The Charlie Byrd Trio – The Bossa Nova Years (1991) [Reissue 2003] {2.0 & 5.1} PS3 ISO + FLAC

The Charlie Byrd Trio – The Bossa Nova Years (1991) [Reissue 2003] {2.0 & 5.1}
PS3 Rip | SACD ISO | DST64 2.0 & 5.1 > 1-bit/2.8224 MHz | 54:19 minutes | Scans included | 3,04 GB
or FLAC 2.0 Stereo (converted with foobar2000 to tracks) 24bit/88,2 kHz | Scans included | 1,03 GB

Guitarist Charlie Byrd revisits a variety of bossa nova songs, including nine by Antonio Carlos Jobim on this pleasing and accessible set. What makes this CD stand out from his many similar dates is that Ken Peplowski’s clarinet and tenor are well featured, adding variety to the music and a lead voice for Byrd to play off of. Otherwise the music is predictably excellent, with such classics as “One Note Samba,” “Corcovado,” “Dindi,” “O Pato,” and “The Girl from Ipanema” receiving very favorable treatment. (more…)

Johannes Brahms – Artur Rubinstein / CSO, Fritz Reiner – Piano concerto No. 1 (2005, 1955) {PS3 ISO + FLAC}

Johannes Brahms – Piano concerto No. 1
Artur Rubinstein, piano / Chicago Symphony Orchestra / Fritz Reiner
SACD ISO (2.0): 765 MB | 24B/88,2kHz Stereo FLAC: 840 MB | Artwork | 5% Recovery Info
Label/Cat#: RCA Red Seal “Living Stereo” # 82876-66378-2 RE1 | Country/Year: US 2005, 1955
Genre: Classical | Style: Romantic

Amazon reviews:
I cannot praise this recording highly enough.
Brahm’s First Piano Concerto is my favorite piece of music, period, & I have dozens upon dozens of recordings. This is the best.
The Soundmirror team who re-mastered this recording for SACD have performed nothing short of a sonic miracle. It’s the equivalent of a musical time machine…the recording sounding as fresh & alive as the day it was recorded. This is the closest that I have ever come to putting on a recording & then being transported to a live concert & this concert features 2 of the great geniuses of 20th Century musical performance, Rubinstein & Fritz Reiner. For a recording over 50 years old, the quality of performance & execution is just astonishing.
Rubinstein is known as a Chopin interpretor, but I think he’s even better with Brahms, closer to the composer’s inspiration & spirit. Reiner seems to relish this music. The rapport between both artists (captured here) serves Brahms as no other recording has quite managed to do. I was floored when I came across this. I can’t recommend it highly enough.
This is the best deal in music. The Living Stereo SACD series comprises the best that music has to offer.
~ by C. Wynn

The Brahms D minor Concerto is a difficult work to pull off successfully: the piano part is ungrateful, & often drowned out by an overorchestrated accompaniment. Also, many pianists–most notably Glenn Gould–tend to drag the tempos beyond all reason. Rubinstein, who was 10 years old when Brahms died, would never have considered such a nonsensical approach. The Concerto was written early in Brahms career, & was the work of a passionate young man. In essence, Brahms without the beard.
This is the 1st stereo recording, taped in 1954, to be made of this Concerto. (The stereo version, however, was not released until 1977). It says something for the original producer, RCA’s legendary Jack Pfeiffer, that with SACD remastering the sound holds up very well. The performance is excellent also, with superb accompaniment from Reiner, the very antithesis of the dragged out, boring approach that has recently tested concert audiences’ endurance. Although over a half century old, this is still one of the very few “essential” recordings for any Brahms collection, along with the Fleischer/Szell & Serkin/Szell performances.
It would have been nice if RCA included some of the solo Brahms pieces Rubinstein recorded in 1959 (they were also part of the Living Stereo series), as this disc is not well filled. But for those who prefer quality over quantity, this disc is a must.
~ by Hank Drake VINE™ VOICE

Allmusic review:
Artur Rubinstein’s elegant 1954 recording of Brahms’ Piano Concerto No. 1 in D minor with Fritz Reiner & the Chicago Symphony Orchestra is a bona fide classic from the earliest days of stereo; this sumptuous album has been available for decades & has earned a permanent place in RCA’s catalog. It reappears here in the SACD format & sounds cleaner & more detailed than ever before; yet the advanced technology only goes so far & this disc may disappoint audiophiles. Because RCA has carefully preserved its Living Stereo master tapes, it is relatively easy to reproduce them through DSD & render a terrific ADD version. However, the original 2-channel tracks have not been altered for multichannel systems, so the sound comes only from the front channels on the left & right. In essence, this is glorified stereo with remarkable presence — one feels quite close to Rubinstein, & the CSO seems only feet away — but there is no additional surround sound depth. For the sake of authenticity, this is just as well, & Rubinstein & Reiner at least are not misrepresented through creative engineering. One may regret, however, that this SACD has no bonus tracks & find that it offers less value than other titles in the line.


Antonín Dvořák – RCO / Mariss Jansons – Symphony No.9 Op.95 "From The New World" [Hybrid-SACD] {ISO + FLAC}

Antonín Dvořák – Symphony No.9 Op.95 “From The New World”
Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra / Mariss Jansons
SACD ISO: 2,55 GB (Stereo + MCH DSD) | FLAC @ 24bit/88.2kHz: 707 MB | Full Artwork | 3% Rec. Info
Label/Cat#: RCO Live # RCO 04002 | Country/Year: Netherlands 2004
Genre: Classical | Style: Romantic

Superb orchestra playing, hear these woodwinds. Conductor and orchestra seems to be very happy with each other. There are a lot of “New World” recordings but Jansons is surely competitive with the great ones with Fischer, Kondrasjin, Harnoncourt en Kubelik. This CD is a jewel both in the freshness of the playing and in the clearness of the recording. My favorite! (more…)

Arthur Fiedler & Boston Pops – Hi-Fi Fiedler (2005, 1956-1960) [Hybrid-SACD] {ISO + FLAC}

Arthur Fiedler & Boston Pops – Hi-Fi Fiedler
Works by Rimsky-Korsakov, Chabrier, Rossini & Tchaikovsky
SACD ISO: 3,08 GB (Stereo + MCH DSD) | FLAC @ 24bit/88.2kHz: 1,35 GB | Full Artwork | 5% Rec. Info
Label/Cat#: RCA Red Seal “Living Stereo” # 82876-67895-2 | Country/Year: Europe 2005, 1956-1960
Genre: Classical | Style: Romantic

RCA Victor began recording in multichannel five years before the introduction of the first single-groove stereo LPs in 1958. They began using two-channel 1/4-inch Ampex decks but soon moved up to three-channel 1/2-inch models as the Mercury Living Presence label had been doing from the start. The idea was to provide the mixing engineers with more flexibility in preparing the final master for production. The center channel signal could be raised slightly in level to bring a solo violin or piano more forward, and/or its signal could be mixed in varying amounts into the left and right channels to achieve a more uniform and balanced stereo soundstage. But also at this time things weren’t completely jelled as to stereo being limited to only two channels. Alan Blumlein had never stated in his original patent that only two channels were required. It was just as easy to make tape heads with three channels as two. But the single-groove stereodisc locked the format into two channels – it was quite impossible to get three channels with the 45/45 system of cutting and playback.

R. D. Darrell’s notes for the 1958 stereo LP release state that the three selections (the SACd has room for six) were specifically designed for demonstrate the newest heights yet attainable in the never-ending but ever-closer approach to perfect sonic replicas of the original “live” symphonic performances. The first is the nearly half-hour suite from Rimsky-Korsakov’s opera Le Coq d’or. This composer would easily be the hi-fi choice among 19th-century composers for his kaleidoscopic orchestral colors and drama – a perfect choice for the album. The other two selections of the original LP are the pair of chestnuts Rossini’s William Tell Overture and Tchaikovsky’s Marche slave. They are also both full of coloristic elements that make the fullest use of the modern symphony orchestra. Similar material recorded for a second LP later fills out the SACD. (The actual dates for this collection were 1956, 1958 and 1960.) Chabrier’s sparkling España is another natural for hi-fi demo purposes, with its brilliant dance impressions and striking of tambourine. The disc closes out with two very familiar Liszt selections: the Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2 and the Rakoczy March.

Fiedler conducted the Boston Pops for 50 years and became the best-selling conductor in history. His 78rpm disc of the tango Jalousie had been one of the top-selling classical records in history – one million copies. He had a lifelong goal of bringing light classical music to the millions. Perhaps he was celebrated more than was his due, but Fiedler did have a way to bringing life and excitement to just about everything he chose to conduct – and he had a catholic and voracious taste for new works. Never before has the general public had the opportunity to hear these examples of his work as the RCA engineers heard them in the control room – from the original three channel tape playback. The soundstage is deepened and widened. Even a mint vinyl copy of the original pressing on a quality turntable doesn’t equal the impact of this three-channel hi-res digital disc, and it’s only around $10.

– John Sunier audiophile audition


Anton Bruckner – Mass in E Minor / Motets (2008) [Hybrid-SACD] {ISO + FLAC}

Anton Bruckner – Mass in E Minor / Motets
SWR Vokalensemble Stuttgart / Mitglieder des Radio-Sinfonieorchesters Stuttgart des SWR / Marcus Creed
SACD ISO: 3,64 GB (Stereo + MCH DSD) | FLAC @ 24bit/88.2kHz: 1,04 GB | Full Artwork | 5% Rec. Info
Label/Cat#: hänssler CLASSIC # SACD 93.199 | Country/Year: Germany 2008
Genre: Classical | Style: Sacred, Vocal, Romantic

Review by James Leonard
Can there ever be too many recordings of Bruckner’s sacred music? For fans of the Austrian romantic mystic, the answer is no. After all, how could there be too many recordings of some of the most honest, most devotional, and most inspired spiritual music of the second half of the nineteenth century? And for them, this disc with Marcus Creed leading the SWR Stuttgart Vokalensemble in a selection of seven motets plus the E minor Mass will be a blessing. As listeners who have followed Creed’s career know, he is a skillful choral conductor able to draw musically balanced but emotionally affecting performances from his singers, and this Bruckner recording proves no less impressive than his classic Brahms recordings. In the a cappella motets, Creed sculpts the Stuttgart choir’s performances into warm-hearted hymns to God while in the wind band accompanied mass he creates a flowing five-movement monument to his Catholic faith. Older listeners may miss the spiritual passion that the great Eugen Jochum brought to these works in his classic Deutsche Grammophon recordings, but younger listeners will surely welcome not only Creed’s smoother performances, but Hänssler’s amazingly clean, digital sound. allmusicguide

All of Bruckner’s music seems to lead to God, the inspirer, the protector of dark hours, to whom the master of Saint Florian dedicated his last unfinished symphony. Symphonic music that is purely romantic and powerful, rooted in its era, it paradoxically does not seem to echo his sacred music, which is of another time and age, embracing numerous formal currents all at once. Ernst Kurth, Bruckner’s biographer, writes: “In Bruckner one notes this basic feeling which put its stamp on the old French mass, as well as on the Dutch mass, on the reform of church music undertaken by Palestrina, on the Roman and Venetian School, on all the transformations sustained by Italian and German church music with instrumental accompaniment since the Renaissance and the Austrian baroque era until the classical; and it is this feeling which allowed him to compare himself, insofar as form, to classic models all the while reconciling the religious spirit of the long past to the romantic spirit. Bruckner’s real historic place, this desire which, starting from medieval mysticism, elevated him to the summits of romantic susceptibility, is nowhere better found than in his church music… .” The present recording proposes his Mass N°2 in E minor in its 1882 revised form, as well as the Motets. Marcus Creed, who has also recorded extraordinary versions of Brahms’ choral works, once again delights us. The perfect tonal balance the Vokalensemble of Stuttgart radiates is a marvel at every moment. Bruckner’s sacred music thereby seems eternal. Here is a Super Audio CD of rare musical pertinence: a summit.
Jean-Jacques Millo, Translation Lawrence Schulman