Michael Jackson – Thriller (1982) [Reissue 1999] PS3 Rip | ISO | SACD DSD64 2.0 > 1-bit/2.8224 MHz | 42:11 minutes | Scans included | 1,7 GB or FLAC(converted with foobar2000 to tracks) 24bit/88,2 kHz | Scans included | 857 MB
Off the Wall was a massive success, spawning four Top Ten hits (two of them number ones), but nothing could have prepared Michael Jackson for Thriller. Nobody could have prepared anybody for the success of Thriller, since the magnitude of its success was simply unimaginable — an album that sold 40 million copies in its initial chart run, with seven of its nine tracks reaching the Top Ten (for the record, the terrific “Baby Be Mine” and the pretty good ballad “The Lady in My Life” are not like the others). This was a record that had something for everybody, building on the basic blueprint of Off the Wall by adding harder funk, hard rock, softer ballads, and smoother soul — expanding the approach to have something for every audience. That alone would have given the album a good shot at a huge audience, but it also arrived precisely when MTV was reaching its ascendancy, and Jackson helped the network by being not just its first superstar, but first black star as much as the network helped him. This all would have made it a success (and its success, in turn, served as a new standard for success), but it stayed on the charts, turning out singles, for nearly two years because it was really, really good. True, it wasn’t as tight as Off the Wall — and the ridiculous, late-night house-of-horrors title track is the prime culprit, arriving in the middle of the record and sucking out its momentum — but those one or two cuts don’t detract from a phenomenal set of music. It’s calculated, to be sure, but the chutzpah of those calculations (before this, nobody would even have thought to bring in metal virtuoso Eddie Van Halen to play on a disco cut) is outdone by their success. This is where a song as gentle and lovely as “Human Nature” coexists comfortably with the tough, scared “Beat It,” the sweet schmaltz of the Paul McCartney duet “The Girl Is Mine,” and the frizzy funk of “P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing).” And, although this is an undeniably fun record, the paranoia is already creeping in, manifesting itself in the record’s two best songs: “Billie Jean,” where a woman claims Michael is the father of her child, and the delirious “Wanna Be Startin’ Something,” the freshest funk on the album, but the most claustrophobic, scariest track Jackson ever recorded. These give the record its anchor and are part of the reason why the record is more than just a phenomenon. The other reason, of course, is that much of this is just simply great music.
Miah Persson / Joseph Breinl – Portraits: Songs by Clara and Robert Schumann SACD ISO (2.0/MCH): 2,74 GB | 24B/88,2kHz FLAC (2.0): 937 MB | Full Artwork | Info Label/Cat#: BIS # BIS-SACD-1834 | Country/Year: Europe 2011 Genre: Classical | Style: Romantic
Eleanor McEvoy – Yola (2001) PS3 Rip | ISO | SACD DSD64 2.0 > 1-bit/2.8224 MHz | 47:03 minutes | Scans included | 1,89 GB or FLAC(converted with foobar2000 to tracks) 24bit/88,2 kHz | Scans included | 882 MB Celtic / New Age / Pop Rock
Celtic pop singer/songwriter Eleanor McEvoy was born in Dublin on January 20, 1967, beginning piano lessons at age four; she took up the violin two years later, and as a teen joined the Junior Irish Youth Orchestra. Upon graduating college, McEvoy was tapped for the National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland, but after four years she quit to pursue a career as a pop performer; in 1992, her “Only a Woman’s Heart” highlighted the anthology A Woman’s Heart, which went on to become the best-selling album in Irish chart history. (more…)
This unusual CD reissue has five selections from a date featuring the great tenor Coleman Hawkins, pianist Hank Jones, bassist George Duvivier and drummer Shelly Manne. Both “Take the ‘A’ Train” and “Cherokee” find the group at times playing two tempos at once (Manne sticks to doubletime throughout “Cherokee”) and showing that they had heard some of the avant-garde players. The most swinging piece, “Avalon,” was previously available only on a sampler while “Me and Some Drums” features Hawkins and Manne in a very effective duet with the veteran tenor making his only recorded appearance on piano during the first half. This CD is rounded off by a pair of trio features for Eddie Costa (with Duvivier and Manne); one song apiece on vibes and drums. A very interesting set with more than its share of surprises. ~ AllMusic
Ottorino Respighi – Pini di Roma, Trittico, Tre Corali Beethoven Orchester Bonn / Stefan Blunier PS3 SACD ISO: 2,90 GB | Stereo + Multichannel DSD | Full Artwork | 5% Recovery Info Label/Cat#: MDG # 937 1677-6 | Country/Year: Germany 2011 | Genre: Classical
The latest in MDG’s fine series of live recordings by Stefan Blunier and the Beethoven Orchestra of Bonn is an intelligently chosen programme of three of Respighi’s orchestral works that illustrate the many and varied aspects of this master orchestrator’s compositions as well as his homage to music of the past. It is also pleasing to see two of the works making their first appearance on SACD. The delicate ‘Trittico Botticelliano’ of 1927 was conceived while the composer and his wife were touring the United States and is representative of his interest in, and study of, the Renaissance and Baroque music of his native country. Respighi chose to depict both the atmosphere and spirit of three of the most celebrated of Botticelli’s paintings, ‘Spring (La Primavera)’, ‘The Adoration of the Magi’ and ‘The Birth of Venus’ using small orchestral forces. Each of these three tiny tone poems is exquisitely scored, and thanks to Blunier’s relaxed tempi, the players of his cultivated Bonn orchestra have time to relish each of the individual solo opportunities provided. The sound is both diaphanous and crystal clear. Like many 20th century composers Respighi made arrangements of the music of earlier masters, and the ‘Tre Corali’ is one such example. His arrangement for orchestra of three of Bach’s most well-known organ chorales may be anachronistic, but few could fail to marvel at Respighi’s imaginative scoring and respectful treatment of them. The three chorales are ‘Nun komm der Heiden Heiland’, ‘Meine Seele erhebt den Herren’ and ‘Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme’. The manner in which the luxurious and glowing string sound has been captured on this recording is particularly arresting. The final work on this SACD is the much-recorded ‘Pini di Roma’, the second part of the so-called ‘Roman Trilogy’ and a piece beloved of many audiophiles. Blunier is not a conductor who rushes his fences and his tempi in all but the first section of the work are slightly more measured than is often the case, but are nevertheless quite convincing. The first part of ‘The Pines near a Catacomb’ is wonderfully atmospheric as is the balancing of the distant trumpet and nightingale song in the section that follows. Unfortunately the total absence of deep organ pedal notes at any point comes as a major disappointment. Blunier’s steady pace does pay dividends as the army of the Consul traverses the Appian Way accompanied, on this recording, by exceptionally thunderous drums. It is, however, a pity that the use of the surround channels for the extra brass is a mite cautious and consequently the work’s final bars fail to make the impact found on the recent thrilling Neschling recording Respighi: Roman Trilogy – Neschling. An enjoyable performance then, but not a first choice for this work in an increasingly crowded field. MDG’s 5.1 recording is of high quality, possessing a wide dynamic range, an excellent sense of depth and tonal veracity, but it is important to stress that this disc does need to be played at a high volume setting or the sound can seem somewhat lacking in presence. Though these are live recordings, extraneous noise is minimal and there is no applause. Not withstanding the reservations outlined above, this is a most enjoyable SACD. SA-CD.net
Martin Stadtfeld – Der junge Beethoven PS3 SACD ISO: 3,2 GB | Full Artwork | 5% Recovery Info Label/Cat#: Sony Classical # 88697599792 | Country/Year: Germany 2009 Genre: Classical | Style: First Viennese School
This might be a single disc, but it is really two different recordings, in two different halls, at two different times, of two distinct musical forms. In the above, WoO numbers refer to the German acronym WoO (Werk ohne Opuszahl) meaning a ‘work without an opus number’ as given in the Kinsky-Halm catalogue. Hess numbers refer to additional works listed in the catalogue by Willy Hess that are not in the Kinsky-Halm catalogue. The Sony SACD piano sound has a lovely zingy bass, and yet a softer ‘distant’ quality. Stadtfeld has a light delicate touch where appropriate, and equally some uber sturm und drang when needed, as in the absolutely magnificent Prelude in F minor WoO 51. There is, however, some slight unevenness in Stadtfeld’s ornamentation in the Rondo, which suggests that slower tempi might be appropriate. Indeed, I think his Rondo No.1 is too rushed by any measure, to the extent that musical virtue is lost. In this regard, I distinctly prefer the version with the American pianist Russell Sherman on Redbook CD (6min10sec vs 4min53sec for Stadtfeld). The Allegretto, the fabulous Prelude and the Adagio are all splendid. On balance, the solo repertoire is a very fine recording of unusual early Beethoven repertoire, and comes highly recommended. … My inclination: enjoy the disc the way it should have been correctly conceived … as an excellent solo album by a very talented pianist … and just ignore the rest.
John Mayall & Friends – Along For The Ride (2001) (SACD 2003) PS3 Rip | ISO | SACD DSD64 2.0 > 1-bit/2.8224 MHz | 64:06 minutes | Scans included | 2,71 GB or FLAC(converted with foobar2000 to tracks) 24bit/88,2 kHz | Scans included | 1,3 GB Audio Fidelity SACD #AFZ-016 | Remastered for SACD by Steve Hoffman
By the time this was released in 2001, John Mayall was more known for the people who played in his seminal British band, the Bluesbreakers rather than his own accomplishments. The success of 1999’s Padlock on the Blues afforded Mayall the opportunity to fulfill his dreams and gather an all-star lineup of blues and rock luminaries. “A World of Hurt” and “That’s Why I Love You So” both typify the good but not great groove that permeates Along for the Ride. Better tracks “Yo Yo Man” and “Early in the Morning” are easygoing blues that feature the great rhythm section of John McVie and Mick Fleetwood. Fellow Fleetwood Mac and Bluesbreaker alum, the reclusive Peter Green plays acoustic slide guitar on “Yo-Yo Man.” “So Many Roads” has Mayall dueting with Otis Rush, and it soon becomes a contest on who sounds more disgruntled. The playful “Testify” features vocals and subtle guitar lines from blues phenom Shannon Curfman. This ends on the strong note. The powerful and wry “She Don’t Play By the Rules” has Mayall with arguably the strongest and most subtle band with Mick Taylor on lead guitar and Andy Fairweather Low on acoustic guitar. Along for the Ride is produced, engineered, and mixed by David Z. Despite the camaraderie, a lot of the hooks here don’t stick, and fans of Mayall and superstar sessions will get the most from this effort.
George Frideric Handel – Alexander’s Feast & Ode For St- Cecilia’s Day Kölner Kammerchor / Collegium Cartusianum / Peter Neumann PS3 SACD ISO: 3,18 GB & 4,42 GB| Stereo + Multichannel DSD | Full Artwork | 5% Recovery Info Label/Cat#: Carus # 83.424 | Country/Year: Germany 2009 Genre: Classical | Style: Baroque, Oratorio
Alexander’s Feast (HWV 75) is an ode with music by George Frideric Handel set to a libretto by Newburgh Hamilton. Hamilton adapted his libretto from John Dryden’s ode Alexander’s Feast, or the Power of Music (1697) which had been written to celebrate Saint Cecilia’s Day. Jeremiah Clarke (whose score is now lost) set the original ode to music. Handel composed the music in January 1736, and the work received its premiere at the Covent Garden Theatre, London, on 19 February 1736. In its original form it contained three concertos: a concerto in B flat major in 3 movements for “Harp, Lute, Lyrichord and other Instruments” HWV 294 for performance after the recitative Timotheus, plac’d on high in Part I; a concerto grosso in C major in 4 movements for oboes, bassoon and strings, now known as the “Concerto in Alexander’s Feast” HWV 318, performed between Parts I and II; and an organ concerto HWV 289 in G minor and major in 4 movements for chamber organ, oboes, bassoon and strings performed after the chorus Let old Timotheus yield the prize in Part II. The organ concerto and harp concerto were published in 1738 by John Walsh as the first and last of the Handel organ concertos Op.4. Handel revised the music for performances in 1739, 1742 and 1751. Donald Burrows has discussed Handel’s revisions to the score. The work describes a banquet held by Alexander the Great and his mistress Thaïs in the captured Persian city of Persepolis, during which the musician Timotheus sings and plays his lyre, arousing various moods in Alexander until he is finally incited to burn the city down in revenge for his dead Greek soldiers. The piece was a great success and it encouraged Handel to make the transition from writing Italian operas to English choral works. The soloists at the premiere were the sopranos Anna Maria Strada and Cecilia Young, the tenor John Beard, and a bass called Erard (first name unknown). Ode for St. Cecilia’s Day (HWV 76) is a cantata composed by George Frideric Handel in 1739, his second setting of the poem by the English poet John Dryden. The title of the oratorio refers to Saint Cecilia, the patron saint of musicians. The main theme of the text is the Pythagorean theory of harmonia mundi, that music was a central force in the Earth’s creation. The premiere was on 22 November 1739 at the Theatre in Lincoln’s Inn Fields, London. Ebenezer Prout commented on various facets of Handel’s instrumentation in the work. Edmund Bowles has written on Handel’s use of timpani in the work. wikipedia