Alan Flac

Beggars Opera – Waters Of Change (1971) Vertigo/6360 054 – DE Pressing - LP/FLAC In 24bit/96kHz

Beggars Opera – Waters Of Change
Vinyl | LP Cover (1:1) | FLAC + cue | 24bit/96kHz & 16bit/44kHz | 900mb & 200mb
Label: Vertigo/6360 054 | Released: 1971 | This Issue: 1974 | Genre: Progressive-Rock

Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music
Swimming in mellotron
“Waters of change” was Beggar’s opera’s best album in my opinion, full of strong melodies and well constructed songs. Having introduced themselves with the innovative, classically driven “Act one”, the band invested in a mellotron, which instantly became the dominant instrument in their sound. The band moved away from the intricate symphonic prog of their first album, towards the art rock of the Moody Blues and Barclay James Harvest.
Beggars Opera – Act One (1970) Vertigo/6360 018 – NL Pressing - LP/FLAC In 24bit/96kHz - NEW 2017 RIP!!

Beggars Opera – Beggars Opera Act One
Vinyl | LP Cover (1:1) | FLAC + cue | 24bit/96kHz & 16bit/44kHz | 900mb & 200mb
Label: Vertigo/6360 018 | Released: 1970 | This Issue: 197? | Genre: Progressive-Rock

Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection
What a mindblowing debut-album this is! The very melodic and harmonic music from this five-piece band is based upon an incredible dynamic and propulsive rhythm-section and splendid, very exciting Hammond organ work, often accompanied by a powerful and fiery electric guitar. The interplay between the musicians is magnificent and the excertions on keyboards and guitar are very compelling, in the spirit of the late Sixties and early Seventies.

Handel - Admeto (Alan Curtis) [1998/1978]  Music

Posted by Vilboa at March 12, 2017
Handel - Admeto (Alan Curtis) [1998/1978]

Handel - Admeto (Alan Curtis) [1998/1978]
Classical | Virgin 7243 5 61369 2 | TT: 76.48+79.16+60.43 | EAC (FLAC, cue, log) | Covers | 967 Mb

A warm welcome back for this 1977 recording of Handel’s most successful opera, which ran, in 1727, for an unprecedented 19 performances. Curtis and his team were visionary 20 years ago. Recitative is lively, declaimed rather than fully sung; vocal decorations sound spontaneous, period instruments are played with zest and polish – barely a sour note from the handful of strings; colours include a trio of oboes and bassoon and, accompanying Bowman in fine voice, a pair of horns for what Dr Burney described as ‘one of the best and most agreeable hunting songs that was ever composed’. Jacobs reflects the volatile title role, impassioned in his death-bed scene which opens the opera, virtuosic elsewhere, though his affected swoops become rather predictably mannered. Yakar and Gomez sing Alceste and Antigone, roles which Handel wrote for Faustina and Cuzzoni, whose jealous rivalry led them, on stage, to ‘call Bitch and Whore’ and ‘pull each other’s coiffs’! Here, Faustina could not more beautifully have ‘sung adagios with great passion and expression’ than Yakar, while Gomez surely matches Cuzzoni’s ability to ‘conceal every appearance of difficulty’ – contemporary descriptions of their outstanding powers. You may want to tweak tone controls to moderate the bright, remastered sound. (George Pratt BBC Music Magazine)

Handel - Tolomeo (Alan Curtis) [2008]  Music

Posted by Vilboa at March 4, 2017
Handel - Tolomeo (Alan Curtis) [2008]

Handel - Tolomeo (Alan Curtis) [2008]
Classical | Archiv Produktion 289 477 7106 | TT: 56.11+45.25+46.27 | EAC (FLAC, cue, log) | Covers | 703 Mb

For the 1727 season – the waning days of opera's popularity in London – transplanted German composer George Frederick Handel wrote no less than three operas for the English capital's stage. Tolomeo, rè d'Egitto was the last and least enthusiastically received of them. Unsuccessfully revived in 1730 and then again in 1733, Tolomeo was unperformed for the next 200 years, and even now, it remains one of Handel's least performed and recorded operas. Prior to this Archiv set, only a 1995 Vox recording of the work with Richard Auldon Clark leading the Manhattan Chamber Orchestra had been released in the digital era.
Horslips – Happy To Meet… (1972) Atco Records/SD 7030 – 1st US Pressing - LP/FLAC In 24bit/96kHz - NEW 2017 RIP!

Horslips – Happy To Meet… Sorry To Part
Vinyl | LP Cover (1:1) | FLAC + cue | 24bit/96kHz & 16bit/44kHz
Label: Atco Records/SD 7030 | Release: 1972 | Original US Issue: 1973 | Genre: Progressive-Folk

Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection
Entry into the exclusive club of “professional musicians” is often a gradual and painful process. Based on recorded documents, such was not the case with Horslips, who came to the game fully formed and ready to rock n reel. I’m sure they paid their dues in a live setting for years, even if that included weddings, funerals, and christenings, as off the cuff performing is often part and parcel of Irish culture. Whatever the case, “Happy to Meet…Sorry to Part” is a landmark celtic rock recording and a stunning debut, and this applies whether you are a celtic music fan, a progressive fan, a rocker, or any combination thereof.
John Mayall With Eric Clapton – Blues Breakers (1966) London Records/LC 50009 – US Pressing - LP/FLAC In 24bit/96kHz

John Mayall With Eric Clapton – Blues Breakers
Vinyl | LP Cover (1:1) | FLAC + cue | 24bit/96kHz & 16bit/44kHz
Label: London Records/LC 50009 | Released: 1966 | This Issue: 197? | Genre: Blues-Rock

Tired of a creeping tendency towards pop territory that was happening in his old band, the Yardbirds, Eric Clapton was after one thing alone: the blues. With John Mayall and his pool of fledgling giants he got it in spades.

Handel - Floridante (Alan Curtis) [2007]  Music

Posted by Vilboa at Feb. 26, 2017
Handel - Floridante (Alan Curtis) [2007]

Handel - Floridante (Alan Curtis) [2007]
Classical | Archiv Produktion 289 477 6566 | TT: 58.28+50.21+54.53 | EAC (FLAC, cue, log) | Covers | 763 Mb

Handel wrote Floridante in 1722 for a London audience infatuated with Italian opera. The plot, like that of so many Baroque operas, was taken from ancient history and concerns romantic liaisons thrown into turmoil by political rivalries, in this case between Persia and Tyre. Handel wrote over 50 Italian operas, and it's remarkable that he was consistently able to summon such a high level of inventiveness and inspiration when faced repeatedly with librettos that must have come to look depressingly alike in the conventions of their labyrinthine plots. Handel, however, had strong enough musical and dramatic convictions that he refused to make alterations to the score of Floridante that would have changed the opera's character, after London's Royal Academy of Music informed him that changes in the performing personnel would require him to rewrite the vocal parts. Handel eventually made some adjustments, but stood firm about others – a bold position, considering the relatively low status of composers in the world of opera at the time. After the premiere with a less-than-ideal cast, Handel restored the score to his original intentions and it's that version that's heard on this recording.

Handel - Ezio (Alan Curtis) [2009]  Music

Posted by Vilboa at Feb. 25, 2017
Handel - Ezio (Alan Curtis) [2009]

Handel - Ezio (Alan Curtis) [2009]
Classical | Archiv Produktion 289 477 8073 | TT: 67.56+61.08+57.45 | EAC (FLAC, cue, log) | Covers | 907 Mb

Alan Curtis continues his exemplary series of Handel operas for Archiv with Ezio, a 1732 work that has received few modern productions. Its initial limited success and failure to generate much interest until the late twentieth century may have to do with its length (over three hours), its preponderance of recitatives, and the composer's reluctance to use the voices together in ensembles, so that the entire opera, until the final chorus, consists of solo singing. Handel's gift for astute psychological insight and distinctive musical characterization is evident throughout the score, and the recitatives, which are necessary for explicating Metastasio's convoluted plot, are not a problem when they are performed with as much vivid dramatic realism as they are here.
Horslips – The Book Of Invasions (1976) DJM Records/DJLPA-10 – 1st US Pressing - LP/FLAC In 24bit/96kHz - NEW 2017 RIP!

Horslips ‎– The Book Of Invasions ‘A Celtic Symphony’
Vinyl | LP Cover (1:1) | FLAC + cue | 24bit/96kHz & 16bit/44kHz
Label: DJM Records/DJLPA-10 | Released: 1976 | Genre: Progressive-Folk

Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music
After the lacklustre Unfortunate Cup of Tea, the next album was going to be a watershed for Horslips. In the end, they returned broadly to the formula that had brought them so much acclaim for The Tain and produced a concept album based on Irish mythology and full of great songs based on Irish traditional tunes. And it works just as well as The Tain, having brought them enormous critical acclaim. If anything, they show their amazing musicianship off even more, with Charles O’Connor’s fiddle and mandolin swopping riffs with Johnny Fean’s scything lead guitar and Jim Lockhart’s flute,whistle, pipes and keyboards.

Handel - Radamisto (Alan Curtis) [2005]  Music

Posted by Vilboa at Feb. 17, 2017
Handel - Radamisto (Alan Curtis) [2005]

Handel - Radamisto (Alan Curtis) [2005]
Classical | Virgin 7243 5 45673 2 | TT: 61.01+65.25+50.36 | EAC (FLAC, cue, log) | Covers | 760 Mb

Joyce Di Donato and Maite Beaumont are outstanding as the devoted couple tormented by Tiridate’s abuse of power. Their flexible and agile voices are ideally displayed in the opening scenes of Act 2 – Beaumont’s sublime ‘Quando mai’ followed by Di Donato’s powerful ‘Ombra cara’. Patrizia Ciofi is suited to the moods of the Tiridate’s long-suffering wife. Dominique Labelle is the most rounded and ideally equipped Handel soprano in the cast: the music effortlessly trips off her tongue in ‘Mirerò quel vago volto’… Alan Curtis directs with superb pace and judgement. He is a successful advocate for Handel’s first version of Radamisto, although in Act 3 he uses two pieces from the second version for dramatic reasons. I wonder how Polissena’s original climactic aria ‘Sposo ingrato’ might sound instead of the exclamatory ‘Barbiro, partirò’, but I cannot fault Curtis’s decision to opt for the more dynamic later aria. Il Complesso Barocco play neatly and sympathetically support the singers. The orchestra avoids forcing rhetorical effects too much but I wish it had mined the textural richness in Handel’s score a little deeper. However, this enjoyable performance lacks nothing essential in theatrical impact and musical drive. (David Vickers, Gramophone)