Mar 31

Honegger & Ibert – L’Aiglon – Orchestre Symphonique de Montreal, Kent Nagano (2016)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/96 kHz | Time – 01:32:16 minutes | 1,57 GB | Genre: Classical
Studio Master, Official Digital Download – Source: | Digital Booklet | © Decca

Kent Nagano leads the Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal on this live performance of the obscure five act play L’Aiglon by Arthur Honegger and Jacques Ibert. Recorded at the North American premiere in March 2015 amid the wonderful acoustics of the orchestra’s home, la maison symphonique in Montréal, the OSM is joined by acclaimed soloists including soprano Anne-Catherine Gillet singing the title role and baritones Marc Barrard and Étienne Dupuis.

“We are delighted to announce that L’Aiglon which we will perform in its North American premiere with an impressive cast including great Francophone singers, would constitute (a) recording project with Decca. L’Aiglon has only ever been recorded once, in the 1950s with the technology available at the time. We thought it was important to create a modern recording to serve our public in the context of the 21st century. There is no doubt that the publication of this work in a recording with Decca would be an international event. It is an indicator of the importance of this project.” –Kent Nagano
Jacques Ibert (1890-1962), Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
L’Aiglon: Acte I: Les ailes qui s’ouvrent
1 Scènes 1-3 (Gentz, Metternich, Marie-Louise, Thérèse, le Duc, l’Attaché ) 4:54
2 Scène 4 (Le Duc, Thérèse) 3:59
3 Scène 5 (Le Duc, Prokesch) 1:32
4 Scène 6 (Le Duc, Metternich, le Laquais, Marmont) 4:24
5 Scène 7 (Flambeau, le Duc, Marmont) 6:25
6 Scène 8 (Le Duc, Flambeau) 4:27
L’Aiglon: Acte II: Les ailes qui battent
7 Scène 1 (Flambeau) 2:43
8 Scène 2 (Metternich, Flambeau) 5:47
9 Scène 3 (Flambeau, Metternich, le Duc) 5:56
L’Aiglon: Acte III: Les ailes meurtries
10 Scène 1 (Masques) 1:15
11 Ballet 9:01
12 Scène 2 (Le Duc, Thérèse) 3:15
13 Scène 3 (Prokesch, le Duc) 4:57
14 Scènes 4-5 (Metternich, le Duc, Sedlinsky, Fanny, le Duc, Flambeau, Gentz) 3:18
15 Scènes 6-7 (Fanny, le Duc, la Comtesse, Gentz, Flambeau, l’Attaché, les Masques) 4:07
L’Aiglon: Acte IV: Les ailes brisées
16 Scènes 1-4 (Le Duc, Flambeau, une Ombre, Marmont, la Comtesse, Sedlinsky, un Officier, des voix, la plaine) 13:33
L’Aiglon: Acte V: Les ailes fermées
17 Scène 1 (Metternich, Marie-Louise, Thérèse, Prokesch, le Duc, l’Attaché ) 12:53

Accademia Bizantina:
Anne-Catherine Gillet, soprano (L’Aiglon)
Hélène Guilmette, soprano (Thérèse)
Tyler Duncan, baritone (Prokesch)
Étienne Dupuis, baritone (Metternich)
Marc Barrard, baritone (Flambeau)
Philippe Sly, baritone (Marmont)
Julie Boulianne, mezzo-soprano (Fanny Elssler and Marie-Louise)
Isaiah Bell, tenor (Gentz)
Pascal Charbonneau, tenor (L’attaché militaire)
Marie-Nicole Lemieux, soprano (Thérèse)
Kimy McLaren, soprano (Comtesse Camerata)
Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal
Kent Nagano, conductor

Recorded: March 17, 19 and 21, 2015, at the OSM’s new home, the Maison symphonique de Montréal, which was inaugurated in September 2011. Recordings with Hélène Guilmette and Marie-Nicole Lemieux took place at the Maison symphonique de Montréal in September 2015

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Mar 31

Helene Grimaud – Resonances (2010)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/96 kHz | Time – 01:08:35 minutes | 1,03 GB | Genre: Classical
Studio Master, Official Digital Download – Source: HDTracks | Front Cover | © Deutsche Grammophon
Recorded: Berlin, Rundfunk-Zentrum, 9/2010; Recorded, edited and mastered by Emil Berliner Studios

Hélène Grimaud’s 2010 album Resonances has a program with a unifying theme, though some explaining is needed to tease it out of the music. All of the works presented on this CD are notable products of the musical heritage of the Austro-Hungarian empire, and the connections Grimaud makes go backward in time to Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, then pass through Franz Liszt to Alban Berg and Béla Bartók. While the Classical, Romantic, and modernist styles exhibited here are strikingly different from each other — and the average listener shouldn’t be expected to find much in common with Mozart’s Sonata in A minor; Berg’s Sonata, Op. 1; Liszt’s Sonata in B minor; and Bartók’s Romanian Folk Dances — Grimaud nonetheless contends that lines can be drawn through the cultures, languages, and musical expressions of eastern Europe that influenced all these composers. Beyond this broad theme, the playing is characteristic of Grimaud — impetuous, brooding, and vigorous, but above all passionate and showy — so the listener may care less about the ideas justifying her selections when actually hearing her volatile performances. Grimaud is at her best in the Berg and Liszt sonatas, and her elastic rubato is quite effective in these moody works. Her manner of delivery is less attuned to Mozart’s precise music, which needs tighter control and less rushing, or to Bartók’s charming vignettes, which seem almost tossed off here. While some mental leaps are required to follow the album’s thesis, expressed in liner notes adapted from an interview, fans of this virtuoso pianist will draw the direct conclusion that the music is all that matters, and give Grimaud their undivided attention. Others, however, may find the album a mixed lot. ~~ AllMusic Review by Blair Sanderson


Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756 – 1791)
Piano Sonata No.8 in A minor, K.310
1. 1. Allegro maestoso 7:55
2. 2. Andante cantabile con espressione 10:22
3. 3. Presto 2:55

Alban Berg (1885 – 1935) Piano Sonata, Op.1
4. Mässig bewegt – Langsames Tempo – Quasi Adagio 11:37

Franz Liszt (1811 – 1886) Piano Sonata In B Minor, S.178
5. Lento assai – Allegro energico – Grandioso – Recitativo –
Andante sostenuto – Quasi Adagio – Allegro energico –
Più mosso – Stretta quasi Presto – Presto-Prestissimo –
Andante sostenuto – Allegro moderato – Lento assai 30:13

Béla Bartók (1881 – 1945) 6 Roumanian Folk Dances, BB 68, Sz. 56
6. 1. Stick Dance 1:09
7. 2. Sash Dance 0:28
8. 3. Stamping Dance 1:05
9. 4. Dance of Buchum 1:23
10. 5. Roumanian Polka 0:29
11. 6. Fast Dance 0:59

Hélène Grimaud, piano

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Mar 31

Gustav Holst – The Planets – Berliner Philharmoniker, Sir Simon Rattle (2006)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/44,1 kHz | Time – 01:24:23 minutes | 700 MB | Genre: Classical
Studio Master, Official Digital Download – Source: Q0buz | Artwork: Digital Booklet | © Warner Classics
Recorded: 15–18.III.2006, Philharmonie, Berlin

Internationally recognized conductor Sir Simon Rattle and the Berliner Philharmoniker interprets Holst’s celebrated work, The Planets. The engaging listen vividly depicts the enthralling lyricism and dynamics of each movement creating spectacular dimensions. The release finds the extension of the solar system adding pieces by Mark-Anthony Turnage, Matthias Pintscher, Kaija Saariaho, Brett Dean and Colin Matthews.

Since Pluto has been deprived of planetary status by the International Astronomical Union and designated with the asteroid number 134340, there is no longer any need to append Gustav Holst’s The Planets with Colin Matthews’ Pluto: The Renewer. Nevermind that Holst’s conception was based more on astrology than astronomy, or that his out-of-sequence planetary framework was used for its artistic, not scientific, value; some unreconstructed Pluto fans will never be satisfied with its quiet ending at Neptune. In spite of the dwarf planet’s demotion, those who insist on having Matthews’ optional ending can turn to respectable recordings by Mark Elder, David Lloyd-Jones, and Owain Arwel Hughes, or try this 2006 double-disc from EMI. Simon Rattle and the Berlin Philharmonic offer not only a gripping reading of The Planets and Matthews’ Pluto, but also fill out their musical solar system with a handful of astronomically inspired pieces. Kaija Saariaho’s haunting Asteroid 4179: Toutatis and Mark-Anthony Turnage’s brutal Ceres are rather straightforward in depicting their orbiting subjects, while Matthias Pintscher’s mythological tone poem, towards Osiris, and Brett Dean’s Komarov’s Fall, based on the cosmonaut’s tragic death, are more loosely evocative but just as powerful. Rattle and the orchestra recorded these pieces in concert, so the performances have a bit of a rough edge; but this is sufficiently balanced by the fine atmospherics and shimmering sonorities the Berlin Philharmonic serves up. EMI’s sound is quite good throughout, with little of the haziness that sometimes attends Rattle’s live recordings. This enhanced package also offers bonus video material, The Making of The Planets and Asteroids, and the liner notes provide background information behind each work. ~~AllMusic Review by Blair Sanderson

Gustav Holst (1874–1934)
The Planets Op.32 (Suite for large orchestra)
1. Mars, the Bringer of War 07:25
2. II. Venus, the Bringer of Peace 08:59
3. III. Mercury, the Winged Messenger 04:02
4. IV. Jupiter, the Bringer of Jollity 08:02
5. V. Saturn, the Bringer of Old Age 09:35
6. VI. Uranus, the Magician 06:04
7. VII. Neptune, the Mystic 07:02
Colin Matthews (b.1946)
8. Pluto, The Renewer 06:16
Kaija Saariaho (b.1952)
9. Asteroid 4179 – Toutatis 04:36
Matthias Pinscher (b.1971)
10. Towards Osiris 07:56
Mark-Anthony Turnage (b.1960)
11. Ceres 06:40
Brett Dean (b.1961)
12. Komarov’s Fall 07:49

Rundfunkchor Berlin (women’s voices, tracks 7 and 8)
Chorus master for this production Robin Gritton
Chief conductor Simon Halsey
Berliner Philharmoniker
Sir Simon Rattle, conductor

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Mar 31

Franz Joseph Haydn – Symphonies Nos.78-81 – Accademia Bizantina, Ottavio Dantone (2016)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/96 kHz | Time – 01:43:51 minutes | 1,91 GB | Genre: Classical
Studio Master, Official Digital Download – Source: | Digital Booklet | © Decca
Recorded: Teatro Goldoni, Bagnacavallo (RA), Italy, 30 June–3 July (Nos.79 & 81), 6–9 September 2015 (Nos.78 & 80)

Accademia Bizantina under Ottavio Dantone are releasing a new album of Haydn Symphonies, Nos. 78-81. It is the first time Symphonies No.79 and 81 have been recorded on period instruments. This little-known quartet of Haydn symphonies 78-81 date from the years 1782-1784 when Haydn still served as kapellmeister to the Esterhazy family in their spectacular summer and winter palaces in Esterháza (present day Hungary) and Eisenstadt (Austria) where the music was first performed. These four symphonies have been specially recorded for the upcoming 36-CD set of Complete Haydn Symphonies, to be released later this year. It will be the first Haydn symphony cycle on period instruments.


Franz Joseph Haydn (1732–1809)

Symphony No.78 in C minor
1. 1. Vivace 08:02
2. 2. Adagio 09:26
3. 3. Menuetto (Allegretto) 03:59
4. 4. Finale (Presto) 03:51

Symphony No.79 in F major
5. 1. Allegro con spirito 09:10
6. 2. Adagio cantabile – Un poco allegro 05:59
7. 3. Menuetto (Allegretto) 04:00
8. 4. Finale (Vivace) 04:47

Symphony No.80 in D minor
9. 1. Allegro spiritoso 05:11
10. 2. Adagio 10:27
11. 3. Menuetto 03:22
12. 4. Finale (Presto) 07:14

Symphony No.81 in G major
13. 1. Vivace 09:27
14. 2. Andante 07:38
15. 3. Menuetto – Allegro 04:25
16. 4. Finale – Allegro ma non troppo 06:53

Accademia Bizantina:
Alessandro Tampieri concertmaster
Boris Begelman (78 & 80), Fiorenza De Donatis (79), Heriberto Delgado (79 & 81), Maria Grokhotova, Carlo Lazzaroni (79 & 81), Lathika Vithanage (78 & 80), Paolo Zinzani (78, 80 & 81) violins I
Ana Liz Ojeda*, Heriberto Delgado (78 & 80), Ulrike Fischer (78 & 80), Valentina Giusti (78 & 80), Laura Mirri, Andrea Rognoni (79 & 81), Paolo Zinzani (79) violins II
Diego Mecca*, Alice Bisanti (78, 79 & 81), Isabella Bison (80), Ernest Braucher (78 & 80), Gianni de Rosa (79 & 81) violas
Marco Frezzato*, Paolo Ballanti cellos
Nicola Dal Maso*, Gianni Valgimigli double basses
Alberto Guerra*, Alessandro Nasello bassoons
Marcello Gatti flute
Elisabeth Baumer* (78 & 80), Paolo Grazzi* (79 & 81), Guido Campana (79 & 81), Rei Ishizaka (78 & 80) oboes
Lionel Renoux*, Serge Desautels horns
* principals
Ottavio Dantone conductor

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Mar 31

Itzhak Perlman – Encores: virtuoso perfomances of works by Paganini, Wieniawski, Sarasate, Rachmaninov, Kreisler (2015)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/96 kHz | Time – 01:38:08 minutes | 1,81 GB | Genre: Classical
Studio Master, Official Digital Download – Source: Qobuz | Artwork: Digital Booklet | © Parlophone Records/Warner Classics
Recorded: Abbey Road Studios, London, 5–7 November 1972 (tracks 1–13); Kingsway Hall, London, 23–24 February 1978 (tracks 14–18, 20–26); Philadelphia, 10 November 1978 (track 19)

Although “encores” were very fashionable between the wars, they later began to be seen as perhaps less worthy than other, more substantial works. It was Itzhak Perlman, whose repertoire of these charming or virtuosic miniatures is more extensive than that of any other violinist of his generation, who did the most to restore their former prestige. There was even a time when, to his audiences’ delight, he would fill the entire second half of a recital with them, picking pieces at random (or at least giving the impression of doing so!) from a pile of scores on the piano and announcing the titles himself from the stage. No one could resist the kind of firework display that he would crown with a fiery performance of Bazzini’s Ronde des lutins, tearing through the music with disconcerting ease, communicating with the audience with his facial expressions as much as his playing. Unlike some of his predecessors — chief among them Kreisler and Heifetz — he has not written any encores himself, or made many arrangements, with the exception of Scott Joplin’s Ragtimes (see volume 10), and yet as a performer he has explored every corner of this particular musical universe. As early as 1965, a very young Perlman recorded a selection of pieces by Bloch, Paganini, Sarasate and Bazzini for RCA, although for some reason they were only released in 2004. Then, in 1972 and 1978, he recorded the two complete albums of encores for EMI that appear on this reissue. In the meantime he had added three Kreisler LPs to his incredible collection of miniatures (volume 12), establishing the foundations of a repertoire on which he continued to build over the years as he discovered new gems of the genre (volumes 23, 39, 43, 50 & 53). As well as works by the most eminent virtuoso-composers in the history of the violin, men such as Paganini, Sarasate, Vieuxtemps and Wieniawski, all suitably represented here, Perlman has also enthusiastically plundered the most diverse sources in search of new inspiration. From Debussy to Ben-Haim, via Novácˇek, Rachmaninov, Foster and Godowsky, every piece is a delight, and a reminder that alongside the grand concertos and sonatas of the core repertoire there exist a myriad of little marvels, all competing with one another for charm, skill and inventiveness, representing an indispensable and wonderfully mouthwatering side to the violin literature. In this anthology of pieces by turns gentle, funny, heart-rending, straightforwardly mischievous or resolutely diabolical, Perlman reveals his innermost soul and a thousand-faceted talent. With such a display of matchless generosity, assurance, humour and sheer joie de vivre, it is perhaps in such music that he appears most radically different from the other violinists of his time. –Jean-Michel Molkhou


Fritz Kreisler (1875-1962)
1. Prelude and Allegro in the style of Pugnani 05:27

Pablo de Sarasate (1844–1908)
2. Danzas españolas: Romanza andaluza, Op. 22, No. 1 03:49

Ottokar Novácek (1866-1900)
3. Perpetuum mobile, Op. 5, No. 4 02:46

Paul Ben-Haïm (1897-1984)
4. Berceuse sfaradite 03:45

Henryk Wieniawski (1835–1880)
5. Polonaise de Concert, Op. 4 04:41

Claude Debussy (1862–1918)
6. No. 8, La fille aux cheveux de lin 02:38

Giuseppe Tartini (1692–1770)
7. Variations on a theme by Corelli 03:18

Edgar Daniel del Valle (1861–1920)
8. Ao pé da fogueira (Prelude XV) 01:22

Sergei Rachmaninow (1873–1943)
9. Vocalise, Op. 34, No. 14 04:57

Henryk Wieniawski (1835–1880)
10. Scherzo tarantelle, Op. 16 04:33

Robert Schumann (1810–1856)
11. Romance in A Major, Op. 94, No. 2 04:12

Niccolò Paganini (1782–1840)
12. Violin Sonata No. 12 in E Minor, Op. 3, No. 6 03:49

Pablo de Sarasate (1844–1908)
13. Danzas españolas: Zapateado, Op. 23, No. 2 03:21

Henryk Wieniawski (1835–1880)
14. Polonaise No. 2, Op. 21 08:45
15. Mazurka in G Major, Op. 19, No. 1, Obertass 02:07

Stephen Foster (1826-1864)
16. Jeannie with the Light Brown Hair 03:27

Henri Vieuxtemps (1820–1881)
17. Souvenir d’Amérique (arr. Flesch) 04:58
Traditional arr. Heifetz
18. Deep River 02:17

Antonio Bazzini (1818-1897)
19. La Ronde des Lutins (Scherzo Fantastique), Op. 25 04:41
Maria Theresia von Paradis (1759-1824)
20. Sicilienne 02:54

Igor Strawinsky (1882–1971)
21. Chanson russe 03:36

Joachim Raff (1822–1882)
22. Cavatina in A-Flat Major, Op. 85 No. 3 03:54
Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840-1893)
23. Mélodie Op. 42, No. 3 03:48

Leopold Godowsky (1870-1938)
24. Alt Wien 02:21

Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco (1895–1968)
25. Tango 02:00

Claude Debussy (1862-1918)
26. Petite suite, L. 65: No. 1, En Bateau 03:40

Itzhak Perlman, violin
Samuel Sanders, piano

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Mar 31

Harry Belafonte – Belafonte at the Greek Theatre (1963/2016)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/96 kHz | Time – 01:14:37 minutes | 1,59 GB | Genre: Pop
Studio Master, Official Digital Download – Source: HDTracks | Front Cover | © RCA/Legacy

Legendary singer Harry Belafonte’s 3rd live album, released in 1963.

By 1963, Harry Belafonte’s live act had taken on the proportions of a theatrical event, tightly choregraphed and rehearsed with elaborate production numbers. For a solid month during the summer of 1963, the act sold out Los Angeles’ Greek Theatre, an open-air amphitheatre nestled in the Hollywood Hills. Fans who couldn’t get in would climb trees surrounding the theatre to get a glimpse of the show (Belafonte may have coined the phrase “nosebleed section”). This live, double album, Belafonte’s third, was edited from performances recorded during that month, and despite a nagging echo, captures the excitement of the concerts, which helped make the Greek world renowned. Belafonte’s keen sense of humor (“Excuse me, miss, do you really need binoculars from there?”) and rapport with his audience are in evidence here, especially in the epic sing-along of the moment, “Zombie Jamboree,” from The Many Moods of Belafonte, which takes up an entire side and nearly seventeen minutes. Very few of the songs are retreads (“Look Over Yonder” and “Try to Remember” are the only songs presented that Belafonte had recorded in the studio). A surprise inclusion is “Merry Minuet,” written by Sheldon Harnick (Fiddler on the Roof), a song Belafonte had sung a decade earlier in his Broadway debut, John Murray Anderson’s Almanac, but had never committed to record. This album marks the end of Belafonte’s most artistically productive period on record. Other excellent albums followed Greek Theatre, but not with the consistency of those from 1959-63. ~~AllMusic Review by Cary Ginell

1. Look Over Yonder / Be My Woman, Gal 05:18
2. Glory Manger 04:20
3. Shake That Little Foot 04:16
4. Windin’ Road 04:44
5. Hoedown Blues 02:51
6. Try to Remember 03:55
7. Why ‘n’ Why 05:28
8. Contemporary Dance 02:32
9. In My Father’s House 03:28
10. Hayoshevet Baganim 03:30
11. Cruel War 03:36
12. Pig 01:52
13. Sailor Man 03:18
14. Merry Minuet 03:42
15. Boot Dance 04:43
16. Zombie Jamboree 16:42

Harry Belafonte, vocals
William Eaton, clavietta
Ernie Calabria, guitar
Jay Berliner, guitar
John Cartwright, bass
Percy Brice, drums
Ralph MacDonald, percussion
Howard Roberts, conductor

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Mar 31

Harry Belafonte – Belafonte Sings of The Caribbean (1957/2016)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/96 kHz | Time – 00:36:18 minutes | 532 MB | Genre: Pop
Studio Master, Official Digital Download – Source: HDTracks | Front Cover | © RCA/Legacy

Belafonte’s second album of songs from the West Indies expanded the scope in both style as well as geography from the Calypso album. As in that album, his chief collaborator was the prolific Irving Burgie. For the first time, we hear Belafonte sing one of the famous wry calypso tunes based on historical happenings. “Love, Love Alone” dealt with the abdication of King Edward VII to marry the American widow, Mrs. Wallis Simpson. Also on the album are the ballads “Haiti Cherie” and “Island in the Sun,” the latter the theme song from the motion picture starring Belafonte and Joan Fontaine. The songs are catchy and melodic, and the accompaniment has been stepped up to feature an orchestra, conducted by longtime Belafonte orchestra leader Robert DeCormier (aka Bob Corman). Note: the Japanese release replaces three tracks with “I Do Adore Her,” from Calypso, plus two RCA Victor singles that were never on LP in the U.S.: “Venezuela” and “Mama Look a Boo Boo.” ~~AllMusic Review by Cary Ginell

1. Scratch Scratch 02:42
2. Lucy’s Door 03:43
3. Cordelia Brown 02:54
4. Don’t Ever Love Me 02:46
5. Love, Love Alone 03:17
6. Coconut Woman 03:15
7. Haiti Cherie 03:16
8. Judy Drowned 03:25
9. Island In the Sun (From Island In the Sun) 03:20
10. Angelique-O 02:40
11. Lead Man Holler (From Island In The Sun) 04:14

Harry Belafonte – vocals
Millard Thomas, Frantz Casseus, Victor Messer – guitar
Bob Corman – orchestra and chorus

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Mar 31

Harry Belafonte – Belafonte (1955/2016)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/96 kHz | Time – 00:42:26 minutes | 604 MB | Genre: Pop
Studio Master, Official Digital Download – Source: HDTracks | Front Cover | © RCA/Legacy

Legendary singer Harry Belafonte’s second studio album, released in 1955. As one of his most successful albums, Belafonte’s self titled release debuted at the #1 spot on the Billboard Top 200 and remained there for six weeks, only being knocked out by Elvis Presley’s own self-titled album

Belafonte’s second album includes songs featured in the Broadway production of Three for Tonight, which starred Belafonte along with Gower and Marge Champion. The collection again featured a variety of material, which would become a hallmark with his albums up until the mid-1960s. But now, for the first time, the power of Belafonte’s interpretive skills become apparent, especially with songs culled from field recordings of chain gangs and southern prisons. “Jump Down, Spin Around” and “Sylvie” were both popularized by Leadbelly. The hammer song “Water Boy” and the spirituals “Take My Mother Home” and “Noah” are among the most powerful performances in Belafonte’s career. Also included is Belafonte’s second recording of one of his most requested songs, the calypso “Matilda.” This version was far superior to his first effort, released only on a single in 1953. This album was swept along with the success of Belafonte’s next release, the million-selling Calypso, and was #1 on Billboard’s album charts for six weeks, remaining on the charts for over a year. ~~AllMusic Review by Cary Ginell

1. Water Boy 03:38
2. Troubles 03:42
3. Suzanne (Every Night When the Sun Goes Down) 03:18
4. Matilda 03:34
5. Take My Mother Home 05:50
6. Noah 04:51
7. Scarlet Ribbons (For Her Hair) 03:12
8. In That Great Gettin’ Up Mornin’ 03:16
9. Unchained Melody 03:22
10. Jump Down, Spin Around 01:56
11. Sylvie 05:18

Harry Belafonte – vocals
Millard Thomas – guitar
Bud Shank – saxophone
Jimmy Giuffre – saxophone
Buddy Childers – trumpet
Conti Condoli – trumpet
Maynard Ferguson – trumpet
Tony Scotts Orchestra
Norman Luboff Choir

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Mar 31

Harry Belafonte – Belafonte Sings the Blues (1958/2016)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/192 kHz | Time – 00:45:09 minutes | 1,57 GB | Genre: Pop
Studio Master, Official Digital Download – Source: HDTracks | Front Cover | © RCA/Legacy

Impex’s line of classic RCA Living Stereo releases now includes the inimitable vocal stylings of Harry Belafonte singing the timeless words and music of American blues in truly breathtaking sound. Belafonte Sings the Blues was recorded over four sessions during the first half of 1958, and released by RCA later that year. The album features thrilling performances of numerous Billie Holiday, Johnny Mercer, and Ray Charles songs, interpreted in a way that only Belafonte can. The blues are close to Belafonte’s heart and it clearly shows here on his renditions of such classics as “One For My Baby”, “Cotton Fields” and “God Bless the Child” among others!

After flirting with traditional African-American material in his previous albums, Belafonte, for the first time, devotes an entire album to the blues. However, of the eleven songs, only two could be classified as traditional blues: “In the Evenin’ Mama” and “Cotton Fields,” the latter given a five minute treatment. Belafonte would take this song on the road as part of his live act for the next decade. Of the other songs, three were covers of Ray Charles standards (“A Fool For You,” “Hallelujah I Love Her So,” “Mary Ann”). Another highlight is Belafonte’s rendition of Billie Holiday’s “God Bless the Child.” With few exceptions, the entire album is understated and not as exciting or riveting as other Belafonte records. Still, it’s solid listening, and taken track by track, thoughtful performances. Footnote: this was the first Belafonte album recorded in stereo. Some releases feature a thick, dark blue spine. ~~AllMusic Review by Cary Ginell

1. A Fool for You 03:40
2. Losing Hand 04:20
3. One for My Baby 04:33
4. In the Evening Mama 03:29
5. Hallelujah I Love Her So 02:52
6. The Way That I Feel 04:33
7. Cotton Fields 05:18
8. God Bless the Child 05:04
9. Mary Ann 02:47
10. Sinner’s Prayer 03:43
11. Fare Thee Well 04:44

Harry Belafonte with Orchestra
Alan Greene, Bob Corman, Dennis Farnon, conductor

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Mar 31

Harry Belafonte – In My Quiet Room (1966/2016)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/192 kHz | Time – 00:39:35 minutes | 1,42 GB | Genre: Pop
Studio Master, Official Digital Download – Source: HDTracks | Front Cover | © RCA/Legacy

Probably the lushest album Harry Belafonte ever made, this record offered further proof to record store owners that HB should be moved from the folk section to easy listening. The liner notes try to label the record as a concept album of ballads, but the only concept we can see is another record to be heard in subdued volume in dentists’ offices and elevators. One begins to wonder whether Belafonte, not even 40, had his best years behind him already. Former Weaver Fred Hellerman deserves some of the credit (or blame) for the pallid material; he co-wrote five of the ten songs. At least on his other ballad albums, Belafonte was provided with interesting instrumentation, including harpsichords, guitars, organs, etc. This production reveals no such innovations, with arranger Hugo Montenegro preferring to drown each song in a tidal wave of strings (labeled as “an opulent orchestral sound” in the notes). Noteworthy among the titles are several Belafonte retreads from earlier in his career: “Try to Remember” (from The Fantasticks), “Summertime Love,” and a song that was recorded only as a single back in 1954, “I’m Just a Country Boy.” ~~AllMusic Review by Cary Ginell

1 Quiet Room 4:28
2 Portrait Of A Sunday Afternoon 3:15
3 Raindrops 2:33
4 Our Time For Loving 5:11
5 The Honey Wind Blows 3:40
6 The Girls In Their Summer Dresses 3:45
7 Long About Now 4:24
8 I’m Just A Country Boy 3:43
9 Summertime Love 3:45
10 Try To Remember 4:04

Harry Belafonte, vocals
Howard A. Roberts, conductor
Hugo Montenegro, arranger

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