Masaaki Suzuki, Bach Collegium Japan – Mozart: Requiem in D minor, K.626 (2014)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/96 kHz | Time – 74:35 minutes | 1,29 GB
Studio Master, Official Digital Download | Artwork: Digital booklet | Source: eClassical

Since its creation in 1791, Mozart’s Requiem has become one of the truly iconic works in the history of music. For this recording of the work, Masaaki Suzuki and the Bach Collegium Japan commissioned a new performing edition. Masato Suzuki, himself a member of the BCJ and the son of Masaaki, has based his completion on Eybler’s and Süßmayr’s work, explaining his procedure in the liner notes to the disc. The recording was made at the Shoin Chapel in Kobe, where the team has previously recorded their complete cycle of Bach’s church cantatas. A stellar cast of soloists is headed by soprano Carolyn Sampson, who also shines in the famous soprano aria Laudate Dominum – one of the highlights of Vesperae solennes de confessore which conclude the disc. (more…)

Kenny Barron & Dave Holland – The Art Of Conversation (2014)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/96 kHz | Time – 64:25 minutes | 993 MB
Studio Master, Official Digital Download | Artwork: Digital booklet | Source: HDTracks

The Art of Conversation marks the first time bassist/composer Dave Holland and pianist/composer Kenny Barron have recorded their duo performances. These titans began touring together throughout Europe and the United States in 2012 and this album reflects two years of Holland and Barron finessing their empathy, chemistry and repertoire. Out of an expansive body of work that they’ve cultivated, The Art of Conversation offers 10 compositions of originals and standards that exemplify their individual and combined musical ingenuity.
Holland and Barron will continue touring as a duo throughout the rest of 2014 in Europe and the United States. With The Art of Conversation capturing only a small portion of their still expanding repertoire, this disc hopefully marks just the beginning of more artful conversations between the two.

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Jean-Guihen Queyras, Alexander Melnikov – Beethoven: Complete Works for Violoncello & Piano (2014)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/96 kHz | Time – 138:42 minutes | 2,22 GB
Studio Master, Official Digital Download | Artwork: Digital booklet | Source: eClassical

There are curiously few complete cycles of Beethoven’s five sonatas for cello and piano, given that the five, unlike the violin sonatas, were almost equally distributed among the composer’s early, middle, and late periods, and that each one was in its way a formally daring work. The last two sonatas in particular, with their mysteriously lyrical third relations and compact finales, fugal in the case of the Cello Sonata No. 5 in D major, Op. 102/2, might be regarded as having inaugurated Beethoven’s late period. Cellist Jean-Guihen Queyras and pianist Alexander Melnikov (here playing a modern piano unlike on the trio recording the pair made with violinist Isabelle Faust) have an efficient, quick, tough style that beautifully fits these late sonatas. They do well in the two sonatas of Op. 5, not trying to impose an artificial shape on what must have been at the time shockingly long opening movements. The Cello Sonata No. 3 in A major, Op. 69, might want a bit more broad middle-period sweep and lyricism, but you get several bonuses here: a trio of variations for cello and piano from the years around 1800 that are almost never played, and uncannily direct sound from Harmonia Mundi, working in Berlin’s Teldex Studios. A worthy Beethoven cello set in every way. (more…)