Apr 12

Olga Scheps – Satie (2016)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/96 kHz | Time – 63:03 minutes | 916 MB | Genre: Classical
Studio Master, Official Digital Download – Source: Qobuz | Artwork: Digital booklet | © RCA Red Seal

May 17th 2016 sees Erik Satie’s 150th anniversary and ECHO-Klassik Award winning pianist Olga Scheps presents the only new studio recording of his most beautiful piano solo works for the Satie celebrations 2016.

Erik Satie is among the most popular composers worldwide, his most famous piano pieces such as „Gymnopédie No. 1” or “Je te veux” are instantly recognisable, having be used constantly in motion picture soundtracks and TV ads.

Olga Scheps was born in Moscow in 1986, the daughter of two pianists, and discovered the instrument for herself at the age of four. She began studying the piano more intensively after her family moved to Germany in 1992. At an early age she had already developed her own unique style of keyboard playing, which combines intense emotiveness and powerful expressivity with extraordinary pianistic technique. Among those who discovered these talents was Alfred Brendel, who has encouraged Olga Scheps since she was fifteen. Olga has already recorded 5 albums for RCA Red Seal. All her recordings ranked high within the German Classical Charts and were highly praised by the press. Her debut album ‘Chopin’ immediately won the prestigious ECHO Klassik Award in 2010. As a passionate chamber musician, she plays regularly with such artists as Alban Gerhardt, Daniel Hope, Adrian Brendel, Jan Vogler, and Nils Mönkemeyer.

For this release, as a special Bonus Olga Scheps recorded “Gentle Threat” by Chilly Gonzales, whom she frequently works together with on stage.

01 – Erik Satie: Six Gnossienne: I. Lent
02 – Erik Satie: Six Gnossienne: II. Avec étonnement
03 – Erik Satie: Six Gnossienne: III. Lent
04 – Erik Satie: Six Gnossienne: IV. Lent
05 – Erik Satie: Six Gnossienne: V. Modéré
06 – Erik Satie: Six Gnossienne: VI. Avec conviction et avec une tristesse rigoureuse
07 – Erik Satie: Cinq Grimaces pour le songe d’une nuit d’été: I. Préambule
08 – Erik Satie: Cinq Grimaces pour le songe d’une nuit d’été: II. Coquecigrue
09 – Erik Satie: Cinq Grimaces pour le songe d’une nuit d’été: III. Chasse
10 – Erik Satie: Cinq Grimaces pour le songe d’une nuit d’été: IV. Fanfaronnade
11 – Erik Satie: Cinq Grimaces pour le songe d’une nuit d’été: V. Pour sortir
12 – Erik Satie: Trois Gymnopédies: I. Lent et douloureux
13 – Erik Satie: Trois Gymnopédies: II. Lent et triste
14 – Erik Satie: Trois Gymnopédies: III. Lent et grave
15 – Erik Satie: Je te veux
16 – Erik Satie: Trois Sarabandes: Sarabande in F minor
17 – Erik Satie: Trois Sarabandes: Sarabande in D sharp minor “à Maurice Ravel”
18 – Erik Satie: Trois Sarabandes: Sarabande in B flat minor
19 – Erik Satie: Tendrement – Valse chantée
20 – Chilly Gonzales: Gentle Threat

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Apr 12

Michael Jackson – The Essential Michael Jackson (2005)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96 kHz | Time – 02:37:25 minutes | 3,07 GB | Genre: Pop, R&B
Studio Master, Official Digital Download | Source: Qobuz | Label: Epic/Legacy

There are several Michael Jackson greatest-hits compilations out there, each one its own take on what should be the definitive portrait of the gloved one’s career. The Ultimate Collection, The Essential Collection (different from the one here), and Number Ones have all surfaced in 2003 and 2004, and HIStory a few years prior. Each one of these collections, while commendable in its attempt to thoroughly document Jackson’s accomplishments, has fallen woefully short in one aspect or another. This has finally been rectified with this installment of Sony’s outstanding Essential collection. Starting with his campaign with his brothers in the Jackson 5, this two-disc set tours through every important single and every important fan favorite short of including his duet with Paul McCartney on “Say Say Say” (the Beatle does, however, make an appearance here on “The Girl Is Mine”). From Off the Wall to Dangerous, it’s all here in one concise package, making it the ideal reference point from which exploration into his deeper catalog can begin. While die-hard fans will already have every single song contained herein and may be weary to purchase another greatest-hits compilation short of a greatest-hits compilation including his backing vocals on Rockwell’s “Somebody’s Watching Me,” this may be the only one fans and casual listeners will ever have to purchase to get their fill of the King of Pop’s magic. –AllMusic Review by Rob Theakston

1-01 I Want You Back 2:58
1-02 ABC 2:57
1-03 The Love You Save 3:05
1-04 Got To Be There 3:25
1-05 Rockin’ Robin 2:32
1-06 Ben 2:46
1-07 Blame It On The Boogie 3:30
1-08 Shake Your Body (Down To The Ground) 3:45
1-09 Don’t Stop ‘Till You Get Enough 3:56
1-10 Off The Wall 3:46
1-11 Rock With You 3:23
1-12 She’s Out Of My Life 3:37
1-13 Can You Feel It 3:50
1-14 The Girl Is Mine 3:41
1-15 Billie Jean 4:53
1-16 Beat It 4:18
1-17 Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’ 4:17
1-18 Human Nature 3:46
1-19 P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing) 3:58
1-20 I Just Can’t Stop Loving You 4:11
1-21 Thriller 5:14

2-01 Bad 4:06
2-02 The Way You Make Me Feel 4:26
2-03 Man In The Mirror 5:19
2-04 Dirty Diana 4:40
2-05 Another Part Of Me 3:46
2-06 Smooth Criminal 4:17
2-07 Leave Me Alone 4:39
2-08 Black Or White 3:21
2-09 Remember The Time 3:59
2.10 In The Closet 4:48
2-11 Who Is It 3:59
2-12 Heal The World 6:25
2-13 You Are Not Alone 4:56
2-14 Will You Be There 3:40
2-15 Earth Song 5:02
2-16 They Don’t Care About Us 4:44
2-17 You Rock My World 5:08

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Apr 12

Felix Mendelssohn – Incidental Music To A Midsummer Night’s Dream – Philharmonia Orchestra And Chorus, Otto Klemperer (1960/2012)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96 kHz | Time – 48:39 minutes | 957 MB | Genre: Classical
Studio Master, Official Digital Download | Source: e-onkyo | Label: EMI Classics
Recorded: 1960, EMI Abbey Road Studio No. 1, London

These 1960 performances are classics among the classics, and there is little need to emphasize their qualities. Otto Klemperer conducts the incidental music for A Midsummer Night’s Dream with an audible keenness for this magic music. If the tempos are not the liveliest on disc, the Maestro’s natural aptitude for orchestral balance certainly allows the listener to taste every bit of Mendelssohn’s fairy orchestration, as in the vivid Scherzo or the delicate anxiety of the Intermezzo. Heather Harper and Janet Baker are irresistible in the sung episodes, and so is the Philharmonia Chorus. –Luca Sabbatini, ClassicsToday

Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy (1809-1847)
Midsummer Night’s Dream, Op. 61
1 Overture, Op. 21 12:53
2 Scherzo, Op. 61 No. 1 5:28
3 March Of The Fairies, Op. 61 No. 2a 1:16
4 Ye Spotted Snakes, Op. 61 No. 3 4:38
5 Intermezzo, Op. 61 No. 5 3:56
6 Nocturne, Op. 61 No. 7 7:02
7 Wedding March, Op. 61 No. 9 5:00
8 Funeral March, Op. 61 No. 10a 1:00
9 Dance Of The Clowns, Op. 61 No. 11 1:47
10 Finale, Op. 61 4:47

Janet Baker, contralto (#4)
Heather Harper, soprano (#4,10)
Philharmonia Orchestra And Chorus
Otto Klemperer, conductor

About the Mastering :
Four engineers at Abbey Road Studios in London have remastered these historic EMI recordings from their original analogue sources for release in pristine hi-def. Between them, Simon Gibson, Ian Jones, Andy Walter and Allan Ramsay have many years of experience remastering archive recordings for EMI and other record labels. The process always starts with finding all of the records and tapes in EMI’s archive in London and comparing different sources and any previous CD reissues. We consult each recording’s job file, which contains notes about the recording made by the engineer and producer. For example, this sometimes explain why there is more than one set of tapes to choose from. All of the tapes are generally in good condition and we play them on our Studer A80 π inch tape machine, after careful calibration of its replay characteristics.
In order to have the best digital remastering tools at our disposal for the remastering, we transfer from analogue to the digital domain at 96 KHz and 24-bit resolution using a Prism ADA-8 converter and capture the audio to our SADiE Digital Audio Workstation.

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Apr 12

Prokofiev: Piano Concerto No. 2 / Rachmaninov: Symphony No. 2 – Yefim Bronfman, New York Philharmonic, Alan Gilbert (2010)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96kHz | Time – 01:17:19 minutes | 1,55 GB | Genre: Classical
Official Digital Download – Source: HDTracks | © New York Philharmonic
Recorded live January 7–8 & 12, 2010, Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts

`Rachmaninoff and Prokofiev is one of four individual performances produced and distributed by the New York Philharmonic and personally selected by Alan Gilbert for commercial release during his inaugural season with the Philharmonic.

PROKOFIEV: Piano Concerto No. 2
RACHMANINOFF: Symphony No. 2

Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto No. 2 in G minor can be a knockout if you have a soloist capable of dispatching its demonically difficult piano part. The Philharmonic had one ” and how! ” in Yefim Bronfman. ” Anthony Tommasini, The New York Times

Alan Gilbert on This Program The program is obviously Russian, and we are joined by one of the greatest Russian pianists, Yefim Bronfman. When I first heard Yefim play the Prokofiev Piano Concerto — one of the most exciting 20th-century piano concertos — I was so blown away: it seemed almost impossible that a human being could play the piano with such epic grandiosity and amazing technical command. I think that Rachmaninoff’s Second Symphony fits perfectly with the Prokofiev because, while it’s Russian as well, it’s a completely different side of the Russian way of writing music. Prokofiev is at times lyrical, but he is definitely on the spikier side. In this concerto there are folk melodies that are contrasted with a dark, brutal, industrial cast. In contrast, Rachmaninoff has a way with melody and with sweeping tunes that is really unparalleled. The two pieces complement each other beautifully. Piano Concerto No. 2 in G minor, Op. 16 Sergei Prokofiev The first two of Sergei Prokofiev’s five piano concertos date from his years as a student at the St. Petersburg Conservatory, where he studied from 1904 to 1914. He capped off that period by performing his First Piano Concerto (which he had premiered two years earlier) at his graduation from the Conservatory; on that occasion he was awarded high honors and the coveted Anton Rubinstein Prize, which included a new grand piano. He would shortly embark on a dual career as a touring pianist and a composer, and he managed to balance the competing demands of those domains adeptly. He was an excellent pianist of distinct personality; the critic Boris de Schloezer described his pianistic style as “brilliant, rather dry, but extremely polished, pure and ‘finished,’ ” and a listener has no trouble discerning that those traits ideally convey his works in performance. “The charges of surface brilliance and certain ‘soccer-player’ tendencies in the First Concerto induced me to strive for greater depth in the Second,” reported Prokofiev in his Soviet Diary of 1927. Notwithstanding the commendable qualities of the First Concerto — a remarkable achievement, and not just for a 21-year-old — the Second does indeed surpass it by most yardsticks, even though it was begun only a few months after the completion of its predecessor. Certainly, ing the solo part he had composed — this from a soon-to-be first-prize piano graduate of the St. Petersburg Conservatory. The premiere of the work evoked a dynamic audience response. The critics were divided. Conservative voices greeted the piece with outrage or disdain: Yuri Kurdyumov,in Peterburgsky Listok, declared that it was “a Babel of insane sounds heaped upon one another without rhyme or reason,” and Nikolai Bernstein, in Peterburgskaya Gazeta, opined of the work’s terrifying cadenzas that “one might think [they] were created by capriciously emptying an inkwell on the page.” On the other hand, the open-minded critic Vyacheslav Karatygin, writing in the newspaper Rech, took a longer view: while the piece “left listeners frozen with fright, hair standing on end” and although “the audience hissed,” he insisted that “this means nothing. Ten years from now it [the public] will atone for last night’s jeering by unanimously applauding a new composer with a European reputation.” But even after ten years — ten and a half, to be precise — many music lovers would just be getting their first taste of this work. In 1918 Prokofiev had left his Revolution-wracked native land for Paris. His manuscript for this unpublished concerto remained behind, and it was lost in a fire. In 1923–24 Prokofiev finally reconstructed the work from his remaining sketches; while he was at it (he claimed) he incorporated a good deal of new composition that reflected the experience he had gained in the intervening decade, during which he had, far from incidentally, composed his famous Third Piano Concerto. The Second Concerto as it now exists is therefore not really the same piece that was heard in 1913. The audience at the unveiling of the revised Second Concerto, in 1924 in Paris, proved to be as resistant as the Russian listeners had been at the “first premiere” a decade earlier, but now it was for the opposite reason: Prokofiev was criticized for not being edgy enough for Roaring Twenties Paris. Instrumentation: two flutes, two oboes, two clarinets, two bassoons, four horns, two trumpets, three trombones, tuba, timpani, snare drum, tambourine, bass drum, cymbal, and strings, in addition to the solo piano. Symphony No. 2 in E minor, Op. 27 Sergei Rachmaninoff Sergei Rachmaninoff was very nearly undone by the violent and mean-spirited criticism that greeted the unveiling of his First Symphony in 1897 — so much so that for the next three years he did not write a note. He worried that he might not be suited to be a composer after all. The young Rachmaninoff had gotten off to a very promising start. At first he had not been a standout at the Moscow Conservatory, but by the time he graduated, in 1892, he was deemed worthy of receiving the Great Gold Medal in composition, an honor that had been bestowed on only two students prior to him. Upon graduating he was signed to a publishing contract, and one of his first published pieces — the Prelude in C-sharp minor for piano — became an instant hit. Tchaikovsky himself warmly applauded the premiere of Rachmaninoff’s opera Aleko at the Bolshoi Theatre. However, the premiere of the composer’s First Symphony was a disaster of Biblical proportions: a review by the elder composer César Cui had, in fact, likened it to the seven plagues of Egypt. The fact that the performance was sub-par (Alexander Glazunov, who conducted, was reputedly drunk at the podium) did little to dull the pain caused by the reviews. In the psychological aftermath of this conductorpublic failure, Rachmaninoff’s multiplicity of talents allowed him to turn to a different musical pursuit and focus on conducting for the next few years. Before long he sought the help of Dr. Nikolai Dahl, a physician who was investigating psychological therapy through hypnosis. Beginning in January 1900, Rachmaninoff consulted him daily; by the end of that summer he was composing again, starting with modest projects — an a cappella chorus, a love duet for an opera — and then two movements of a piano concerto that had been on the back burner for several years. This last composition would grow into his Second Piano Concerto, which was well liked when it was premiered (and still is today). Finally, Rachmaninoff was back on track, busily working on chamber music, choral compositions, piano pieces, and three further operas. By 1906 he felt ready to confront any lingering compositional demons, and he embarked on another symphony. Rachmaninoff had recently moved to Dresden for the weather, which was expected to improve his daughter’s problematic health, and to escape some of the constant social and professional pressures that accompanied his mounting celebrity. In February 1907 he wrote to his friend Nikita Morozov in Russia: A month ago, or more, I really did finish a symphony, but to this must be added the phrase “in draft.” I have not announced it to “the world,” because I want first to complete its final writing. While I was planning to put it in “clean” form, it became terribly boring and repulsive to me. So I threw it aside and took up something else. Nonetheless, word was out, and Rachmaninoff very quickly received an invitation to conduct his new symphony during the upcoming season — before he was anywhere near finished with it. Rachmaninoff’s letter continued: I can tell you privately that I am displeased with it, but that it really “will be,” though not before autumn, as I shall not begin its orchestration until summer. That proved to be the case, and on August 2 Rachmaninoff wrote again to Morozov: For two weeks now I have been busy with the orchestration of the Symphony. The work proceeds very laboriously and sluggishly. It’s slow not only because of the instrumentation, which ordinarily comes to me with difficulty, but also because I left it in draft, and some movements are yet to be worked out. Fortunately for posterity, Rachmaninoff toughed it out, finally vindicating himself as a gifted symphonist. His Second Symphony scored a popular success, and in December 1908 the work was honored with a Glinka Award for symphonic composition. Instrumentation: three flutes (one doubling piccolo), three oboes (one doubling English horn), two clarinets and bass clarinet, two bassoons, four horns, three trumpets, three trombones, tuba, timpani, bass drum, cymbals, orchestra bells, snare drum, and strings. The length of Rachmaninoff’s Second Symphony has always been a problematic issue, and over the years many conductors have effected cuts both large and small in the score, some ostensibly with the composer’s explicit approval. This performance presents the complete work, without cuts.


Sergei Prokofiev (1891–1953)
Piano Concerto No. 2 in G minor, Op. 16 (1912–13/1924)
1. Andantino — Allegretto — Andantino 10:25
2. Scherzo: Vivace 2:31
3. Intermezzo: Allegro moderato 6:08
4. Finale: Allegro tempestoso 10:45

Sergey Rachmaninov (1873–1943)
Symphony No. 2 in E minor, Op. 27 (1906–08)
5. Largo — Allegro moderato 19:13
6. Allegro molto — Meno mosso — Tempo I 9:52
7. Adagio 14:42
8. Allegro vivace — Adagio — Tempo precedente 15:01

Yefim Bronfman, piano (#1-4)
New York Philharmonic Orchestra
Alan Gilbert, conductor

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Apr 12

Peter And The Wolf In Hollywood – Alice Cooper, Bundesjugendorchester, Alexander Shelley (2015)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/96 kHz | Time – 00:49:34 minutes | 947 MB | Genre: Classical
Studio Master, Official Digital Download | Source: HDTracks | Label: Deutsche Grammophon
Recorded: Cologne, Probenstudio Stolberger Straße, 4/2014 (Peter and the Wolf ); Funkhaus Berlin Nalepastraße, 9/2014 (prequel music excerpts); London, 5A Studios, 6/2015 (Alice Cooper)

Peter And The Wolf In Hollywood is an unforgettable journey of classical music, visual wonder and digital play, providing an invigorating new perspective on Prokofiev’s beloved children’s classic. The work is coupled here with a new, specially-written prequel giving the story a modern twist, detailing Peter’s adventure as he travels to California to meet his hippie gardener grandfather and setting the stage for this updated version set in modern day Los Angeles. The album was recorded by one of the world’s leading youth orchestras, the National Youth Orchestra of Germany, directed by acclaimed conductor Alexander Shelley and narrated by rock star Alice Cooper, taking him back to his childhood.

“I first heard this back in Detroit when I was six or seven years old. My mom put the record on and I was instantly transported to another world. And it has been huge fun for me to do something new after nearly 50 years in the business.” –Alice Cooper


1 Peter Arrives And Settles In Los Angeles 04:27
WAGNER Lohengrin, Act I: Prelude
PROKOFIEV Peter and the Wolf: Grandfather’s theme
PROKOFIEV Peter and the Wolf: Peter’s theme
SCHUMANN Kinderszenen: Von fremden Ländern und Menschen

2 Peter’s Birthday 05:37
MAHLER Symphony No. 1 (3rd mov.)
ELGAR Enigma Variations IV (W.M.B.)
WAGNER Tristan und Isolde, Act III: Prelude
PROKOFIEV Peter and the Wolf: Hunters’ theme (The Paparazzi)
MAHLER Symphony No. 1 (3rd mov.)
PUCCINI La Bohème, Act II: “Quando m’en vo”
PUCCINI Tosca, Act III: Orchestral Introduction (Largo)
MUSSORGSKY / RAVEL Pictures at an Exhibition: Ballet of the Unhatched Chicks

3 The Wolf Hunt Begins 03:01
MUSSORGSKY / RAVEL Pictures at an Exhibition: Catacombs
ELGAR Enigma Variations IX (Nimrod)
ZEMLINSKY The Little Mermaid (1st mov.)

4 Peter Builds The Robot 03:04
DUKAS The Sorcerer’s Apprentice
PROKOFIEV Romeo and Juliet, Act I: Dance of the Knights
GRIEG Peer Gynt Suite No. 1: In the Hall of the Mountain King

5 The Hunt Continues 02:45
WAGNER Die Walküre: Ride of the Valkyries
ZEMLINSKY The Little Mermaid (1st mov.)
PROKOFIEV Peter and the Wolf: Wolf’s theme

6 Back At Grandfather’s Home 05:27
WAGNER Lohengrin, Act I: Prelude
SATIE Je te veux
SMETANA Vltava (The Moldau)

7 Peter Is Greeted By The Bird 02:50
8 The Duck Waddles Over 02:11
9 Peter Notices The Cat 01:50
10 Grandfather Warns Peter 02:22
11 The Wolf Reappears 01:39
12 The Duck Is Caught 01:35
13 The Wolf Stalks The Bird And The Cat 01:40
14 Peter Prepares To Catch The Wolf 01:06
15 The Bird Diverts The Wolf 01:25
16 Peter Catches The Wolf 01:43
17 The Paparazzi Arrive 01:29
18 The Procession To The Zoo 05:23

Alice Cooper, narrator
Bundesjugendorchester (National Youth Orchestra of Germany)
Alexander Shelley, conductor

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Apr 12

Paul Badura-Skoda plays Franz Schubert (2012)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/44,1 kHz | Time – 02:23:25 minutes | 807 MB | Genre: Classical
Studio Master, Official Digital Download | Source:Qobuz | Digital Booklet , Front cover | @ Genuin Classics
Recorded: Irnberger-Studio, Salzburg by Alfredo Lasheras Hakobian, November 28–December 1, 2011; Vienna by Alexander Grün, April 18–20, 2012; Vienna by Jens Jamin, March 27–28, 2011

Even at a very advanced age, the great pianist Paul Badura-Skoda is always good for a surprise: His new CD recording with GENUIN is perhaps one of the most unusual recordings, one of the most daring tonal experiments seen in recent years. Schubert’s final sonata, the wonderful B-flat major, has been recorded by Badura-Skoda, but not just once: It is heard on three different instruments in interpretations which could not be more distinctive from one another: On an 1826 Graf fortepiano (from when the work was composed), a 1923 Bösendorfer and a 2004 Steinway grand. More history and more vibrancy in its presentation could not be packed into a single disc. Superb!

Here, 85-year-old Austrian pianist Paul Badura-Skoda offers no fewer than three complete recordings of the Schubert Piano Sonata in B flat major, D. 960, with the Drei Klavierstücke, D. 946, as a curtain raiser. The three versions are played on three different pianos, a Graf fortepiano of 1826, a modern Steinway, and a 1923 Bösendorfer that for piano buffs may be worth the price of admission to this two-CD set. It’s an exceptionally warm, mellow instrument, and Badura-Skoda crafts an interpretation to match it. You might think that this effort represents a rumination on the virtues and disadvantages of historical instruments from Badura-Skoda after his long career, but in fact that doesn’t seem to be what he has in mind. He writes in his own notes that it is “simply because of the uniqueness of this sonata. It transcends the nature of the piano: even the best instrument (played with authority) cannot give full justice to its meaning, but each one brings different facets to the fore.” Badura-Skoda essentially offers three quite different readings of the work, which is quite an ambitious undertaking for a pianist of any age. The starting points are 1) for the 1824 piano the small motivic details that tend to get lost on a modern grand (sample the remarkable passage leading to the recapitulation in the first movement); 2) for the Steinway the sheer technical difficulty of the sonata; and 3) for the Bösendorfer the warm but melancholy Brahmsian lyricism. It’s a unique project, perhaps not one that belongs in every library, but certainly worthwhile for anyone deeply immersed in Schubert, or in Badura-Skoda’s recordings. –AllMusic Review by James Manheim

Franz Schubert (1797–1828)
3 Klavierstucke, D. 946
1. No. 1 in E flat minor 8:30
2. No. 2 in E flat major 11:19
3. No. 3 in C major 5:20
Piano Sonata No. 21 in B flat major, D. 960
(Conrad Graf Fortepiano, c. 1826)
4. I. Molto moderato 19:41
5. II. Andante sostenuto 8:28
6. III. Scherzo: Allegro vivace con delicatezza 4:18
7. IV. Allegro ma non troppo 8:40
Piano Sonata No. 21 in B flat major, D. 960
(Steinway No. 569686, 2004)
8. I. Molto moderato 19:24
9. II. Andante sostenuto 8:31
10. III. Scherzo: Allegro vivace con delicatezza 4:12
11. IV. Allegro ma non troppo 8:50
Piano Sonata No. 21 in B flat major, D. 960
(Bösendorfer No. 23274, 1923)
12. I. Molto moderato 14:44
13. II. Andante sostenuto 8:38
14. III. Scherzo: Allegro vivace con delicatezza 4:14
15. IV. Allegro ma non troppo 8:36

Paul Badura-Skoda, piano

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Apr 12

Muddy Waters – Hoochie Coochie Man: Live At The Rising Sun Celebrity Jazz Club (1977/2016)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/44,1 kHz | Time – 1:00:28 minutes | 750 MB | Genre: Blues
Studio Master, Official Digital Download – Source: PonoMusic| Artwork: Front cover | © Justin Time

Recorded in January of 1977 at Montreal’s legendary Rising Sun Celebrity Jazz Club, the record features some of Muddy’s greatest bandmates, including Luther “Guitar Junior” Johnson and “Steady Rollin’” Bob Margolin on guitar, Jerry Portnoy on harmonica, Pinetop Perkins on piano, along with Calvin Jones on bass and Willie Smith on drums. The band are terrific throughout which is why it is no surprise that they, like many others, went on to have outside recognition after playing with Muddy’s band. The standout track is an 11 minute version of the classic, “Kansas City,” in which Muddy shares vocals with Perkins.

01 – Baby Please Don’t Go
02 – Howling Wolf
03 – I Want You to Love Me
04 – Can’t Get No Grindin’
05 – Hoochie Coochie Man
06 – Nine Below Zero
07 – The Blues Had a Baby (and They Named It Rock ‘n’ Roll)
08 – They Call It Stormy Monday
09 – Highway 41
10 – Kansas City

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Apr 12

Malaysian Philharmonic, Kees Bakels – Kalinnikov: The Two Symphonies (2011)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/44,1 kHz | Time – 77:28 minutes | 714 MB | Genre: Classical
Studio Master, Official Digital Download – Source: eClassical | Artwork: Covers & Digital Booklet

These performances are at least as fine as any by Russian ensembles, and they are surely better recorded. Vassily Kalinnikov’s symphonies hover on the edge of the repertoire, but they are very beautiful works–a touch stiff formally, perhaps, but melodically extremely attractive, and very, very Russian. Kees Bakels and the orchestra, as with the Rimsky-Korsakov recordings from these forces, make a wholly positive impression. The strings sing richly in the soaring melodies in the allegros and slow movements; rhythms snap with the requisite tang in the two scherzos. Bakels pays special attention to details of color and balance: listen to how sensitively the ticking harp in the First symphony’s slow movement underpins the musical discourse. It’s truly poetic. If you want these works in modern sound, this is the disc to get.

Dying of tuberculosis just before his 35th birthday in 1901, Vassily Kalinnikov had precious few years to prove himself as a composer, but still had the time to write several songs and choral and orchestral works, among which the two symphonies are the crowning glories. Especially the first symphony enjoyed a particular success even during the composer’s lifetime, with performances in Berlin, Paris and Vienna, as well as in Moscow. It was famously recorded by Toscanini in 1943 and is still part of the repertory of many Russian orchestras. Kalinnikov’s gifts for melody, of a distinctly ‘Russian’ nature, and orchestration are frequently remarked upon, often in comparison to Tchaikovsky, who in fact supported his younger colleague. Another important figure in Russian music, Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, is said to have found evidence of real talent in a manuscript of the first symphony sent to him by the composer, but was apparently less than enthusiastic regarding its technical merits.


01 – Symphony No.1 in G minor – I. Allegro moderato
02 – Symphony No.1 in G minor – II. Andante commodamente
03 – Symphony No.1 in G minor – III. Scherzo
04 – Symphony No.1 in G minor – IV. Finale. Allegro moderato
05 – Symphony No.2 in A major – I. Moderato
06 – Symphony No.2 in A major – II. Andante cantabile
07 – Symphony No.2 in A major – III. Allegro scherzando
08 – Symphony No.2 in A major – IV. Andante cantabile

Composer: Vasily Sergeyevich Kalinnikov
Orchestra: Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra
Conductor: Kees Bakels

Recorded in December 2000 at the Dewan Filharmonik PETRONAS Hall, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Recording producer: Robert Suff. Sound engineer: Jens Braun. Digital editing: Elisabeth Kemper.

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Apr 12

Pieces of a Dream – In The Moment (2013)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/44,1 kHz | Time – 00:51:10 minutes | 568 MB | Genre: Jazz, Fusion, R&B
Studio Master, Official Digital Download | Source: HDTracks | @ Shanachie Entertainment

In the world of jazz, commodities are fleeting. Styles come and go. Artists at the top of this week’s charts could be history by the end of next month. Words like “staying power” and “longevity” are for anyone or anything that sticks around for more than a couple years.

But then there are those rare few, gifted with the right stuff, who hang in for the long haul – musical collectives that continue to explore and evolve album after album, year after year, decade after decade, eschewing fashion and fad and reaching instead for something much more permanent. This is the story of Pieces of a Dream, a contemporary jazz band that opens the next chapter in a career that spans more than three decades.

The R&B legends are at their creative best with In The Moment, an inspired celebration of their 20th album!

Core and founding members James Lloyd and Curtis Harmon refer to In the Moment as the 20th Pieces of a Dream album. Instead of hosting a guest-filled blowout, they keep it simple with familiar associates, guitarist Rohn Lawrence, saxophonist Tony Watson Jr., and bassist David Dyson. The duo also receive a little assistance from a handful of additional musicians, including Shanachie label stalwart Chris “Big Dog” Davis. An all-instrumental set apart from some talkbox on “New Jazz Swing,” In the Moment features a handful of cuts that should remain in the group’s live repertoire for years. “Steppers ‘D’ Lite” and “TTYL (I’m Driving),” two of the album’s most energized songs, combine live instrumentation and programmed rhythms with as much finesse as anything from their ’80s releases. Dyson’s bass and Lloyd’s piano shine brightest on “For Real,” one of several typically melodic ballads, while Lawrence is showcased throughout “Never Let It End,” where he provides a pair of graceful lines. This is another modest, kicked-back release from the group. –AllMusic Review by Andy Kellman

1 In The Moment 5:29
2 For Real 4:46
3 Steppers “D” Lite 4:25
4 Misty-Eyed 4:35
5 TTYL (I’m Driving) 5:04
6 People Say 3:40
7 NewJazz Swing 3:40
8 Under The Inflence (Of Pieces) 4:26
9 Never Let It End 5:51
10 Coming Home 5:17
11 There Will Never Be Another You 3:57

James K. Lloyd – keyboards, piano, synthesizer
Curtis Harmon – keyboards, drum programming, percussion
Rohn Lawrence – guitar
Tony Watson Jr. – saxophone
Chris Davis – keyboards
David Dyson – bass, keyboards, drum programming
Robert “Boots” Pickard, Bennie Simms – drum programming

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Apr 12

Olga Scheps – Vocalise (2015)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/96 kHz | Time – 00:59:28 minutes | 753 MB | Genre: Classical
Studio Master, Official Digital Download – Source: Qobuz | Artwork: Digital booklet | © RCA Red Seal

ECHO Klassik-Preisträgerin Olga Scheps entfacht mit ihrer musikalischen Intensität und virtuosem Spiel immer wieder Begeisterung bei ihrem Publikum und der Presse. Ihr Debütalbum war ein sensationeller Erfolg und wurde zum Bestseller. Sie entlockt dem Flügel “eine staunenswerte Palette dynamischer Nuancen und lässt einzelne Töne bisweilen schimmern wie Perlen.” (DIE ZEIT)

Auf ihrer neuen CD “Vocalise” verleiht Olga Scheps dem Klavier eine betörende Stimme mit Transkriptionen und Arrangements vokaler Kompositionen romantischer Komponisten wie Franz Liszts “Liebestraum” & “Widmung” (nach einem Lied von Robert Schumann), Rachmaninoffs Lied ohne Worte “Vocalise” oder Franz Schuberts facettenreicher “Wanderer-Fantasie”, in der Schubert eines seiner Kunstlieder zitiert. Auch mit weiteren entdeckenswerten Stücken von Chopin, Brahms u.a. gelingt es Olga Scheps bezaubernd auf ihrem Instrument zu “singen”.

Frédéric Chopin (1810-1849)
1. Nocturne in C Minor, Op. 48, No. 1 06:59
Franz Liszt (1811-1886)
2. Myrtles, Op. 25: I. Dedication (Arr. for Piano) 04:03
Franz Schubert (1797-1828)
Wanderer-Fantasie in C Major, Op. 15, D. 760
3. I. Allegro con fuoco ma non troppo 06:03
4. II. Adagio 07:52
5. III. Presto 05:04
6. IV. Allegro 03:29
Giovanni Sgambati (1841-1914)
7. Orfeo and Euridice: Melody (Arr. for Piano) 04:31
Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
8. Intermezzo in E-Flat Major, Op. 117, No. 1 05:19
Sergej Rachmaninoff (1873-1943)
9. Vocalise, Op. 34, No. 14 07:30
Alexander Siloti (1863-1945)
10. Sonata in E-Flat Major, BWV 1031: II. Siciliano 03:47
Franz Liszt (1811-1886)
11. Liebestraum No. 3 in A-Flat Major, S. 541 04:57

Olga Scheps, piano

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