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Wednesday August 27th
195 reviews completed so far this month

Bela BARTOK (1881-1945) Chamber works for violin Vol. 3 - James Ehnes, Amy Schwartz Moretti (violin) Michael Collins (clarinet) Andrew Armstrong (piano) rec. 2012/13 CHANDOS [PCG] Performances absolutely immaculate even in the face of the most ferocious difficulties and boredom never sets in.

John CASKEN (b.1949) Violin Concerto, Concerto for Orchestra, Orion Over Farne - Sophia Jaffé (violin) Hallé O/Markus Stenz rec. 2013 NMC [RB] Another piece of elite advocacy for a contemporary composer who still allows house room to imagination. Fascinating generally but the Violin Concerto stands out in this company.

Antonín DVOŘÁK (1841-1904) Violin Sonatina Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Violin Sonata 5 Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Violin Sonata - Siegfried Borries (violin) Michael Raucheisen (piano) rec. 1943-1944 MELOCLASSIC [JW] Borries well deserves his place in this series especially in such sympathetic restorations.

Paul HINDEMITH (1895-1963) Nobilissima Visione, Five Pieces for String Orchestra - Seattle Symphony/Gerard Schwarz rec. 2011 NAXOS Hindemith’s complete Nobilissima Visione in a fine performance [LW] Hindemith done with utter conviction and apposite style [RB].

Karl JENKINS (b.1944) Motets - Polyphony/Stephen Layton DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON [GH] Emotionally charged, warm-hearted and communicative.

Peter MAXWELL DAVIES (b. 1934) The Lighthouse - Neil Mackie (tenor) Christopher Keyte (baritone) Ian Comboy (bass) Members of the BBC Philharmonic/Peter Maxwell Davies rec. 1994 NAXOS [MS] An excellent interpretation of a compelling modern opera; fully satisfying in every way.

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Symphonies 31, 35 & 36 - Royal PO, Beecham SO/Sir Thomas Beecham rec. 1915-53 PRISTINE AUDIO [GH] Ample evidence what a fine Mozart conductor Beecham was ... also illuminating bonus tracks.

Alexander SCRIABIN (1871-1915) The Poem of Ecstasy Fikret Dzhamil AMIROV (b. 1922) Azerbaijan Mugam - Houston SO/Leopold Stokowski rec. 1959 EVEREST [IL] Short measure again from Everest; but very much worth the investment, especially the Amirov.

Richard STRAUSS (1864-1949) Elektra - Birgit Nilsson (soprano) Wolfgang Windgassen (tenor) O & Ch Wiener Staatsoper/Karl Böhm rec. 1965 ORFEO [RMo] The extra intensity and charge that comes with which the atmosphere of a live performance.

Rejoice, the Lord is king! Great Hymns from Westminster Abbey - Westminster Abbey Ch/James O’Donnell, Robert Quinney (organ) rec. 2012-2013 HYPERION [GF] Anyone who has ever been in Westminster Abbey should be overwhelmed by the lifelike sound picture.

NEW & RECENT ARTICLES

[New] William Alwyn's Concerto Grosso No. 3 – A Half Century Retrospective by John France

[New] Download News 2014/10 by Brian Wilson, Geoffrey Molyneux & Kirk McElhearn

Elgar and the Great War: The Spirit of England by John Quinn

Forgotten Artists: Franz André by Christopher Howell

A survey of Everest reissues by John Whitmore

Harold Schonberg The Last Of The Traditionalist American Music Writers by Frank T. Manheim

All national discographies prepared by Mike Herman are updated; this will now occur on a monthly basis.

MWI Recommends - Unheralded masterworks - favourite rarely recorded works.

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[New] A Holst celebration in Oxford: September 27 - see here for details

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Julian Lloyd-Webber's last filmed performance - available to watch free

A Dream Of Germany: Music’s War-torn World 1914 - four concerts of music related to WWI on October 5 in London - see here for the Press Release (pdf)

Press release from EM Records about a new release Irish Idylls: piano music by Stanford, Bax & Rosenthal

London performances of Stanislaw Moniuszko's opera Halka in October - details here.

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