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“The Diabelli Variations, Op. 120; the Sonata No. 32 in C minor, Op. 111; and the Six Bagatelles, Op. 126, are among the most original and intellectually stimulating works Ludwig van Beethoven composed for the piano, and the sophisticated interpretations of András Schiff are especially worthwhile for their insights into authentic performance practice and reception.” –All Music Guide

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“Annie Clark began recording St. Vincent almost immediately after she finished touring in support of Love This Giant, her inspired collaboration with David Byrne. It’s not hard to hear the influence that album had on these songs; Love This Giant’s literal and figurative brassiness gave Clark’s witty yet thoughtful approach more sass without sacrificing any of her intelligence….And, as her most satisfying, artful, and accessible album yet, St. Vincent earns its title.” –All Music Guide

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“Tyler Farr may indeed be Redneck Crazy on his 2013 debut for Columbia Nashville, but his definition of redneck doesn’t quite belong to the backwoods. Farr may not be a grinning, unrepentant bro the way that Luke Bryan and his ilk are, but he’s not far removed, not with his arsenal of songs about beer, tiny bikinis, hot messes, and trucks.” –All Music Guide

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“Just in case the title of The Outsiders doesn’t give away the game, Eric Church takes pains to strike a defiant stance throughout his fourth album, underscoring his status as a genuine Nashville Rebel….Church has made the conscious decision to try a little bit of everything in his quest to be a savior to both rock and country.” –All Music Guide

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“Panamanian-born pianist Danilo Pérez’s 2014 album, Panama 500, is an expansive effort that showcases his trio as they delve deep into the music and folkloric traditions of Pérez’s homeland. Panama 500 is an ambitious work that showcases all of Pérez’s immense technical skills, jazz knowledge, and deep, abiding love of his Latin American roots.” –All Music Guide

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Dum Dum Girls: Too True

“Dee Dee and her crew are determined to test the self-set boundaries of their sound, and even if it won’t always work the attempt will always be interesting. If they keep making records this emotionally powerful, hook-filled, and easy to listen to as this, their future is very, very dark and promising.” –All Music Guide

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“Hersch and Lage mesh superbly and have put together a coherent and listenable set of sophisticated improvisations which fuse baroque counterpoint, punctuated rhythms, and diverse jazz motifs in a disciplined yet exciting way. Simply by virtue of the close coordination of piano and guitar and tightness of performance, the album points up the continuity of music from Bach to bop to modernity, and in this respect represents something of a measuring rod for the development of jazz forms.” –All About Jazz

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“Unlike most albums of violin encores featuring the most popular showpieces in the repertoire, In 27 Pieces: The Hilary Hahn Encores introduces original works for violin and piano that have been specially commissioned by Hilary Hahn in an effort to rejuvenate this specialized musical category….Taken altogether, this is an attractive collection of chamber music, and Hahn’s project is an unqualified success.” –All Music Guide

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Jhené Aiko: Sail Out

“Having already made a big impression in 2013 with appearances on singles from Big Sean (‘Beware’) and Drake (‘From Time’), breathy R&B vocalist Jhené Aiko fleshes out her character on Sail Out, a relaxed debut EP that suggests that this girl is on permanent vacation. That’s not a negative, but a positive, as the singer seductively slinks her way through heartbreak.” –All Music Guide

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Samantha Crain: Kid Face

“That there’s a little too much misery on this third album from the 27-year-old Oklahoman doesn’t obscure a promising talent at work. The album’s bare-bones production is a break from Crain’s previous group work, and push her robust but vulnerable voice to the fore.” –The Guardian

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“For years, the easy point of comparison for Muse and their brand of driving rock was Radiohead, but as the trio has grown, it became clearer and clearer that the sound they were really striving for was something akin to the pure spectacle of Queen….[T]he enormity of their sound is best captured in the live setting. With Live at Rome Olympic Stadium, the British band does just that, bringing its massive, intricate sound to bear on a crowd of over 60,000 frenzied fans.” –All Music Guide

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“Boogarins were in high school when they recorded their debut, and they spend its duration lightly teasing every record in their collections, reproducing it note-perfect faithfully while tweaking its nose….That they assembled an album that sounds this good while working in their parent’s basements says a lot about their talent. They have good taste in other people’s records, but they also have the innate musical smarts to pull similar sounds out of their own.” –Pitchfork

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“Crosby is a competent singer in French, though he certainly wouldn’t fool a native speaker. Just as in his long period of cutting singles for Decca Records, he is game to try his hand at nearly any style of pop music, and his name alone should be enough to sell this pleasant collection, particularly in France itself, even if the French are notoriously judgmental about foreigners trying to speak (or sing) their language.” –All Music Guide

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“Crosby had a particular fondness for songs by Johnny Mercer, his friend and frequent collaborator, and he tracked 100 or so of them during his long career. This generous set collects 22 of these recordings on a single disc, including several previously unreleased radio performances, and fun duets with the Andrews Sisters, Louis Armstrong, and Mercer himself, among other valuable archival gems.” –All Music Guide

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“This wonderful archival Patti Page release is drawn from recording sessions Page did for Columbia Records between 1963 and 1969, but then never officially released….[I]t amounts to a fair amount of material, and a treasure trove at that. This is indeed a welcome addition to the Page legacy.” –All Music Guide

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Giuseppe Verdi: Otello

“Released in 2013 in celebration of Giuseppe Verdi’s bicentennial, this recording of his late opera Otello is taken from three concert performances by Riccardo Muti and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, recorded on April 7, 9, and 12, 2011.” –All Music Guide

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“After a two-year hiatus due to health problems, James Levine returned to Carnegie Hall on May 19, 2013, to lead the Met Orchestra in a stirring presentation of music by Richard Wagner, Ludwig van Beethoven, and Franz Schubert. This concert showed Levine to be both resilient and confident as he conducted from his elevated wheelchair, demonstrating the inner strength that has sustained him through several injuries and surgeries.” –All Music Guide

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“Pedrito Martinez is undeniably one of the most talented young musicians in Latin music today and has become one of the most in-demand in the industry for both his beautiful voice and his exceptional percussion skills. The group he leads is expanding the definitions of Latin jazz seamlessly blending the styles of timba, gospel, guaguanco, blues, jazz, and classical music into their own sound that bursts with energy and never ceases to groove.” –All About Jazz

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Phosphorescent: Muchacho

“Muchacho has some of [Matthew] Houck’s best songwriting since his early days, seemingly tapped into the grainy pain, hard-living tendencies, and wandering muse of his subconscious, with the most listenable results Phosphorescent has produced in years.” –All Music Guide

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Yo La Tengo: Fade

“[F]luidity and cohesion is what drives the songs on Fade to stand stronger as a unified mood, and one that grows more satisfying with repeat listens. By this point, Yo La Tengo have developed not just a style, but a voice of their own so distinct that the deeper the details go determines how strong the album can be. Fade is rich with details and grows richer the closer one looks.” –All Music Guide

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