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Arthur Campbell, Gregory Maytan, Paul Swantek, Pablo Mahave-Veglia - Stamitz: Quartets for Clarinet (2013)

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Arthur Campbell, Gregory Maytan, Paul Swantek, Pablo Mahave-Veglia - Stamitz: Quartets for Clarinet (2013)

Arthur Campbell, Gregory Maytan, Paul Swantek, Pablo Mahave-Veglia - Stamitz: Quartets for Clarinet (2013)
EAC | FLAC (image+.cue, log) | Covers Included | 65:56 | 358 MB
Genre: Classical | Label: Audite | Catalog: AUDITE92661

Carl Stamitz’s Clarinet Quartets Op. 8 and Op. 19 are amongst the earliest compositions for clarinet and string trio and document the increasing significance of the clarinet in the second half of the 18th century. These quartets demonstrate Stamitz’s profound understanding of the instrument and also allow an illuminating insight into his idiom. With his sensitive interpretations, Arthur Campbell emphasises the cantabile quality of the clarinet, which dominates all the quartets recorded on this SACD.

Masaaki Suzuki - J.S. Bach: Italian Concerto, French Overture, Sonata in D minor (2006)

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Masaaki Suzuki - J.S. Bach: Italian Concerto, French Overture, Sonata in D minor (2006)

Masaaki Suzuki - J.S. Bach: Italian Concerto, French Overture, Sonata in D minor (2006)
XLD | FLAC (image+.cue, log) | Covers Included | 01:09:12 | 529 MB
Genre: Classical | Label: BIS | Catalog: 1469

Strong but delicate, deliberate but subtle, driven but supple, Masaaki Suzuki's 2005 recording of Bach's Italian Concerto and French Overture for harpsichord are quite convincing in their own distinctive way. In Suzuki's hands, the opening crash of the Italian Concerto is as instantly arresting as the powerful opening prelude and fugue from the French Overture is immediately appealing.

Oasis Quartet - Glass, Gotkovsky, Escaich (2011)

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Oasis Quartet - Glass, Gotkovsky, Escaich (2011)

Oasis Quartet - Glass, Gotkovsky, Escaich (2011)
EAC | FLAC (image+.cue, log) | Covers Included | 55:44 | 323 MB
Genre: Classical | Label: Innova | Catalog: 744

The Oasis Quartet, founded in 2006, is made up of four saxophones, and on its first release it includes works originally written for that ensemble, as well as a transcription of a string quartet. The transcription, Philip Glass' String Quartet No. 3 ("Mishima"), was in turn arranged from material from the composer's soundtrack to Paul Schrader's 1985 film biography of the Japanese writer and activist, originally written for and performed by the Kronos Quartet.

Masaaki Suzuki - J.S. Bach: Partitas for Harpsichord (2002)

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Masaaki Suzuki - J.S. Bach: Partitas for Harpsichord (2002)

Masaaki Suzuki - J.S. Bach: Partitas for Harpsichord (2002)
XLD | FLAC (image+.cue, log) | Covers Included | 02:40:55 | 1,1 Gb
Genre: Classical | Label: BIS | Catalog: 1313/4

Listeners familiar with other recordings in Masaaki Suzuki's ongoing traversal of Bach's solo keyboard works may find his performances of the Partitas somewhat of an anomaly. For instance, the sharply delineated juxtapositions of tempos that made his Fantasias and Fugues program so thrilling (type Q3840 in Search Reviews) are nowhere to be heard here. The interpretive agenda this time is much subtler and decidedly more introverted.

Anne Gastinel, Pablo Marquez - Iberica (2009)

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Anne Gastinel, Pablo Marquez - Iberica (2009)

Anne Gastinel, Pablo Marquez - Iberica (2009)
EAC | APE (image+.cue, log) | Covers Included | 01:18:31 | 403 MB
Genre: Classical | Label: Naïve | Catalog: V5182

It's curious why there are not more compositions for cello and guitar duo. The two overlap greatly in range, have wonderfully complementary timbres, and possess virtually none of the inherent balance problems encountered when pairing the cello with the more commonplace piano. The guitar is often thought of in term of Spanish or Latin-influenced music, and though there have been many compositions written for the cello by composers from these parts of the world, precious few have bothered to incorporate the guitar as a duo partner.

Alter Ego - Philip Glass: 600 Lines, How Now (2003)

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Alter Ego - Philip Glass: 600 Lines, How Now (2003)

Alter Ego - Philip Glass: 600 Lines, How Now (2003)
EAC | FLAC (image+.cue, log) | Covers Included | 1:00:28 | 312 MB
Genre: Modern Classical | Label: Stradivarius | Catalog: STR 33649

Italian ensemble Alter Ego have made their name playing the post-minimalism of composers as diverse as Louis Andriessen, David Lang and Frederic Rzewski. Now they turn their attention to pre-, or perhaps more accurately, prototype minimalism in this fine two-disc survey of early Philip Glass. Rejecting the seamless cross-stitching and salamander slither of Glass’s own ensemble, Alter Ego opt for a brassier and more strident approach. This strategy proposes a subtly alternative view about which the composer obviously approves – Orange Mountain Music is his own label.

Bohuslav Matousek, Christopher Hogwood - Martinu: Complete Works for Violin & Orchestra, Vol. 2 (2007)

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Bohuslav Matousek, Christopher Hogwood - Martinu: Complete Works for Violin & Orchestra, Vol. 2 (2007)

Bohuslav Matousek, Christopher Hogwood - Martinu: Complete Works for Violin & Orchestra, Vol.2 (2007)
EAC | FLAC (image+.cue, log) | Covers Included | 64:35 | 321 MB
Genre: Classical | Label: Hyperion | Catalog: CDA 67672

In the second of four Hyperion discs dedicated to the works for violin and orchestra by Czech-French-American-Swiss composer Bohuslav Martinu, violinist Bohuslav Matousek with Christopher Hogwood and the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra join two of the composer's typically atypical works: the Concerto da camera for violin with string orchestra, piano and percussion and the Concerto for violin and piano with orchestra.

Bohuslav Matousek, Christopher Hogwood - Martinu: Complete Works for Violin & Orchestra, Vol.1 (2007)

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Bohuslav Matousek, Christopher Hogwood - Martinu: Complete Works for Violin & Orchestra, Vol.1 (2007)

Bohuslav Matousek, Christopher Hogwood - Martinu: Complete Works for Violin & Orchestra, Vol.1 (2007)
EAC | FLAC (image+.cue, log) | Covers Included | 55:06 | 279 MB
Genre: Classical | Label: Hyperion | Catalog: CDA 67671

For those who like their modernism light, buoyant, and lyrical, there's Bohuslav Martinu's prewar music. And for those who like their modernism big, bold yet still lyrical, there's Martinu's postwar music. On this 2007 Hyperion disc, the first of four devoted to the Czech composer's complete violin concertos, violinist Bohuslav Matousek with Christopher Hogwood and the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra present three wonderful works from both sides of the war: the Concerto for flute, violin, and orchestra from 1936 and the Duo concertante for two violins and orchestra from 1937 plus the Concerto in D major for two violins and orchestra from 1950.

Howard Shelley - Schumann, Grieg, Saint-Saëns: Piano Concertos (2009)

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Howard Shelley - Schumann, Grieg, Saint-Saëns: Piano Concertos (2009)

Howard Shelley - Schumann, Grieg, Saint-Saëns: Piano Concertos (2009)
EAC | APE (image+.cue, log) | Covers Included | 79:00 | 310 MB
Genre: Classical | Label: Chandos | Catalog: CHAN10509

In a world full of couplings of Schumann and Grieg's Piano Concertos in A minor, this disc offers three distinct advantages. First and most obviously, it offers an additional work, Saint-Saëns' Piano Concerto in G minor, which brings the disc's total playing time up 78 minutes. Second, it offers up a soloist who's also the conductor, the multitalented Howard Shelley who directs England's Orchestra of Opera North from the keyboard.

Kronos Quartet - Bob Ostertag: All the Rage (1992)

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Kronos Quartet - Bob Ostertag: All the Rage (1992)

Kronos Quartet - Bob Ostertag: All the Rage (1992)
EAC | APE (image+.cue, log) | Covers Included | 16:15 | 101 MB
Genre: Modern Classical | Label: Nonesuch | Catalog: 7559793322

This stirring release was written by acclaimed composer/sampler artist Bob Ostertag, and performed alongside the Kronos Quartet. A stark response to the AIDS epidemic (with the proceeds of all sales of this disc going to AIDS research), the quartet follows an opening sing-spiel narrative before diving into a section of Ostertag's cut-up loops of crowds cheering, and intense string work from the quartet.

Ives Ensemble - Morton Feldman: String Quartet (2007)

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Ives Ensemble - Morton Feldman: String Quartet (2007)

Ives Ensemble - Morton Feldman: String Quartet (2007)
EAC | FLAC (image+.cue, log) | Covers Included | 76:57 | 332 MB
Genre: Classical | Label: hat[now]ART | Catalog: 167

There's always been a crossover appeal among avant, jazz artists with renegade contemporary classical composers. As with various musical forms, and perhaps life in general, rules are sometimes meant to be broken. String Quartet features a 1979-penned composition by Morton Feldman, recorded by the highly-regarded Dutch group known as the Charles Ives Ensemble.

Julian Bream - Julian Bream plays Dowland & Bach (2008)

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Julian Bream - Julian Bream plays Dowland & Bach (2008)

Julian Bream - Julian Bream plays Dowland & Bach (2008)
EAC | FLAC (tracks+.cue, log) | Covers Included | 02:20:59 | 590 MB
Genre: Classical | Label: Deutsche Grammophon | Catalog: 4777550

The playing of many professional classical guitarists leaves me cold. Where they flawlessly execute a score, Bream has spaciously conceived the music using something it seems is in short supply- a disciplined imagination. Each note, instead of sounding like part of an automatic process, sounds conceived and executed deliberately. Bream attended conservatory, where he was told not to bring his "gypsy instrument".

Gerald Garcia - Vivaldi, J.S. Bach: Baroque Guitar Favourites (1993)

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Gerald Garcia - Vivaldi, J.S. Bach: Baroque Guitar Favourites (1993)

Gerald Garcia - Vivaldi, J.S. Bach: Baroque Guitar Favourites (1993)
XLD | FLAC (image+.cue, log) | Covers Included | 01:15:23 | 356 MB
Genre: Classical | Label: Naxos | Catalog: 550274

Over the last 20 years, the Naxos label has done a great deal to obtain its reputation as one of the leading classical guitar labels. Its very first guitarist was Gerald Garcia, who was not slow to show the way forward by extending the rather limited guitar repertoire by making arrangements of pieces originally written for other instruments. This is what he has done here, too: None of the music on this disc was written for guitar, it is all arranged by Garcia himself, who plays a modern guitar and definitely not a baroque instrument.

Martin Roscoe - James MacMillan: Into the Ferment (2003)

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Martin Roscoe - James MacMillan: Into the Ferment (2003)

Martin Roscoe - James MacMillan: Into the Ferment (2003)
EAC | FLAC (image+.cue, log) | Covers Included | 01:07:54 | 301 MB
Genre: Classical | Label: Chandos | Catalog: CHAN 10092

This is Chandos' second disc of James MacMillan's work performed by the BBC Philharmonic, featuring the premiere performance of 'Into the Ferment'. James MacMillan is one of Britain's most successful contemporary composers with a high international profile. As well as appearing as guest conductor with many of the UK's top orchestras, he is currently Affiliate Composer of The Scottish Chamber Orchestra, resident of the USA's Saratoga Festival and Composer/Conductor in Residence with the BBC Philharmonic.

Ensemble Spirale, Marianne Muller - Marin Marais: Les Folies d'Espagne, Suite en mi, Le Labyrinthe (2006)

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Ensemble Spirale, Marianne Muller - Marin Marais: Les Folies d'Espagne, Suite en mi, Le Labyrinthe (2006)

Ensemble Spirale, Marianne Muller - Marin Marais: Les Folies d'Espagne, Suite en mi, Le Labyrinthe (2006)
EAC | FLAC (image+.cue, log) | Covers Included | 01:01:12 | 338 MB
Genre: Classical | Label: Zig Zag Territoires | Catalog: ZZT060801

A veteran of Jordi Savall's Hespèrion XX and XXI, gambaist Marianne Muller makes her Zig Zag Territories debut with this disc of music by the great French Baroque composer Marin Marais. The repertoire is daunting: the ingenious and evocative Le Labyrinthe, the 32 virtuoso variations on Les Folies d'Espagne, and the 12-movement Suite in E minor from Marais' Second Book of Pièces de viole. These are works that require not just virtuosity, stamina, intense expressivity, and soulful beauty of tone.