyl 24/192 (Philips) Ludwig van Beethoven – String Quartets Op. 131 (Quartetto Italiano)

front-small-boxset
A great great “THANK YOU” to our friend Jean-Luc for this gift

In the late quartets Beethoven continued to evolve many of his compositional techniques: he manages to add to the harmonic rules of before and does new things in the way of tonality and form. These quartets have a sound world all of their own, and create a small-scale effect quite different from the massive-sounding works that came before, such as the “Hammerklavier” sonata and the 9th Symphony. It would be fair to say that no other artist has ever mangaged to reach such spiritual heights. The Quartetto Italiano give superbly polished performances which are able to express the refined tones of these works. Compare their well-rehearsed renditions that come close to perfection with the more ruffled recordings of the Vegh Quartet, for example, and one really appreciates the way in which they are able to sustain the superhuman requirements of these pieces. With the Vegh team we hear 4 human beings, with these recordings we hear Beethoven’s unique vision.

Composer: Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer: Quartetto Italiano
Vinyl 1969
Number of Discs: 1
Format: Flac
Label: Philips
DR-Analysis: DR 15
Size: 1.64 GB
Scan: yes
Server: FileFactory

Continue reading HD-Vinyl 24/192 (Philips) Ludwig van Beethoven – String Quartets Op. 131 (Quartetto Italiano)

Audiophile HD-Vinyl 24/192 (Argo) Antonio Vivaldi – Gloria RV 588 & RV 589 (Guest)

front-small-boxset
Many thanks to Jean-Luc for this outstanding gem
Another quality recording from time ago and at outstandingly good value offered by audiophile label Argo. Some aspects of the music are at a slower tempo than other recordings, which adds another level of interest when comparing artists. Highly recommended to add to your collection if you are a lover of choral music.

Composer: Antonio Vivaldi
Performer: Choir Of St. John’s College Cambridge, Anne Wilkens, Lynda Russell, Patrizia Kwella, Kenneth Bowen

Orchestra: The Wren Orchestra
Conductor: Dr. George Guest
Vinyl 1982
Number of Discs: 1
Format: Flac
Label: Argo
DR-Analysis: DR 12
Size: 2.25 GB
Scan: yes
Server: FileFactory

Continue reading Audiophile HD-Vinyl 24/192 (Argo) Antonio Vivaldi – Gloria RV 588 & RV 589 (Guest)

HD-Vinyl 24/96 (Archiv) Johann Sebastian Bach – Mass in H-Minor (Richter)

front-small-boxset
All thanks for this masterwork go to Jean-Luc
Bach’s majestically beautiful, deeply moving Mass in B Minor began life during the early months of 1733 as a 2 movement five-part Missa containing only a Kyrie and Gloria; often called “a Lutheran Mass” because Luther had reduced the Mass Ordinary to just those 2 sections for the Protestant service. The Missa was intended to enhance his authority with the Leipzig town council with whom he had been engaged in a ten-year long cold war regarding his conditions of service and his method of conducting his duties (not least of which was the onerous responsibility for teaching Latin, a task Bach despised and relegated to others). These 2 movements lasted nearly an hour in performance. Thus, they were far too long for performance in Protestant Leipzig but they were perfect for a festival service performance at the Catholic court in Dresden. There is no evidence …

Composer: Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer: Münchener Bach-Chor,
Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Hertha Töpper, Ernst Haefliger
Orchestra: Münchener Bach-Orchester
Conductor: Karl Richter
Vinyl 1961
Number of discs: 3
Format: Flac
Label: Archiv
DR-Analysis:
DR 11
Size: 2.53 GB
Scan: yes
Server: FF

Continue reading HD-Vinyl 24/96 (Archiv) Johann Sebastian Bach – Mass in H-Minor (Richter)