Hi-Res Downloads

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C. Breunig (Music); P. Miller (Lab)  |  Jan 01, 2015
192kHz/24-bit FLAC, Chandos CHSA5145 (supplied by www. theclassicalshop. net) This appears to be the first Chandos orchestral recording from The Classical Shop at 192kHz/24-bit resolution – like the SACD, it has no extra work so is low-priced. It was produced live in mid-2013 by Soundmirror Inc at Toronto’s Roy Thomson Hall: the first of three Chandos projects with the orchestra.
J. Bamford (Music); P. Miller (Lab)  |  Jan 01, 2015
Italian pianist Stefano Bollani has covered many musical styles since becoming a professional player at the tender age of 15, his jazz collaborations with trumpeter Enrico Rava gaining him international recognition. Recorded in NY’s Avatar Studios last year, but only recently released, Joy In Spite Of Everything sees Bollani alongside drummer Morten Lund and bass player Jesper Bodilsen (both from Bollani’s working trio) joined by Mark Turner and jazz guitar maestro Bill Frisell. From the laid-back calypso style of the opener ‘Easy Healing’, with a tremendous contribution from Turner’s tenor sax, this modern jazz quintet sparkles with musical inventiveness and tremendous playing throughout the album. A bit more ‘air’ to the sound would have been welcome, nevertheless the tonality and textures of the band’s instruments are colourfully depicted.
C. Breunig (Music); P. Miller (Lab)  |  Jan 01, 2015
192kHz/24-bit ALAC/FLAC, Linn Records CKD475 (supplied by www. linnrecords. com) Chopin collectors will (should) have the Preludes with Friedrich Gulda [Audite/DG, 1950s] or his one-time pupil Martha Argerich [DG, 1975]. Add fellow-Argentinian Ingrid Fliter to the list! Unsurprisingly, her Chopin readings have become more interesting since her 2008/09 EMI debut CDs with the Waltzes, etc.
J. Bamford (Music); P. Miller (Lab)  |  Jan 01, 2015
Classically trained Swedish pianist Jan Lundgren has made some 40 albums under his own name since graduating from Malmö’s Academy of Music in 1991. Flowers Of Sendai was recorded late last year in Italy, for the French BeeJazz label, since when Lundgren has further released a collection of standards from the great American songbook entitled All By Myself for Barcelona-based Fresh Sound Records. Here Lundgren is accompanied once again by bassist Mattias Svensson and highly accomplished Hungarian drummer Zoltán Csörsz Jr (who famously filled the seat of Jaime Salazar in Swedish prog-rock outfit The Flower Kings and has taken over from drummer Morten Lund in Lundgren’s Trio). Audiophiles will be impressed by the recording quality that puts the trio in a natural acoustic with the instruments clearly delineated in ‘open’ space.
J. Bamford (Music); P. Miller (Lab)  |  Jan 01, 2015
Eric Clapton is joined by an all-star cast – including Tom Petty, Mark Knopfler, bass supremo Nathan East and many others – in this tribute album honouring singer-songwriter JJ Cale. It was Cale, of course, who penned two of EC’s greatest solo hits: ‘After Midnight’ and ‘Cocaine’; and this collection of songs is named after ‘Call Me The Breeze’ which was the opening track on Cale’s 1972 debut album Naturally – it opens this set too. Sound quality varies from uninspiring (‘Rock And Roll Records’ and ‘Train To Nowhere’) to slightly better than average (‘Someday’ and ‘Songbird’). Highlights are John Mayer’s vocal performance in ‘Magnolia’ and Don White’s charming rendition of ‘Sensitive Kind’.
J. Bamford (Music); P. Miller (Lab)  |  Dec 01, 2014
Often recording as ‘The Larry Goldings Trio’ this longstanding collective of American jazz virtuosi Larry Goldings (keyboards), Peter Bernstein (guitar) and Bill Stewart (drums) cover all manner of musical moods in their latest collaboration Ramshackle Serenade, from the rubato rumination of the album’s title track to the Brazilian-flavoured ‘Luiza’, interspersed with a smattering of blues, swing and soulful grooving to keep listeners enthralled throughout. The seductively rich textures and colourful tones of Goldings’ Hammond B3 organ (so reminiscent of the sounds favoured by Focus’s frontman Thijs Van Leer) have been captured exquisitely by this impressively dynamic recording released on the German label. The musicians really do sound like they’re playing together in a believable space, spread across a wide soundstage. Great stuff! JB Sound Quality: 85% Hi-Fi News Lab Report Much of the ultrasonic energy arising from this digital recording is associated with the gentle percussion [as in track 8,above] but could also be a product of distortion from downstream limiters.
J. Bamford (Music); P. Miller (Lab)  |  Dec 01, 2014
American songstress Natalie Merchant has been an audiophile favourite ever since she departed the lead vocalist’s role from 10,000 Maniacs two decades ago. Her solo debut Tigerlilly was among the initial batch of albums selected by Warner to mark the introduction of the DVD-Audio format, while 1999’s Live In Concert featuring covers of ‘After The Gold Rush’ and ‘Space Oddity’ is a timeless hi-fi demonstration recording. She’s hardly prolific. This eponymously-titled release is only her sixth studio album – and having married, divorced, and raised a daughter it sees her songwriting reaching a high level of maturity as she touches on many personal issues.
C. Breunig (Music); P. Miller (Lab)  |  Dec 01, 2014
96kHz/24-bit FLAC, BIS-1939 (supplied by www. eclassical. com) Oramo’s Swedish orchestra plays Elgar with real warmth and commitment, especially the brass – glorious in the finale and at the end of the overture Cockaigne (where accurately dry bass-drum sounds are underpinned by organ – an option not always heard in recordings). There’s some characterful phrasing here by the principal clarinettist, presumably Hermann Stefánsson [see Hi-Res DownloadsHFN Aug ’14].
J. Bamford (Music); P. Miller (Lab)  |  Dec 01, 2014
On And On (2013) was the second album from Hawaiian-born surfer Jack Johnson recorded in his own Mango Tree studios, since when he has released four further studio albums and three live recordings, as well as writing the songs for the 2006 animated movie Curious George, in between his extensive charitable activities which include education in schools about nature conservation, etc. It features his song ‘Gone’ which was covered by Black Eyed Peas (as ‘Gone Going’) on the band’s album Monkey Business where Johnson sang the chorus. The recording is up-front and intimate, Johnson’s voice and intricate acoustic guitar closely mic’d, while fellow players Merlo Podlewski (bass) and Adam Topol (drums) appear well balanced throughout these soulful and often spirit-lifting ballads. But is it worth having in a 96kHz/24-bit container? Probably not.
C. Breunig (Music); P. Miller (Lab)  |  Dec 01, 2014
It would be hard not to succumb to the very real charms of this programme of polkas, waltzes, etc, by the three sons of Johann Strauss – replete with effects like insects’ wings buzzing (string tremolandos in ‘The Bee’), cuckoo and other birds (‘Im Krapfenwaldl’), or the comic anvil blows of ‘Feuerfest’. Currently with an extended contract with the Pittsburgh Orchestra, the Austrian conductor Manfred Honeck – he first graduated from playing zither to viola – has made a special study of the genre. The playing is carefully balanced, the VSO set well back in the lively acoustic of the Salzburg Grosses Festspielhaus. But there’s a certain ‘flatness’ when you compare the champagne sparkle and variety to be found with Boskovsky’s mid-’60s Decca versions with the city’s premiere league Strauss orchestra, the Vienna Philharmonic, still sounding amazingly vivid as CDs.
C. Breunig (Music); P. Miller (Lab)  |  Oct 01, 2014
Campbell (26) fell in love with the sound of the piano as a child. Rather than training formally he decided to shut himself away with an instrument, playing and writing his own music. The 12 tracks selected for recording – some dating back to his teens – have titles, ‘Light on the River’, etc, which he says are not meant to be taken literally. But he sees Sketches as an integral work.
J. Bamford (Music); P. Miller (Lab)  |  Oct 01, 2014
This debut album outing from California’s This Wild Life sees the duo Kevin Jordan and Anthony Del Grosso recording with Aaron Marsh of Florida-based indie rock band Copeland, performing a collection of heartfelt and melodic ‘acoustic punk-rock’ songs described as a melding of punk and folk. Indeed the band describes itself as being able to successfully perform softer music while touring with heavier bands that play the sort of hardcore punk and metal they spent the formative years exploring. The sound quality throughout is slightly hard-edged and in-your-face, the production ‘crowded’ and subjectively forward. Lacking air and space between instruments and voices, it soon becomes fatiguing.
C. Breunig (Music); P. Miller (Lab)  |  Oct 01, 2014
192kHz/24-bit FLAC/ALAC*, Linn Records CKD 540 (supplied by www. linnrecords. com) Linn has worked with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra for a decade and marks its 40th anniversary with a new Usher Hall recording of Wagner'sSiegfried idyll and two reissues (Sibelius' The Tempest and Mozart's Symphony 41 'Jupiter'), upsampled from 88. 2kHz/24-bit (Mozart: producer James Mallinson) and 96kHz/24-bit (Sibelius: Andrew Keener) masters.
J. Bamford (Music); P. Miller (Lab)  |  Oct 01, 2014
Previously featured in our jazz reviews [here], Last Dance is now available as a 96kHz/24-bit download as well as CD. To recap, back in 2007 pianist Keith Jarret invited bassist Charlie Haden to his Cavelight Studio where they spent four days recording. They’d met up during the making of a film about Haden and these intimate sessions were their first collaborations for 30 years. The result was the 2010 album Jasmine, the ECM label issuing a further collection of tracks for this year’s Last Dance which features the duo’s delightful interpretations of standards such as Monk’s ‘’Round Midnight’ and Cole Porter’s ballad ‘Every Time We Say Goodbye’.
C. Breunig (Music); P. Miller (Lab)  |  Oct 01, 2014
The 2CD set was released in February '14 while Kremer and his strings group were touring the States with music by Weinberg in their programmes. (ECM made the recordings at Lockenhaus and Neuhardenberg in Nov '12/Dec '13, the Sonatina for violin/piano at lower resolution, as noted on HRA’s web page. ) Music by the Polish composer – who went to Moscow but did not prosper – was admired by Shostakovich, and Kremer sees an affinity, especially in the 1968 symphony here, commissioned by Rudolf Barshai. This is a tough work, with brief respite found in (iii), Canzona.

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