Mar 31

Gustav Mahler – Symphony No.1 “Titan” – Thierry Fischer, Utah Symphony Orchestra (2015)
DSF Stereo DSD64/2.82MHz | Time – 00:52:55 minutes | 2,08 GB | Genre: Classical
Official Digital Download – Source: nativeDSDmusic | Digital Booklet | © Reference Recordings
Recorded: Live September 12 and 13, 2014 at Maurice Abravanel Hall in Salt Lake City, Utah

Older collectors will remember with affection the cycle of Mahler symphonies recorded by Maurice Abravanel and the Utah Symphony Orchestra that began in the 1960s. Those pioneering recordings (the first complete Mahler cycle to be recorded in the USA) not only introduced Mahler to many listeners but raised the profile of this fine Salt Lake City based orchestra.

Now, from the Reference Recordings Fresh! Label, we have a compelling new account of Mahler’s 1st Symphony recorded in state-of-the-art sound from this same orchestra under their current Music Director, the Swiss conductor Thierry Fischer. This was taken from live performances given in the Maurice Abravanel Hall (September 2014)

A glance at the total timing for this SACD (52.55) indicates that Fischer’s performance is towards the swifter end of the spectrum for recordings of this work, suggesting that it is to be the antithesis of lingering indulgence, which indeed proves to be the case. The magical opening pages of the first movement are beautifully controlled with the off-stage trumpets suitably distanced yet absolutely audible. The surprising immediacy of the woodwind entries indicate that the engineers have gone for a closely recorded balance ( possibly to avoid audience noise) but any slight lack of the dreamy atmosphere of Mahler’s ‘Naturlaut’ is more than compensated for by the freshness of the playing and the crisply focused sound. The main body of the movement, with the exposition repeat taken, is beautifully shaped with Fischer conveying the sense of foreboding in the passage from 8.13. The gradual build up to the movement’s final climax is free from any exaggerated slackening of tempo and the final pages are exhilaratingly joyous.

The Ländler Scherzo is trenchant and beautifully articulated by the orchestra with the bass line especially clearly defined. Fischer’s sane tempo maintains the music’s momentum while the Trio section demonstrates both his lightness of touch and masterly control of rubato that gives the music a winning insouciance. The contrasting grotesque funeral march that follows shows the superb quality of the individual players in this orchestra, as first muted double bass then bassoon, cello, bass tuba, clarinet and finally plaintive oboe make their entrances over the steady tread of the timpani. The parodic klezmer passages are suitably telling but never over played.

The raging opening of Fischer’s finale is a roller-coaster ride with fabulous orchestral playing and demonstration worthy sonics that will be seized upon by both audiophiles and Mahlerites alike. The thunderous percussion and incisive brass of the Utah Symphony are absolutely thrilling, but with the appearance of the lyrical second theme (at 3.22) the Utah strings are given the opportunity to show their mettle. This they do with with ravishingly sensitive playing and subtle nuances of dynamics, whilst Fischer’s use of rubato is subtle and free of mannerism. As the material from earlier movements is recalled there is no loss of impetus and the build up to the triumphant final bars is magnificently handled, the coda capped with a room-shaking bass drum.

The recording team from Soundmirror, Boston (Dirk Sobotka, John Newton and Mark Donahue) have, as usual, worked their magic and, as I have already indicated, produced a 5.1 multi-channel recording (64fs DSD) of astonishing tonal richness, clarity and presence.

On the basis of this recording there is little doubt that Thierry Fischer is a Mahler interpreter of some stature and the projected recording of Mahler’s 8th Symphony in February 2016, scheduled for release in 2017, will be eagerly anticipated. ~~ Review by Graham Williams “”

Gustav Mahler (1860-1911)
Symphony No. 1 in D Major “Titan”:
1 I. Langsam. Schleppend. Wie ein Naturlaut –Immer sehr gemächlich 15:26
2 II. Kräftig bewegt, doch nicht zu schnell 7:41
3 III. Feierlich und gemessen, ohne zu schleppen 10:46
4 IV. Stürmisch bewegt 18:59

Utah Symphony Orchestra
Thierry Fischer, conductor

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Mar 31

Mylene Farmer – Interstellaires (2015)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/44,1 kHz | Time – 00:40:07 minutes | 484 MB | Genre: Pop
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download – Source: Qobuz | Digital Booklet | © Universal Music

„Interstellaires“ is the 10th studio album by French singer, songwriter and pop culture icon Mylène Farmer. Includes the single ‘Stolen Car’, a duet with British rock veteran Sting. This version of the much-loved Sting track has been completely reimagined by producer, The Avener. In the span of her 30-year career, French superstar, Mylène Farmer has sold over 11 million albums worldwide, released nine studio albums and six live albums, all of which reached diamond status in France. Mylène is the first female artist in history to sell out the 80,000 capacity ‘Stade de France’ two nights in a row. On her last arena tour, Mylène’s tickets were sold out a full year in advance. She has cultivated her fervently loyal fan base through consummate songwriting, classic melodies and ground-breaking videos.

1. Interstellaires 03:11
2. Stolen Car 03:23
3. A rebours 04:11
4. C’est pas moi 03:41
5. Insondables 02:38
6. Love Song 04:34
7. Pas d’access 03:17
8. I Want You To Want Me 03:06
9. Voie lactée 03:17
10. City Of Love 04:26
11. Un jour ou l’autre 04:27

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Mar 31

Mylène Farmer – Timeless 2013 (2013)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96 kHz | Time – 01:32:01 minutes | 1.88 GB | Genre: Pop
Official Digital Download – Source: Qobuz | Digital Booklet | © Stuffed Monkey

Timeless (stylized as Timel3ss) was the sixth concert tour by French recording artist, Mylène Farmer. The tour supported the singer’s ninth studio album, Monkey Me. The tour began on September 7, 2013 and ended on December 3, 2013. It played 39 shows in 5 countries. Over 535,000 people saw Myléne Farmer live on this tour.

01 – Timeless Genesis (Live-Lyon-2013)
02 – A Force De… (Live-Lyon-2013)
03 – Comme J’Ai Mal (Live-Lyon-2013)
04 – C’est Une Belle Journée (Live-Lyon-2013)
05 – Monkey Me (Live-Lyon-2013)
06 – Slipping Away (Crier La Vie) (Live-Lyon-2013)
07 – Oui Mais Non… (Live-Lyon-2013)
08 – Mad World (Live-Lyon-2013)
09 – Les Mots (Live-Lyon-2013)
10 – Désenchantée (Live-Lyon-2013)
11 – Bleu Noir (Live-Lyon-2013)
12 – Diabolique Mon Ange (Live-Lyon-2013)
13 – Sans Contrefaçon (Live-Lyon-2013)
14 – Je T’Aime Mélancolie (Live-Lyon-2013)
15 – XXL (Live-Lyon-2013)
16 – A L’Ombre (Live-Lyon-2013)
17 – Inséparable (Live-Lyon-2013)
18 – Rêver (Live-Lyon-2013)

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Mar 31

Mylene Farmer – Monkey Me (2012)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96 kHz | Time – 00:53:37 minutes | 1,15 GB | Genre: Pop
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download – Source: Qobuz | Digital Booklet | © Polydor

Monkey Me is the ninth studio album by French singer-songwriter Mylène Farmer, and her 18th album overall. Preceded by the lead single “À l’ombre” which peaked at number-one in France, the album was released on 3 December 2012. Despite mixed reviews from critics, it entered the French album chart at number one on 15 December 2012, selling 147,530 units in its first week, which was a record. The album was certified 3× Platinum within its first month of release in France.

The album is supported by the sold-out Timeless 2013 Tour.


01. Elle a dit (3:52)
02. À l’ombre (4:50)
03. Monkey Me (4:13)
04. Tu ne le dis pas (4:22)
05. Love Dance (4:06)
06. Quand (4:07)
07. J’ai essayé de vivre… (4:40)
08. Ici-bas (4:33)
09. A-t-on jamais (3:47)
10. Nuit d’hiver (5:24)
11. À force de… (4:08)
12. Je te dis tout (5:30)

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Mar 31

Genre: POP
Duration: 00:53:36 min
Year: 2012

Extras. information:
Issued: France | Polydor

Quality: Blu-ray
Container: BDMV
Video codec: H.264
Video: MPEG-4 AVC Video / 1944 kbps / 1080p / 23,976 fps / 16: 9 / High Profile 4.1
Audio: LPCM / 2.0 / 96 kHz / 4608 kbps / 24-bit
Audio 2: DTS-HD Master Audio / 2.0 / 96 kHz / 3650 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 3.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
Audio 3: Dolby TrueHD / 2.0 / 96 kHz / 3106 kbps / 24-bit (AC3 Embedded: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 640 kbps)

Depuis ses débuts tout ou presque a été écrit sur Mylène Farmer. Entre les nombreux fantasmes générés par les thèmes les plus osés de ses chansons, jusqu’aux records de vente de disques et de tickets de concerts qu’elle bât avec une régularité toute métronomique, Mylène Farmer ne peut laisser indifférent. En entretenant un farouche mystère sur sa vie personnelle et en s’exprimant au compte goutte dans les médias, Mylène Farmer a laissé libre cours à toutes les hypothèses la concernant.
Pourtant, elle lève un minuscule bout de voile avec Monkey Me, album qu’elle dédie à E.T. son singe capucin décédé en 2011. Ce neuvième album studio est aussi celui du retour à une collaboration exclusive avec Laurent Boutonnat, à l’inverse de la diversité adoptée sur Bleu Noir en 2010. Enfin, pour la première fois Mylène Farmer casse son image et apparaît en blonde platine sur la pochette du disque et les affiches de la tournée Timeless 2013.
La première réussite de Monkey Me c’est effectivement le retour du duo Mylène Farmer / Laurent Boutonnat. Le musicien et réalisateur de clips est celui qui a forgé l’univers sonore de l’artiste, il est le garant d’un son dance gothique qui a toujours suggéré un érotisme chic. Sauf que cette fois, Mylène Farmer ne s’embarque justement pas dans des textes pour amateurs d’Eyes Wide Shut ou du roman Fifty Shades of Grey. Mylène Farmer brise le tabou, commet l’incroyable et parle d’elle-même.
Monkey Me apparaît très vite comme l’album le plus personnel d’une Mylène Farmer qui se livre enfin et laisse entrevoir sa vraie personnalité. Sur « Monkey Me » justement Mylène Farmer demande qu’on la délivre, dit ne pas être de ce monde, elle veut visiblement sortir de sa carapace et se monter telle qu’elle est réellement. La confession se poursuit avec « J’ai essayé de vivre… » ou « Elle a dit » qui s’adressent eux aussi directement à son public. Monkey Me se clôt d’ailleurs comme une confession avec le sobre « Je te dis tout » où Mylène Farmer fait vibrer l’émotion dans sa voix comme jamais.
Monkey Me brasse également des titres plus habituels du premier single réussi « A l’ombre » à des morceaux prévisibles comme « Love Dance ». La volonté de l’artiste de s’exposer enfin est ce qu’il faut retenir de Monkey Me, disque qui montre Mylène Farmer rayonnante comme jamais. Elle ajoute à ses qualités habituelles une générosité, une proximité envers son public qui la rendent plus accessible. Et pour tout dire, toujours aussi sublime et fascinante.


01. Elle a dit
02. A l’ombre
03. Monkey me
04. Tu ne le dis pas
05. Love dance
06. Quand
07. J’ai essaye de vivre
08. Ici-bas
09. A-t-on jamais
10. Nuit d’hiver
11. A force de¿
12. Je te dis tout

Disc Size: 6.387.861.324 bytes
Protection: AACS
BD-Java: No
Playlist: 00001.MPLS
Size: 6.387.111.936 bytes
Length: 0:53:36.504
Total Bitrate: 15,89 Mbps
Video: MPEG-4 AVC Video / 1944 kbps / 1080p / 23,976 fps / 16:9 / High Profile 4.1
Audio: French / LPCM Audio / 2.0 / 96 kHz / 4608 kbps / 24-bit
Audio: French / DTS-HD Master Audio / 2.0 / 96 kHz / 3650 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 3.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
Audio: French / Dolby TrueHD Audio / 2.0 / 96 kHz / 3106 kbps / 24-bit (AC3 Embedded: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 640 kbps)

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Mar 31

Franz Joseph Haydn – Cello Concertos & Symphony – Quirine Viersen, Combattimento Consort Amsterdam, Jan Willem de Vriend (2006)
DSF Stereo DSD64/2.82MHz | Time – 01:15:33 minutes | 2,99 GB | Genre: Classical
Official Digital Download – Source: nativeDSDmusic | Digital Booklet | © Etcetera Records
Recorded: Waalse Kerk, Amsterdam, 8-10 February 2006

John Keats once wrote that Haydn is like a child: you never know what he is going to do next. Haydn kept his playful character combined with an increasing depth in his music throughout his life and it makes him irresistible. Take the first movement of his Cello Concerto in C major: in the development section he plays a delightful game with the melodic theme and the thrumming rhythmic motive; the composer’s own enjoyment is palpable. Unexpected endings in the adagio and a finale which bursts with the joy of life and virtuoso acrobatics. The more lyrical Cello Concerto in D major also has passages that never cease to surprise: the lyrical entrance of the soloist is abruptly terminated with a sort of drum-roll. Such moments as these are splendid, for they leaven the musical brew and seem to bear Haydn’s personal stamp and signature. This second concerto has greater depth than the earlier concerto in C major, especially in the Adagio, giving clear proof of the composer’s later maturity. The music of Haydn’s Symphony no. 60 (six movements) was originally composed for the play entitled The Absent-minded Man, ‘Per la Commedia intitolata il Distratto’. It was with most likely only a few minor adaptations that Haydn transformed his distracted character into a figure for the symphonic stage. It is an enchanting work that has much more to offer the listener whenever the listener has a good conception of the play’s concert. Dutch cellist Quirine Viersen is one of the foremost musical personalities of the younger generation on the international music scene today. Her intense, powerful and virtuoso playing has thoroughly convinced her colleagues, the press and the public of her great musical talent and strength. The Combattimento Consort Amsterdam (founded by Jan Willem de Vriend in 1982) is a close-knit group of musicians that dares to realise the struggle between a line and its counterpoint. It is a baroque ensemble in which contradictions are employed in order to create beauty and whose contrasts lead to intense pleasure. It is an ensemble that creates a bridge between players and public with its fresh impertinence in matters musical.

Viersen proves to be an engaging soloist. She brings great imagination, colour and above all spontaneity to her performances of Haydn’s two cello concertos. Her turns of phrase can be surprising: with an array of subtle shades of colour and dynamics at her disposal no two phrases are the same. She happily deploys vibrato, not indiscriminately but as a targeted colouristic device. This variety makes for riveting accounts of the outer movements of each concerto but does not get in the way in the slower music. Her account of the slow movement of the C major concerto has a wonderful singing quality and her generous legato phrasing in the first movement of the D major is simply ravishing, but not at all overblown. –MusicWeb


Franz Joseph Haydn (1732-1809)

Concert for Violoncello and Orchestra No.1 C-dur Hob. VIIb:1
1 Moderato 09:15
2 Adagio 07:21
3 Finale, allego molto 06:48

Symphony No.60 Per la Commedia intitulata Il Distratto
4 Adagio-allegro di molto 07:56
5 Andante 08:18
6 Menuetto 04:07
7 Presto 03:01
8 Adagio (di lamentatione) 03:09
9 Finale, prestissimo 01:26

Concert for Violoncello and Orchestra No.2 D-dur Hob. VIIb:2
10 Allegro moderato 03:48
11 Adagio 05:06
12 Allegro 04:54

Quirine Viersen, cello
Combattimento Consort Amsterdam
Jan Willem de Vriend, conductor

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Mar 31

George Frideric Handel – Water Music – Akademie fur Alte Musik Berlin (2016)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/96 kHz | Time – 00:48:22 minutes | 913 MB | Genre: Classical
Studio Master, Official Digital Download – Source: eClassical | Digital Booklet | © Harmonia Mundi

On 17 July 1717, King George I of England ‘went up by Water to Chelsea, and was entertain’d with an excellent Consort of Musick . . . composed specially by the famous Handel’. The fifty musicians cost the . . . princely sum of £150 – but their hunting horns, trumpets, flutes and the rest so delighted the company that the concert was repeated three times in the course of the evening. No doubt the matchless virtuosos of the Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin will repeat that feat in your living room!

You might think that Handel’s Water Music, HWV 348-350, arguably the most familiar piece of Baroque music (the Four Seasons of Vivaldi can give it a run for its money, but its popularity is more recent), has received every possible interpretation. And you would be wrong, as the musicians of the Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin have shown in this Harmonia Mundi release, precisely recorded in Berlin’s Teldex studio. You get a steady parade of innovations here, marked overall by, but not in the least restricted to, blisteringly fast tempos that turn the horn-dominated movements into tests of virtuosity. Unexpected dynamic contrasts and the unusual rhythmic treatment of the “Overture” to the Suite No. 1 (sample track one) are other novelties, but this veteran group is not out for shock value. The Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin operate without a conductor, and their coordination in these crisp prestos is worth the price of admission in itself. Their ability to act as one in really unusual shapings of each individual movement is remarkable, and the treacherous horn parts are near perfection in the hands of Erwin Wieringa and Miroslav Rovenský. This is water music for a rather choppy, windy day, perhaps, but it’s not really a revisionist reading, just an unusual and distinctive one that has a good deal of warmth in the slow movements. ~~ AllMusic Review by James Manheim


George Frideric Handel (1685-1759)

Water Music, Suite No. 1, HWV 348
01 I. Overture. Largo – Allegro 03:12
02 II. Adagio e staccato 02:08
03 III. [Allegro] 02:08
04 IV. Andante – [Allegro] da capo 04:30
05 V. [Allegro] 02:47
06 VI. Air 03:11
07 VII. Minuet 02:23
08 VIII. Bourrée 01:10
09 IX. Hornpipe 01:30
10 X. [Allegro moderato] 03:41

Water Music, Suite No. 2, HWV 349 11:07
11 XI. [Allegro] 02:00
12 XII. [Alla Hornpipe] 03:43
13 XIII. [Minuet] 02:49
14 XIV. [Rigaudon 1] 01:07
15 XV. [Rigaudon 2] – XIV. [Rigaudon 1] 01:28

Water Music, Suite No. 3, HWV 350 10:35
16 XVI. Lentement 01:59
17 XVII. [Bourrée] 01:14
18 XVIII. Menuet [1] 00:56
19 XIX. [Menuet 2] 01:36
20 XX. [Gigue 1] – XXI. [Gigue 2] da capo 02:11
21 XXIi. Minuet (Coro) 02:39

Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin

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Mar 31

George Frideric Handel – Messiah – Arnold Schoenberg Chor, Concentus Musicus Wien, Nikolaus Harnoncourt (2005)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/44,1 kHz | Time – 02:21:19 minutes | 1,33 GB | Genre: Classical
Official Digital Download – Source: | Digital Booklet | @ Deutsche Harmonia Mundi/Sony Music
Recorded: 17-21 December 2004, Musikvereinssaal, Vienna

No doubt, because of the conductor and esteemed performers involved, this new Messiah, recorded live in Vienna’s Musikvereinsaal in December 2004, will receive a high degree of respect and attention–and even perhaps acclaim–that may be at odds with at least some of the musical results. Going in, you know that Nikolaus Harnoncourt can be counted on to bend, twist, lurch, plod, or otherwise inject some personal interpretive quirk into a performance of a work as inviting as Handel’s Messiah. And he doesn’t disappoint. From the beginning Sinfonia, something in his direction seems to make it difficult for his first-class orchestra to articulate rhythms clearly and cleanly–it’s surprisingly casual. The lurch appears during the runs in “And He shall purify”, and “For unto us a Child is born” must be the slowest on disc (nearly five minutes!), its measured pace belying this chorus’ inherent joy. Meanwhile, other choruses–“And the glory of the Lord” and “Glory to God in the highest”, for example–are as exciting, well-judged, and beautifully sung and played as we could hope for. But then, in “All we like sheep”, where most choirs and orchestras deliver crisp, well-defined lines, Harnoncourt opts for a kind of slurry, mushy articulation and exaggerated emphasis on the chords in the ending measures. And typically, this is soon followed by a rip-roaring “He trusted in God”–except here, the English pronunciation becomes a distraction as the choir repeatedly sings “let him deeleever him”. Overall, however, the Arnold Schoenberg Choir is outstanding (“Let all the angels of God” is another highlight), expressing the choruses with requisite energy, precision, and feeling for the style and meaning of the texts. Likewise the orchestra, which only occasionally seems confused by or just not to believe in Harnoncourt’s beat. That leaves the soloists, and here I can easily sum up: if you’re interested in the recits and arias, the reason to hear this performance is bass Gerald Finley. He’s not only very musical and the owner of a commanding and eminently listenable voice, but his delivery is simply riveting, especially in the wonderful “The trumpet shall sound”, which may be the most impressive rendition on disc. Who can explain what tenor Michael Schade is up to? His overindulgent ornamentation and any number of other curious mannerisms seem to be saying: look at me! Some of it is just ugly–his going sharp twice during “Comfort ye my people”; his unnecessary “llllips” in the recit “All they that see Him…”; his ambiguous pitches when he tries to be extra dramatic. Well, you get the idea. Alto Anna Larsson’s throaty quality and affected enunciation sometimes seems more like a parody of alto singing than serious performing. And soprano Christine Schäfer, who has done much good work in countless other projects, sounds strained or tired sometimes and absolutely perfect at others. And so it goes–one or two thrilling sections are followed by another marked by shaky ensemble (those dotted rhythms!) or strange tempo. Or maybe just weird interpretation, as in Harnoncourt’s “Hallelujah!”, which takes off like an overloaded cargo plane, the most laid-back opening to this powerhouse chorus I’ve ever heard. It eventually picks up and really socks a punch, filling every cubic foot of the Musikverein, but what was the point of the as-if-we’re-not-sure-if-we’re-really-happy beginning? The live concert setting seems to have inspired everyone, the soloists especially, to sing with unusual dramatic force in places we don’t normally expect it, and I’m sure this made the concert-hall experience that much more memorable. The sound is fabulous–this is a recording you can really turn up and enjoy the room-filling effect without distortion. In between the rich, full-bodied bass and the brilliant upper treble there’s a huge middle that gives us a rare and satisfying sense of space as if we’re present in the hall. Some fuss is made in the liner notes regarding Harnoncourt’s personal thoughts on the score–his own handwritten diagram of the work’s theological structure is included–and there’s an intriguing reference to the conductor’s study of the “autograph” score, which “reveals a number of things that printed editions cannot show.” We’re told that the autograph also indicates the use of different numbers of strings and that these markings have been “taken into account”. But we’re never told where or how these presumably important–or at least interesting–applications appear. Instead, a full seven pages are devoted to a meandering, contrived discussion that poses the question, “Who was George Frederic Handel?” Oh well. There’s a lot to enjoy here–and much that’s puzzling or just not very compelling. In other words, it’s Harnoncourt–and if this is for you, you probably didn’t read this far. –David Vernier, Classics Today


George Frideric Händel (1685-1759)
Messiah, HWV 56
1. Part 1: Sinfonia: Grave – Allegro moderato 03:19
2. Part 1: Comfort ye my people (Accompagnato) 03:03
3. Part 1: Ev’ry valley shall be exalted (Air) 03:48
4. Part 1: And the glory of the Lord (Chorus) 02:32
5. Part 1: Thus sayth the Lord (Accompagnato) 01:33
6. Part 1: But who may abide ( Air) 04:08
7. Part 1: And He shall purify (Chorus) 03:16
8. Part 1: O thou that tellest good tidings to Zion (Air) 05:48
9. Part 1: For behold, darkness shall cover the earth… 01:53
10. Part 1: The people that walked in darkness (Air) 03:24
11. Part 1: For unto us a child is born (Chorus) 04:53
12. Part 1: Pifa 01:03
13. Part 1: And lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them… 01:04
14. Part 1: And suddenly there was with the angel (Accompagnato) 00:15
15. Part 1: Glory to God (Chorus) 02:12
16. Part 1: Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion (Air) 05:16
17. Part 1: He shall feed His flock (Duet) 05:34
18. Part 1: His yoke is easy (Chorus) 02:54
19. Part 2: Behold the Lamb of God (Chorus) 02:46
20. Part 2: He was despised (Air) 10:40
21. Part 2: Surely He hath borne our griefs (Chorus) 02:02
22. Part 2: And with His stripes we are healed (Chorus) 01:49
23. Part 2: All we like sheep have gone astray (Chorus) 03:39
24. Part 2: All they that see Him laugh Him to scorn… 00:43
25. Part 2: He trusted in God (Chorus) 02:21
26. Part 2: Thy rebuke hath broken His heart (Accompagnato) 01:38
27. Part 2: Behold, and see if there be any sorrow (Arioso) 01:18
28. Part 2: He was cut off out of the land of the living… 00:21
29. Part 2: But Thou didst not leave His soul in hell (Air) 02:17
30. Part 2: Lift up your heads, O ye gates (Chorus) 03:21
31. Part 2: Let all the angels of God worship Him (Chorus) 01:36
32. Part 2: Thou art gone up high (Air) 03:09
33. Part 2: The Lord gave the word (Chorus) 01:16
34. Part 2: How beautiful are the feet (Air) 02:00
35. Part 2: Their sound is gone out (Chorus) 01:19
36. Part 2: Why do the nations so furiously rage together?… 02:56
37. Part 2: Let us break their bonds (Chorus) 01:58
38. Part 2: Thou shalt break them (Air) 02:04
39. Part 2: Hallelujah (Chorus) 04:03
40. Part 3: I know that my Redeemer liveth (Air) 05:57
41. Part 3: Since by man came death (Chorus) 01:46
42. Part 3: Behold, I tell you a mystery (Accompagnato) 00:41
43. Part 3: The trumpet shall sound (Air) 08:36
44. Part 3: Then shall be brought to pass. O death where is… 00:58
45. Part 3: But thanks be to God (Chorus) 02:08
46. Part 3: If God be for us (Air) 04:45
47. Part 3: Worthy is the Lamb (Chorus) 06:37

Christine Schafer, soprano
Anna Larsson, alto
Michael Schade, tenor
Gerald Finley, bass
Herbert Tachezi, organ
Stefan Gottfried, harpsichord
Herwig Tachezi, cello
Arnold Schoenberg Chor
Concentus Musicus Wien
Nikolaus Harnoncourt, conductor

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Mar 31

Georg Friedrich Handel – Timotheus oder die Gewalt der Musik – Concentus Musicus Wien, Nikolaus Harnoncourt (2013)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/48 kHz | Time – 01:43:13 minutes | 1,01 GB | Genre: Classical
Studio Master, Official Digital Download – Source: Qobuz | Artwork: Digital Booklet | © Sony Classical
Recorded: 28/29 November 2012, Musikverein, Vienna

Am 29. November 2012 feierte die Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde in Wien und damit der Wiener Musikverein seinen 200. Geburtstag mit einem ganz besonderen Konzert: einer Rekonstruktion des ersten Konzerts im Jahr 1812, diesmal unter der Leitung von Nikolaus Harnoncourt. Auf dem Programm stand wie damals Timotheus oder Die Gewalt der Musik, die deutsche Fassung von Händels Alexander’s Feast in einer Bearbeitung von Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, die dieser 1790 für Baron van Swieten erstellt hatte. Damit es genauso klang wie im Jahre 1812 hatten Concentus Musicus und Singverein insgesamt rund 200 Mitwirkende aufgeboten. Hinzu kamen mit Roberta Invernizzi, Werner Güra und Gerald Finley drei erstklassige Solisten, und am Ende ließ Harnoncourt sogar noch das Publikum mitsingen: “Die schwarzen Punkte – das sind die Noten.”

This recording is of a concert that marked the bicentenary of the founding of the Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde in Vienna and reconstructed its opening performance, which featured several hundred musicians (professional and amateur) performing Mozart’s re-orchestration of Handel’s Alexander’s Feast – as Timotheus oder Die Gewalt der Musik – with some further touching up (such as the addition of a bass drum, and extra brass) by Franz Ignaz von Mosel, who changed the title to Timotheus and also conducted. Nikolaus Harnoncourt used the original orchestral parts in preparing this performance. A work praising the power of music was an obvious choice for the society’s opening concert, but it also had political overtones as the Austrian Empire’s musical proficiency was represented as a factor in the part it played in the defeats inflicted upon Napoleon that year.
The 1812 performance took place in the Spanish Riding School where Mosel was able to mount a gargantuan spectacle. Harnoncourt mustered as many musicians (including about a hundred singers) as could fit on the stage of the Musikverein. The result is audibly that of a great ceremonial occasion, with very vivid and immediate sound – sometimes too hectoring – not least when the brass and drums come to the fore (beware having the volume too high). The choir members are full-voiced and clearly enjoy themselves, and the whole effect is rather like those massed performances of Handel’s oratorios under Sargent or Beecham, except that there is no vibrato of course, and the ‘period’ brass instruments are rather rasping, and at times the woodwinds sound acidic.

Subtle this performance isn’t, but Harnoncourt does manage to draw out wide (but not exaggerated) expressive and dynamic contrasts. The ‘Andante’ of the Overture is a graceful dance, for instance, and there is a quiet dignity in ‘Er sang den Perser’ (in mood and key foreshadowing ‘He was despised’ in Handel’s Messiah). Unfortunately, except for Gerald Finley (with just two arias), the soloists are not at their best. Werner Güra’s singing is often bland and uninspired. Worse, it’s rather worrying that the melismas in ‘Selig, selig, selig Paar’ seem rather a strain for him, and his taking breaths in the middle of these are audible. Roberta Invernizzi is musically more varied in her part (her solo in ‘Er sang den Perser’, for example, is moving), but she is often wobbly and intonation is sometimes insecure – her reaching up to the high B flats in ‘Thaïs führt ihn an’ is not pretty.

At best then, this release serves as a record of what must have been a lively and memorable occasion in Vienna’s venerable musical calendar. With more intelligent and nuanced renditions it could have been an even more worthwhile document charting the influence which Handel’s music had beyond his adopted English home, in mainland Europe during the 19th-century. –Curtis Rogers, ClassicalSource


Georg Friedrich Händel (1685–1759)
Timotheus oder die Gewalt der Musik (Alexander’s Feast or The Power of Musick)
arranged by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
extended version of the 1812 Vienna performance by Ignaz Franz vonMosel
1 N. 1 Ouvertüre 07:01
2 Nr. 2 Rezitativ (Tenor): Am königlichen Feste 01:04
3 Nr. 3 Arie (Tenor) und Chor: Selig, selig, selig Paar! 05:53
4 Nr. 4 Rezitativ (Tenor): Der Sänger ragt hervor 00:27
5 Nr. 5 Accompagnato (Sopran): Das Lied begann vom Zeus 01:00
6 Nr. 6 Chor: Den stillen Trupp entzückt das hohe Lied 02:32
7 Nr. 7 Arie (Sopran): Der König horcht mit stolzem Ohr 03:55
8 Nr. 8 Rezitativ (Bass): Des Bacchus Lob stimmt nun der süße Künstler an 00:47
9 Nr. 9 Arie (Bass) und Chor: Bacchus, ewig jung und schön 04:53
10 Nr. 10 Rezitativ (Tenor): Siegprangend fühlt der Held das Lied! 00:48
11 Nr. 11 Accompagnato (Sopran): Nun flößt sein Trauerton 01:21
12 Nr. 12 Arie (Sopran): Er sang den Perser groß und gut 03:10
13 Nr. 13 Accompagnato (Sopran): Gesenkt das Haupt, sitzt traurig da der Held 01:19
14 Nr. 14 Chor: Seht an den Perser, groß und gut 02:51
15 Nr. 15 Rezitativ (Sopran): Der Meister lächelt, weil er sieht 00:35
16 Nr. 16 Arioso (Sopran): Töne sanft, du lydisch Brautlied! 03:31
17 Nr. 17 Arie (Tenor): Krieg, o Held, ist Sorg’ und Arbeit 05:05
18 Nr. 18 Chor: Die ganze Schar erhebt ein Lobgeschrei 04:33
19 Nr. 19 Arie (Sopran): Der Held, der seine Glut umsonst verhehlt 06:42
20 Nr. 18 Chor da capo: Die ganze Schar erhebt ein Lobgeschrei 05:02
21 Speech by Nikolaus Harnoncourt · chorus of the audience 05:59
22 Nr. 20 Accompagnato (Tenor): Erschalle, goldenes Saitenspiel 04:58
23 Nr. 21 Arie (Bass): Gib rach’! 08:26
24 Nr. 22 Accompagnato (Tenor): rache, rache gib deinem wackren Heer! 01:43
25 Nr. 23 Arie (Tenor): Es jauchzen die Krieger 02:15
26 Nr. 24 Arie (Sopran): Thais führt ihn an – Chor: Die Krieger, sie jauchzen 05:24
27 Nr. 25 Accompagnato (Tenor): So stimmte vor – Chor: Vom Himmel kam caecilia 06:31
28 Nr. 26 Rezitativ (Tenor, Bass): Timotheus, entsag dem Preis! 00:25
29 Nr. 27 Soli und Chor: Timotheus, entsag dem Preis! 05:05

Roberta Invernizzi, soprano
Werner Güra, tenor
Gerald Finley, bass
Singverein der Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde in Wien
Chorus master: Johannes Prinz
Chorus soloist: Wolfgang Adler, tenor
Concentus Musicus Wien
Nikolaus Harnoncourt, conductor

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Mar 31

George Frideric Handel – Arminio – Max Emanuel Cencic, Armonia Atenea, George Petrou (2016)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/96 kHz | Time – 02:30:05 minutes | 2,81 GB | Genre: Classical
Studio Master, Official Digital Download – Source: | Digital Booklet | © Decca
Recorded: Megaron, The Athens Concert Hall, Athens, 7–18 September 2015

Described by one contemporary commentator as “a miracle”, and another as “in every respect excellent & vastly pleasing”, Arminio is ripe for reappraisal and new presentation.

An heroic story, based on historical events occurring on the Germanic fringes of the Roman Empire, Arminio is now being revived in a new and ravishing production by Parnassus Arts under their artistic director Max Emanuel Cencic: a combination with an unequalled track record in Handelian opera seria, as witnessed by their multiple-award-winning staging and recording of Alessandro (from 2012 to date).

Countertenor Max Emanuel Cencic takes the title role of Arminio, surrounded by a superb cast featuring Layla Claire (Tusnelda), Ruxandra Donose (Ramise), Vince Yi (Sigismondo), Juan Sancho (Varo), Xavier Sabata (Tullio) and Petros Magoulas (Segeste).

Joined by the dynamic Armonia Atenea under the baton of George Petrou, Arminio is sure to join a fast-growing collection of acclaimed Baroque opera recordings. In recent years Max Emanuel Cencic has become recognised as one of the world’s supreme countertenors: “Mr. Cencic is blessed with the finest countertenor voice of our day” –Opernwelt


Georg Friedrich Händel (1685-1759)

Arminio, HWV 36
01 | Overture 00:03:13
02 | Menuet 00:01:01

Act 1
03 | Fuggi, mio bene 00:00:56
04 | Il fuggir, cara mia vita 00:02:48
05 | Signor, è in tuo potere d’Arminio il campo 00:00:52
06 | Non deve roman petto dar all’amor ricetto 00:03:18
07 | Ah! che un vero valore non sdegna aver 00:00:19
08 | Al lume di due rai piu fiero io pugnero 00:03:10
09 | Colla spada d’Arminio, signore, io ti presento 00:01:00
10 | Scaglian amore e sangue 00:02:31
11 | Arminio, al tuo furore un tanto ardir condono 00:00:39
12 | Al par della mia sorte è forte questo cor 00:04:13
13 | Se Arminio oggi non piega 00:00:23
14 | Fiaccherò quel fiero orgoglio 00:03:47
15 | Non sono sempre vane larve 00:05:37
16 | Ramise, oh Dei! 00:01:14
17 | Sento il cor per ogni lato circondato 00:03:57
18 | Oimè! parte Ramise, e seco porta l’anima mia 00:00:56
19 | È vil segno d’un debole amore quel dolore 00:06:32
20 | Cruda sorella! 00:01:06
21 | Posso morir, ma vivere 00:05:01

Act 2
22 | Sinfonia 00:01:36
23 | Come, signor, vorrai? 00:00:44
24 | Con quel sangue dipinta vedrai 00:04:11
25 | Questo è, signor, di Cesare è il volere 00:00:39
26 | Duri lacci, voi non siete per me rei di crudeltà 00:03:30
27 | Arminio, in questi accenti per la mia lingua ti favella il cielo 00:01:01
28 | Sì, cadrò, ma sorgerà 00:03:26
29 | Figlia, son vani i pianti 00:00:47
30 | Al furor che ti consiglia 00:03:46
31 | Prencipe senza fede!…Ah! Ramise! 00:01:28
32 | Niente spero, tutto credo 00:03:38
33 | O Ramise, o Segeste, ambo fatali! 00:00:31
34 | Quella fiamma, ch’il petto m’accende 00:07:21
35 | Ola! Custodi, alcun di voi mi chiami Varo 00:01:21
36 | Vado a morir, vi lascio la pace ch’ho nel cor 00:06:40
37 | Tusnelda, io son confuso! 00:01:11
38 | Rendimi il dolce sposo 00:06:35

Act 3
39 | Sinfonia – Fier teatro di morte! 00:01:07
40 | Ministri, alla mia morte or mi rendete 00:00:51
41 | Ritorno alle ritorte 00:04:00
42 | Del castello in difesa 00:00:22
43 | Mira il ciel, vedrai d’Alcide le guerriere armi 00:05:40
44 | Ho veleno, e ferro avanti 00:02:39
45 | Ti stringo, o illustre acciaro 00:00:51
46 | Quando più minaccia il cielo 00:01:51
47 | Arminio sventurato! 00:01:09
48 | Il sangue al cor favella 00:01:36
49 | Tra speme e timore mi palpita il core 00:01:54
50 | Mia sposa, mia sorella…Arminio, non è tempo, signor 00:01:04
51 | Fatto scorta al sentier della gloria 00:04:45
52 | Va, che nel dubbio calle anco il mio amore sarà fido compagno al tuo valore 00:00:11
53 | Va, combatti ancor da forte 00:04:00
54 | Sigismondo, qui resti vittima di Segeste al rio furore?…Invece d’eseguir gli ordini miei 00:01:14
55 | Impara a non temer dal mio costante amor 00:03:53
56 | Perché mi dividete dal bell’idolo mio? 00:00:12
57 | Voglio seguir lo sposo 00:03:18
58 | Fuggiam, signor! 00:01:26
59 | Ritorna nel core vezzosa…Risplende nell’alma amante 00:04:39
60 | Goda nostr’alma appieno 00:00:24
61 | A capir tante dolcezze troppo angusto e ’l nostro cor 00:02:01

Max Emanuel Cencic – Arminio
Layla Claire – Tusnelda
Ruxandra Donose – Ramise
Vince Yi – Sigismondo
Juan Sancho – Varo
Xavier Sabata – Tullio
Petros Magoulas – Segeste
Armonia Atenea
George Petrou, conductor

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