About Rachmaninov

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

HD-Vinyl 24/96 (Philips) Johann Sebastian Bach – Matthäus-Passion (Jochum)

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All thanks for this masterwork go to Jean-Luc
New rip with a better vinyl
Jochum’s performance of this masterwork is, ihmo, one of the best you can get.
Bach’s St Matthew Passion is a sacred drama on an unprecedented scale. He created it as an integral part of the Good Friday Vespers in the strict Lutheran stronghold of Leipzig where it was first performed, perhaps as early as 1727. At their most fundamental, the disparate elements comprising Bach’s St Matthew Passion can be placed under distinct headings: the narrative element in which the Evangelist (tenor) and Christ (baritone) play the central role; a lyrical and contemplative element provided by the arias; a meditative and communal element provided by the chorales, the traditional hymn-tunes of Bach’s time; and the choruses which comment on events taking place emphasizing their significance with immense, at times almost overwhelming, power. The interdependence of these diverse components is only fully realized in a performance which comprehends Bach’s vast tableau in its entirety.

Composer: Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:
Niederländischer Rundfunkchor, Knabenchor Der St. Willibrords-Kirche Amsterdam, Marga Höffgen, Walter Berry, Franz Crass, Leo Ketelaars, John Van Kesteren, Agnes Giebel, Ernst Haefliger
Orchestra: Concertgebouw Orchester Amsterdam
Conductor: Eugen Jochum
Vinyl 1965
Number of discs: 4
Format: Flac
Label: Philips
DR-Analysis:
DR 15
Size: 3.99 GB
Scan: yes
Server: FF

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Audiophile HD-Vinyl 24/192 (BIS) Jean Sibelius – Jungfrun I Tornet (The Maiden in the Tower), Karelia Suite Op. 11 (Järvi)

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All thanks for this audiophile rarity go to Mats
Sibelius’ only opera, the one-act “The Maiden in the Tower”, is hobbled by a shallow Swedish libretto that’s basically a recounting of the Rapunzel myth. Like Kullervo and many other early works, it was well received initially by its Northern European audience, but Sibelius soon withdrew it to his desk drawer, discouraging further performances. It’s too bad that the text is so insipid, since there is some interesting music here: a passionate, even overwrought, prayer from the imprisoned Maiden to the Virgin Mary, twice soaring up to a High B. In the next scene the chorus of villagers sings the opera’s most memorable tune, a hymn to spring before they repudiate the Maiden, who they unjustly accuse of being the Bailiff’s prostitute. This scene has hints of the bass pedal points that became one of the composer’s most recognizable fingerprints. The Maiden’s sad prayer returns as an interlude before the scene with her fiancé that leads to the confrontation with the Bailiff and the all-too-neat ending in which the castle-owner’s wife observes the happenings and orders the Maiden freed and the Bailiff arrested.

Composer: Jean Sibelius
Performer: Mari-Ann Häggander,
Erland Hagegård, Tone Kruse, Jorma Hynninen, The Gothenburg Concert Hall Choir
Orchestra: The Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra
Conductor: Neeme Järvi
Vinyl 1984
Number of discs: 1
Format: Flac
Label: BIS
DR-Analysis:
DR 13
Size: 2.03 GB
Scan: yes
Server: FF

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HD-Vinyl 24/96 (EMI) Domenico Scarlatti – 33 Piano Sonatas (Zacharias)

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All thanks for this masterwork go to Jean-Luc
There are not only WAM’s & LvB’s piano sonatas, out there…
All those truly jewels compounding Domenico Scarlatti’s catalogue of keyboard sonatas – short pieces in one movement, greatly imbued with Iberian flavour and passionate rhythms – call for a gifted musician who must be able to naturally alternate melodic lines, sharply shade contrasts and lively use vivid tempos. Therefore only an agile-minded pianist can qualify for the task of interpreting Scarlatti’s sonatas at a masterful degree, a pianist who possesses a robust insight in what music means at its deepest level: feeling embodied in sound. Scarlatti proves a maestro of atmosphere demanding at a largest extent the soloist approaching his music.
Christian Zacharias is – for me – among the living pianists the most suitable to this music. He has all the required qualities as a super-class musician and actually he seems fond of playing this music, loving to polish the phrase up to its last consequences, extracting the right nuances and moods from his keyboard. In short, Christian Zacharias reigns supreme in the realm of clever virtuosity and spontaneous empathy with Scarlatti’s output.

Composer: Domenico Scarlatti
Performer:
Christian Zacharias
Vinyl 1979-1982(1985)
Number of discs: 3
Format: Flac
Label: EMI
DR-Analysis:
DR 12
Size: 2.92 GB
Scan: yes
Server: FF

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HD-Vinyl 24/96 (DGG) Alban Berg – Wozzeck (Lear, Wunderlich, Fischer-Dieskau, Böhm)

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Many many thanks to our friend Trottar
This is a great, classic studio recording of Berg’s first opera. I don’t know what I liked about the story, but I immediately loved the Mahlerian score, especially as presented in such a sympathetic recording. The warmth of both Böhm’s conducting and Fischer-Deiskau’s wonderful voice, and the chemistry of the two principles still comes through forty years later. True, Fischer-Deiskau is perhaps too sane and vocally balanced for his part,but his performance is still one of the greatest because of the genius of his vocal coloring. This studio version still holds its own due to the great performers and because the studio mix balances the voices with the orchestra perfectly, allowing us to hear all the vocal parts even in the loudest moments.

Composer: Alban Berg
Performer: Evelyn Lear, Chor Der Deutschen Oper Berlin, Schöneberger Sängerknaben, Gerhard Stolze, Fritz Wunderlich, Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau
Orchestra: Orchester Der Deutschen Oper Berlin
Conductor: Karl Böhm
Vinyl 1965
Number of discs: 2
Format: Flac
Label: DGG
DR-Analysis:
DR 14
Size: 1.85 GB
Scan: yes
Server: FF

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HD-Vinyl 24/96 (EMI) Paganini, Dvorak, Bruch, Mendelssohn – Izthak Perlman plays 4 Violin Concerti

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Once I had the honor to see & hear Mr. Perlman during a rehearsal one day before a concert in Berlin. I was in my former life travelling technician and one day I was (again) in Berlin, shortly after the fall of the wall. The customer, where I had to repair a gigantic printer had almost become a friend through many years and I always asked him, when I was there, who was actually there and with which concerto…or which orchestra, which maestro. Mostly there was nothing or not interessant for me (I was around 1-2 times in a year there). But one fine day the Muses were very friendly to me and Itzhak gave the Beethoven Concerto. Knowing my love to music, my customer asked me, if I would gladly attend to the rehearsal. I couldn’t believe it…. He phoned with someone and I could hear in the almost empty hall the wonderful playing of Mr. Perlman. Lucky me!
😀

Composer: Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy, Niccoló Paganini, Antonin Dvorak, Max Bruch
Performer: Itzhak Perlman
Orchestra: Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, London Philharmonic Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra
Conductor: Lawrence Foster, Daniel Barenboim, André Previn
Vinyl 1972
Number of discs: 3
Format: Flac
Label: EMI
DR-Analysis:
DR 14
Size: 2.9 GB
Scan: yes
Server: FF

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HD-Vinyl 192/96/44 (Philips) Ludwig van Beethoven – Complete Piano Sonatas (Brendel)

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A very great THANK YOU to Jean-Luc for this gem
The most important thing first: forget all you know, or thought to know, about the LvB-Piano Sonatas and how they have to be performed. This set by Brendel beats everything’s existing in the music world. Thank you very much, my friend Jean-Luc, to heve resurrect in me the love for Brendel…and of course for this greatest treasury of mankind!
To me, anyways, this is
an awesome collection of all of Beethoven’s Sonatas! I’m sure there are other sets out there, but to me, I think I could settle with this one for the rest of my life. The skill, technique and emotion Alfred Brendel puts into each of these pieces convey his love for these pieces. I think this is one Beethoven himself would be well pleased with. He doesn’t overdo it either. I own some great sets to, but Brendel is something very special. The whole collection for the most part just sounds natural and clean….this is an excellent way for beginners and those well acquainted with these works to enjoy these masterpieces for years to come. If you love piano music…Beethoven in particular, go for it!

Composer: Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer: Alfred Brendel
Vinyl 1978
Number of discs: 13
Format: Flac
Label: Philips
DR-Analysis:
DR 13
Size: 2.64 GB + 12.37 GB
Scan: yes
Server: FF

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HD-Vinyl 192/96/44 (London) Jean Sibelius – Symphony No. 4/Luonnotar/Finlandia (Söderström/Ashkenazy)

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Another great THANK YOU to Jean-Luc for this gem
If sonic splendour were the sole criterion, Vladimir Ashkenazy’s Sibelius symphony cycle with the Philharmonia would win every prize going. Only the spectacularly natural results obtained by the BIS technicians for Osmo Vänskä and the Lahti SO come close to matching the lustrous realism of these truthfully balanced Decca productions (all except the First and Sixth benefit from the glowing acoustic of London’s much-missed Kingsway Hall). Vladimir Ashkenazy and the Philharmonia Orchestra recorded Sibelius’s symphonies and tone poem works in the 1970’s and 1980’s, and they are all excellent performances and highly regarded. I’ve had this particular disc for many years, and have enjoyed it greatly. Penguin continues to include these performances as one of their ‘recommended’ recordings, saying that ‘Ashkenazy by temperament brings out the expressive warmth, colour and drama of the composer rather than his Scandinavian chill, reflecting perhaps his Slavonic background”, going on to say that the recordings “are full and rich as well as brilliant, most of them still of demonstration quality. A rich and strong, consistently enjoyable cycle”. Penguin concludes that they are their top alternative recommendation, following the cycle from Colin Davis (Sir Colin Davis conducts Sibelius)

Composer: Jean Sibelius
Performer: Elisabeth Söderström
Orchestra: Philharmonia Orchestra
Conductor: Vladimir Ashkenazy
Vinyl 1981
Number of discs: 1
Format: Flac
Label: London
DR-Analysis:
DR 15
Size: 1.85 GB/950 MB/211 MB
Scan: yes
Server: FF

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HD-Vinyl 192/96/44 (Columbia) Sergeji Rachmaninov – Piano Concerto No. 2 (Entremont/Bernstein)

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A great THANK YOU to Jean-Luc for this gem
Rachmaninov’s 2nd Piano Concerto is beautifully rendered by Entremont/Bernstein using great technique, patience, and control: in particular during the ‘Adagio’ as Bernstein wrings each orchestral note for all it’s worth, heightening the emotions wrought by Mr Entremont’s artistry. Then comes the beauty and intensity of the ‘Allegro’ (with it’s 3 beautiful passes through the theme which inspired popular music’s “Full Moon and Empty Arms” ramping up the intensity and density with each pass) with Entremont brilliant both there and in the cadenza. Considering Rachmaninov’s melancholy mood about the results of his first piano concerto, he more than recovered from it with this amazing “tour de force” composition and others. Absolutely brilliant and evocative, as presented here! The sound and presence are excellent. Bravo, Philippe and Lennie, and ladies and gentlemen of the orchestras! My Highest Recommendation!

Composer: Sergeji Rachmaninov
Performer: Philippe Entremont
Orchestra: New York Philharmonic Orchestra
Conductor: Leonard Bernstein
Vinyl 1960/1966
Number of discs: 1
Format: Flac
Label: Columbia
DR-Analysis:
DR 12
Size: 1.76 GB/928 MB/225 MB
Scan: yes
Server: FF

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HD-Vinyl Mono 24/192 (Murray Hill) Richard Wagner – Der Ring Des Nibelungen (Furtwängler)

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Historical recordings, Live from the Scala Of Milan 1950.
This is a fantastic Ring cycle. Sound concerns (and audience hacking/talking) keep it at 4 stars. Flagstad and Furtwangler alone would make this worth purchase, but add to that the majesterial Wotan of Ferdinand Frantz (not as noble as Hotter, but much more human), Svanholm and Lorenz as Siedgried, and Pernestorfer as Alberich and you have a major ensemble. (Pernestorfer was singing Benoit in Boheme as late as the 1970s). One problem is the cuts. Part of the great monologue in Act two of Walkure is cut (it can be found with Frantz/Furtwangler on two other recordings) and the central portion of the Siegfried / Wanderer scene is shortened – Svanholm shows why at the end of the opera. His duet is lunge as high as you can. But still, it is a great Ring.

Composer: Richard Wagner
Performer: take a look at the box-pic
Orchestra: Orchestra Of The Scala Of Milan
Conductor: Wilhelm Furtwängler
Vinyl 1950/197?
Number of discs: 11
Format: Flac
Label: Murray Hill
DR-Analysis:
DR 14
Size: 903 MB
Scan: yes
Server: FF

 

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HD-Vinyl 24/192 (Philips) Frederyk Chopin – Piano Concerto No. 2 (Davidovich/Marriner)

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All thanks for this gem go to Mats
It is agreeable to have a recording by Bella Davidovich of Chopin’s Concerto No. 1 (known as No. 2) to put beside her account of his Concerto No. 2—called No. 1. This field tends to be dominated by Arrau and Rubinstein. On the latter’s RCA recording Ormandy is forceful in the speedy tuttis and the pianist is balanced well forward, his forte tone seeming rather hard. But Rubinstein’s reaction to the lyrical side of Chopin’s invention is such that one repeatedly feels he is revealing the very essence of this music with his precisions of tonal nuance and timing, above all in the Larghetto of course. Like Arrau, Davidovich has the advantage of a greatly superior piano sound, and Marriner gives her more shapely, less hard-driven, orchestral passages.

Composer: Frederyk Chopin
Performer: Bella Davidovich
Orchestra: London Symphony Orchestra
Conductor: Neville Marriner
Vinyl 1982
Number of discs: 1
Format: Flac
Label: Philips
DR-Analysis:
DR 14
Size: 903 MB
Scan: yes
Server: FF

 

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