Category Archives: Hi-Res

Passenger – Whispers [Deluxe Edition] (2014) 24bit FLAC

Passenger – Whispers [Deluxe Edition] (2014) 24bit FLAC
Year Of Release: 2014
Genre: Indie Folk, Alternative
Format: FLAC, tracks
Bitrate: lossless
Total Size: 722 MB

Tracklist

1. Coins In a Fountain (03:04)
2. 27 (03:20)
3. Heart’s On Fire (04:13)
4. Bullets (03:24)
5. Golden Leaves (04:07)
6. Thunder (02:25)
7. Rolling Stone (03:22)
8. Start a Fire (04:21)
9. Whispers (04:02)
10. Riding To New York (05:02)
11. Scare Away the Dark (04:38)

Deluxe Edition:
12. Heart’s On Fire (Acoustic) (3:55)
14. Riding To New York (Acoustic) (4:48)
15. Start A Fire (Acoustic) (3:55)
16. Golden Leaves (Acoustic) (4:02)
17. Rolling Stone (Acoustic) (3:27)
18. Whispers (Acoustic) (3:45)
Continue reading Passenger – Whispers [Deluxe Edition] (2014) 24bit FLAC

Franz Ferdinand – Right Thoughts Right Words Right Action (Deluxe Edition) [FLAC 24-44.1]

Franz Ferdinand – Right Thoughts Right Words Right Action (Deluxe Edition) [FLAC 24-44.1]
Year Of Release: 2013
Genre: Alt. Rock, Indie
Format: FLAC, tracks
Bitrate: lossless
Total Size: 1GB

Tracklist

1 Right Action 00:03:01
2 Evil Eye 00:02:47
3 Love Illumination 00:03:44
4 Stand On The Horizon 00:04:23
5 Fresh Strawberries 00:03:21
6 Bullet 00:02:43
7 Treason! Animals. 00:04:07
8 The Universe Expanded 00:04:34
9 Brief Encounters 00:03:09
10 Goodbye Lovers and Friends 00:03:15
11 Bullet (Live) 00:02:40
12 No You Girls (Live) 00:03:21
13 Evil Eye (Live) 00:02:55
14 Fresh Strawberries (Live) 00:03:15
15 Right Action (Live) 00:03:05
16 Goodbye Lovers and Friends (Live) 00:03:31
17 Can’t Stop Feeling (Live) 00:06:03
18 Treason! Animals. (Live) 00:03:58
19 Love and Destroy (Live) 00:02:54
20 Do You Want To (Live) 00:04:14
21 Ulysses (Live) 00:02:51
22 Love Illumination (Live) 00:04:07
23 Stand On The Horizon (Live) 00:04:14
24bit/44.1kHz
Continue reading Franz Ferdinand – Right Thoughts Right Words Right Action (Deluxe Edition) [FLAC 24-44.1]

Mike Bloomfield, Al Kooper, Steve Stills – Super Session (1968) [2014 Audio Fidelity SACD AFZ5 186] FLAC

Artist……………: Mike Bloomfield, Al Kooper, Stephen Stills
Album…………….: Super Session [2014 Audio Fidelity SACD AFZ5 186]
Genre…………….: Rock/Blues
Source……………: SACD
Year……………..: 1968/2014
Ripper……………: EAC (Secure mode) / LAME 3.92 & Asus CD-S520
Codec…………….: Free Lossless Audio Codec (FLAC)
Version…………..: reference libFLAC 1.2.1 20070917
Quality…………..: Lossless, (avg. compression: 61 %)
Channels………….: Stereo / 44100 HZ / 16 Bit
Tags……………..: VorbisComment
Information……….: CD IMAGE – LOG – CUE – SCANS
Posted by…………: Beolab1700 on 25/09/2014

Tracklisting

01. Albert’s Shuffle
02. Stop
03. Man’s Temptation
04. His Holy Modal Majesty
05. Really
06. It Takes A Lot To Laugh, It Takes A Train To Cry
07. Season Of The Witch
08. You Don’t Love Me
09. Harvey’s Tune

Continue reading Mike Bloomfield, Al Kooper, Steve Stills – Super Session (1968) [2014 Audio Fidelity SACD AFZ5 186] FLAC

Jeff Beck – Blow By Blow (1975) [2014, Epic Records Japan, EICP 10001] [FLAC]

Artist……………: Jeff Beck
Album…………….: Blow By Blow (1975) [2014, Epic Records Japan, EICP 10001]
Genre…………….: Rock
Source……………: CD
Year……………..: 2014
Ripper……………: EAC (Secure mode) / LAME 3.92 & Asus CD-S520
Codec…………….: Free Lossless Audio Codec (FLAC)
Version…………..: reference libFLAC 1.2.1 20070917
Quality…………..: Lossless, (avg. compression: 61 %)
Channels………….: Stereo / 44100 HZ / 16 Bit
Tags……………..: VorbisComment
Information……….: CD IMAGE – LOG – CUE – SCANS
Posted by…………: Beolab1700 on 16/08/2014

Tracklisting

01. You Know What I Mean 04:05
02. She’s A Woman 04:30
03. Constipated Duck 02:47
04. Air Blower 05:09
05. Scatterbrain 05:40
06. Cause We’ve Ended As Lovers 05:41
07. Thelonius 03:15
08. Freeway Jam 04:58
09. Diamond Dust 08:24

Blow by Blow typifies Jeff Beck’s wonderfully unpredictable career. Released in 1975, Beck’s fifth effort as a leader and first instrumental album was a marked departure from its more rock-based predecessors. Only composer/keyboardist Max Middleton returned from Beck’s previous lineups. To Beck’s credit, Blow by Blow features a tremendous supporting cast. Middleton’s tasteful use of the Fender Rhodes, clavinet, and analog synthesizers leaves a soulful imprint. Drummer Richard Bailey is in equal measure supportive and propulsive as he deftly combines elements of jazz and funk with contemporary mixed meters. Much of the album’s success is also attributable to the excellent material, which includes Middleton’s two originals and two collaborations with Beck, a clever arrangement of Lennon and McCartney’s “She’s a Woman,” and two originals by Stevie Wonder. George Martin’s ingenious production and string arrangements rival his greatest work. Beck’s versatile soloing and diverse tones are clearly the album’s focus, and he proves to be an adept rhythm player. Blow by Blow is balanced by open-ended jamming and crisp ensemble interaction as it sidesteps the bombast that sank much of the jazz-rock fusion of the period. One of the album’s unique qualities is the sense of fun that permeates the performances. On the opening “You Know What I Mean,” Beck’s stinging, blues-based soloing is full of imaginative shapes and daring leaps. On “Air Blower,” elaborate layers of rhythm, duel lead, and solo guitars find their place in the mix. Propelled by the galvanic rhythm section, Beck slashes his way into “Scatterbrain,” where a dizzying keyboard and guitar line leads to more energetic soloing from Beck and Middleton. In Stevie Wonder’s ballad “Cause We’ve Ended as Lovers,” Beck variously coaxes and unleashes sighs and screams from his guitar in an aching dedication to Roy Buchanan. Middleton’s aptly titled “Freeway Jam” best exemplifies the album’s loose and fun-loving qualities, with Beck again riding high atop the rhythm section’s wave. As with “Scatterbrain,” Martin’s impeccable string arrangements enhance the subtle harmonic shades of the closing “Diamond Dust.” Blow by Blow signaled a new creative peak for Beck, and it proved to be a difficult act to follow. It is a testament to the power of effective collaboration and, given the circumstances, Beck clearly rose to the occasion. In addition to being a personal milestone, Blow by Blow ranks as one of the premiere recordings in the canon of instrumental rock music.

Continue reading Jeff Beck – Blow By Blow (1975) [2014, Epic Records Japan, EICP 10001] [FLAC]

Los Lobos – Kiko (1992) (MFSL SACD 2014) [FLAC]

Artist……………: Los Lobos
Album…………….: Kiko
Genre…………….: Rock
Source……………: SACD
Year……………..: 2014
Codec…………….: Free Lossless Audio Codec (FLAC)
Version…………..: reference libFLAC 1.3.0 20130526
Quality…………..: Lossless, (avg. compression: 59 %)
Channels………….: Stereo / 44100 HZ / 16 Bit
Tags……………..: VorbisComment
Information……….:

Posted by…………: Beolab1700 on 18/07/2014

Tracklisting

1. Los Lobos – Dream in Blue [03:36]
2. Los Lobos – Wake Up Dolores [02:55]
3. Los Lobos – Angels with Dirty Faces [04:02]
4. Los Lobos – The Train Don’t Stop Here [03:52]
5. Los Lobos – Kiko and the Lavender Moon [03:35]
6. Los Lobos – Saint Behind the Glass [03:17]
7. Los Lobos – Reva’s House [03:04]
8. Los Lobos – When the Circus Comes [03:16]
9. Los Lobos – Arizona Skies [02:44]
10. Los Lobos – Short Side of Nothing [02:55]
11. Los Lobos – Two Janes [03:54]
12. Los Lobos – Wicked Rain [03:03]
13. Los Lobos – Whiskey Trail [02:40]
14. Los Lobos – Just a Man [03:40]
15. Los Lobos – Peace [03:54]
16. Los Lobos – Rio de Tenampa [01:59]

Playing Time………: 52:34
Total Size………..: 312.26 MB

Los Lobos had earned a reputation as one of the most intelligent and creative roots rock acts in America with the albums By the Light of the Moon and The Neighborhood, but it was with 1992′s Kiko that they really demonstrated the breadth of their sonic ambitions. Produced in collaboration with Mitchell Froom, Kiko exchanged the more straightforward approach of Los Lobos’ previous sessions for a uniquely textured sound, with the group’s guitars thrown into sharp relief against Froom’s collection of vintage tape-loop keyboards, and the arrangements are often unusually spare, most powerfully in the ghostly spaciousness of “Kiko and the Lavender Moon” and “Wake Up Delores.” Even the more full-bodied cuts, such as the rollicking “That Train Don’t Stop Here”…

and the hard-rocking “Whiskey Trail,” boast a different personality than in Los Lobos’ previous work, with the guitars clean but cutting like a switchblade and the drums snapping hard, and the more contemplative selections drip with a mysterious, otherworldly ambience that’s matched by the impressionistic imagery of David Hidalgo and Louie Pérez’s superb songs. At its best, Kiko sounds like the musical equivalent of a Luis Buñuel dream sequence, balancing beauty and menace with intelligence and a skill that’s little short of dazzling; it’s a brilliant, singular achievement, and the most rewarding album in the group’s catalog.

Mastered from original master tapes, Mobile Fidelity’s hybrid SACD version of Kiko presents the record in previously unimaginable fidelity. In particular, Froom’s exquisite production can now be experienced in full relief, with the vintage tape-loop keyboards and spare arrangements yielding an ethereal feel, otherworldly ambience, and colorful finish that complement the ace playing. The subtleties of the richly detailed backdrops-splashed with distortion, feedback, random sound effects, sonorous horns, ominous chants, delicately plucked harps – are greatly enhanced, turning the multifaceted Kiko into the aural equivalent of a sensational IMAX presentation.

Continue reading Los Lobos – Kiko (1992) (MFSL SACD 2014) [FLAC]

Fairport Convention – Unhalfbricking (2014) (Japan SHM-SACD) [FLAC]

Artist……………: Fairport Convention
Album…………….: Unhalfbricking
Genre…………….: Folk Rock
Source……………: CD
Year……………..: 1969/2014
Ripper……………: EAC (Secure mode) / LAME 3.92 & Asus CD-S520
Codec…………….: Free Lossless Audio Codec (FLAC)
Version…………..: reference libFLAC 1.3.0 20130526
Quality…………..: Lossless, (avg. compression: 47 %)
Channels………….: Stereo / 88200 HZ / 16 Bit
Tags……………..: VorbisComment
Information……….:

Posted by…………: Beolab1700 on 04/08/2014

Tracklisting

1. Fairport Convention – Genesis Hall [03:39]
2. Fairport Convention – Si tu dois partir [02:21]
3. Fairport Convention – Autopsy [04:22]
4. Fairport Convention – A Sailor’s Life [11:10]
5. Fairport Convention – Cajun Woman [02:45]
6. Fairport Convention – Who Knows Where the Time Goes [05:08]
7. Fairport Convention – Percy’s Song [06:48]
8. Fairport Convention – Million Dollar Bash [02:55]

Playing Time………: 39:13
Total Size………..: 367.88 MB

2014 limited edition Japanese pressing SHM-SACD in a papersleeve. Unhalfbricking was, if only in retrospect, a transitional album for the young Fairport Convention, in which the group shed its closest ties to its American folk-rock influences and started to edge toward a more traditional British folk-slanted sound. That shift wouldn’t be definitive until their next album, Liege & Lief. But the strongest link to the American folk-rock harmony approach left with the departure of Ian Matthews, who left shortly after the sessions for Unhalfbricking began.
The mixture of obscure American folk-rock songs, original material, and traditional interpretations that had fallen into place with What We Did on Our Holidays earlier in the year was actually…

still intact, if not as balanced. Sandy Denny’s two compositions, her famous “Who Knows Where the Time Goes?” and the far less celebrated but magnetically brooding “Autopsy,” were among the record’s highlights.
So too were the goofball French Cajun cover of Bob Dylan’s “If You Gotta Go, Go Now” (here retitled “Si Tu Dois Partir,” and a British hit) and the magnificent reading of Dylan’s “Percy’s Song,” though the bash through Dylan’s “Million Dollar Bash” was less effective. Richard Thompson’s pair of songs, however, were less memorable. The clear signpost to the future was their 11-minute take on the traditional song “A Sailor’s Life,” with guest fiddle by Dave Swarbrick, soon to join Fairport himself and make his own strong contribution toward reshaping the band’s sound.

Continue reading Fairport Convention – Unhalfbricking (2014) (Japan SHM-SACD) [FLAC]

Big Star – Discography (1972-2009) [FLAC]

Big Star – Discography (1972-2009) [FLAC]
flac – lossless | 5.2 GB | Rock

The quintessential American power pop band, Big Star remains one of the most mythic and influential cult acts in all of rock & roll. Originally led by the singing and songwriting duo of Alex Chilton and Chris Bell, the Memphis-based group fused the strongest elements of the British Invasion era — the melodic invention of the Beatles, the whiplash guitars of the Who, and the radiant harmonies of the Byrds — into a ramshackle but poignantly beautiful sound which recaptured the spirit of pop’s past even as it pointed the way toward the music’s future. Although creative tensions, haphazard distribution, and marketplace indifference conspired to ensure Big Star’s brief existence and commercial failure, the group’s three studio albums nevertheless remain unqualified classics, and their impact on subsequent generations of indie bands on both sides of the Atlantic is surpassed only by that of the Velvet Underground.

The roots of Big Star lie in the group Icewater (also known as Rock City), formed in 1971 by singer/guitarist Bell in association with guitarist Steve Ray, bassist Andy Hummel, and drummer Jody Stephens. Ray left the group a short time after its inception and was soon replaced by Chilton, the one-time Box Tops vocalist who was just 16 years old when the group topped the pop charts with their 1967 classic, “The Letter.” Chilton had recently returned to Memphis after attempting to mount a solo career in New York City; he first played with Bell years earlier in a high school cover band, and with his arrival, Icewater rechristened itself Big Star, borrowing the name from a local supermarket chain. Recording soon commenced at the local Ardent Studios, where Bell occasionally worked as an engineer and session guitarist; despite solid critical notice and some radio airplay, their brilliant 1972 debut, #1 Record, nevertheless fell prey to the distribution problems of the newly formed Ardent label’s parent company Stax — more often than not, the album simply never made its way to retailers.

In the meantime, Bell and Chilton continued to butt heads over Big Star’s direction — the former envisioned a primarily studio-oriented project, while the latter preferred performing live; moreover, Chilton’s past success in the Box Tops guaranteed him the lion’s share of attention from listeners and critics, minimizing Bell’s own contributions in the process. In late 1972, Bell finally left the band — his subsequent attempts to mount a solo career proved largely fruitless, with only a spectacular solo single, “I Am the Cosmos,” receiving official release prior to his untimely death in a 1978 car crash. (A posthumous solo compilation, also titled I Am the Cosmos, was finally issued to unanimous critical acclaim in 1992.) Following Bell’s exit, Big Star briefly struggled on as a three-piece before disbanding, with Chilton returning to his stalled solo career; months later, he reteamed with Hummel and Stephens to play a local music writers’ convention, and the performance was so well-received that they decided to make the reunion permanent.

Big Star’s second album, 1974′s Radio City, remains their masterpiece — ragged and raw guitar pop infused with remarkable intensity and spontaneity. It also contained perhaps their best-known song, the oft-covered cult classic “September Gurls.” (Another highlight, “Back of a Car,” bears the unmistakable input of Chris Bell, although the duration and extent of his return to duty is unknown.) Distribution difficulties again undermined whatever hopes of commercial success existed, however, and Hummel soon announced his resignation; Chilton and Stephens recruited bassist John Lightman for a handful of East Coast live dates, including a WLIR radio broadcast later issued as Big Star Live. Work on a planned third album soon began, but the sessions proved disastrous as Chilton, reeling from years of music industry exploitation and frustration, effectively sabotaged his own music — where Radio City teetered on the brink of collapse, the new songs tumbled over completely, culminating in one of the most harrowingly bleak pop records ever made. An album’s worth of material was completed and shelved, and then Big Star was no more.

The story might have ended there, but in 1978, the third Big Star album was finally issued overseas — variously titled Third and/or Sister Lovers, it appeared for years in essentially unauthorized versions containing neither the complete session nor the proper sequencing. Still, the record earned a significant cult following, and with the emergence of the nascent power pop movement, it became increasingly clear just how prescient Big Star’s music had been. Countless alternative rock bands — R.E.M., the Replacements, the dB’s, and Teenage Fanclub, to name just four — cited the band’s enormous influence in the years to follow, and in 1993, the Posies’ Jonathan Auer and Ken Stringfellow backed Chilton and Stephens for a reunion gig at the University of Missouri, a performance captured on the Columbia live disc.

To the surprise of many, the Big Star reunion continued with tours of Europe and Japan, and — most shocking of all — even an appearance on television’s The Tonight Show, although no new studio recordings were forthcoming. Sporadic reunions continued, and a new track (“Hot Thing”) was recorded for a compilation released in 2003. Chilton, Stephens, Stringfellow, and Auer then entered the recording studio to complete a new Big Star album, In Space, released in 2005. The band also played high-profile gigs in England and America, while in 2009, Rhino issued a definitive box set, Keep an Eye on the Sky. One year later, however, on the eve of 2010′s SXSW festival, Chilton died in New Orleans of heart failure.

1. #1 Record [2009 Remaster] (1972)
2. Radio City [2009 Remaster] (1974)
3. Third/Sister Lovers [1992 Rykodisc Version] (1978)
4. Live (1992)
5. #1 Record/Radio City [2004 SACD Remaster] (1992)
6. In Space (2005)
7. Keep an Eye on the Sky [4xCD Box] (2009)

Album artwork is also included. Enjoy!!!!

Continue reading Big Star – Discography (1972-2009) [FLAC]

Interpol – El Pintor (2014) [WEB FLAC 24bit/96kHz]

Year Of Release: 2014
Genre: Alternative, Indie, Post-punk
Format: FLAC, tracks
Bitrate: lossless
Total Size: 868 MB

Tracklist

01. All the Rage Back Home (4:22)
02. My Desire (5:00)
03. Anywhere (3:12)
04. Same Town, New Story (4:09)
05. My Blue Supreme (3:09)
06. Everything Is Wrong (3:32)
07. Breaker 1 (4:13)
08. Ancient Ways (3:00)
09. Tidal Wave (4:17)
10. Twice as Hard (4:56)

Continue reading Interpol – El Pintor (2014) [WEB FLAC 24bit/96kHz]

Kristian Bezuidenhout – Mozart: Keyboard Music Vol. 4 (2013) [Qobuz 24-88.2]

Kristian Bezuidenhout – Mozart: Keyboard Music Vol. 4 (2013)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/88.2 kHz | Digital Booklet | 1.25 GB
Genre: Classical | Official Digital Download – Source: Qobuz

On volume four of his widely acclaimed traversal of Mozart’s music for solo keyboard, fortepianist Kristian Bezuidenhout performs on an instrument by Paul McNulty, modeled on a Viennese original by Anton Walter & Sohn (c.1805). The program includes Piano Sonatas in D major K.311 and G major K.283 and the lovely Variations on ‘Je suis Lindor’ in E flat Major, K.354. As with the other volumes in this exceptional series, Bezuidenhout brings out colors and shadings in these works that are only possible when performed on a fortepiano.

Composer: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer: Kristian Bezuidenhout

Reviews: Listeners can choose from among a number of historical-instrument performances of Mozart’s keyboard works. There are the compelling irregular, somewhat abrupt versions by Andreas Staier, the expressive readings of Ronald Brautigam, the clean-lined treatments of Malcolm Bilson, and now a cycle by South African-British fortepianist Kristian Bezuidenhout on the Harmonia Mundi label. Bezuidenhout is a somewhat experimental player, and his ideas (as in his bizarre concerto readings) can backfire. But one of the strengths of his series has been his choices among fortepianos built by American-Czech maker Paul McNulty, copying instruments by Viennese builder Anton Walter of Mozart’s and Beethoven’s time. Here he uses a copy of an 1805 Walter instrument, a real powerhouse that’s a couple of decades too late for much of the music. But it works, for these are for the most part big works in which Mozart was exploiting every bit of the new instrument’s capabilities; Bezuidenhout’s slight exaggeration of pianistic effects allows him, as it were, to bring out Mozart’s excitement at discovering these capabilities. The two minor-key fantasies and the Prelude and Fugue in C major, K. 394, are presented here in muscular, intense readings that work very well. Even better are the 12 Variations on “Je suis Lindor” in B flat major, K. 354, which can be a very tricky work to bring beyond the mundane. In Bezuidenhout’s hands it’s a sonic adventure. It might be argued that, composed in the year 1778, these variations are close to the dividing line between fortepiano and harpsichord, but Bezuidenhout certainly makes a strong case for them as piano works, and a work written for his own virtuoso use in Paris would likely have been conceived with the latest technology in mind. The location of the recording by Harmonia Mundi USA is not specified, but it is quite fine: the inner workings of the fortepiano are heard but not fetishized.

Tracklisting:
1. Fantasia in D Minor, K.397 5:24
2. Piano Sonata in D Major, K.311: I. Allegro con spirito 4:40
3. Piano Sonata in D Major, K.311: II. Andante con expressione 5:35
4. Piano Sonata in D Major, K.311: III. Rondeau: Allegro 6:21
5. Prelude & Fugue in C Major, K.394: I. Adagio 4:58
6. Prelude & Fugue in C Major, K.394: II. Fugue 4:59
7. 12 Variations on ‘Je suis Lindor’ in E-flat Major, K.354: Theme: Allegretto 1:14
8. 12 Variations on ‘Je suis Lindor’ in E-flat Major, K.354: I. Variation I 1:02
9. 12 Variations on ‘Je suis Lindor’ in E-flat Major, K.354: II. Variation II 1:03
10. 12 Variations on ‘Je suis Lindor’ in E-flat Major, K.354: III. Variation III 1:19
11. 12 Variations on ‘Je suis Lindor’ in E-flat Major, K.354: IV. Variation IV 1:24
12. 12 Variations on ‘Je suis Lindor’ in E-flat Major, K.354: V. Variation V 0:57
13. 12 Variations on ‘Je suis Lindor’ in E-flat Major, K.354: VI. Variation VI 1:01
14. 12 Variations on ‘Je suis Lindor’ in E-flat Major, K.354: VII. Variation VII 1:14
15. 12 Variations On ‘Je Suis Lindor’ In E-Flat Major, K.354: VIII. Variation VIII 1:29
16. 12 Variations on ‘Je suis Lindor’ in E-flat Major, K.354: IX. Variation IX 1:42
17. 12 Variations on ‘Je suis Lindor’ in E-flat Major, K.354: X. Variation X 0:33
18. 12 Variations on ‘Je suis Lindor’ in E-flat Major, K.354: XI. Variation XI 0:35
19. 12 Variations on ‘Je suis Lindor’ in E-flat Major, K.354: XII. Variation XII 2:00
20. 12 Variations on ‘Je suis Lindor’ in E-flat Major, K.354: Allegretto 1:32
21. Piano Sonata in G Major, K.283: I. Allegro 5:48
22. Piano Sonata in G Major, K.283: II. Andante 6:27
23. Piano Sonata in G Major, K.283: III. Presto 4:19
24. Fantasia in D Minor, K.397 (Completed by A.E.Müller) 5:39

Continue reading Kristian Bezuidenhout – Mozart: Keyboard Music Vol. 4 (2013) [Qobuz 24-88.2]

Karen Geoghegan, Juanjo Mena – Weber: Symphonies No 1 & 2, Bassoon Concerto (2012) [Qobuz 24-96]

Karen Geoghegan, Juanjo Mena – Weber: Symphonies No 1 & 2, Bassoon Concerto (2012)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96 kHz | Digital Booklet | 1.23 GB
Genre: Classical | Official Digital Download – Source: Qobuz

This is the fourth release by the BBC Philharmonic under its Chief Conductor, Juanjo Mena, and the discography is going from strength to strength – their recording of orchestral works by Falla was ‘Recording on the Month’ in BBC Music. They are joined on this recording by the bassoonist Karen Geoghegan.

Weber wrote the waltz Aufforderung zum Tanze (Invitation to the Dance) in 1819, around the time when he was also working on the opera Der Freischütz. The two works crossed paths once more, in 1841, when the latter was performed at the Opéra de Paris. Berlioz had been commissioned to orchestrate Aufforderung zum Tanze so that it could be incorporated into the opera, and he did so by melding Weber’s polished and elegant original with his own sound world, with customary panache. It is the version included on this disc.

Also featured are Weber’s Symphonies Nos 1 and 2. That these works should be so neglected is partly down to historical accident; they were composed just four years after Beethoven’s monumental ‘Eroica’ Symphony, the work which ditched the rulebook once and for all, and which turned the genre from classical perfection into a personal musical manifesto. So when Weber’s symphonies saw the light of day, overshadowed by the great master, no one took much notice.

Weber wrote the first symphony between 14 December 1806 and 2 January 1807, while the second took just over a week, from 22 and 28 January. Yet, there is no evidence of undue haste in the finished works, quite the opposite in fact. They strongly display what Debussy aptly described as Weber’s ability to ‘scrutinise the soul of each instrument’.

Also on this disc is the composer’s Bassoon Concerto. Much of the work’s appeal derives from Weber’s ear for sonority, and in particular the dark-hued palette natural to the bassoon. The finale has the bassoon playing a jester of great agility, yet with enough elegant touches to dispel any clichéd ideas of the instrument as a figure of fun. The movement builds to an assured and almost reckless virtuoso ending. Karen Geoghegan is the soloist in this work. Gramophone said of this young artist that ‘lyrical, mellifluous playing seems to come as naturally as wit and charm’.

Composer: Carl Maria von Weber
Performer: Karen Geoghegan
Conductor: Juanjo Mena
Orchestra/Ensemble: BBC Philharmonic Orchestra

Continue reading Karen Geoghegan, Juanjo Mena – Weber: Symphonies No 1 & 2, Bassoon Concerto (2012) [Qobuz 24-96]