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SCHNITTKE (1934-1998) Symphony No. 7 (1994) 23.25 Cello Concerto No. 1 (1985) 40.08 Alexander Ivashkin (cello) Russian State SO/Valeri Polyansky CHANDOS CHAN 9852 [63.34] [RB]

This is not the Schnittke to start out with. Certainly a connoisseur's choice.

SCHOENBERG (1874-1951) Gurrelieder, Suite for String Orchestra * Martina Arroyo (Tove); Alexander Young (Waldemar); Janet Baker (Wood-dove); Odd Wolstad (Peasant); Niels Møller (Klaus the Fool); Julius Patzak (Speaker) Chorus of Danish Radio and Danish State Radio Symphony & Concert Orchestras  conducted by János Ferencsik. * Royal Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Norman Del Mar Reissue of recordings first published in 1974 (Gurrelieder) and 1965 (Suite for Strings) EMI CZS5 74194 2CDs [137:25] [IL]

A strong performance of the Gurrelieder; and a confident, if not a first recommendation.

SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Schwanengesang, D957. Totengräbers Heimwehe, D842. Nachtstück, D672. An den Mond,D193. Im Frühling, D882. Christian Gerhaler (baritone); Gerold Huber (piano). Arte Nova 74321 75075-2 [DDD] [71'18] [CC]

If cost is a primary consideration this version looms high on the list. This remains an enjoyable, carefully thought out reading that will give much pleasure, without however erasing memories of some of the greater traversals.

SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Piano Sonatas Nos. 1-21. Wilhelm Kempff (piano). DG Collectors Edition 463 766-2 [ADD] [seven discs] [CC]

If a one-pianist complete set is required at reasonable price Kempff proves a generally reliable guide.

SCRIABIN (1872-1915) Symphony no. 3"The Divine Poem" Op 43  "Poem of Ecstasy" Op 54
(Transcribed for two pianos by Lev Konyus) Ilona Prunyi and Sandor Falvai, Pianos Naxos 8.555327 [56:12] [CT]

This disc does have some curiosity value and is possibly worth a listen for those who are familiar with these works. For those who are not my advice is to listen to them in all their orchestral glory first.

Roger SESSIONS (1896-1985); Stephan WOLPE (1902-1972) Violin Concerto (1935) [28.53] Paul Zukofsky (violin) Symphony (1956) [25.53]   Orchestre Philharmonique/Gunther Schuller (Sessions); Orchestra of the 20th Century/Arthur Weisburg  CRI American masters CD676  [54.57] [PW]

Chacun a son goût! This is just a short note to welcome the first opportunity to hear Stephan Wolpe's legendary Symphony in Three Movements of 1955, in what appears to have been its first (and live) recording in New York of 1981.

SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-75) Symphony No. 10 in E minor, Op. 93. The Big Lightninga. aVsevolod Grivnov (tenor) Yegor/Tommie; aDmitry Fadeyev (bass) Semyon/Manager; aOleg Dolgov (tenor) Architect; aAndrei Barurkin (bass) Mayofel; aTatiana Sharova (soprano) Old Woman; aAnatoly Safiulin (bass) bass solo/voice from the megaphone; Russian State aSymphonic Cappella and Symphony Orchestra/Valeri Polyansky. Chandos CHAN9522 [74'14] [DDD] [CC]

Polyansky can't approach a first recommendation in the Symphony, despite the merits of his first movement. Worthwhile, nevertheless, for the entertainment of The Big Lightning.

SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975) 24 Preludes and Fugues, Op. 87 Konstantin Scherbakov, piano Naxos 8.554745-46 [2 discs 141:50] [CT]

Scherbakov achieves a freshness in performance which immediately demands attention. There is a delicacy and deftness of touch in his playing allied with a natural sense of line and phrasing which can be both compelling and moving.

SIBELIUS  Violin Concerto [30.18] KHACHATURIAN  Violin Concerto [35.31] Aaron Rosand (violin) Malaysian PO/Kees Bakels rec Dewan Filharmonik Petronas Towers, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, December 1999 VOX VXP 7904 [65.58] [RB]

A fine addition to the Sibelius discography and a leader in poetry and sheer electric 'charge' in the case of the Khachaturian.

STRAUSS Aus Italien - Symphonic Fantasy, op.16,  Macbeth - Tone poem after Shakespeare, op.23 Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich Conducted by David Zinman Arte Nova 74321 77067 2 [65.27] [TD]

A good bargain release of two lesser-known Strauss works.

STRAUSS (1864-1949) Four Last Songs Excerpts from: Arabella, Ariadne auf Naxos and Capriccio Lisa Della Casa, Vienna Philharmonic   Karl Böhm DECCA Legends 467 118-2 [66:36] [IL]

For every Richard Strauss fan this CD is an absolute must

STRAUSS Salome  reviews of Leonie Rysanek as Salome and comparison of recordings on disc by Marc Bridle

A major comparative review

MARGARET SUTHERLAND (1897-1984) The chamber music with strings: Violin Sonata (1925) [27.06] Nocturne for violin and piano (1945?) [3.21] Contrasts for two violins (1953-4) [13.27] Six Bagatelles for violin and viola (1958) [11.03] Divertimento for string trio (1958) [13.12] The World and the Child for voice and string trio (1959) 10.29 Marina Marsden (violin) all works, Christopher Latham (violin) Contrasts, Justine Wickham (viola) Bagatelles and Divertimento, Robert Chamberlain (piano) sonata, Elizabeth Campbell (mezzo) The World and the Child, rec March-May 1997 Sydney TALL POPPIES TP116 [79.12] [RB]

Recommended. The dignified enriching beauty of Sutherland's music is undeniable. For sampling try the Nocturne and the song - the latter a 20th century treasure.

Margaret SUTHERLAND (1897-1984) Concerto for String Orchestra (1949) [11.11] Concerto Grosso (1958) [21.26] Violin Concerto (1960) [24.36] Haunted Hills (1950) [15.18] Queensland SO/Patrick Thomas (1) Sybil Copeland (violin), John Glickman (viola), Max Cooke (harpsichord) Melbourne SO/John Hopkins (2) Leonard Dommett (violin/Melbourne SO/Patrick Thomas (3) Melbourne SO/John Hopkins (4) rec ABC, Australia, Dec 1972 - Mar 1973  ABC CLASSICS - ELOQUENCE 465 734-2 [73.10] [RB]

Bless ABC for this economical single CD anthology of Sutherland's major orchestral works.

GEORGI SVIRIDOV (1915-98) Music for Chamber Orchestra (1964) Time Forward! film score (1967) It is snowing - choir and orchestra (1965) The Songs of Hard Times (1998) Choir of Moscow Children's Musical School No. 109 Moscow New Choir Russian Philharmonic SO/Alexander Vedernikov rec 16 Dec 1998, Grand Hall, Moscow Conservatoire BOHEME CDBMR 911108 [59.45] [RB]

Make it a point to hear more Sviridov. He here proves that he is not a dissonance-man but one much more at peace with the affecting emotional language of the lyrical singers in Russia's artistic history.

Sergei Ivanovich TANEYEV (1856-1915) Complete String Trios: E flat, Op. 31; B minor (1913); D (1879/80) Belcanto Strings (Wolfgang Schröder, violin; Daniel Raskin, viola; Ramon Jaffé, cello). Dabringhaus und Grimm MDG 634 1003-2 [69'58] [DDD] [CC]

Sergei Taneyev seems distinctly under-represented in today's catalogue … the Belcanto Strings provide an excellent opportunity for reappraisal. Their advocacy is a major contributory factor to this disc's success.

TCHAIKOVSKY String Quartet movement in B flat, String Quartet no. 1 in D ; 2 in F ; 3 in E flat minor, Souvenir de Florence for string sextet.   Borodin String Quartet with Genrikh Talalyan ( second viola) and Mstiislav Rostropovich (second cello). Chandos CHAN9871(2) 2CDs [DW]

The performances are first rate.. very special, and the recording captures the warmth and intimacy to perfection. Worth having for the First and Third Quartets.

TCHAIKOVSKY Symphony No. 5 in E minor, Fantasy Overture 'Romeo and Juliet' Orquesta Sinfonica de Mineria Conducted by Herrera de la Fuente GUILD GMCD 7205 [67.31] [SF]

A curate's egg - a performance with a difference

TELEMANN  Concerts and Suites 1734. Camerata Koln. CPO 999 690 - 2. 3 CDs. (DDD) (159.12) [DW]

I have heard this group many times and I believe that they are the exemplars of this music.

HOMMAGE À PAUL TORTELIER Double Concerto, Suite in D minor, Offrande for Strings, Your Grey-Blue Eyes Arto Noras, Maud Martin Tortelier, Paul Tortelier BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, Yan Pascal Tortelier, Marlboro Music Festival, Ulster Orchestra Recorded 1977/1978/1989/1999 CHAN 9898 [65.30] [CF]

This is a tribute not to Paul Tortelier the famous cellist, but to Tortelier the far less famous composer, and a very good one he was with very accessible music to his credit.

VERDI  Jérusalem. Marina Mescheriakova (soprano) Hélène; Marcello Giordani (tenor) Gaston; Roberto Scandiuzzi (bass) Roger; Philippe Rouillon (bass) Le Comte; Simon Edwards (tenor) L'Ecuyer; Hélène Le Corre (soprano) Isaure; Daniel Borowski (bass) Le Légat; Wolfgang Barta (bass) Le Soldat; Slobodan Stankovic (bass) L'Emir, Le Herault; Jovo Reljin (tenor) L'Officier; Chorus of the Grand Theatre, Geneva; Suisse Romande Orchestra/FabioLuisi. Philips 462 613-2 [three discs] [168'56]. [CC]

What Jérusalem needs from a modern recording more than anything is the conviction of belief, and Fabio Luisi clearly fits the bill. There is never a hint of any apology for this piece, and the listener need not feel he has to make any allowances.

WAGNER Der fliegende Holländer: Die Frist ist um (4); Lohengrin: Einsam in trüben Tagen (1); Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg: Was duftet doch der Flieder so mild; Wahn! Wahn! Überall Wahn! (4); Parsifal: Ich sah das Kind an seiner Mutter Brust (1); Tristan und Isolde: Weh, ach wehe! Dies zu dulden! (2, 3), Mild und leise (2); Die Walküre: Der Männer Sippe, Du bist der Lenz (1) Kirsten Flagstad (sop) (1), Birgit Nilsson (sop) (2), Grace Hoffman (mezzo-sop) (3), George London (bass) (4), Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra/Hans Knappertsbusch Recorded in 1956 (1), 1958 (4), 1959 (2, 3) Decca 458 238-2 [75'47"] [CH]

Would that there were many Wagner interpreters today with a tithe of the vocal security Flagstad still showed. Nilsson was at the summit of her career ... in the Liebestod in particular, where Knappertsbusch reaches an incandescence scarcely inferior to that of the classic Flagstad/Furtwängler recording, this is a performance to rival the greatest.

WAGNER (1813-83) Die Walküre, Act 3. Kirsten Flagstad (soprano) Brünnhilde; Otto Edelmann (bass) Wotan; Marianne Schech (soprano) Sieglinde; Ode Balsborg (soprano) Gerhilde; Ilone Steingruber (soprano) Ortlinde; Grace Hoffman (mezzo) Waltraute; Margaret Bence (contralto) Schwertleite; Claire Watson (soprano) Helmwige; Anny Delorie (contralto) Siegrune; Frieda Roesler (soprano) Grimgerde; Hetty Plümacher (contralto) Rossweise; Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra/Georg Solti.Decca Legends 467 124-2 [ADD] [70'57] Recorded 1957.[CC]

Any student of the Ring should here this performance for its visceral intensity. Any Wagner lover will not be disappointed.

WAGNER The Valkyrie Alberto Remedios - Siegmund, Clifford Grant - Hunding, Norman Bailey - Wotan, Margaret Curphey - Sieglinde, Rita Hunter - Brünnhilde, Ann Howard - Fricka, English National Opera Orchestra, Sir Reginald Goodall Chandos CHAN3038(4), 4 discs - 73'06, 52'09. 47'57, 76'02, mid-price. [MB]

This is a remarkable set. Newly minted in Chandos' typically bass-resonant fashion, it has a darkness and profundity few other recordings of this opera can equal. With an astonishingly sensitive cast and a conductor with visionary ideas on how the music should grow, it has once again proved the revelation it was on first issue.

Richard WILSON  Affirmations - fl, cl, vn, vc, pf Intercalations - piano Civilization and its Discontents - tuba Transfigured Goat - mezzo, bar, cl, piano Mary Anne Hart (mezzo) Richard Lalli (bar) Allen Blustine (cl) Richard Wilson (pno) ALBANY TROY389 [65.39][RB]

To be welcomed by the adventurous explorer.

[Part 1 New]  [Part 2 A-B] [Part 3 C-L]
[Part 4 M-R]  [Part 5 S-Y] [Part 6 Misc] 

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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