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 Hi-Res Highlights  Hi-Res Highlights - June 2017

June 2017 Hi-Res HighlightsIt's been two years since we launched our Hi-Res download offering - and our catalogue now includes over 9,000 albums, both old and new. You can browse through our full Hi-Res selection here.

This month sees two fascinating historical reconstructions - of musical drama at the court of the Medicis in Florence, and of Schubert's famously incomplete Eighth Symphony - as well as heartfelt cello music from Fauré and a double-bill of evergreen violin favourites performed by Erick Friedman.

Hi-Res New Releases

Ives: New England Holidays & Orchestral Sets Nos. 1 & 2

The spirit of the early-twentieth-century USA is perfectly encapsulated in Ives's New England-themed works - two suites and a symphony celebrating the Eastern seaboard. The Seattle Symphony Orchestra and Chorale under Ludovic Morlot audibly relish Ives's unique musical language and the orchestral colours are luscious and rich.

Available Formats: CD, MP3, CD Quality FLAC, Hi-Res FLAC

Stravaganza d'Amore!

Just before the birth of 'true' opera at the turn of the seventeenth century, the forerunner genre of the 'intermedio' was in full bloom - musical interludes inserted into stage plays and featuring the well-known stock characters of Greek mythology. Raphaël Pichon and the Ensemble Pygmalion here put together a lavish and extensive imaginary intermedio comprising works by Striggio, Marenzio, Caccini and other composers from the period.

Available Formats: 2 CDs + Book, MP3, CD Quality FLAC, Hi-Res FLAC

Fauré: The Complete music for cello & piano

Nowhere is Fauré's unmistakable lyricism more clearly audible than in his works for cello and piano - the two sonatas and a number of smaller-scale standalone works. Although this music is often dismissed as salon music, there is a more profound vein of sentiment underneath the melodious charm. Andreas Brantelid and Bengt Forsberg explore the full range of Fauré's self-expression, from the artless simplicity of Dolly's Berceuse to the wartime angst of the first sonata.

Available Formats: SACD, MP3, CD Quality FLAC, Hi-Res FLAC

Bartók: String Quartets Nos. 1-6 (complete)

The Heath Quartet put their stamp on Bartók's six quartets - milestones marking out the composer's personal and musical development over the majority of his life, and running the emotional gamut from sardonic wit to Bartók's unique, eerie 'night music' style.

Available Formats: CD, MP3, CD Quality FLAC, Hi-Res FLAC

Beethoven: Missa Solemnis in D major, Op. 123

This live recording of Beethoven's majestic Missa Solemnis by the Rundfunk Sinfonieorchester Berlin and MDR-Rundfunkchor Leipzig captures the energy of the performance at the Berlin Philharmonie - from the nobility of the opening Kyrie to the powerful Gloria and the turbulent military episodes in the Agnus Dei.

Available Formats: SACD, MP3, CD Quality FLAC, Hi-Res FLAC

Rachmaninov: Piano Sonatas Nos. 1 & 2

Rustem Hayroudinoff makes light work of Rachmaninov's two piano sonatas - the first famously leading the composer to remark, upon completing it, that nobody would ever play it due to its excessive difficulty and length. Rachmaninov's final work, a 1941 transcription of Tchaikovsky's Lullaby, rounds off the album.

Available Formats: CD, MP3, CD Quality FLAC, Hi-Res FLAC

Schubert: Symphony No. 8 in B minor, D759 'Unfinished'

Ably assisted by the musicians of the Kammerorchester Basel, conductor and musicologist Mario Venzago sets out the case for his reconstruction of Schubert's notoriously mystery-shrouded Unfinished. Defying murky speculations worthy of a Dan Brown novel, he has produced a plausibly Schubertian solution to this long-standing musical riddle that convinces both the ear and the brain.

Available Format: CD

Recent Hi-Res Re-issues

The greatest performances of yesteryear, newly remastered and re-released in Hi-Res.

Gulda Plays Mozart & Gulda

The term 'crossover' may not necessarily bring positive connotations to mind for today's classical music fan, but it's hard to describe Friedrich Gulda any other way. He drew on his hybrid classical/jazz musical upbringing to enrich and enliven his performances of the classical canon, and in 1982 shared a stage in Munich with the jazz pianist Chick Corea. The first half of that legendary concert appears on this album, bookended by puckish performances of Mozart's two Rondos for piano and orchestra.

Available Formats: CD, MP3, CD Quality FLAC, Hi-Res FLAC

Tchaikovsky & Mendelssohn: Violin Concertos

American violinist Erick Friedman, an illustrious pupil of Milstein and Heifetz, performs perhaps the two most enduringly popular violin concertos in the entire repertoire - Mendelssohn and Tchaikovsky - accompanied by the LSO under Seiji Ozawa.

Available Formats: MP3, CD Quality FLAC, Hi-Res FLAC, Hi-Res+ FLAC

Karl Böhm - The Early Years

Widely hailed as one of the greatest conductors of the twentieth century and particularly acclaimed for his interpretations of German and Austrian Classical and Romantic works, Karl Böhm's career was long and fruitful, with successes on both sides of the Atlantic. This box-set brings together over twenty hours of music from his early career (1935 to 1949).

Available Formats: CD, MP3, CD Quality FLAC, Hi-Res FLAC