Katia & Marielle Labèque, Chris Richards, London Symphony Orchestra & Sir Simon Rattle – NAZARENO! Bernstein, Stravinsky, Golijov (2022) [Official Digital Download 24bit/96kHz]

Katia & Marielle Labèque, Chris Richards, London Symphony Orchestra & Sir Simon Rattle – NAZARENO! Bernstein, Stravinsky, Golijov (2022)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96 kHz | Time – 42:24 minutes | 740 MB | Genre: Classical
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Front Cover | © LSO Live

Celebrating the union of classical and jazz, LSO Live’s latest release encapsulates the very best of the two genres with an irresistible selection of works by Bernstein, Stravinsky and Golijov, conducted by Sir Simon Rattle.

Argentinian tango and jazz course through Golijov’s vibrant Nazareno. Superstar piano duo Katia and Marielle Labèque are flanked by brass, percussion and cello in this special arrangement for two pianos and orchestra by Gonzalo Grau.

LSO Principal Clarinettist Chris Richards steps into the spotlight in Stravinsky’s Ebony Concerto. The work is an era-defining amalgamation of jazz and classical, reflecting back the variety of a rapidly changing world, at turns frenetic and agitated, mournful and bluesy. This fluidity extends into Bernstein’s Prelude, Fugue and Riffs—an exuberant display of contrasting musical ideas, harmoniously intertwined together.

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Berliner Philharmoniker, Sir Simon Rattle and Mitsuko Uchida – Beethoven: Piano Concertos 1-5 (2019) [Official Digital Download 24bit/48kHz]

Berliner Philharmoniker, Sir Simon Rattle and Mitsuko Uchida – Beethoven: Piano Concertos 1-5 (2019)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/48 kHz | Time – 03:01:23 minutes | 1,67 GB | Genre: Classical
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Digital Booklet, Front Cover | © Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra

There is hardly a better way to approach Ludwig van Beethoven than through his piano concertos. Beethoven’s own instrument was the piano, and in his improvisations – which made him the darling of the Viennese salons – he merged virtuosity and unbridled expression. The piano concertos give a clear idea of these performances. At the same time, they are prime examples of Beethoven’s ability to create large orchestral works with seemingly endless arcs of tension.

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Sir Simon Rattle, London Symphony Orchestra – Stravinsky Ballets (2022) [Official Digital Download 24bit/96kHz]

Sir Simon Rattle, London Symphony Orchestra – Stravinsky Ballets (2022)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96 kHz | Time – 01:56:37 minutes | 2,02 GB | Genre: Classical
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Front Cover | © LSO Live

Stravinsky sent shockwaves through classical music in the 20th century. His first three ballets -The Firebird, Petrushka and The Rite of Spring, all composed between 1909 and 1913 – brought a new and frenzied sense of rhythm, so distressing to audiences that it caused uproar; The Rite of Spring even caused a riot. And it’s not hard to see why. Is there any moment in music more demonic than the opening to The Firebird, a terrifying rumble of strings that would make Jaws tremble? There are few pieces more unsettling than The Rite of Spring with it’s carnal, tribal rhythms; or Petrushka with it’s impish Punch and Judy puppets. A notable voice of authority on the works of Stravinsky, Sir Simon Rattle masterfully brings these three creations to life in this dramatic performance, recorded live in the Barbican Hall as part of his inaugural season as LSO’s Music Director.

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Sheku Kanneh-Mason, London Symphony Orchestra & Sir Simon Rattle – Elgar (2020) [Official Digital Download 24bit/96kHz]

Sheku Kanneh-Mason, London Symphony Orchestra & Sir Simon Rattle – Elgar (2020)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96 kHz | Time – 01:08:51 minutes | 1,18 GB | Genre: Classical
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Front Cover | © Decca Music Group Ltd.

20 years old and a brazen amount of talent: the Afro-British cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason has three idols. Cellists Jacqueline du Pré and Mstislav Rostropovitch and reggae legend Bob Marley, three passionate and extrovert forces. His career really took off after he performed at Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding in 2018. His album Inspiration released the same year broke all sorts of sales records in the United Kingdom and his hometown of Nottingham even named a bus after him. As part of a partnership with the label Decca, he is back with a new recording, this time dedicated to the famous Cello Concerto in E Minor, Op. 85, accompanied by the London Symphony Orchestra headed by their new conductor, Sir Simon Rattle. A first class encounter which produces a poetic vision, almost like chamber music, of this renowned concerto.

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Wiener Philharmonic Orchestra & Simon Rattle – Beethoven: Symphony No. 7, Op. 92 (Remastered) (2021) [Official Digital Download 24bit/44,1kHz]

Wiener Philharmonic Orchestra & Simon Rattle – Beethoven: Symphony No. 7, Op. 92 (Remastered) (2021)
FLAC (tracks) 24bit/44,1kHz | Time – 39:58 minutes | 371 MB | Genre: Classical
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Front Cover | © Warner Classics

The year 1812 was a busy year for the well-known but deaf composer Ludwig van Beethoven. At last, Beethoven got the chance to meet that other famous German, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, but Goethe’s personality proved a disappointed to Beethoven. The composer was carrying on a hectic love life: in 1812 he wrote his famous letter to an anonymous ‘Unsterbliche Geliebte’ (‘Immortal Beloved’). Moreover, he was getting involved in the life of his younger brother, who was infatuated with a housekeeper. Yet despite his activities, Beethoven found the time to compose several new works, among which his Seventh Symphony.

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Wiener Philharmonic Orchestra & Simon Rattle – Beethoven: Symphony No. 8, Op. 93 (2021) [Official Digital Download 24bit/44,1kHz]

Wiener Philharmonic Orchestra & Simon Rattle – Beethoven: Symphony No. 8, Op. 93 (2021)
FLAC (tracks) 24bit/44,1kHz | Time – 25:55 minutes | 248 MB | Genre: Classical
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Front Cover | © Warner Classics

Die Symphonie Nr. 8 F-Dur op. 93 ist Ludwig van Beethovens k”urzeste Symphonie. Nach den Vorst”ossen in vollkommen neue symphonische Gefilde besonders mit den Symphonien Nr. 3, 5 und 7 erscheint die Achte wie eine R”uckbesinnung auf ein klassisches Grundmodell und auf Haydn. Das kompakte Werk ist allerdings hochexplosiv und enth”alt neuartige Substrate, die f”ur das weitere Gedeihen der Gattung Wirkung zeigten. Viele Skizzen zum ersten Satz weisen auf eine urspr”ungliche Konzeption als Klavierkonzert hin. Irgendwann schwenkte Beethoven aber zur Symphonie um, die er haupts”achlich im Sommer und Herbst des Jahres 1812 komponierte. In Linz, wo sich Beethoven in Familienangelegenheiten wegen seines Bruders Johann aufhielt, begann er offenbar mit der Niederschrift der Partitur der weitgehend fertig skizzierten Symphonie. Jedenfalls findet sich auf der Originalhandschrift der Hinweis <>. …. Schon bevor Simon Rattle sein Einstandskonzert als Chef der Berliner Philharmoniker gab, sorgte er mit einem anderen Weltklasseorchester f”ur Schlagzeilen: Es war der Zyklus der neun Beethoven-Sinfonien, den er mit den Wiener Philharmonikern in Tokio, Berlin und – nat”urlich – Wien dirigierte. Rattle setzte damals im Mai 2002 Massst”abe mit dem traditionsreichsten Orchesterrepertoire “uberhaupt. Der Live-Mitschnitt erschien im M”arz 2003. Nach wie vor gilt dieser Zyklus, der jetzt im Budget-Segment wiederver”offentlicht wird, als Referenzeinspielung des neuen Jahrtausends

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Wiener Philharmoniker & Simon Rattle – Beethoven: Symphony No. 5, Op. 67 (Remastered) (2021) [Official Digital Download 24bit/44,1kHz]

Wiener Philharmoniker & Simon Rattle – Beethoven: Symphony No. 5, Op. 67 (Remastered) (2021)
FLAC (tracks) 24bit/44,1kHz | Time – 31:56 minutes | 296 MB | Genre: Classical
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Front Cover | © Warner Classics

The Symphony No. 5 in C minor of Ludwig van Beethoven, Op. 67, was written between 1804 and 1808. It is one of the best-known compositions in classical music and one of the most frequently played symphonies, and it is widely considered one of the cornerstones of western music. First performed in Vienna’s Theater an der Wien in 1808, the work achieved its prodigious reputation soon afterward. E. T. A. Hoffmann described the symphony as “one of the most important works of the time”. As is typical of symphonies during the transition between the Classical and Romantic eras, Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony is in four movements.

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Wiener Philharmonic Orchestra & Simon Rattle – Beethoven: Symphony No. 6, Op. 68 “Pastoral” (2021) [Official Digital Download 24bit/44,1kHz]

Wiener Philharmonic Orchestra & Simon Rattle – Beethoven: Symphony No. 6, Op. 68 “Pastoral” (2021)
FLAC (tracks) 24bit/44,1kHz | Time – 44:39 minutes | 412 MB | Genre: Classical
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Front Cover | © Warner Classics

Beethoven’s Sixth evolves as an exploration of an unemphatic harmonic progression that embodies a feeling of calm. Beethoven employs this exploration in charting the broad structure of the symphony’s movements individually, and of the work as a whole. The first movement prefigures the aura of calm by drawing out harmonies over uncharacteristically long spans, spacious expanses of serene relaxation in which the ear is busied only by the surface details of fragmented melodies. So when the first movement returns to action after its opening phrase, it quickly stumbles into a sort of stuttering repetition. The same melodic fragment is repeated verbatim through ten measures, changed only by a swelling and then a diminishing of volume, with the bassoons reinforcing the texture at the loudest point. Similar repetitions appear elsewhere in the movement. The harmony can prove just as static as the melody. In fact, the first movement is practically devoid of dissonance-the spice of harmony-and even minor chords are nearly banished. Like a good recreation director at a summer retreat, Beethoven is forcing his audience to relax. The proceedings do not grow bland, however, thanks in part to the composer’s ingenious use of rhythmic dissonance, with conflicting groups of two and three notes overlapping in the same spaces of time.

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Simon Rattle, Berliner Philharmoniker – Beethoven: Symphonien 1-9 (2016) [High Fidelity Pure Audio Blu-Ray Disc]

Сomposer: Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827)
Artist: Berliner Philharmoniker, Sir Simon Rattle
Title: Beethoven – Symphonies 1-9
Genre: Classical
Label/Source: © Berliner Philharmoniker Recordings
Release Date: 2016
Recorded in 24-bit/192kHz at the Berlin Philharmonie, 6 & 12 October 2015 (1/3); 7 & 13 October 2015 (2/5); 3, 9 & 15 October 2015 (4/7); 8 & 14 October 2015 (8/6); 10 & 16 October 2015 (9)
Quality: Blu-Ray Audio
Duration: 05:45:13
Video: MPEG-4 AVC 950 kbps / 1080i / 29,970 fps / 16:9 / High Profile 4.1
Audio: German LPCM 2.0 / 96 kHz / 4608 kbps / 24-bit
Audio: German DTS-HD MA 5.1 / 96 kHz / 6409 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
Size: 31.1 GB

Recordings of all the Beethoven symphonies with their chief conductor are always a milestone in the artistic work of the Berliner Philharmoniker. So it was with Herbert von Karajan and Claudio Abbado, and expectations are correspondingly high for this cycle conducted by Sir Simon Rattle. Where does the special status of these symphonies come from? Simon Rattle has an explanation: “One of the things Beethoven does is to give you a mirror into yourself – where you are now as a musician.” In fact, this music contains such a wealth of extreme emotions and brilliant compositional ideas that reveal the qualities of the orchestra and its conductor as if under a magnifying glass.

On his personal approach to the performances, Sir Simon said, “You can make Beethoven too sophisticated or too elegant, you can clean him up too much. You can try to make him agree with himself when often he’s fighting with himself. I have the feeling probably that the more plain-spoken this music is, the better it is. And one knows with this orchestra, when you say ʻwill you joyfully motor this machine off the clifftop?ʼ, everybody says ʻof course we willʼ.” The concerts in which the Berliner Philharmoniker and their chief presented the symphonies in the Philharmonie in October 2015 were as thrilling as this suggests. The virtuosity of the works was revealed as impressively as their revolutionary energy. Performances in Paris, Vienna and New York followed and were rewarded with standing ovations from audiences.

The recording of the Berlin performances is available in an exclusive hardcover edition. It includes the cycle on five CDs and three Blu-ray discs as HD video, in uncompressed audio resolution and DTS surround sound. Its many extras include a video introduction with Sir Simon Rattle and a documentary about the making of the recordings with many interviews and glimpses behind-the-scenes. (more…)

Simon Rattle, Berliner Philharmoniker – Beethoven: Symphonien 1-9 (2016) [Official Digital Download 24bit/192kHz]

Simon Rattle, Berliner Philharmoniker – Beethoven: Symphonien 1-9 (2016)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/192 kHz | Time – 343:33 minutes | 11,1 GB
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96 kHz | Time – 343:33 minutes | 5,87 GB
Studio Master, Official Digital Download | Artwork: Digital booklet | © Berlin Phil Media GmbH

Recordings of all the Beethoven symphonies with their chief conductor are always a milestone in the artistic work of the Berliner Philharmoniker. So it was with Herbert von Karajan and Claudio Abbado, and expectations are correspondingly high for this cycle conducted by Sir Simon Rattle. Where does the special status of these symphonies come from? Simon Rattle has an explanation: “One of the things Beethoven does is to give you a mirror into yourself – where you are now as a musician.” In fact, this music contains such a wealth of extreme emotions and brilliant compositional ideas that reveal the qualities of the orchestra and its conductor as if under a magnifying glass.

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Berliner Philharmoniker, Sir Simon Rattle – Mahler Symphony No. 8 (2021) [Official Digital Download 24bit/48kHz]

Berliner Philharmoniker, Sir Simon Rattle – Mahler Symphony No. 8 (2021)
FLAC (tracks) 24bit/48kHz | Time – 01:18:12 minutes | 787 MB | Genre: Classical
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Front Cover | © Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra

Symphony No. 8 in D major by Gustav Mahler was mainly composed between late 1887 and March 1888, though it incorporates music Mahler had composed for previous works. It was composed while Mahler was second conductor at the Leipzig Opera, Germany. Although in his letters Mahler almost always referred to the work as a symphony, the first two performances described it as a symphonic poem and as a tone poem in symphonic form respectively. The work was premi`ered at the Vigad’o Concert Hall, Budapest, in 1889, but was not well received Mahler made some major revisions for the second performance, given at Hamburg in October 1893; further alterations were made in the years prior to the first publication, in late 1898. Some modern performances and recordings give the work the title Titan, despite the fact that Mahler only used this label for the second and third performances, and never after the work had reached its definitive four-movement form in 1896.

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Wiener Philharmonic Orchestra & Simon Rattle – Beethoven – Symphony No. 4, Op. 60 (2021) [Official Digital Download 24bit/44,1kHz]

Wiener Philharmonic Orchestra & Simon Rattle – Beethoven – Symphony No. 4, Op. 60 (2021)
FLAC (tracks) 24bit/44,1kHz | Time – 33:50 minutes | 313 MB | Genre: Classical
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Front Cover | © Warner Classics

Die Wiener Presse scheute keine Superlative nach den Beethoven-Konzerten aus dem Goldenen Saal des Wiener Musikvereins (im Rahmen der Festwochen 2002) und lobte die “”uberw”altigende Pr”azision”, “Leuchtkraft” und “idyllische Sch”onheit” der Interpretation. Doch Rattles Besch”aftigung mit Beethoven hat schon lange vor diesem Konzertzyklus angefangen, eine weltbewegende Dimension einzunehmen. Ich denke an die Gesamtaufnahme der Klavierkonzerte mit Alfred Brendel, die 1999 Furore machte und seitdem ein H”ohepunkt der stattlichen Beethoven-Diskografie darstellt. Auch der danach erschienenen CD mit Beethovens 5. Sinfonie hat Rattle sein unverwechselbares sch”opferisches Zeichen aufgedr”uckt. Bereits hier erhielt man eine Vorahnung dessen, was Rattle nun mit der Gesamteinspielung der Sinfonien hervorbringt: ein Paradigmen-Wechsel, eine sanfte Revolution unserer H”orsitten “uber diese sinfonischen Meilensteine des 19. Jahrhunderts.

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Wiener Philharmonic Orchestra & Simon Rattle – Beethoven – Symphony No. 3, Op. 55 “Eroica” (2021) [Official Digital Download 24bit/44,1kHz]

Wiener Philharmonic Orchestra & Simon Rattle – Beethoven – Symphony No. 3, Op. 55 “Eroica” (2021)
FLAC (tracks) 24bit/44,1kHz | Time – 44:14 minutes | 468 MB | Genre: Classical
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Front Cover | © Warner Classics

Wildly heroic: Ludwig van Beethoven’s ” Eroica “is still associated with an anecdote to this day: when the composer learned that Napoleon was crowned emperor, he angrily tore the title page of the score of the Symphony in E flat major, on which there was an appropriation of the work to” Bonaparte”. This is how Beethoven’s pupil Ferdinand Ries described it in a publication that appeared in 1838, more than three decades after the alleged incident.

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Wiener Philharmoniker & Simon Rattle – Beethoven: Symphony No. 2, Op. 36 (2021) [Official Digital Download 24bit/44,1kHz]

Wiener Philharmoniker & Simon Rattle – Beethoven: Symphony No. 2, Op. 36 (2021)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/44,1 kHz | Time – 32:08 minutes | 294 MB | Genre: Classical
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Front Cover | © Warner Classics

Even before Simon Rattle gave his debut concert as head of the Berliner Philharmoniker, he made headlines with another world-class orchestra: It was the cycle of nine Beethoven symphonies that he conducted with the Vienna Philharmonic in Tokyo, Berlin and – of course – Vienna. Back in May 2002, Rattle set standards with the most traditional orchestral repertoire of all. The live recording was released in March 2003. This cycle, which is now being re-released in the budget segment, is still regarded as the reference recording of the new millennium.

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Wiener Philharmoniker & Simon Rattle – Beethoven: Symphony No. 1, Op. 21 (2021) [Official Digital Download 24bit/44,1kHz]

Wiener Philharmoniker & Simon Rattle – Beethoven: Symphony No. 1, Op. 21 (2021)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/44,1 kHz | Time – 25:31 minutes | 231 MB | Genre: Classical
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Front Cover | © Warner Classics

Even before Simon Rattle gave his debut concert as head of the Berliner Philharmoniker, he made headlines with another world-class orchestra: It was the cycle of nine Beethoven symphonies that he conducted with the Vienna Philharmonic in Tokyo, Berlin and – of course – Vienna. Back in May 2002, Rattle set standards with the most traditional orchestral repertoire of all. The live recording was released in March 2003. This cycle, which is now being re-released in the budget segment, is still regarded as the reference recording of the new millennium.

(more…)

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