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Some items
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in the first division

extraordinary by any standards

An excellent disc

a new benchmark

summation of a lifetime’s experience.

Piano Concertos 1 and 2
Surprise Best Seller and now

A Garland for John McCabe


DIETHELM Symphonies

The best Rite of Spring in Years

BACH Magnificat

Brian Symphs 8, 21, 26

Just enjoy it!

La Mer Ticciati







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Friday June 22nd
158 reviews completed so far this month

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) French & English Suites - Alexander Borovsky (piano) rec. 1952/3 PRISTINE AUDIO PAKM074 [3 CDs: 166:33] [JW] I hope this will lead to more investigation of Borovsky’s legacy.

Béla BARTÓK (1881-1945) Divertimento Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) String Quintet No. 2 - Amsterdam Sinfonietta/Candida Thompson rec. 2016 CHANNEL CLASSICS CCS37518 [55:26] [DC] Specialist string orchestra playing – very fine indeed.

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) & Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975) Symphonies No. 5 - Dresdner Philharmonie/Michael Sanderling rec. 2016/17 SONY CLASSICAL 19075820802 [81.52] [MC] I’m looking forward keenly to the next release in this series.

Sir Edward ELGAR (1857-1934) Falstaff, Grania & Diarmid, Songs - Roderick Williams (baritone) BBC Philharmonic/Sir Andrew Davis rec. 2017 CHANDOS CHSA5188 SACD [74.25] [RWM] A fine performance of Falstaff in refined but not ideally immediate sound is complemented by a distinguished recital of Elgar’s songs.

Michael HURD (1928-2006) Choral Music Vol. 2 & Complete Solo Songs -Sarah Mapplebeck (mezzo) Marcus Farnsworth (baritone) Benjamin Hulett (tenor) Simon Lepper (piano) Hertfordshire Ch, London O da Camera/David Temple rec. 2017 LYRITA SRCD366 [72:07 + 39:45] [JQ] Highly persuasive performances.

Modest MUSSORGSKY (1839-1881) Pictures from an Exhibition Maurice RAVEL (1875-1937) La Valse; Ottorino RESPIGHI (1879-1936) Rossiniana - Suisse Romande O/Ernest Ansermet rec. 1958/67  ELOQUENCE 4824983 [66:50] [BW] Not my first choice for Pictures but comparable with Ansermet’s 1959 recording.

Richard STRAUSS (1864–1949) Macbeth, Don Juan, Tod und Verklärung, Festmarsch - Staatskapelle Weimar/Kirill Karabits rec. 2017 AUDITE 97.755 [70:35] [NB] Superb playing and engineering ensure this is never less than a pleasure to listen to.

Hidden Gems Calefax rec. 2017 PENTATONE PTC5186696 SACD [70:08] [RK] Brilliant wind playing and intelligent musicianship.

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Liepāja Concerti - Vol. I Works by Dubra, Smidbergs, Esenvalds, Karlsons and Lacis - Liepāja SO/Atvars Lakstīgala rec 2013-2016 ODRADEK RECORDS ODRCD362 [63:06 + 75:27] [RHa] An often thrilling survey of new Latvian concertos brilliantly performed and vividly recorded.

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Rawsthorne & Other Rarities Clare Wilkinson (mezzo) Harvey Davies (harpsichord) John Turner (recorder, bamboo pipe) Peter Lawson (piano) Stephanie Tress (cello) Solem Qt rec. 2017 DIVINE ART DDA25169 [78:30] [JF] An extraordinary disc.


[New] Verdi's Don Carlo: A partial survey of the discography by Ralph Moore

[New] Stanfordian Thoughts: 2. Chamber Music with Strings by Christopher Howell

The Verdi Requiem - Part II: A Partial Survey of the Mono Discography by Ralph Moore

Bax and the Veil of Enchantment by Ian Lace

Johann David Heinichen: Hidden Genius of the Baroque by Andrew Hartman

Second Thoughts and Short Reviews: Spring 2018 Pt 3 by Brian Wilson and Dan Morgan

Classical Music on Stamps This week: Composers on Italian stamps Part 3


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MusicWeb International - Founder: Len Mullenger [UK], Founding Editor: Rob Barnett [UK], Regular Reviewers: Steve Arloff [UK], Stephen Barber [UK], David Barker [New Zealand], Rob Barnett [UK], Nick Barnard [UK], Robert Beattie [UK], Dave Billinge [UK], Philip Buttall [UK], Colin Clarke [UK], Dominy Clements [Netherlands], Michael Cookson [UK], Hubert Culot [Belgium], Robert Farr [UK], Göran Forsling [Sweden], John France [UK], Paul Corfield Godfrey [UK], Stephen Greenbank [UK], Michael Greenhalgh [UK], Richard Hanlon [UK], Nigel Harris [UK], Gary Higginson [UK], Christopher Howell [Italy], Des Hutchinson [Australia], Richard Kraus [USA], William Kreindler [USA], Ian Lace [UK], Bruce McCollum [USA], Rob McKenzie [Australia], Em Marshall-Luck [UK], Rob Maynard [UK], Ralph Moore [UK], Dan Morgan [UK], Gwyn Parry-Jones [UK], Tully Potter [UK], Glyn Pursglove [UK], John Quinn [UK], Marc Rochester [UK], Curtis Rogers [UK], Stuart Sillitoe [UK], Bob Stevenson [UK], Simon Thompson [UK], Steve Vasta [USA], Johan van Veen [Netherlands], Raymond Walker [UK], Jonathan Welsh [UK], Roy Westbrook [UK], Jim Westhead [UK], Michael Wilkinson [UK], Brian Wilson [UK], Jonathan Woolf [UK] Leslie Wright [USA]. A complete list of contributors can be seen here

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