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Kim Kashkashian, Robyn Schulkowsky, Robert Levin - Dmitri Shostakovich, Linda Bouchard, Paul Chihara (1991)

Posted By: Designol
Kim Kashkashian, Robyn Schulkowsky, Robert Levin - Dmitri Shostakovich, Linda Bouchard, Paul Chihara (1991)

Dmitri Shostakovich: Viola Sonata Op. 147; Linda Bouchard; Pourtinade; Paul Chihara: Redwood (1991)
Kim Kashkashian, viola; Robyn Schulkowsky, percussion; Robert Levin, piano

EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue&Log) ~ 219 Mb | Mp3 (CBR320) ~ 159 Mb | Scans included
Label: ECM | # ECM New Series 1425, 847 538-2 | Time: 01:00:50
Classical, Chamber Music

The first two works are for viola and a battery of percussion instruments. Pourtinade, in nine sections with highly descriptive titles whose order is decided by the performers, elicits every possible sound and color effect from the viola, and an extraordinary range of blending and contrasting textural timbres from the instrumental combinations. "Redwood," inspired by Japanese woodcuts, uses the percussion as melody instruments; often it seems incredible that a single player can produce such a wealth of sounds. Opening softly and mysteriously, it becomes quite active, and then a beautiful viola solo fades away. The Shostakovich Sonata, written in the shadow of death, is heartbreakingly moving in its lamentatious mournfulness and turbulently desperate outbursts. The piano texture is pared down to skeletal spareness; the viola mourns in the dark low register and soars radiantly up high. The Scherzo is defiantly sardonic; the Finale, full of quotes from Beethoven, ends in resignation. The playing is beautiful and projects the changing moods with a riveting, inwardly experienced expressiveness.

Rosamunde Quartett - Joseph Haydn: The Seven Last Words of Jesus Christ (2001)

Posted By: Designol
Rosamunde Quartett - Joseph Haydn: The Seven Last Words of Jesus Christ (2001)

Rosamunde Quartett - Joseph Haydn: The Seven Words (2001)
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue&Log) ~ 286 Mb | Scans included | Time: 01:06:09
Classical, Chamber | Label: ECM | # ECM New Series 1756, 461 780-2

On this recording of The Seven Words, the Rosamunde String Quartet offers a compelling rendition of one of Haydn's most complex compositions. The Seven Words was originally composed for a full orchestra as a series of seven adagios, which were meant to be interludes during a congregation's meditations on the last seven words of Christ on the Cross. Haydn struggled with a way to compose seven connected pieces of music that were solemn and yet varied enough to keep the listener from getting bored. The members of the Rosamunde Quartet are technically brilliant as they demonstrate the composer's solutions to this musical puzzle. Even though the tempo is slow, they never let the music become ponderous or oppressive. But to Haydn, The Seven Words was more than just an aural conundrum. He felt the composition was perhaps his most sacred work, and the quartet plays this music with reverence for the composer's spiritual intentions. This is a profound piece of music, and the Rosamunde does it justice on each of its many levels.

John Scofield - John Scofield (2022)

Posted By: ciklon5
John Scofield - John Scofield (2022)

John Scofield - John Scofield (2022)
FLAC (tracks), Lossless | 53:48 | 148 Mb
Genre: Jazz / Label: ECM

With a career spanning over half a century, marked by influential collaborations with jazz greats like Miles Davis and Joe Henderson as well as several dozen genre-bending leader dates, it’s all the more striking that this is in fact John Scofield’s first ever guitar-solo recording. The long wait, however, pays off, as John is able to benefit from his decades of experience and charts an intimate path through the styles and idioms he has traversed up until today. He is not entirely all on his own on this endeavour though: the guitarist enters into dialogues with himself, soloing to his own tasteful chordal and rhythmic accompaniment via loop machine.

Thomas Zehetmair, Ruth Killius - Manto And Madrigals (2011)

Posted By: tirexiss
Thomas Zehetmair, Ruth Killius - Manto And Madrigals (2011)

Thomas Zehetmair, Ruth Killius - Manto And Madrigals (2011)
WEB | FLAC (tracks) - 228 MB | 49:00
Genre: Classical | Label: ECM New Series

Husband and wife team violinist Thomas Zehetmair and violist Ruth Killius have divided their performing and recording careers between standard and contemporary repertoire. On this CD they tackle a diverse selection of 20th and 21st century repertoire for their instruments. Giacinto Scelsi's 1957 Manto for viola and female voice is in the three movements. The first two, for viola alone, betray little direction or focus and are relentlessly, gratingly dissonant. The third movement with voice is intriguing in its interweaving of the contrasting timbres and is altogether engaging.

Rosamunde Quartett - Anton Webern, Dmitri Shostakovich, Emil Frantisek Burian (1997)

Posted By: Designol
Rosamunde Quartett - Anton Webern, Dmitri Shostakovich, Emil Frantisek Burian (1997)

Rosamunde Quartett - Anton Webern, Dmitri Shostakovich, Emil Frantisek Burian (1997)
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue&Log) ~ 200 Mb | Scans included | Time: 00:46:37
Classical | Label: ECM | # ECM New Series 1629, 457 067-2

String quartet fans will relish this excellent release from ECM. Although the Shostakovich 8th is one of the most over-recorded pieces in the string quartet literature, the performance here is worth having, and is combined with a somewhat familiar but not as widely recorded piece by Webern (for those who might be afraid to listen to anything by Webern, let me assure you that this is a most lovely, lyrical, hauntingly beautiful work, not at all daunting) and a quartet by a composer that will be unfamiliar to most, Emil Burian (1904-1959), whose String Quartet No. 4 is a haunting piece that makes for an attractive finish for this fine CD by the Rosamunde Quartet. The sound quality is rich and radiant in the best ECM tradition.

Kim Kashkashian, Robert Levin - Elegies (1986)

Posted By: tirexiss
Kim Kashkashian, Robert Levin - Elegies (1986)

Kim Kashkashian, Robert Levin - Elegies (1986)
EAC | FLAC (tracks+.cue, log) | Covers Included | 50:35 | 191 MB
Genre: Classical | Label: ECM New Series | Catalog: 827 744-2

This elegiac music seems very well-suited to the dark sound of the viola. Kashkashian plays it simply and very expressively, without slides or sentimentality; glowing and shimmering, her tone is pure, warm, inflected. The program has great variety. Britten's mournful Lachrymae (Reflections on a Song of John Dowland) comes to an agitated climax and ends with an old chorale. Vaughan Williams's Romance is a peaceful pastoral; Carter's Elegy is somber, gentle, and hardly dissonant; Glasunov's Elegy is very romantic. Liszt's Romance is very rhetorical–half recitation, half lamentation–but ends serenely.

Ralph Towner - Blue Sun (1983) {ECM 1250}

Posted By: tiburon
Ralph Towner - Blue Sun (1983) {ECM 1250}

Ralph Towner - Blue Sun (1983) {ECM 1250}
EAC 0.99pbb4 | FLAC Image level 6 | Cue+Log | Full Scans 300dpi | 217MB + 5% Recovery
MP3 CBR 320 Kbps | 118MB + 5% Recovery
Genre: Acoustic Fusion

If there were ever any doubts as to Ralph Towner’s consummate abilities, though one would need to travel far to encounter them, they can only have been put to rest with the release of Blue Sun. A near highpoint in Towner’s extensive discography, it might have shared the summit of 1980’s Solo Concert were it not for a few frayed threads. Towner’s compositions are already so harmonically dense in their solo form that other instruments merely externalize what is already so internally apparent to them, so that the intimate pickings of “The Prince And The Sage,” “Mevlana Etude,” and “Wedding Of The Streams” hover most clearly before our ears. At the same time, there is something skeletal about his playing that cries for flesh. Not for want of completeness, nor out of lack, but rather through the his balance and inward posture, a flower-like duplicity that embraces both blooming and wilting in the same breath.

Tord Gustavsen Trio - Opening (2022)

Posted By: ciklon5
Tord Gustavsen Trio - Opening (2022)

Tord Gustavsen Trio - Opening (2022)
FLAC (tracks), Lossless | 48:36 | 170 Mb
Genre: Jazz / Label: ECM

On the album Opening, Tord Gustavsen reveals a fresh angle to his particularly unique trio investigations into Scandinavian folk hymns, gospel, chorale and jazz, as he introduces a different voice on bass.With a new fellow-traveller on board and its recording premiere in Lugano's Auditorio Stelio Molo, the trio discovers inspired new ways to interact with each other, using innovative approaches to sound and technique in the process. Made up in equal parts of intricately textured improvisations and understated melodic hooks, the group's conversations bring an enticing unfamiliarity to the language the Norwegian pianist has developed over almost two decades of collaboration with ECM.

Heinz Holliger - Scardanelli - Zyklus (1993)

Posted By: tirexiss
Heinz Holliger - Scardanelli - Zyklus (1993)

Heinz Holliger - Scardanelli - Zyklus (1993)
WEB | FLAC (tracks) - 476 MB | 02:18:26
Genre: Classical | Label: ECM New Series

Scardanelli-Zyklus (Scardanelli Cycle) is Heinz Holliger’s crowning compositional achievement. It is so lovingly crafted that I cannot help but bask in its atmospheres anew with each listen. This was my inaugural Holliger encounter as either musician or composer and will always hold a special place in my life for that among other reasons. I first heard Scardanelli-Zyklus when I was sixteen (as many years as it took to compose), and the experience was nothing short of a revelation. To compare it to anything else would be an injustice.

Heinz Holliger - Induuchlen (2011)

Posted By: tirexiss
Heinz Holliger - Induuchlen (2011)

Heinz Holliger - Induuchlen (2011)
WEB | FLAC (tracks) - 251 MB | 01:14:58
Genre: Classical | Label: ECM New Series

‘Induuchlen’, destined surely for cult status, finds Heinz Holliger the creative composer drawing inspiration from arcane Swiss sources, setting the poetry of Anna Maria Bacher who writes in the endangered idiom of “Pummattertisch”, and verse by the late Albert Streich, who wrote in Brienz-German. As conductor Holliger draws committed performances from a cast of gifted chamber musicians and singers Sylvia Nopper and Kai Wessel. The results are intriguing, mysterious and strangely beautiful.

Till Fellner - Johann Sebastian Bach: Das Wohltemperierte Klavier, Buch 1 (2004) 2CDs

Posted By: Designol
Till Fellner - Johann Sebastian Bach: Das Wohltemperierte Klavier, Buch 1 (2004) 2CDs

Till Fellner - J.S. Bach: The Well-Tempered Clavier, Book I (2004) 2CD
EAC | FLAC | Tracks (Cue&Log) ~ 344 Mb | Scans included | Time: 01:54:54
Genre: Classical | Label: ECM | # ECM New Series 1853/54, 476 0482

Youthful Viennese pianist Till Fellner has performed J.S. Bach's Well-Tempered Clavier to critical acclaim across Europe, and has made it the backbone of his recital repertoire. For this recording of Book I, Fellner performs the 24 preludes and fugues with a rich and full sound, yet with the refinement and fastidious control required in these comprehensive studies of Baroque keyboard technique. Articulation and balanced phrasing are of paramount importance, and Fellner's energies are directed to the clean execution of lines and the careful shading of contrapuntal voicings. What emotion he communicates is subtle and somewhat constrained to the contrasting characters of each pairing – the preludes and fugues often play off each other – yet his interpretations are quite colorful and varied over the course of the set. Neither cerebral nor effusive, Fellner renders the music in an appealing middle area between schools of interpretation, and achieves imaginative results that should please both traditionalists and fans of period practice.

The Hilliard Ensemble, Dresdner Philharmonie, Dennis Russell Davies - Schnittke: Symphony No.9; Raskatov: Nunc dimittis (2009)

Posted By: Designol
The Hilliard Ensemble, Dresdner Philharmonie, Dennis Russell Davies - Schnittke: Symphony No.9; Raskatov: Nunc dimittis (2009)

Alfred Schnittke: Symphony No. 9; Alexander Raskatov: Nunc dimittis (2009)
Elena Vassilieva, mezzo-soprano, The Hilliard Ensemble
Dresdner Philharmonie, conducted by Dennis Russell Davies

EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue&Log) ~ 214 Mb | Mp3 (CBR320) ~ 146 Mb | Scans included
Classical | Label: ECM | # ECM New Series 2025, 476 6994 | Time: 00:53:05

This 2009 ECM disc containing the world premiere of Alfred Schnittke's Ninth Symphony, the composer's final work, will be mandatory listening for fans of post-modernist Russian music, or contemporary music in general. Begun after the premiere of Schnittke's Eighth Symphony in 1994 and unfinished at the composer's death in 1998, the Ninth existed only as three movements of manuscript (and indecipherable manuscript at that: a stroke had paralyzed Schnittke's right side, forcing him to write with his left hand) until composer Alexandr Raskatov deciphered the manuscript and conductor Dennis Russell Davies presented its premiere. As presented in this January 2008 recording, Schnittke's Ninth continues and extends the austere sound world of the Eighth into ever more severe zones. There's no denying this is the authentic voice of Schnittke: the etiolated textures, abrupt gestures, timeless tempos, and haunting themes have clear roots in the composer's preceding works. Davies and the excellent Dresdner Philharmonie appear acutely conscious that the Ninth was the composer's last work, but the tone of leave-taking is inherent in Schnittke's inward music.

Kim Kashkashian, Robert Levin - Johannes Brahms: Sonatas for Viola and Piano (1997) [Re-Up]

Posted By: Designol
Kim Kashkashian, Robert Levin - Johannes Brahms: Sonatas for Viola and Piano (1997) [Re-Up]

Kim Kashkashian, Robert Levin - Johannes Brahms: Sonaten für Viola und Klavier (1997)
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue&Log) ~ 199 Mb | Mp3 (CBR320) ~ 136 Mb | Scans included
Classical | Label: ECM | # ECM New Series 1630, 457 068-2 | Time: 00:44:04

These two sonatas, originally written for clarinet, marked the end of an intense period of depression for Brahms, during which his creative energies had all but faded. Kim Kashkashian, whose command of the viola unearths an even deeper realm of possibility in this already engaging diptych, faithfully captures the somber circumstances of its creation. In doing so, she shows that the viola is no less an instrument of breath, drawing from deep within her lungs the sheer vocal power required to carry across such arresting music.

Kim Kashkashian & Robert Levin - Asturiana: Songs From Spain And Argentina (2007)

Posted By: Designol
Kim Kashkashian & Robert Levin - Asturiana: Songs From Spain And Argentina (2007)

Kim Kashkashian & Robert Levin - Asturiana: Songs From Spain And Argentina (2007)
Manuel de Falla - Enrique Granados - Carlos Guastavino - Alberto Ginastera
Xavier Montsalvatge - Carlos Lopez Buchardo

EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue&Log) ~ 289 Mb | Mp3 (CBR320) ~ 187 Mb | Scans included
Genre: Classical | Label: ECM | # ECM New Series 1975, 476 6149 | Time: 01:12:04

These soulful Spanish and Argentinean songs arranged by violist Kim Kashkashian and pianist Robert Levin are well suited to their expressive and expansive playing. Most of the songs, ranging from works by Granados, de Falla, and Montsalvatge to early Ginastera, are written in a late romantic to early modern idiom, and many incorporate a strong folk element. The selections include rowdy, rhythmically charged dance-like songs, tender lullabies, and many flavors of love songs, from the exultant to the despairing. In addition to the better-known composers, Argentineans Carlos Guastavino and Carlos López-Buchardo make extraordinarily fine contributions. The choices of repertoire are excellent; each one of these songs is a jewel, and the ordering of the selections artful, including the surprisingly effective repetition of two songs at different points in the program. The transcriptions are inventive and imaginative, with the vocal lines idiomatically adapted for the viola's expressive capabilities.

Kim Kashkashian & Robert Levin - Paul Hindemith: Sonatas for Viola/Piano & Viola Alone (1988) 2CDs

Posted By: Designol
Kim Kashkashian & Robert Levin - Paul Hindemith: Sonatas for Viola/Piano & Viola Alone (1988) 2CDs

Kim Kashkashian & Robert Levin - Paul Hindemith: Sonatas for Viola/Piano & Viola Alone (1988)
EAC | FLAC | Tracks (Cue&Log) ~ 537 Mb | Scans included | Time: 02:07:46
Classical, Chamber Music | Label: ECM | # ECM 1330-32, 833 311-2

The viola was Hindemith's instrument (though he could play almost any), and he wrote some of his most expressive chamber music for it. This two-disc set includes all four of Hindemith's sonatas for solo violin and the three for viola and piano. I prefer the wildness of Hindemith's earlier music to the sometimes arid calm of his later music, so listeners like myself who like Hindemith can have a feast here as most of these are early works. They are played with energy and passion by an outstanding violist and a fine pianist.