In this section we focus on the MUSIC itself by offering you:
A selection of our ESSENTIAL TRACKS. Some of these have been chosen to give your system a great workout and others are just fabulous recorded performances.
DOWNLOADS of superbly recorded material in high resolution formats.
Our ALBUM OF THE MONTH selections and a few words on why we chose it.
Invited COMMENT from dCS and leading members of the sound reproduction world – although in most cases we offer these anonymously!
From WAR REQUIEM performed by The Netherlands Symphony Orchestra conducted by Jaap van Zweden
This track has everything to test your system – massed choirs, massive drumbeats and some great brass for starters – and the dynamics go from ppp
. It’s beautifully performed too…! For more information click here.
London Symphony Orchestra conducted by Valery Gergiev
Also available as Hybrid SACD LSO0692 –
The fiery Russian conductor and French musical ‘impressionism’ do not sound like ideal partners…but this wonderful performance amply demonstrates just how dangerous such preconceptions can be. Click here
for more information on this album.
Youth Orchestra of the Americas directed by Jean Pascal Hamelin.
The First Movement of this wonderful performance and recording from René Laflamme’s FIDELIO
label is offered here as a superb 176.4kS/s, 24-bit download. It justifiably received two nominations in the Adisq Awards (Grammys for recordings), one for ‘Sound Engineer of the Year’ and the other for ‘Classical Orchestral Recording of the Year’. In the right system it sounds wonderful – and the music-making is exceptional too.
An extraordinary album. Not only does it showcase some wonderful improvisations by three of the world’s greatest jazz musicians, but it does so in the most glorious recorded sound utilising Chesky’s Soundfield and Binaural recording technologies. The download contains two tracks from the album both in 176kS/s, 24-bit format (#1 Stank and #8 Phrases). For more information on this album click here
The highly experienced jazz threesome formally known as The Tony Overwater Trio is reborn as Jungle Boldie creating a refreshing new musical idiom that combines traditional jazz forms with loads of ‘funk’ and world music. With Tony Overwater playing his unique style of electric bass the result is a recording that offers enormous energy and ‘in-your-face’ sound quality. Recorded in a barn with some less-than-happy neighbours – so check out the ghost track at the end! For more information visit the Challenge site
To match Fischer’s wonderful performance Channel Classics have clearly made a special effort. We have grown accustomed to the consistently high quality of the Channel Classics recordings but, even by their standards, this is a sonic masterpiece with every last note perfectly captured. Listen in particular to the brass that is a good as we have heard. Download the 3rd movement and enjoy!
Gees uses Erik Satie’s piano works as his inspiration for a series of improvisations that cross the boundaries of traditional classical music in a way that is both compelling and elegant. This is where Satie might have ended up if he had gone further in both time and space with his music. Gees is a fluently intuitive improviser who encompasses both twentieth and twenty-first century influences. One of our favourite recordings of recent years, recorded in possibly the most beautiful hall we have ever seen. For more information visit Challenge.
Budapest Festival Orchestra conducted by Ivan Fischer.
Enjoy this superb high resolution download of the the final movement of Stravinsky’s legendary Firebird Suite. For more information on available formats visit the Channel site