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Wednesday November 30th

Anton Bruckner (1824–1896) Symphony No 9 - Budapest Festival Orchestra/Iván Fischer rec. 2021 CHANNEL CCSSA42822 SACD [55] [RWe] A modern view (so not unwelcome), enjoyable on its own terms - terms which include its cool objectivity.

Christoph Förster (1693–1745) Concertos & Cantata - Concert Royal Köln/Karla Schröter (oboe) rec. 2018 MUSICAPHON M56982 [72] [JV] An interesting survey of Förster's stylistic development as a composer of instrumental music.

Charles Hubert Gervais (1671-1744) Grands Motets Pour Louis XV - Choeur du Concert Spirituel, Les Ombres/Sylvain Sartre, Margaux Blanchard rec. 2021 CHÂTEAU DE VERSAILLES CVS073 [57] [MP] A very welcome disc from a composer whose works are receiving their premiere recordings.

Jean Sibelius (1865–1957) Symphony Nos 3 & 5, Pohjola's Daughter - Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra/Santtu-Matias Rouvali rec. 2018–22 ALPHA CLASSICS 645 [76] [RC] Rouvali and the Gothenburg players deliver an excellent Sibelius Third and a somewhat restrained though still convincing Fifth.

Fritz Kreisler (violin) The Bell Telephone Hour Recordings Vol 2 - Bell Telephone Hour Orchestra/Donald Vorhees rec. 1944–48 BIDDULPH 85020-2 [77] [JW] A second helping of Kreisler’s Bell Telephone Hour broadcasts.

Lisette Oropesa (soprano) French Bel Canto Arias - Dresdner Philharmonie/Corrado Rovaris rec. 2021 PENTATONE PTC5186955 SACD [65] [GF] A winner in every respect and a strong candidate for my Recording of the Year.

Artur Rodziński (conductor) At the NBC Vol 3 - NBC Symphony Orchestra rec. 1937 PRISTINE AUDIO PASC669 [76] [GT] Obligatory for all who are attracted to historical recordings of this glorious period in American music.

Tuesday November 29th

Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827) Violin Concerto Jakov Gotovac (1895-1982) Kolo Symphonique, Koleda - Igor Ozim (violin) Orchestre Philharmonique de Zagreb/Milan Horvat rec. 1958/1961 FORGOTTEN RECORDS FR2079 [68] [SG] A welcome restoration of Igor Ozim’s Beethoven.

Leo Blech (1871–1958) Alpenkönig und Menschenfeind - Ronan Collett (baritone), Hrólfur Saemundsson (baritone), Sonja Gornik (soprano), Aachen Opera Symphony Orchestra/Christopher Ward rec. 2021 CAPRICCIO C5478 [2 CDs: 125] [PCG] An extremely valuable and well-presented first recording of a neglected work which by no means deserves its obscurity.

Ronald Hannah (b. 1945) Chamber works - CANADIAN MUSIC CENTRE PGM2102-2 [56] [JW] A creative traditionalist whose chamber works exude lyricism and dance.

Matthew Kaner (b. 1986) Chamber Music - Goldfield Ensemble, Mark Simpson (basset clarinet), Guy Johnston (cello) rec. 2022 DELPHIAN DCD34231 [70] [DJB] Music that I found easier to admire than enjoy.

Gustav Mahler (1860–1911) Symphony No 5 - Czech Philharmonic Orchestra/Semyon Bychkov rec. 2021 PENTATONE PTC5187021 [71] [DM] A refreshing take on a much performed symphony delivered with panache and commitment.

Paul Paray (1886–1979) Works for Piano Vol 2 - Katia Krivocochenko (piano) rec. 2020/21 CIAR CC006 [71] [RMo] A second volume of delights showcasing Paray’s melodious invention.

Franz Schubert (1797-1828) Works for Solo Piano Vol 6 - Piano Sonata D845, Impromptus - Barry Douglas (piano) rec. 2021 CHANDOS CHAN20253 [82] [MG] Douglas’ focus is ever clear yet the works’ variety is vibrantly revealed.

Monday November 28th

Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827) Symphonies Nos 1-9 Gerald Barry (b. 1952) Beethoven, Piano Concerto, Viola Concerto, The Conquest of Ireland, The Eternal Recurrence - Britten Sinfonia Voices, The Choir of Royal Holloway, Britten Sinfonia/Thomas Adès rec. 2017-19 SIGNUM CLASSICS SIGCD687 [6 CDs: 420] [GT] An important addition to the catalogue of Beethoven symphonic cycles.

Gustav Holst (1874-1934) Choral Music - Joshua Ryan (organ), Chapel Choir of the Royal Hospital Chelsea/William Vann rec. 2021 SOMM RECORDINGS SOMMCD279 [76] [NB] A unique and valuable collection, performed with skill and insight.

Giacomo Meyerbeer (1791-1864) Robert le Diable (1831) - Orchestre National Bordeaux Aquitaine, Chœur de l’Opéra National de Bordeaux/Marc Minkowski rec. 2021 BRU ZANE BZ1049 [3 CDs: 216] [PSt] A very fine first studio recording of a historically very important work.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791) Complete Piano Sonatas - Mao Fujita (piano) rec. 2021 SONY 19658710762 [5 CDs: 301] [MB] Mao Fujita’s impressively fresh and joyous Mozart sonatas are a superb achievement.

Uģis Praulinš (b. 1957) L'homme armé - Jānis Pelše (organ), Pēteris Vaickovskis (conductor, voice), Ars Antiqua Riga rec. 2020 SKANI LMIC142 [72] [DC] Ambitious but frustrating.

Fritz Kreisler (violin) The Bell Telephone Hour Recordings Volume 1 - Bell Telephone Hour Orchestra/Donald Voorhees rec. 1944-50 BIDDULPH 85019-2 [75] [JW] Kreisler’s radio broadcasts bring a glorious career to a poignant close.

Three Christmas Cantatas Works by Britten, Bush & Dyson - RCM Chamber Choir, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra/Sir David Willcocks rec. 1986 HERITAGE HTGCD151 [68] [JF] It is good to have these British cantatas back in the catalogue.

Friday November 25th

William Baines (1899-1922) Pictures of Light - Duncan Honeybourne (piano), Gordon Pullin (tenor) rec. 2022 DIVINE ART DDA25234 [78] [JF] A notable new release.

Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827) Violin Concerto Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872-1958) The Lark Ascending - Sinfonietta Riga/Thomas Gould (violin) rec. 2014 EDITION EDN1058 [60] [RMo] A refreshingly different take on two seminal works.

Anthoni van Noordt (c1619-1675) Complete Organ Music - Manual Tomadin (organ) rec. 2020 BRILLIANT CLASSICS 95895 [2 CDs: 141] [JV] Pretty much ideal performances, with the help of a magnificent instrument.

Karol Szymanowski (1882-1937) Piano Works - Krystian Zimerman (piano) rec. 1994/2022 DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 4863007 [70] [DMD] Zimerman at his dazzling, fantastical best.

Christmastide Traditional Christmas Carols arranged for harp - Harriet Adie (harp) rec. 2022 MPR 113 [48] [JW] Dextrous colour irradiates a Christmas harp disc.

Russian Ballads Works by Kissin, Prokofiev & Shostakovich - Gabriel Schwabe (cello) Roland Pöntinen (piano) rec. 2021 NAXOS 8.574377 [78] [SA] The well-chosen pieces on this delightful disc show the cello in all its majesty.

A Shropshire Lad Roderick Williams (baritone) Hallé/Sir Mark Elder rec. 2022 HALLÉ CDHLL7559 [73] [NB] A richly rewarding recital – superb repertoire skilfully orchestrated and beautifully performed.

Thursday November 24th

Edward Cowie (b. 1943) Streams and Particles - Peter Sheppard Skærved (violin), Spectrum Guitar Quartet, Christopher Redgate (oboe) rec. 2016-2021 MÉTIER MSV28612 [82] [JF] Whatever the theoretical underpinnings of this music, it can be enjoyed abstractly.

Pedro de Cristo (c.1550-1618) Magnificat, Missa Salve Regina, Marian Motets - Cupertinos/Luis Toscano rec. 2021 HYPERION CDA68393 [75] [GH] Wonderful and little-known sacred works performed with character and sensitivity by a superb choir.

Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872-1958) A London Symphony, Symphony No 5, Dona Nobis Pacem - London SO, London PO, BBC SO/Ralph Vaughan Williams rec. 1936-1952 SOMM RECORDINGS ARIADNE5019-2 [2 CDs: 146] [NB] The composer as conductor triumphantly revealed in revelatory interpretations.

Arc II Works by Brahms, Ravel & Schumann - Orion Weiss (piano) rec. 2018 FIRST HAND RECORDS FHR128 [77] [DC] A very fine programme.

Les caractères d'Ulysse Works by Boismortier & Rebel - Loris Barrucand, Clément Geoffroy (harpsichords) rec. 2019 CHÂTEAU DE VERSAILLES SPECTACLES CVS021 [74] [JV] A most enjoyable production.

Hilary Hahn (violin) Eclipse -  Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra/Andrés Orizco-Estrada rec. 2021 DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 486 2383 [77] [JW] A concerto disc of two parts; excellent Ginastera, but weak Dvořák.

In Winter’s House Tenebrae/Nigel Short Camilla Pay (harp) Joshua Davidson (treble) rec. 2022 SIGNUM CLASSICS SIGCD690 [79] [JQ] A Christmas disc to savour.


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