Classical Editor: Rob Barnett

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Reviews in preparation for January 2001

February reviews
December reviews
Christmas Issues

November Reviews

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Would you attend a Musical Weekend?
How about Opera in Paris and Vienna in the Spring?

Also New:

Gustav Holst - Biography by David Trippett

Have you checked for today's update on Seen&Heard?
Please take a look at Peter Woolf's Editorial - Feedback requested.
The January Film Music reviews are now available
JOSEPH HOLBROOKE The Composer of Light Music by Philip L Scowcroft This is a companion article to Rob Barnetts autobiography and catalogue of the composer.
Waterways and Music by Philip Scowcroft

Cyril Rootham complete catalogue of works by Colin France
Percy Whitlock: Complete organ catalogue now added

Review of newly released DVDs from Arthaus, Universal and TDK [MB]

Giacomo PUCCINI (1858-1924)Comparative Reviews of Recordings of Manon Lescaut Lyric Drama in Four Acts by Ian Lace

Did you know you could help sponsor a new recording for as little as £10 - a symphony for £25? Read on


You can now buy the Hoffnung Little books on-line
An Exhibition of Gerard Hoffnung's Cartoons
to celebrate the 75th year of his birth  

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CHRISTMAS RECORDS a large selection also appears in the December reviews

BACH: Christmas Cantatas BWV36: Schwingt freudig euch empor, BWV132: Wege, bereitet die Bahn! BWV61: Nun komm, der heiden Heiland, Instrumental Suite after BWV699 & 659 Teru Dunn (soprano); Matthew White (countertenor); John Tessier (tenor); Steven Pitkanen (baritone); Thomas Goerz (bass) Arcadia Ensemble Kevin Mallon Naxos 8.554825 (62.17) [TB]

These Advent cantatas are deserving of a wider recognition, and this disc serves them well.

Roberto ALAGNA The Christmas Album London Symphony Orchestra Various Choirs Arranged and conducted by Robin Smith EMI Classics CDC 5 57017 2 [62.21] [SF]

Alagna fans will hardly need the stimulus of a review to rush out and buy the tenor's first foray into the Christmas music market. And their instincts will be spot on, for this is a highly entertaining and often moving addition to his discography.

A Mormon Tabernacle Choir Christmas Joy to the World. Carol of the Bells. I Wonder as I Wander. Whence is that goodly fragrance?. Masters in this Hall. The First Noël. Pat-a-pan. What shall we give to the babe in the manger?. One December Bright and Clear. Fantasy on 'What Child is this?'. Hark! The Herald Angels Sing. Jesus, Jesus rest your head. Angels from the Realms of Glory. Silent Night. Mormon Tabernacle Choir; Orchestra at Temple Square/Craig Jessop. Telarc CD-80552 [DDD] [56'48] [CC]

The Mormon Tabernacle Choir in all their glory. All in all, great fun, unless you show a marked aversion to slick arrangements of Christmas standards: it is remarkably easy to get into the spirit of it all.


Collins Classical Music Encyclopedia General Editor: Stanley Sadie. Foreword by Vladimir Ashkenazy Published by Harper Collins Large Format Hardback 384 pages ISBN 0 00 472390 2 £29:99

This beautifully produced and lavishly illustrated book includes some novel features that lift it above the average coffee table, beginners-guide-to-music.


BERNERS (1883-1950) Le Carrosse du Saint-Sacrement (1923) Fanfare (1931) Caprice Péruvien (1938) Viceroy: Ian Caddy (bar) Martinez: Alexander Oliver (ten) Balthasar: John Winfield (ten) La Périchole: Cynthia Buchan (sop) Thomas d'Esquivel: Thomas Lawlor (bass) Bishop of Lima: Anthony Smith (bass) BBC Scottish SO/Nicholas Cleobury (Carrosse) rec Glasgow 16 Aug 1983 Royal Ballet Sinfonia/Gavin Sutherland (Fanfare) rec London 15 Sept 1999 RTE Sinfonietta/David Lloyd-Jones (Caprice) rec Dublin 10 Jan 1995 MARCO POLO 8.225155 [79.17] [RB]

An unfamiliar lighter opera that will appeal to anyone who likes Ravel's L'enfant et les Sortilèges or Holst's Wandering Scholar

COPLAND  The Populist (suites from Billy the Kid and Rodeo, plus the complete ballet Appalachian Spring) Michael Tilson Thomas conducting the San Francisco Symphony RCA Red Seal 09026635112 [76: 32] [GD]

Whether an admirer of Copland, Americana, or the wide open spaces of Jerry Goldsmith and John Williams, this is an essential recording which should please a wide musical constituency. One of the finest albums of the year.

Heritage & Legacy Frederick AUSTIN - The Sea Venturers (1934), Alexander Campbell MACKENZIE - Prelude to Colomba Op. 28 (1883), Charles Villiers STANFORD - Overture - Shamus O'Brien (1896), Ralph VAUGHAN WILLIAMS - Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis (1910), Edward ELGAR -Variations on an Original Theme, 'Enigma' Op.36 (1899), Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra/Douglas Bostock RLPO-Live RLCD 301 [69'33"] [JF]

Three British World Premieres on the one disc! Imaginative British programme & stunning playing by one of the great 'northern' orchestras.


BRITTEN War Requiem Stefania Woytowicz (soprano); Sir Peter Pears (tenor); Hans Wilbrink (baritone) Wandsworth School Boys' Choir Melos Ensemble New Philharmonia Orchestra and Chorus Carlo Maria Giulini Recorded live at the Royal Albert Hall, London, on 6th April 1969 BBC Legends BBCL4046-2 (79 minutes) [TB]

A marvellous performance of a major classic is available for just a fraction of the cost of its competitors

TOP BRASS: A limited edition containing the following two albums: BRASSED OFF: Music from the original soundtrack Grimethorpe Colliery Band/John Anderson except *Orchestra/Trevor Jones CLASSIC BRASS Grimethorpe Colliery RJB Band/Garry Cutt, with *Lesley Garrett (soprano) BMG Classics 75605 51368 2 [2 CDs 49' 55", 68' 50"] [CH]

Brassed Off is a great disc which I feel everyone should have, even and especially those who normally don't go in for brass bands.

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Classical Editor: Rob Barnett,  Reviewers: Rob Barnett, Ian Lace, Len Mullenger, and:  Richard Adams, Colin Anderson, Arthur Baker, Terry Barfoot,  Marc Bridle, Arthur Butterworth, Colin Clarke, Paul Conway, Gary Dalkin, Andy Daly, Tony Duggan, Harry Downey,  Christopher Fifield, Lewis Foreman, Simon Foster, Christopher Howell, John Phillips, Ailís Ní Ríain, Humphrey Smith, Philip Scowcroft, Colin Scott-Sutherland, Andrew Seivewright, Christopher Thomas, Richard Whitehouse, Peter Grahame Woolf, David Wright. A complete list of contributors can be seen here


Any opinions expressed in reviews or articles on this site are those of the author and  do not necessarily represent the views of the site owner, Len Mullenger or the Editors.  Reviewers and authors retain copyright in their work unless it has been paid for or commissioned by the site owner.

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