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Monthly Listing
September 2022
145 reviews this month

Nikolai Medtner (1880-1951) Complete Piano Music Vol. 1 - Thomas Ang (piano) rec. 2022 Private release [51] [DMD] An irresistible album at a bargain price from an up-and-coming pianist.

Franz Schubert (1797-1828) Symphonies No 8 and 9 - Gewandhausorchester Leipzig /Herbert Blomstedt rec. 2021 DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 486 3045 [2 CDs: 88] [JQ] Masterly and highly distinguished Schubert performances.

Andrea Tarrodi (b. 1981) Four Elements - Delphine Constantin-Reznik (harp) Nordic Chamber Orchestra & Ens/Patrik Ringborg, JoAnn Falletta rec. 2021 DB PRODUCTIONS DBCD204 [62] [RHa] Direct in utterance yet uncommonly profound, Andrea Tarrodi’s music is a consistent enchantment.

Giuseppe Verdi (1813-1901) Falstaff - Nicola Alaimo (bass-baritone) Alice Ford, Aylin Pérez (soprano) Orchestra and Chorus of Maggio Musicale Fiorentino/John Eliot Gardiner rec. 2021 DYNAMIC 57951 Blu-ray [143] [MP] A consistently entertaining Falstaff takes the lead among videos of Verdi’s great comedy.

Secret Love Letters Works by Chausson, Debussy, Franck & Szymanowski - Lisa Batiashvili (violin) Giorgi Gigashvili (piano) Philadelphia Orchestra/Yannick Nézet-Séguin (piano) rec. 2022 DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 4860462 [71] [DMD] Warning: this electrifying music making may put your ears at risk of combustion!

Richard Arnell (1917-2009) Orchestral Works - Victor Sangiorgio (piano), Sergey Levitin (violin), Aleksei Kiseliov (cello), English Chamber Orchestra/Martin Yates rec. 2021 DUTTON EPOCH CDLX7400 [81] [JW] Previously unrecorded Arnell pieces for chamber-sized ensembles show resourceful and practical attention to detail.

Kim André Arnesen (b. 1980) Tuvayhun - Nidarosdomens jentekor & TrondheimSolistene/Anita Brevik rec. 2020/2021 2L 2L171SABD SACD/BD-A [79] [DC] Spectacular sonics and a positive message.

Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) Violin Concertos - Ivry Gitlis (violin) Natalia Likhopoi (violin) Louisiana Museum Art Ensemble rec. 1990-1997 RHINE CLASSICS RH-024 [74] [JW] The richly communicative instincts of Ivry Gitlis are heard in previously unreleased Bach.

Don Banks (1923–1980) Vocal and Chamber Music rec. 2020 TOCCATA CLASSICS TOCC0591 [82] [GH] The first disc completely devoted to this almost forgotten 1970s modernist.

Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827) Piano Concertos 0 & 5 - Boris Giltburg (piano), Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra/Vasily Petrenko rec. 2019/20 NAXOS 8.574153 [62] [WH] Giltburg and Petrenko make a superb team in the ‘Emperor’ Concerto, with the bonus of a fascinating coupling.

Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827) Arrangements for chamber ensembles - Fabrizio Datteri (piano), Filippo Rogal (flute), Alberto Bologni, Gloria Merani (violins), Filippo Burchietti (cello), Gabriele Ragghiante (double bass) rec. 2019-21 DA VINCI CLASSICS C00569 [57] [RCh] An interesting view of familiar music garbed in unfamiliar attire.

Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827) Lieder - Mathias Goerne (baritone) Jan Lisiecki (piano) rec. 2019 DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 4838351 [69] [ST] Prayerful, inward-looking performances of Beethoven’s songs.

Franz Biber (1644-1704) Requiem & works by Bernhard, Nicolai & Fux - Vox Luminis, Freiburger BarockConsort/Lionel Meunier rec. 2019 ALPHA 665 [73] [JV] Fine performance of Biber's Requiem and an interesting choice of additional music.

Sergei Bortkiewicz (1877-1952) Chamber Music - Cristian Persinaru (violin) Paul Fox (cello) Nils Franke (piano) rec. 2002/04 BRILLIANT CLASSICS 96586 [74] [JW] The variable art of Russian exile Sergei Bortkiewicz’s chamber works.

Henriëtte Bosmans (1895-1952) Violin Sonata, Arietta, Piano Trio - Solarek Piano Trio rec. 2022 TOCCATA CLASSICS TOCC0654 [55] [JW] Premiere recordings in unsatisfactory performances and poor acoustics.

Johannes Brahms (1833–1897) Liebeslieder, Waltzes - Piano Duo Nadàn rec. 2020 BRILLIANT CLASSICS 96166 [58] [SB] Piano versions of Brahms’s charming waltzes and songs.

Frank Bridge (1879-1941) Cello Sonata, There is a Willow Grows Aslant a Brook Benjamin Britten (1913-1976) Elegy, Lachrymae - Hélčne Clément (viola), Sarah Connolly (mezzo-soprano), Alasdair Beatson (piano) rec. 2021 CHANDOS CHAN20247 [61] [JW] Crisp but expressive performances that trace a British viola lineage from Bridge to Britten.

Benjamin Britten (1913–1976) War Requiem Sir Arthur Bliss (1891–1975) Morning Heroes - Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra/Sir Charles Groves, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra/ Simon Rattle rec. 1974 WARNER CLASSICS 5059092 [2 CDs: 143] [JQ] These scores, here in excellent performances, express profound sentiments and complement each other well.

Anton Bruckner (1824-1896) Symphonies Nos 1 & 7 - Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra/Christian Thielemann rec. 2021 UNITEL Blu-ray 807004 [181] [GT] Thielemann’s new Bruckner symphony cycle offers a fresh approach to mark the 200th birth anniversary.

Anton Bruckner (1824–1896) Symphony No 4 - Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra/ Wilhelm Furtwängler rec. 1952 PRISTINE AUDIO PASC666 [66] [RMo] A splendid revitalization of a thrilling performance caught on the wing.

Gaetano Brunetti (1744–1798) Divertimenti - Concerto 1700 rec. 2021 1700 CLASSICS 170004 [54] [JV] These divertimenti are substantial additions to the string trio repertoire.

Adolf Busch (1891-1952) Divertimento, Theme and Variations, Clarinet Sonata, Preludes and Fugues - Rudolf Serkin, Peter Serkin (piano); Harold Wright (clarinet) rec. 1961-1982 PRISTINE AUDIO PACM115 [78] [RB] Music of the 20th century but with its deep and melodious language in hock to the final quarter of the 19th.

Frédéric Chopin (1810-1849) Ballades, Scherzi - Béla Síki (piano) rec. 1952/53 FORGOTTEN RECORDS FR1893 [74] [SG] Significant and stimulating examples of Béla Síki’s art.

Rebecca Clarke (1886-1979) & William Busch (1901-1945) Complete Piano Music - Simon Callaghan (piano) rec. 2021 LYRITA SRCD408 [69] [JW] Three sets of themes and variations glue together the complete piano works of two British contemporaries.

Francisco Correa de Arauxo (1584-1654) Libro de Tientos - Bernard Foccroulle (organ, virginals) InAlto/Lambert Colson rec. 2019/20 RICERCAR RIC435 [4 CDs: 280] [JV] A monument for a composer who is not as well known as he deserves to be.

Claude Debussy (1867-1918) Piano Duets - Louis Lortie, Hélčne Mercier (two pianos and piano duet) rec. 2021 CHANDOS CHAN20228 [81] [PCG] Superb performance and recording, lamed by a frustrating omission.

Claude Debussy (1862–1918) The First Columbia Recordings - Walter Gieseking (piano) rec. 1931–1949 APR APR6040 [2 CDs: 153] [SG] Debussy’s solo piano music from one of its finest interpreters.

Bernard van Dieren (1887–1936) Complete Music For Piano Solo - Christopher Guild (piano) rec. 2021 PIANO CLASSICS PCL10241 [54 + 47] [JW] Van Dieren in from the cold with a new piano champion.

Peter Drew Symphony No. 1 - Zagreb Symphony Orchestra/Ivan Josip Skender rec. 2022 NAVONA RECORDS NV6441 [31] [SA] Moments of grandeur do the composer’s influences good service.

Trevor Duncan (1924–2005) Orchestral Works - Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra/Andrew Penny rec. 1993 NAXOS 8.555192 [68] [RB] Authentic sounds: guts and gusto and an intoxicating way with the lung-expansive counter-melody.

Antonín Dvořák (1841–1904) Complete Symphonies, Legends & Slavonic Dances - Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra/ José Serebrier rec. 2011–2014 WARNER CLASSICS 9029623881 [7 CDs: 515] [RMo] Dull, drab, dutiful Dvořák, devoid of lilt and lift.

Maurice Emmanuel (1862-1938) Symphony No.2 & chamber works - Maurice Maréchal (cello), Parrenin Quartet, Strasbourg RSO/Charles Bruck rec. 1959/62 SOLSTICE SOCD397 [74] [JW] Emmanuel’s music is heard in important historic performances.

Manuel de Falla (1876–1946) Noches En Los Jardines De Espana Bohuslav Martinů (1890-1959) Piano Concerto No 5 Carl Maria von Weber (1786-1826) Konzertstück - Margrit Weber (piano), Bayerischen RSO/Rafael Kubelik, Berlin RSO/ Ferenc Fricsay rec. 1960–65 DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 4630852 [74] [RB] A programme both spiced and sugared.

Hans Gál (1890-1987) Piano Quartet, Suite, Concertino, Impromptu - Gottlieb Wallisch (piano) Aron Quartet, Franz Liszt Chamber Orchestra/Hartmut Rohde rec. 2019 CPO 555 276-2 [58] [JF] Four interesting and immediately approachable works by Continental Briton Hans Gál.

Hans Gál (1890-1987) Piano Quartet, Suite, Concertino, Impromptu - Gottlieb Wallisch (piano) Hartmut Rohde (viola) Aron Quartett, Franz Liszt Chamber Orchestra/Hartmut Rohde rec. 2019 CPO 555 276-2 [59] [RB] There’s a crystalline, melodic flow to these works written before the composer’s enforced exile.

Stanley Grill (b. 1953) Und das Lied bleibt schön - Lisa Rombach (soprano), Nicholas Spanos (counter-tenor) Pandolfis Consort rec. 2021 GRAMOLA 99254 [64] [RB] An unworldly purity refreshes our listening ‘apparatus’ without resorting to a fake antique ‘affect’.

Franz Joseph Haydn (1732–1809) Piano Sonatas Vol. 11 - Jean-Efflam Bavouzet (piano) rec. 2021 CHANDOS CHAN20193 [80] [MG] Bavouzet’s virtuosity, lightness of articulation, humour and varied added ornamentation honour Haydn’s constant and subtle invention.

Joseph Haydn (1732-1809) The Seven Last Words of Christ - Vienna Academy Chorus, Vienna State Opera Orchestra/Hermann Scherchen rec. 1962 HIGH DEFINITION TAPE TRANSFER HDTT6824 [54] [RMo] A failure on pretty much every level.

Joseph Haydn (1732-1809) Cello Concertos 1 & 2 Paul Hindemith (1895-1963) Trauermusik - Christian Poltéra (cello), Münchener Kammerorchester rec. 2021 BIS BIS2507 SACD [61] [DJB] Thrilling finales of the concertos are outweighed by a lack of poetry elsewhere, and the filler does not really fit.

Gustav Holst (1874-1934) The Planets - Women's Voices of the Roger Wagner Chorale, Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra/Leopold Stokowski rec. 1956 Reviewed as download HIGH DEFINITION TAPE TRANSFER HDTT8874 [46] [RMo] A grand and classic recording given new impact.

Leoš Janáček (1854-1928) Chamber Works - András Schiff (piano), Boris Pergamenschikow (cello), Musiktage Mondsee Ensemble rec. 1992 DECCA 440 312-2 [63] [PBW] Performances which bring lasting satisfaction.

Willem Jeths (b. 1959) The Tell-Tale Heart - Tasmin Little (violin), Juliane Banse (soprano), Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra/James Gaffigan, Reinbert de Leeuw, Jaap van Zweden rec. 2010-2018 CHALLENGE CLASSICS CC72908 [63] [RB] Excellent performances of recent works by a significant Dutch composer.

Emma Johnson (b. 1966) Songs of Celebration - Emma Johnson (clarinet, narrator), Choir of Gloucester Cathedral/Adrian Partington, Recorder Consort, John Lenehan (piano) rec. 2022 NIMBUS NI6431 [59] [JQ] Music and performances showing the engaging personality of Emma Johnson.

Vítězslava Kaprálová (1915-1940) La Vita - Leonie Karatas (piano) rec. 2021 EUROARTS 2069107 [70] [JW] A somewhat inconsistent disc at its best, fortunately, in the two biggest works.

Charles Koechlin (1867-1950) The Seven Stars’ Symphony, Vers la voűte étoilée - Basel Symphony Orchestra/Ariane Matiakh rec. 2021 CAPRICCIO C5449 [56] [JW] Koechlin’s vibrant cinematic salute is complemented by a beautiful nocturne.

John Frederick Lampe (1703–1751) The Dragon of Wantley - Mary Bevan (soprano), Catherine Carby (mezzo-soprano), Mark Wilde (tenor), John Savournin (bass-baritone), The Brook Street Band/John Andrews rec. 2021 RESONUS RES10304 [59 + 44] [JW] Dragons in Yorkshire fuel the comic plot in an opera by Handel’s bassoonist.

Carl Loewe (1796-1869) Symphonies Nos 1 & 2 - Jenaer Philharmonie/Simon Gaudenz rec. 2019 CPO 555 319-2 [58:51] [RB] Orchestra and conductor blaze away with something more than confidence.

Carl Loewe (1796-1869) Symphonies Nos 1 & 2 - Jenaer Philharmonie/Simon Gaudenz rec. 2019 CPO 555 319-2 [59] [NB] Wholly enjoyable and well-crafted early Romantic symphonies given sparkling performances.

Albert Lortzing (1801–1851) Zum Groβ-Admiral - Anett Fritsch, Lavinia Dames, Julia Sophie Wagner (sopranos), Münchner Rundfunkorchester/ Ulf Schirmer rec. 2019 CPO 555133-2 [2 CDs: 143] [GF] Too uneven singing for a general recommendation, but the three sopranos should be heard.

Boris Lyatoshynsky (1895-1968) Symphonies No. 1-5, Grazhyna - Ukrainian State Symphony Orchestra/Theodore Kuchar rec. 1993-1994 NAXOS 8.503303 [3 CDs: 189] [PCG] The reissue of this unique and comprehensive collection is especially valuable: it lets us view the composer’s symphonic output as a whole.

Gustav Mahler (1860-1911) Des Knaben Wunderhorn - Heinz Rehfuss (bass-baritone), Maureen Forrester (contralto), Symphony Orchestra of the Vienna Festival/Felix Prohaska rec. 1963 HIGH DEFINITION TAPE TRANSFERS HDTT4482 [52] [RMo] An essentially flawless, “classic” recording which forms a benchmark for all others.

Gustav Mahler (1860-1911) Symphony No 7 - Bayerisches Staatsorchester/Kirill Petrenko rec. live 2018 BAYERISCHE STAATSOPER RECORDINGS BSOREC0001 [73] [LD] A dazzling, but chilly Song of the Night.

Gustav Mahler (1860-1911) Symphony No 9 - BRSO/Sir Simon Rattle rec. live 2021 BR KLASSIK 900205 [79] [MC] This outstanding account of the Ninth from Rattle and the BRSO is an expression of their devotion to Mahler’s music.

Gustav Mahler (1860-1911) Des Knaben Wunderhorn - Dietrich Henschel (baritone), Bochumer Symphoniker/Steven Sloane rec. 2017 AVANTICLASSIC AVA10522 [2 CDs: 85] [SB] All Mahler’s Wunderhorn songs in orchestral versions, sensitively sung.

Emilie Mayer (1812-1883) Symphonies Nos 3 & 6 - Philharmonisches Orchester Bremerhaven/Marc Niemann rec. 2021 HÄNSSLER CLASSIC HC22016 [70] [DJB] One good and one outstanding Beethoven-influenced symphony.

Fréderic Mompou (1893-1987) Música Callada - Lilit Griigoryan (piano) rec. 2019 ORCHID CLASSICS ORC100178 [72] [GPu] Though not quite my first choice, this is a sensitive and tonally beautiful account of Mompou’s masterpiece.

Emánuel Moór (1863-1931) Music for Viola - Dirk Hegemann (viola), Dávid Báll (piano), Rosenstein String Quartet, Anima Musicae Chamber Orchestra/Mátyás Antal rec. 2021 TOCCATA CLASSICS TOCC0650 [62] [RB] The key quality here is lyricism.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791) Piano Concertos Nos 20 & 25 - Anne-Marie McDermott (piano) Odense Symfoniorkester/Sebastian Lang-Lessing rec. 2020 BRIDGE 9562 [66] [MG] A stimulating freshness, directness and clarity of focus from pianist, orchestra and conductor.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791) String Quartets Vol. 2 - Armida Quartett rec. 2018 AVI-MUSIC 8553444 [69] [DF] Performances of clarity and precision, warmth and spontaneity.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756–1791) String Quartets Vol. 3 - Armida Quartett rec. 2020 AVI-MUSIC 8553032 [2 CDs: 116] [DF] Captivating performances of Mozart string quartets.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791) String Quartets Vol. 5 - Armida Quartett rec. 2019/2020 AVI MUSIC 8553496 [2 CDs: 126] [DF] The enthralling cycle continues.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791) Mozart en famille - Chamber works - Sigiswald Kuijken (violin), Sara Kuijken (viola), Marie Kuijken (fortepiano) rec. 2021 CHALLENGE RECORDS CC72902 [66] [DF] An outstanding addition to the period-instrument Mozart discography.

Ludvig Norman (1831-1885) Symphony No 3 & Overtures - Oulu Symphony Orchestra/Johannes Gustavsson rec. 2021 ONDINE ODE1391-2 [57] [NB] Music of modest stature presented in the best possible light.

Yannis Papaďoannou (1910-1989) Préludes Yannis Constantinidis (1903-1984) Dances Dimitry Levidis (1886-1951) Greek Romantic Sonata No 1 - Cyprien Katsaris (piano) rec. 2020 MELISM RECORDS MLSCD035 [50:47] [RB] Katsaris breaks new ground redounding to the credit of Greek classical music.

Harry Partch (1901-1974) The 1942 Demonstration/Recital - Harry Partch (speaker, voice, adapted viola, chromolodian, adapted guitar) rec. 1942 MICROFEST RECORDS MF20 [55] [PS] Thought lost, now found – beautifully refurbished, this recording of Partch’s revelatory demonstration/recital is a slice of real history.

Dora Pejačević (1885-1923) Piano Concerto, Symphony - Peter Donohoe (piano), BBC Symphony Orchestra/Sakari Oramo rec. 2021 CHANDOS CHSA5299 SACD [71] [SB] The work of this Croatian composer is well worth exploring.

Allan Pettersson (1911-1980) Symphony No. 15, Fantasie, Viola Concerto - Ellen Nisbeth (viola), Norrköping Symphony Orchestra/Christian Lindberg rec. 2020 BIS BIS-2480 SACD [68] [RWe] The BIS Pettersson symphony cycle continues with a powerfully intense No.15 and a superb account of the Viola Concerto.

Sergey Rachmaninov (1873-1943) Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, Variations on a theme of Corelli, Preludes - Tamás Vásáry, Lazar Berman (piano) London Symphony Orchestra/Yuri Ahronovitch rec. 1977 DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 457 906-2 [69] [RB] If you missed this first time round, now’s your chance to redress the omission and reward your ears and heart.

Maurice Ravel (1875-1937) Piano Concerto Olivier Messiaen (1908-1992) Oiseaux exotiques Arnold Schoenberg (1874-1951)  Piano Concerto - Francesco Piemontesi (piano) Orchestre de la Suisse Romande/Jonathan Nott rec. 2020/21 PENTATONE PTC5186949 SACD [57] [RWe] Probably a unique coupling, very well played and in fine sound.

Nikolay Rimsky-Korsakov (1844-1908) The Golden Cockerel - Orchestra & Chorus of the Opéra National de Lyon/Daniele Rustioni rec. live NAXOS DVD 2.110731 [128] [SB] This fairytale opera needs a more sympathetic production to succeed.

Francesco Santoliquido (1883-1971) Chamber Music - Gran Duo Italiano, Federica Del Bagno (cello) rec. 2021 BRILLIANT 96589 [65] [JW] Incurious, backward looking, and a Fascist sympathiser too – welcome to the wonderful world of Francesco Santoliquido.

Othmar Schoeck (1886-1957) Elegie - Christian Gerhaher (baritone) Kammerorchester Basel/Heinz Holliger rec. 2020 SONY CLASSICAL 19439963302 [57] [RHa] Gerhaher and Holliger are outstanding advocates and offer a fresh approach to Schoeck’s serene and exquisitely crafted cycle.

Franz Schubert (1797-1828) Symphonies Nos 8 and 9 - Gewandhausorchester Leipzig/Herbert Blomstedt rec. 2021 DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 4863045 [26+62] [GT] Herbert Blomstedt makes his debut for DG with revelatory performances of Schubert’s most loved symphonies.

Franz Schubert (1797-1828) The Symphonies - Swedish Chamber Orchestra/Thomas Dausgaard rec. 2006-1013 BIS BIS-2514 SACD [4 discs: 300] [NB] Stunning technical brilliance at the cost of expressive warmth.

Franz Schubert (1797-1828) String Quartets Nos 11 & 14 - Melos Quartett rec. 1974 DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 4475312 [63] [RMo] A fine pairing of early and late works, if not the last word in accomplishment.

Ludwig Senfl (c.1486-1543) Motets and Songs - Singer Pur, Ensemble Leones rec. 2022 OEHMS CLASSICS OC1726 [66] [GH] Germany’s principal Renaissance composer is represented by sacred and secular works in beautiful performances.

Dmitri Shostakovich (1906-1975) Symphony No.5 - Stadium Symphony Orchestra of New York/Leopold Stokowski rec. 1958 HIGH DEFINITION TAPE TRANSFER HDTT13575 [44] [RMo] A grand, cohesive account contrasting interestingly with Bernstein’s contemporary recording

Dmitri Shostakovich (1906-1975) Symphony No. 5 Pyotr Tchaikovsky (1840-1893) Francesca da Rimini - Warsaw PO/Witold Rowicki, Leningrad PO/Gennady Rozhdestvensky rec. 1958/60 DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 453988-2 [72] [GT] Very welcome re-releases of Russian orchestral masterpieces.

Charlotte Sohy (1887-1955) Composer of the Belle Époque rec. 2021/22 LA BOÎTE Ŕ PÉPITES BAP01.03 [3 CDs: 187] [GF] A privilege to listen to works long forgotten and find that they have a lot to say to listeners from later generations.

Susan Spain-Dunk (1880-1962) Violin Sonata No.3, Romance, Les Sylphes Ruth Gipps (1921-1999) Violin Sonata, Rhapsody, Evocation - Patrick Wastnage (violin) Elizabeth Dunn (piano) rec. 2021 GUILD GMCD7827 [58] [JW] Two composers whose music is being evaluated after decades of neglect.

Charles Villiers Stanford (1852-1924) Children’s Songs - Kitty Whately (mezzo-soprano), Gareth Brynmor John (baritone), Susie Allan (piano) rec. 2022 SOMM RECORDINGS SOMMCD0655 [79] [JF] Often sentimental, always charming, these songs surely will appeal to the lingering child in us all.

Richard Strauss (1864–1949) Symphonia domestica - Chicago Symphony Orchestra/ Fritz Reiner rec. 1956 HIGH DEFINITION TAPE TRANSFER HDTT9925 [44] [RMo] I am newly struck by the sheer virtuosity of the Chicago players.

Richard Strauss (1864–1949) Symphonia Domestica, Horn Concerto - Myron Bloom (French horn), Cleveland Orchestra/ George Szell rec. 1961–64 HIGH DEFINITION TAPE TRANSFERS HDTT13828 [57] [RMo] An established classic of remarkable virtuosity newly revitalized.

Karol Szymanowski (1882-1937) Hagith - Wioletta Chodowicz (soprano), Ryszard Minkiewicz (tenor), Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra/Michał Klauza rec. 2018 POLSKIE RADIO PRCD2231 [74] [EJW] The first recording on CD of Szymanowski’s early one-act opera, in an excellent production.

Georg Philipp Telemann (1681-1767) Oratorium zum Johannisfest, Oratorium zum Sonntag Misericordias Domini - Rahel Maas, Elena Harsányi (soprano) Kölner Akademie/Michael Alexander Willens rec. 2020 CPO 555 271-2 [79] [DF] Rewarding, rare oratorios by Telemann.

Sir Donald Tovey (1875-1940) Cello Sonatas - Alice Neary, Kate Gould (cello) Gretel Dowdeswell (piano) rec. 2008 TOCCATA CLASSUCS TOCC0497 [88] [JW] Stylish and virtuosic readings of Tovey’s cello works.

Viktor Ullmann (1898-1944) Der Kaiser von Atlantis - Juliana Zara (soprano) Christel Loetzsch (mezzo) - Munich Radio Orchestra/Patrick Hahn rec. 2021 BR KLASSIK 900339 [53] [PCG] A new recording of a tragically doomed work which lays new emphasis on musical values.

Pēteris Vasks (b. 1946) The Seasons & other piano works - Reinis Zariņš (piano) rec. 2021 ONDINE ODE1361-2 [80] [SB] Fine versions of Vasks’ major piano works.

Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872–1958) The New Collector’s Edition WARNER 9029624537 [30 CDs: 34 hrs] [JW] Essentially a reissue, this 30 CD box makes its appearance to celebrate VW’s 150th anniversary.

Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872–1958) Serenade rec. 2018–2021 ALBION RECORDS ALBCD053 [67] [NB] A celebratory box of delights all beautifully performed and lovingly presented.

Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872-1958) Symphonies 6 & 9, The Wasps Overture - BBC Symphony Orchestra, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra/Sir Malcolm Sargent rec. 1957-64 SOMM ARIADNE 5016 [73] [JQ] An important contribution to the celebrations of RVW’s 150th anniversary.

Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872-1958) Symphonies 4 & 5 - London Philharmonic Orchestra/Sir Adrian Boult rec. 1953 PRISTINE AUDIO PASC665 [72] [PCG] Boult’s first Vaughan Williams cycle still sounds magnificent even after seventy years.

Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872-1958) Symphonies Nos 7 & 8 - London Philharmonic Orchestra & Choir/Sir Adrian Boult rec. 1953/1956 PRISTINE AUDIO PASC668 [74] [RMo] This Pristine series maintains its high standards, once again revitalising Boult’s splendid 1950s recordings of Vaughan Williams’ symphonies.

Siegfried Wagner (1869–1930) An Allem Ist Hütchen Schuld! - Karlovy Vary Symphony Orchestra/David Robert Coleman rec. 2019 MARCO POLO 8225378-80 [3 CDs: 161] [GF] An interesting work but the performance is too undistinguished to be given a general recommendation.

Adrian Williams (b. 1956) Symphony No 1, Chamber Concerto - English Symphony Orchestra/ Kenneth Woods rec. 2021 NIMBUS NI6432 [70] [RB] Surely unexpected: an epic contemporary symphony of Mahlerian character.

Ermanno Wolf-Ferrari (1876-1948) Suite Veneziana, Triptychon, Divertimento, Arabesken - Oviedo Filarmonia/Friedrich Haider rec. 2008/9 NAXOS 8.573583 [65] [PCG] Wolf-Ferrari’s views of Venice are not as grandiose as Respighi’s of Rome, but are nonetheless more than simply charming.

Eugčne Ysa˙e (1858-1931) The Genius of Ysa˙e - Elmira Darvarova (violin) Ronald Carbone (viola) Samuel Magill (cello) rec. 2022 AFFETTO AF2203 [63] [JW] An Ysa˙e world premičre, two world premičre recordings of his final versions, and more besides.

100 Years of Japanese Song: A Japanese Journey Vol. 3 Charlotte de Rothschild (soprano), Adrian Farmer (piano)rec. 2022 NIMBUS ALLIANCE NI6430 [73] [RB] Easy to enjoy and be charmed by, these songs are far from arduous listening.

The Americanist Works by Gershwin, Ravel & Still - Elizabeth Newkirk (piano) rec. 2020 BRIGHT SHINY THINGS BSTC-0166 [59] [RCh] Three contrasting portraits in vivid piano transcriptions.

Martha Argerich and Friends: Live from the Lugano Festival 2012 WARNER CLASSICS 7211192 [3 CDs: 226] [OL] An excellent set, in the best tradition of Lugano Festival boxes.

Alison Balsom (trumpet) Quiet City - Nicholas Daniel (oboe) Tom Poster (piano) Britten Sinfonia/Scott Stroman rec. 2021 WARNER CLASSICS 9029622991 [54] [RB] Honed by Alison Balsom, the prominence of the trumpet makes for some surprises peculiar to this disc.

Benjamin Bernheim (tenor) Boulevard des Italiens - Orchestra del Teatro Comunale di Bologna/Frédéric Chaslin rec. 2021 DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 486 1964 [59] [MC] Benjamin Bernheim gives a compelling performance of Italian opera arias, sung to French texts.

The Best in Sound and Form and Hue John Squire, Musician and Artist by John Hugh Thomas publ. 2021 Y Lolfa [GPu] A valuable, hugely readable document on musical life in Britain in the nineteenth Century.

British Wind Quintets Works by Bowen, Spain-Dunk, Jenkins, Holst, Jacob, and McEwen - Camarilla Ensemble rec. 2021 DUTTON EPOCH CDLX7398 SACD [72] [JW] A sequence of previously unrecorded works offers charm and colour.

Una Bourne (piano) Australian Recording Pioneer: HMV Recordings rec. 1914-1926 APR 6037 [77 + 77] [JW] A stalwart of the recording studios of the teens and twenties, sometimes found wanting.

Budapest Quartet Introuvables rec. 1934-1938 PRISTINE AUDIO PACM113 [2 CD: 153] [JW] Rare examples from the Budapest Quartet’s recorded legacy brought to life in vivid restorations.

Adolf Busch (violin)/Rudolf Serkin (piano) At the Library of Congress rec. 1944–48 PRISTINE AUDIO PACM114 [68] [JW] Three first ever releases feature in the Busch-Serkin duo’s Library of Congress recordings.

Anthony Collins (conductor) Complete Decca Recordings - London Symphony Orchestra rec. 1945-1956 ELOQUENCE 484 1467 [14 CDs: 889] [PCG] This comprehensive collection is inevitably something of a mixed bag.

Bella Davidovich (piano) The Philips Legacy rec. 1979-1987 ELOQUENCE 484 4186 [8 CDs: 434] [SG] Lauded as ‘Russia’s best-kept secret’, you can now judge for yourself.

Estonian Piano Trios Works by Eller, Lemba, Maimets & Pärt - Mari Poll (violin), Henry-David Varema (cello), Mihkel Poll (piano) rec. 2020 DUX 1809 [63] [RB] One of the most active of Polish labels mints a collection of Estonian works for piano trio.

Footprints Pat Stuckemeyer (euphonium) Arizona State University Wind Ensemble rec. 2009 POTENZA MUSIC PM1008 [60] [OL] Not just a good introduction to euphonium, but a collection of interesting and accessible music in excellent performances.

French Baroque Music Orchestre de Chambre Jean-Francois Paillard/Jean-Francois Paillard rec. 1953–84 WARNER CLASSICS 9029628784 [14 CDs: 848] [RMo] A comprehensive survey of the great age of French baroque music encompassing more than twenty composers in a variety of genres.

From the Forgotten Pages of Polish Chamber Music Vol. 1 Works by Dobrzyński, Kątski & Krogulski rec. 2021 DUX 1797 [67] [DJB] One mainly for the collector of the unsung, with the Krogulski the best of the three.

Hollywood Soundstage Sinfonia of London/John Wilson rec. 2021 CHANDOS CHSA5294 SACD [61] [JF] A selection of film scores from the Golden Age of Hollywood: something for everyone.

Hommage Works by Absil, Pillois, Tansman & Daniel-Lesur - Cracow Harp Quintet rec. 2021 DUX 1871 [51] [GPu] Quintessentially French music played with Parisian sophistication by five young Polish musicians.

In London Town Benjamin Sheen (organ) rec. 2020 CRD RECORDS 3541 [78] [JF] A fantastic exploration of arranged popular pieces and some less well-known original works.

Wilhelm Kempff (piano) The Decca Legacy rec. 1935-61 ELOQUENCE 484 2267 [13 CDs: 809] [JW] Kempff’s Decca years are heard in a single authoritative box, finely remastered and beautifully presented.

Kettle of Fish Musical Memoirs of a Maverick Composer by Anthony Gilbert publ. 2021 Self-published [MMB] Notable musical tale of an original creative artist and music luminary.

Hans Knappertsbusch (conductor) The Orchestral Edition rec. 1927-62 ELOQUENCE 4841824 [18 CDs: 857] [RMo] The “other” – orchestral - side to Kna’s art comprehensively presented here.

Clemens Krauss (conductor) Complete Decca Recordings rec. 1936-54 ELOQUENCE 4841704 [16 CDs: 1014] [JW] Clemens Krauss on Decca; a complete conspectus on 16 CDs.

Lang Lang (piano) New York Rhapsody rec. 2016 SONY CLASSICAL 88985332979 [70] [OL] Fascinating, like a good Broadway show. 

Legendary Polish Pianists Barbara Hesse-Bukowska, Henryk Sztompka, Marian Filar, Regina Smendzianka (piano) rec. 1949-59 MELOCLASSIC MC1063 [65+59] [RCh] Quality playing from these little-known pianists.

George London (bass-baritone) Grosse Sänger unseres Jahrhunderts - Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra/Richard Kraus, Rudolf Moralt, Hermann Weigert rec. 1953-56 ORFEO C220051 [80] [GF] One of the truly great bass-baritones of the post-war era caught at the height of his powers.

George London (bass-baritone) Grosse Sänger unseres Jahrhunderts - Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra/Richard Kraus, Rudolf Moralt, Hermann Weigert rec. 1953–1956 ORFEO C220051 [80] [RMo] One of the great bass-baritones in a varied and versatile repertoire.

Willem Mengelberg (conductor) The Concertgebouw Telefunken Recordings Vol. 2 - Concertgebouw Orchestra rec. 1937/38 PRISTINE AUDIO PASC664 [77:29 + 74:37] [PSt] Superb transfers of fascinating performances by one of the great conductors.

Metanoia A film by Paul Smaczny (2021) - Ensemble K, Sequenza 9.3/Simone Menezes ACCENTUS MUSIC ACC20550 DVD [81] [DJB] Aims high, but doesn’t really hit the target.

Musical Art Quartet Complete Columbia Recordings rec. 1927-28 BIDDULPH 85017-2 [73] [JW] The stylish refinement and elegance of a great quartet, led by the unforgettable Sasha Jacobsen.

Musical Art Quartet Complete Columbia Recordings rec. 1927/28 BIDDULPH 85017-2 [73] [SG] Warmth, personality and musicality: a pity these are their only recordings of quartet repertoire.

Nazareno Works by Bernstein, Golijov & Stravinsky - Katia & Marielle Lebčque (pianos) Chris Richard (clarinet) London Symphony Orchestra/Sir Simon Rattle rec. 2018 LSO LIVE LSO0836 SACD [42] [LP] Lively music from the Americas, conducted by an Englishman who does American music right.

Paul Paray (conductor) The Mercury Masters Vol. 1 - Detroit Symphony Orchestra rec. 1953-57 ELOQUENCE 4842318 [23 CDs: 902] [JW] The first installment of Paray’s magnificent Mercury legacy.

Paul Paray (conductor) The Mercury Masters Vol. 2 - Detroit Symphony/Paul Paray rec. 1958–1962 ELOQUENCE 4843318 [22 CDs: 974] [JW] The second tranche of Paray’s Detroit Mercury recordings proves as invigorating as the first.

Poèmes Irène Duval (violin), Pierre-Yves Hodique (piano) rec. 2015 MIRARE MIR312 [73] [OL] Two young French musicians present a Romantic collection for violin and piano which is too dry for such ambrosial material.

Polish Polonaises Julia Kociuban (piano) rec. 2021 DUX 1876 [71] [RCh] Kociuban has unearthed some wonderful examples of this Polish dance in this colourful recital.

Rarities of Piano Music at Schloss vor Husum 2022 DANACORD DACOCD949 [79] [RB] Resounds with music unfamiliar yet struggling worthily for our attention and emotional engagement.

Marina Rebeka (soprano) Spirito - Orchestra e Coro del Teatro Massimo di Palermo/Jader Bignamini rec. 2018 PRIMA CLASSIC PRIMA001 [78] [RMo] An interesting, ambitious recital which proves to be something of a mixed bag.

Ossy Renardy (violin) The Complete Remington Recordings - Eugene Helmer, Eugene List (piano) rec. 1953 BIDDULPH 85016-2 [2 CDs: 108] [SG] Performances with many revelatory moments.

Ruggiero Ricci (violin) Complete Decca Recordings rec. 1950-74 ELOQUENCE 484 2150 [20 CDs: 1240] [SG] Will greatly appeal to aficionados of great violin playing by an artist of commanding stature.

Second Stanisław Moniuszko International Competition of Polish Music rec. 2021 DUX 1857/8 [76 + 79] [RCh] A comprehensive overview of the rich music-making of this young competition.

Andrés Segovia & His Contemporaries Vol. 15 The Guitar in Spain Part 3 rec. 1930-39 DOREMI DHR-8149 [77] [JW] Historic Spanish guitar ensembles and a Castelnuovo-Tedesco premiere in imperfect sound.

Les six: Merci et Adieu, Claude Sergio Pires (clarinet), Kosuke Akimoto (piano) rec. 2021 AVI-MUSIC 8553038 [62] [SB] A fine collection of twentieth century French works for clarinet and piano.

This Is America Johnny Gandelsman (Violin, 5-string Violin, Tenor guitar, Electric Tenor Guitar, Vocals), Maya Miro Johnson (Narrator), Wyckoff Forever Chorus IN A CIRCLE RECORDS IACR023 [3 CDs: 233] [ZT] A remarkable musical, emotional, and sonic adventure in 21st century music.

Turkish Music for Viola - Beste Tiknaz Modiri (viola) Andrés Ańazco (piano) rec. 2017 MUSICAL CONCEPTS MC3108 [57] [GPu] Unfamiliar but interesting music, much of it well worthy of investigation.

Uncommon Voices Natasha Stojanovska (piano) rec. 2020 NAVONA RECORDS NV6440 [70] [SA] Music worthy of further study and exposure - more please!

Undertones of War Robert James Stove (organ), Elizabeth Barrow (soprano), Brigette De Poi (mezzo-soprano), Emily Tam (mezzo-soprano), Leighton H. G. Triplow (tenor), James Emerson (bass) rec. 2022 ARS ORGANI RECORDINGS AOR004 [38] [JF] A short but very sweet presentation of usually rare, and largely reflective, vocal and organ works.

Very Best of British Brass - No recording details ALTO ALN1984 [79] [JW] Colourful exemplars of the great British brass tradition let their collective hair down ... sometimes.

 

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Stanfordian Thoughts - 17. The Irish Symphony by Christopher Howell



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