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The Malcolm Arnold Festival
2022 - a preview by Rob Barnett
Stanfordian Thoughts -
17. The Irish Symphony by Christopher Howell
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Bacewicz - Works for Violin
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Friday September 30th
Sergei Bortkiewicz (1877-1952)
Chamber Music -
Cristian Persinaru (violin) Paul Fox (cello) Nils Franke (piano) rec. 2002/04 BRILLIANT CLASSICS 96586 
[JW] The variable art of Russian exile Sergei Bortkiewicz’s chamber works.
Carl Loewe (1796-1869) Symphonies Nos 1 & 2 -
Jenaer Philharmonie/Simon Gaudenz rec. 2019 CPO 555 319-2 
[NB] Wholly enjoyable and well-crafted early Romantic symphonies given sparkling performances.
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 
[RMo] An essentially flawless, “classic” recording which forms a benchmark for all others.
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 
Very welcome re-releases of Russian orchestral masterpieces.
Sir Donald Tovey (1875-1940)
Cello Sonatas - Alice Neary,
Kate Gould (cello)
Gretel Dowdeswell (piano) rec. 2008 TOCCATA CLASSUCS TOCC0497 
[JW] Stylish and virtuosic readings of Tovey’s cello works.
Kim André Arnesen (b. 1980)
Tuvayhun - Nidarosdomens jentekor & TrondheimSolistene/Anita Brevik rec. 2020/2021
2L 2L171SABD SACD/BD-A  [DC]
Spectacular sonics and a positive message.
Anton Bruckner (1824-1896) Symphonies
Nos 1 & 7 -
Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra/Christian Thielemann rec. 2021 UNITEL Blu-ray 807004 
Thielemann’s new Bruckner symphony cycle offers a fresh approach to mark the 200th birth anniversary.
Hans Gál (1890-1987)
Piano Quartet, Suite, Concertino,
Gottlieb Wallisch (piano)
Hartmut Rohde (viola)
Franz Liszt Chamber Orchestra/Hartmut Rohde rec. 2019 CPO 555 276-2 
There’s a crystalline, melodic flow to these works written before the composer’s enforced exile.
Joseph Haydn (1732-1809)
Cello Concertos 1 & 2 Paul Hindemith (1895-1963) Trauermusik - Christian Poltéra (cello), Münchener Kammerorchester rec. 2021
BIS BIS2507 SACD  [DJB]
Thrilling finales of the concertos are outweighed by a lack of poetry elsewhere, and the filler does not really fit.
Vítězslava Kaprálová (1915-1940)
La Vita - Leonie Karatas (piano)
rec. 2021 EUROARTS 2069107 
[JW] A somewhat inconsistent disc at its best, fortunately, in the two biggest works.
Francesco Santoliquido (1883-1971)
Chamber Music - Gran Duo Italiano, Federica Del Bagno (cello) rec. 2021
BRILLIANT 96589  [JW]
Incurious, backward looking, and a Fascist sympathiser too – welcome to the wonderful world of Francesco Santoliquido.
Wednesday September 28th
Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) Violin Concertos -
Ivry Gitlis (violin)
Natalia Likhopoi (violin)
Louisiana Museum Art Ensemble rec. 1990-1997 RHINE CLASSICS RH-024 
[JW] The richly communicative instincts of Ivry Gitlis are heard in previously unreleased Bach.
Franz Biber (1644-1704) Requiem & works by
Bernhard, Nicolai & Fux -
Freiburger BarockConsort/Lionel Meunier rec. 2019 ALPHA 665 
[JV] Fine performance of Biber's Requiem and an interesting choice of additional music.
Claude Debussy (1862–1918)
The First Columbia Recordings - Walter Gieseking (piano) rec. 1931–1949 APR APR6040 [2 CDs: 153]
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]
Van Dieren in from the cold with a new piano champion.
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]
Too uneven singing for a general recommendation, but the three sopranos should be heard.
Marina Rebeka (soprano)
Orchestra e Coro del Teatro Massimo di Palermo/Jader Bignamini rec. 2018
PRIMA CLASSIC PRIMA001 
An interesting, ambitious recital which proves to be something of a mixed bag.
Tuesday September 27th
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 
Music and performances showing the engaging personality of Emma Johnson.
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756–1791)
String Quartets Vol. 3 - Armida Quartett rec. 2020 AVI-MUSIC 8553032 [2 CDs: 116]
Captivating performances of Mozart string quartets.
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.
Eugčne Ysa˙e (1858-1931)
The Genius of Ysa˙e
Elmira Darvarova (violin) Ronald Carbone (viola) Samuel Magill (cello) rec.
2022 AFFETTO AF2203  [JW]
An Ysa˙e world premičre, two world premičre recordings of his final versions, and more besides.
Works by Absil, Pillois, Tansman &
Cracow Harp Quintet rec. 2021 DUX 1871  [GPu]
Quintessentially French music played with Parisian sophistication by five young Polish musicians.
Paul Paray (conductor)
The Mercury Masters Vol. 2 - Detroit Symphony/Paul Paray rec. 1958–1962 ELOQUENCE 4843318 [22 CDs: 974]
The second tranche of Paray’s Detroit Mercury recordings proves as invigorating as the first.
Monday September 26th
Leoš Janáček (1854-1928)
Chamber Works - András Schiff (piano), Boris Pergamenschikow (cello), Musiktage Mondsee Ensemble rec. 1992
DECCA 440 312-2  [PBW]
Performances which bring lasting satisfaction.
Gustav Mahler (1860-1911)
Symphony No 9
- BRSO/Sir Simon Rattle rec. live 2021 BR KLASSIK 900205 
[MC] This outstanding account of the Ninth from Rattle and the BRSO is an expression of their devotion to Mahler’s music.
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.
Works by Gershwin, Ravel & Still - Elizabeth Newkirk (piano) rec. 2020
BRIGHT SHINY THINGS BSTC-0166  [RCh]
Three contrasting portraits in vivid piano transcriptions.
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.
Musical Art Quartet
Complete Columbia Recordings rec. 1927/28
BIDDULPH 85017-2  [SG]
Warmth, personality and musicality: a pity these are their only recordings of quartet repertoire.
Very Best of British Brass - No recording details
ALTO ALN1984  [JW] Colourful exemplars of the great British brass tradition let their collective hair down