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Alonso Tretyakov
Alonso Tretyakov

Harmonia Mundis Century Collection - A History Of Music[mp3]l [Extra Quality]


Shâh Khoshin was a great 11th century mystic who lived in Lorestân. It is reported that he was the first to introduce zekr-e jali in spiritual assemblies, accompanying it with chants and musical instruments, including the tanbur. The Suite that is performed here differs from other versions of Shâh Khoshini and is imbued with a majestic and somewhat strange kind of beauty.2 The richness of the sound expresses the sort of fervor that never lets the soul rest, even during the most peaceful segments of the piece, enjoining it to free itself from the grip of materiality.




Harmonia Mundis Century Collection - A History Of Music[mp3]l



Nakisâ and Bârbad are two characters from Ancient Persia, both famous court musicians for the Sassanid King Khosrow Parviz in the early years of the 7th century. In Kurdish gnosis, they are thought to be linked by an absolute, unfailing spiritual love, similar to the one that united Joseph and Jacob or Jesus Christ and John the Baptist. In spite of having to undergo the trials of separation, they overcame all the obstacles before them and were finally reunited. Ostad Elahi was fond of honoring their memory and would often say their names aloud when he included their melody in the middle of an improvised passage.


This piece is given an unexpected and original interpretation, reminiscent at times of the variations on the same theme found in the Najaf melody (see Track 1). Although it is a modal piece, dominant and tonic alternate. The first section is prolonged by a prayer Ostad Elahi particularly liked, inspired by a basic melody (gushe) of classical Iranian music called Mansuri. The sung text is a prayer from Shâh Khoshin, a great Kurdish saint from the 11th century who elevated the tanbur to a sacred level.


2L's latest choral release, Hymn to the Virgin, features Oslo's chamber choir Schola Cantorum under the direction of Tone Bianca Sparre Dahl (SACD/CD & BD, 2L-095-SABD). Disc 1 is an SACD/CD, disc 2 a Pure Audio Blu-ray disc that offers the music in four formats: 24-bit/192kHz LPCM stereo, 24/192 DTS HD MA 5.0-channel, and "mShuttle" FLAC and MP3 for use in portable devices. The master recordings were made in 24/352.8 DXD PCM.Pure Audio BD's "Unique Selling Proposition" is that it allows for navigation of these audio-only programs without the need for a television or monitor to be connected to the audio system. That is accomplished by use of the colored buttons that are standard on BD player remote controls. Last I heard, interested parties had petitioned the Audio Engineering Society to recognize Pure Audio BD as an audio-engineering standard.The music on Hymn to the Virgin extends from Bruckner's Ave Maria to contemporary works such as Lauridsen's O Nata Lux, Whitacre's Lux Aurumque, and Gjeilo's Tota Pulchra Es. (There is an official and wonderful video of the Bruckner here.) I found the Gjeilo a pleasant surprise—it had more backbone than other of his works I have heard, which sometimes struck me as innocuous crunchy noodlings. A great pick for the audiophile choral-music fan on your list.By now, most choral-music fans are aware of England's "supergroup" choral ensemble, Stile Antico. Their latest release, The Phoenix Rising, features Tudor-era works by Byrd, Gibbons, Morley, and Tallis (SACD, Harmonia Mundi HMU 807572). The unifying theme is that those works first came to widespread attention in the 1920s, owing to their having been compiled and published in the Carnegie UK Trust's vastly influential anthology Tudor Church Music. It's another predictably great Stile Antico disc, but if you're unfamiliar with the group, I think the best introduction remains their Music for Compline (SACD, HMU 807419), which I praised in the December 2007 issue.If you're prepared to open your wallet or checkbook a little wider, an eye-popping bargain is to be had for $150 or less. Deutsche Grammophon is celebrating their early-music imprint, Archiv Produktion, with Archiv Produktion 1947–2013, a 55-CD, 59-hour survey of the label's history (Archiv 529 906-2). The music runs from Anonymous to Zelenka, and chronologically from Gregorian Chant to Beethoven—including knockout performances of the latter's Symphonies 5 and 6 by the Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique under John Eliot Gardiner, in great sound.Most of the music stands on its own, but a few exceptions fall into the category of "Eat your spinach, it's good for you." One hearing every 35 years or so of Le Jeu de Robin et de Marion, a 13th-century French secular play with music, does it for me, but I listened to the Zelenka CD several times. One-stop shopping gets you a very respectable early-music collection for less than $3 a disc. Highly recommended.Lindell & the AMPXLindell Audio, a Swedish professional-audio company, was founded in 2010 by recording engineer Tobias Lindell, and claims to offer equipment "by engineers, for engineers." Tobias Lindell specifies the features and functions that he wants each product to incorporate; the actual circuit designs are by others. Although Lindell's corporate headquarters are in Sweden, the products are manufactured in China, and are competitively priced.Lindell makes rack-mount and "lunchbox" compressors, limiters, and microphone preamplifiers. They also make a 32-bit/192kHz digital-to-analog converter, as well as a power amplifier intended to drive passive monitoring loudspeakers such as Yamaha's NS-10 and ProAc's Studio 100.I became aware of Lindell Audio when I saw a photograph of their handsome AMPX dual-mono, class-A–only power amplifier in an e-newsletter from New York City retailer B&H Photo, which also has a pro-audio division. I was intrigued by the amp's appearance, but I fairly goggled at its suggested US retail price of $1599. I got in touch with Lindell's US importer, RAD Distribution, who agreed to send me a review sample as soon as one was available.The AMPX arrived in sturdy double boxing—prudent, given that it weighs about 42 lbs. The loaner obviously had been around the block a few times. It showed some signs of wear, and its footers' rubber inserts were missing, along with its power cord and manual. No big deal on any count. Anyway, I'd rather have an experienced review sample than one that someone might later claim to have needed 500 hours of break-in.RAD sent me a new set of footers, and Tobias Lindell told me that new amps come with all of the aforementioned items, plus a cloth bag and a pair of cotton gloves. So much for the oft-heard claim that reviewers get special treatment.At 18.8" (483mm) W by 3.5" (90mm) H by 17.4" (445mm) D, the AMPX is one rack unit wide. Its faceplate, machined for rack mounting, is heavy, about 3/8" thick, and dominated by two large, blue power meters (wonder where they got that idea from?), calibrated to show watts into 8 ohms. The stated power output is 20Wpc, which, after extensive listening, strikes me as a conservative claim. Centered between the power meters is a round black pushbutton for On/Off—apparently just that, not standby. There are front-panel legends with the maker's logos, model name, and descriptions in script. On startup, the meters blink for about five seconds; perhaps some diagnostic function is going on. I downloaded the owner's manual from Lindell's website, but it was silent on that issue.The sides of the AMPX are occupied by thick-finned modular heatsinks, considerately designed with slightly chamfered edges to reduce the risk of cut fingers—this is one dense amp. For some reason, however, it looks lighter than it is. The heatsinks got so hot that placing the AMPX in the bottom of a rack full of equipment would probably be unwise. I estimated the temperature of the heatsinks to max out at about 124F.The rear-panel layout is mirror-imaged, reflecting the AMPX's dual-mono construction. Lindell claims that the right and left power supplies are completely isolated from each other. An IEC power-cord inlet is in the middle; to either side of it are the speaker binding posts, then the input jacks. The connection hardware is respectable but not ne plus ultra. Input is by XLR connectors only; RCA input is not an option. The circuit design itself is single-ended, so the balanced inputs are unbalanced by op-amps.One unusual and potentially useful feature is that both channels' female XLR inputs are mirrored by a corresponding male XLR output (or, rather, throughput). If your speakers are biampable, you could vertically biamp them with two AMPXes. In that scenario, the input signal would go into one channel, then an XLR jumper cable would connect that channel's throughput jack to the other channel's input, giving you a biamped total of 40Wpc.Tobias Lindell describes his circuit design as being "rather simple." He arrived at the decision to offer an energy-inefficient class-A–only design entirely through listening tests—nothing else sounded as good. To reach an output of 20Wpc, each channel uses four pairs of complementary Sanken 2SA1695 PNP and 2SC4468 NPN output transistors.Lindell claims for the AMPX a frequency response of 10Hz–100kHz, 1.5dB, a signal/noise ratio greater than 100dB, and the virtues of "high resolution, high headroom, accurate, easy-to-mix sound at an affordable price." NEXT: Page 2 ARTICLE CONTENTSPage 1 Page 2 Contacts Log in or register to post comments COMMENTS Archiv box set Submitted by volvic on December 17, 2013 - 6:42am On reading your article I purchased the box set. Fantastic!!! good call, had I not read your article this would have passed me by, I love the performances. Some of the Richter's and Pinnock's I already have but the rest I don't. Going through them has been a real treat. I really recommend this box set. Thanks!


Iréne Theorin (Isolde) in Tristan und Isolde, Washington National Opera, 2013 (photo by Scott Suchman)One of the meta-experiences of listening to Wagner's Tristan und Isolde is the perception of opera history shifting under the weight of this powerful score. In terms of its harmony, dramatic construction, orchestration, narrative pacing, and many other parameters, it cast a spell that altered the way opera worked. The stark contrast between this work, composed in the late 1850s and heard in the third performance of Washington National Opera's production on Saturday night, and Verdi's 1847 opera I masnadieri, heard last night from Washington Concert Opera (review forthcoming), was disturbing. What a difference a decade can make.Not all operas or productions merit covering as many performances as possible, but in the case of Tristan, Ionarts will be present at all five performances: see my thoughts on opening night and those of Robert R. Reilly on the second performance. There is a special energy at a first performance, and the absence of that buzz may have accounted for a less sterling account on the part of the Kennedy Center Opera House Orchestra. It was still very good, but with more blemishes than opening night.My impressions of the cast remained largely unchanged, except perhaps for having the experience of James Rutherford's Kurwenal grow on me quite a bit. This was not so much that he was in that much better voice at the third performance, although that was probably part of it, but that his broad-shouldered bonhomie, so earnest in his devotion to Tristan, made sense. Ian Storey did not really improve vocally as Tristan, but as on opening night, he was very effective in terms of acting and presence in the softer parts of the love scene and the bleak opening to the third act. Iréne Theorin's Isolde continued to dominate every scene she was in, eclipsed only briefly by the King Marke of Wilhelm Schwinghammer, a singer we hope to hear in Washington many more times. Theorin did this not only by her singing, which continued to be powerful, sweet, and sultry, but by her stage manner and movements.Part of the credit for Theorin's striking moments on stage must go to director Neil Armfield, whose work with Theorin was obviously cut short because she replaced Deborah Voigt late in the process. Theorin was imperious and angry in the first act, but still moved by her memories of the first meeting with Tantris, Tristan in disguise, in the narration scene. She was also girlish and fun, kicking up water in the pool beneath her at one point. Tristan is a static work, which this staging underscores in a beautiful way, with a visual approach that helps the music submerge the viewer in its tidal pull. In the second act, Armfield went more for tender than torrid in the love scene, with a duet ("O sink hernieder, Nacht der Liebe") that was placid and understated. Perhaps this would have appealed more to Clara Schumann, who was so repulsed by having "to see and hear such crazy lovemaking the whole evening" that she almost left in the middle of Tristan. Then again, Clara had the same reaction to Wagner that many people have: dislike of the person limited her enjoyment of the music. (She wrote in her diary of Wagner that he was "a person who never stops talking about himself, is highly arrogant, and laughs continually in a whining tone.") Philippe Auguin did not take any more time with the prelude to the third act, and it still seems a shame to sacrifice that gloomy moment to the goal of getting the audience out of the theater in under five hours.Two more performances of this production remain, on Tuesday (September 24) and Friday (September 27), the latter with Alwyn Mellor and Clifton Forbis taking over the title roles. 350c69d7ab


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