Monteverdi Choir, English Baroque Soloists, John Eliot Gardiner - Haydn: Heiligmesse, Paukenmesse (2003)

Posted By: tirexiss
Monteverdi Choir, English Baroque Soloists, John Eliot Gardiner - Haydn: Heiligmesse, Paukenmesse (2003)

Monteverdi Choir, English Baroque Soloists, John Eliot Gardiner - Haydn: Heiligmesse, Paukenmesse (Missa in tempore belli) (2003)
WEB | FLAC (tracks) - 392 MB | 01:18:39
Genre: Classical | Label: Decca

This is the final volume in John Eliot Gardiner's series of the six late Haydn masses and it brings this excellent set of interpretations to a fine conclusion. Gardiner's 'Heiligmesse' is full of momentum and has fine thrust all round with an excellent team of soloists who are all quite low key but who perform quite well. I greatly enjoyed the opening 'Kyrie' and would say that it comes close to toppling Hickox who is equally excellent on Chandos.

Roberto Alagna - Sacred Songs (1996)

Posted By: tirexiss
Roberto Alagna - Sacred Songs (1996)

Roberto Alagna - Sacred Songs (1996)
WEB | FLAC (tracks) - 304 MB | 01:06:53
Genre: Classical | Label: Deutsche Grammophon

Discs of this type featuring star soloists, more often than not a tenor, are not in short supply. This one, recorded a decade ago as a vehicle for Roberto Alagna and first issued by EMI, scores over many alternatives because of two factors: the programming and the quality of execution. Any programme focusing on French chants sacrés of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries is almost bound to include Gounod’s often performed Ave Maria, written after Bach’s famous prelude in the ‘Well-tempered clavier’. To place it at the beginning – as here – is apt and allows the musical content to diversify from that point. Gounod’s representation is extended with three further contributions that pay testament to the importance not only of his compositional voice but also his deeply felt beliefs, which he sought to convey through his music.

Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin - J.S. Bach: Brandenburg Concerto No. 5, Concerto for 2 Keyboards, Overture (2005)

Posted By: tirexiss
Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin - J.S. Bach: Brandenburg Concerto No. 5, Concerto for 2 Keyboards, Overture (2005)

Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin - J.S. Bach: Brandenburg Concerto No. 5, Concerto for 2 Keyboards, Bwv 1061, Overture (Suite) No. 2 (2005)
WEB | FLAC (tracks) - 338 MB | 56:59
Genre: Classical | Label: Capriccio

Many fine recordings over the years have taught me that they know Bach in Leipzig, so I expected a lot from this recording, and wasn’t disappointed. These are possibly the best, or at least equal to the best, performances of these frequently performed works I’ve ever heard. They are very fast, but there is no sense of the music being rushed; it simply erupts at this tempo as if it couldn’t help itself, as if this were the only way it could possibly be played. Having just finished reading and reviewing a book on the origins of our ideas of original performance practice, this recording is a perfect example of what it was all about, Bach’s music pretty much the way he played it and heard it himself.

Susan Graham - The Art of Susan Graham (2010)

Posted By: tirexiss
Susan Graham - The Art of Susan Graham (2010)

Susan Graham - The Art of Susan Graham (2010)
WEB | FLAC (tracks) - 1.6 Gb | 06:27:00
Genre: Classical | Label: Warner Classics

This six-CD set is sure to be of interest to fans of Susan Graham, the phenomenally successful American mezzo-soprano. The recordings, with the exception of just a few tracks from the 1990s, were made between 2000 and 2005, and they reveal Graham in her prime. Five of the discs had previously been released, but one is made up of selections from a variety of sources, including complete opera recordings. The set demonstrates Graham's versatility, both stylistically in the many types of music she sings and in the emotional spectrum that the songs and arias encompass. .

Vesselina Kasarova - Best of Vesselina Kasarova (2012)

Posted By: tirexiss
Vesselina Kasarova - Best of Vesselina Kasarova (2012)

esselina Kasarova - Best of Vesselina Kasarova (2012)
WEB | FLAC (tracks) - 298 MB | 01:03:00
Genre: Classical | Label: RCA Red Seal

An exceptionally talented mezzo-soprano who stood out even in an era with no shortage of them, Vesselina Kasarova emerged as a popular favorite in the late 1990s, both as a recitalist and as an operatic specialist in the bel canto works of Mozart, Rossini, Bellini, and Donizetti. Born in the medium-sized city of Stara Zagora in Bulgaria's center, Kasarova attended music school there, majoring in piano rather than voice. She dreamed of a vocal career, however, and auditioned at the national Academy of Sofia. She was accepted and blossomed rapidly as a singer, joining the company of the National Opera of Sofia even before her graduation in 1989.

Olga Borodina - None But The Lonely Heart: Tchaikovsky Romances (1994)

Posted By: tirexiss
Olga Borodina - None But The Lonely Heart: Tchaikovsky Romances (1994)

Olga Borodina - None But The Lonely Heart: Tchaikovsky Romances (1994)
WEB | FLAC (tracks) - 207 MB | 59:45
Genre: Classical | Label: Philips

This is an excellent disc from one of the best mezzosopranos working during the last couple of decades. It does also, I suppose, present a nice survey of Tchaikovsky’s songs (of which there is quite a number, few of which are well-known) and includes at least the two most famous ones, “None but the lonely heart” and “Once Again, Alone” – and the selection consists of songs from both early in his career (the 1869 set including “None but the lonely heart”) and late ones. However, I would warn against listening through this disc in one go – these songs are pretty much all rather dark and sad and slow, focusing on loneliness, regret, sorrow and longing. Taken a few at a time, on the other hand, virtually every single one comes across as a marvelous gem.

Kristīne Opolais - Puccini Suor Angelica (2012)

Posted By: tirexiss
Kristīne Opolais - Puccini Suor Angelica (2012)

Kristīne Opolais - Puccini Suor Angelica (2012)
WEB | FLAC (tracks) - 242 MB | 58:56
Genre: Classical | Label: Orfeo

Puccini’s 'Suor Angelica' used to be seen as one of the composer’s ‘problem children’. As the central work of 'Il Trittico', it is sandwiched between two dramatically more effective pieces: a tale of life in a convent and of the suicide of a mother robbed of her child, it simply could not hold its own against its sister works at their world première in New York. Various cuts sanctioned by Puccini testify to his concessions to the conventions of the opera business. Uncut, 'Suor Angelica' lasts just about an hour, and one often hears it in the concert hall today.

Regula Mühlemann, Okka von Der Damerau, Wolfgang Schwaiger, Tareq Nazmi, Adrian Baianu - Lieder im Volkston (2017)

Posted By: tirexiss
Regula Mühlemann, Okka von Der Damerau, Wolfgang Schwaiger, Tareq Nazmi, Adrian Baianu - Lieder im Volkston (2017)

Regula Mühlemann, Okka von Der Damerau, Wolfgang Schwaiger, Tareq Nazmi, Adrian Baianu - Lieder im Volkston (2017)
WEB | FLAC (tracks) - 283 MB | 01:06:16
Genre: Classical | Label: Oehms Classics

The Berlin weekly journal Die Woche, issued from 1899 to 1944 by the publisher August Scherl, announced a composition competition in 1903 with the aim of encouraging new songs 'im Volkston' (in the style of folk music). Prominent composers of the time were approached by the publishers for this competition and asked to send in an appropriate song. Of the songs submitted, thirty were selected and published in a special issue that was available in shops. At the first performance of the songs of this first competition, however, it became clear that many of these songs were indeed in a folk-music style, but due to their complexity they were rather closer to the genre of the art song.

Nils Mönkemeyer - Weichet nur, betrübte Schatten (2009)

Posted By: tirexiss
Nils Mönkemeyer - Weichet nur, betrübte Schatten (2009)

Nils Mönkemeyer - Weichet nur, betrübte Schatten (2009)
WEB | FLAC (tracks) - 352 MB | 01:06:09
Genre: Classical | Label: Sony Classical

Nils Mönkemeyer hat die Latte ganz schön hoch gehängt: Den Vergleich mit Johann Sebastian Bach, der seine Orchesterwerke gerne vom Pult der Bratsche leitete, sucht er gerade. Und da strahlende, konzertante Literatur für sein Instrument nicht gerade reich gesät ist (die Viola hat eben keinen Max Bruch, der ihr mal eben ein Solokonzert auf den Leib schreibt), arrangiert der in Dresden lehrende Mönkemeyer halt Bachs Kantatensätze für die Viola gleich selber.

Antonio Pappano - Wagner: Tristan Und Isolde (Highlights) (2011)

Posted By: tirexiss
Antonio Pappano - Wagner: Tristan Und Isolde (Highlights) (2011)

Antonio Pappano - Wagner: Tristan Und Isolde (Highlights) (2011)
WEB | FLAC (tracks) - 301 MB | 01:10:29
Genre: Classical | Label: EMI Classics

Although this is a re-issue, and not a re-mastering, everyone with any interest in Wagner, and Tristan and Isolde, simply must have this wonderful set. To be fair, it's really all about Linda Esther Gray, and the outstanding WNO under Goodall. The WNO are brilliant here, and sympathetically recorded by the Decca engineers. You'll hear subtleties in the playing that are lost in other versions, and you can forget about Goodall's supposed ultra-slow tempi, for here he's surely perfect. (The Prelude is actually over a minute faster than Karajan.) But it's Goodall's handling of key moments that is so seductive - and thrilling.

Antonio Pappano - Mahler: Symphony No. 6 (2011)

Posted By: tirexiss
Antonio Pappano - Mahler: Symphony No. 6 (2011)

Antonio Pappano - Mahler: Symphony No. 6 (2011)
WEB | FLAC (tracks) - 436 MB | 01:24:32
Genre: Classical | Label: Warner Classics

Antonio Pappano and the Orchestra dell'Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia performed Gustav Mahler's Symphony No. 6 in A minor, "Tragic," in concerts to mark the 100th anniversary of the composer's death, and this 2011 EMI Classics release captures the excitement and amazing precision of the playing. While this might seem like a fairly leisurely run through the symphony, with a timing of just over 1 hour 24 minutes and requiring two discs to hold it, Pappano keeps the energy and interest levels elevated throughout, and despite taking tempos that would be momentum-killers in less skillful hands, he gives the music urgency when it most needs it.

Antonio Pappano - Dvorak: Symphony No.9 & Cello Concerto (2012)

Posted By: tirexiss
Antonio Pappano - Dvorak: Symphony No.9 & Cello Concerto (2012)

Antonio Pappano - Dvorak: Symphony No.9 & Cello Concerto (2012)
WEB | FLAC (tracks) - 395 MB | 01:26:39
Genre: Classical | Label: Warner Classics

This live double CD of Antonin Dvorák's Symphony No. 9, "From the New World" and the Cello Concerto may put listeners in two minds. On one hand, it's hard to fault Antonio Pappano and the Orchestra dell'Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia for the refreshing interpretations and precise musical execution in both performances, and cellist Mario Brunello is exceptionally dramatic and vivid in his solo turn at the concerto. On the other, a veritable plague of sound defects seems to have descended on these recordings, largely from the close microphone placement that picks up every random noise from the musicians, as well as the general rustling one expects of a concert audience.

Rolando Villazón, Sophie Koch, Antonio Pappano - Massenet: Werther (2012)

Posted By: tirexiss
Rolando Villazón, Sophie Koch, Antonio Pappano - Massenet: Werther (2012)

Rolando Villazón, Sophie Koch, Antonio Pappano - Massenet: Werther (2012)
WEB | FLAC (tracks) - 621 MB | 02:11:51
Genre: Classical | Label: Deutsche Grammophon

Werther is one of Rolando Villazón's signature roles and it's easy to see why; he brings both intensity and vulnerable sensitivity to the part of the anguished poet, and he's a terrifically nuanced singing actor. All of the elements of the live 2011 performance from the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, in fact, are so strong that this recording easily takes a place among the most effective and affecting accounts of the opera. Antonio Pappano, music director of the Royal Opera House, draws impassioned playing and sumptuous, sensual tone from the orchestra. The group responds beautifully to Pappano's subtly inflected and dramatically charged vision of the score.

Thomas Quasthoff - A Romantic Songbook (2004)

Posted By: tirexiss
Thomas Quasthoff - A Romantic Songbook (2004)

Thomas Quasthoff - A Romantic Songbook (2004)
WEB | FLAC (tracks) - 339 MB | 01:19:42
Genre: Classical | Label: Deutsche Grammophon

With A Romantic Songbook, Thomas Quasthoff attempts to re-create the spirit of a live recital in a studio recording. It certainly looks like a recital program: an assortment of lieder composers, each represented by a handful of favorite songs, with a few unfamiliar numbers thrown in to keep things interesting. There's even an encore – the traditional "Danny Boy." With the exception of Schumann's Belsatzar, the bass-baritone hasn't recorded any of these songs before, and, in fact, this is his first recording to include any songs by Mendelssohn, Carl Loewe, or Richard Strauss. This stylistic variety gives the album a breezy, cheerful disposition that matches Quasthoff's personality.

Thomas Quasthoff - Haydn: Italian Arias (2008)

Posted By: tirexiss
Thomas Quasthoff - Haydn: Italian Arias (2008)

Thomas Quasthoff - Haydn: Italian Arias (2008)
WEB | FLAC (tracks) - 306 MB | 01:02:32
Genre: Classical | Label: Deutsche Grammophon

Thomas Quasthoff’s great artistry needs no introduction. Here he follows up his much-raised Bach Cantatas recording with another project perfectly suited to his dark-hued, flexible voice. In anticipation of the forthcoming Haydn year – the 200th anniversary of the composer’s death falls in May 2009 – Quasthoff turns his attention to the Viennese master’s considerable operatic output, with an album of arias drawn from both Haydn’s comic and serious operas.